Umbria Jazz 2023

Umbria Jazz is finally back, the most awaited musical event in Umbria, the most important musical festival dedicated to the world of Jazz in Italy and among the most influential in the world.
A festival between the warm notes of the Sax and the rhythmic notes of the trumpet that resonate in the alleys of the Historic Center of Perugia and its stages distributed in locations with breathtaking historical settings, such as the stage in Piazza IV Novembre, the Jazz Jam Session at the Morlacchi Theater, concerts for purists at the National Gallery of Umbria, up to the Main Stage located in the Santa Giuliana arena for the concerts of the great Italian and international artists who have crossed the door of Umbria Jazz.

Herbie Hancock, also present at Umbria Jazz this year, describes the festival as follows:

It’s where you need to be at this time of year”

Did you know that Umbria Jazz was also mentioned in episode n.16-season 33 of The Simpsons?

The Origin of Umbria Jazz 

It was born in 1973 (it celebrates its 50th birthday this year!) by the will of Carlo Pagnotta, manager of a clothing shop and above all a great lover of Jazz music who wanted to bring a festival dedicated to this musical genre to his Umbria region. The story goes that he had the idea or the electrocution of Jazz in a historic bar in Via Mazzini, now closed.
The first concert took place in 1973, in the natural theater of Villalago in Piediluco, in the province of Terni. Other locations for the stages were Perugia right in Piazza IV Novembre where Weather Report made their Italian debut, and again Gubbio, just to give the idea of a music festival that embraced all of Umbria.

Not everything went smoothly…

In the difficult and hot 70s and 80s, between clashes and conflicting political ideas between “black music” and “white music”, Umbria Jazz did not see the light of the stages in 1978 until 1982!

Umbria Jazz Return

The year of its “re-birth” dates back to 1982 with novelties and changes such as the introduction of the entrance ticket for some concerts, which until then were free.
In 1985 the Umbria Jazz Association was born which manages the event and the Umbria Jazz brand which remains the property of the Umbria Region.
Another novelty is the choice of Perugia as host city for Umbria Jazz with only a few concerts held over the years in Terni, Assisi, Gubbio. Or with the Umbria Jazz Winter Edition held every year in December in Orvieto.

The streets plays Jazz

Duration Umbria Jazz, which has traditionally been held for 10 days in the month of July, it is possible to watch and listen to musicians, jazz musicians, singers who perform all along Corso Vannucci, creating unique atmospheres between the notes of Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Soul , rhythm ‘n’ blues…
Famous for their concert itineraries are, for example, the Funk Off!
The power is Umbria Jazz is having created a Jazz Music event in Italy, with all the nuances ranging from blues to reggae music, from pop to soul, between great artists and emerging artists, between “street” music and great stages. An event able to excite and bring everyone together, young and old, under the notes of Jazz.

Mentioning Alessandro Baricco in his theatrical monologue Novecento:

“When you don’t know what music is, then it’s Jazz!”

Some great artists who have participated in Umbria Jazz

Alicia Keys 
Art Blakey 
B.B. King 
Carlos Santana 
Diana Krall 
Earth, Wind & Fire 
Elton John 
Eric Clapton 
Herbie Hancock
Johnny Depp 
Lady Gaga
Liza Minnelli
Massive Attack 
Phil Collins 
Pino Daniele
Simply Red 
Stefano Bollani 
The Chainsmokers 
Tony Bennett 
Vinicio Capossela