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Crossroads 2015

The best on the road festival, Crossroads is a journey through the endless facets of modern jazz and the varied landscapes of Emilia-Romagna.


The 2015 edition, the sixteenth of this ‘globe-trotter’ festival, will hit record numbers, starting with its unprecedented length: from February 28 to June 1.  For the first time ever this wandering festival, with more than three months of events, will continue into June, with 52 concerts in 49 evenings, and more than 500 artists and about twenty towns involved. Also the artistic cast is noteworthy and as always offers a wide range of big names without ignoring new talents and, in particular, interesting performers who are rarely heard, especially in Italy.



The first date of Crossroads 2015 will be held, as is the tradition, at the Teatro De André in Casalgrande (Re). Here, on February 28, Cordoba Reunion will perform, a totally Argentinian group built up around the sax player Javier Girotto, who has been riding the Latin Jazz wave for years.


Marking the highlights of this festival's program are musicians who are capable of interpreting the jazz idiom from very different viewpoints.  The singer Diane Schuur is the spokesperson for mainstream jazz tinged with virtuosity (well-known for her very high notes), for the occasion presented in the form of a tribute to Stan Getz and Frank Sinatra (Rimini, April 17, Teatro degli Atti).


Joshua Redman, with his sax-bass-drums trio, is the incarnation of muscular and vigorous jazz as a soloist, and he is adventurous in his improvisational explorations (Imola, Bo, April 21, Teatro Ebe Stignani).  The sax player Jan Garbarek is the creator of a personal lyrical vision, full of Nordic "sentiments", which blend in a very singular way with the world influences of the Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu, the guest of honor in the Norwegian sax player's quartet (Piacenza, May 15, Teatro Municipale).  The flugelhorn player and singer Hugh Masekela is one of the most famous spokespeople of South African music: in his long career, success and prestigious international collaborations overlap with his efforts and dedication to this African land (Correggio, Re, May 28, Teatro Asioli).  As for the Italian front, the new musical creations of the trumpet player Enrico Rava stand out, in a poetic duo with the guitar player Irio De Paula (Coriano, Rn, April 10, Teatro CorTe), and of the vocalist John De Leo, who has worked hard to recreate Il Grande Abarasse live with an acoustic-technological orchestra (Cervia, Ra, April 8, Teatro Comunale).


But the most sensational parade of stars will pass through Ravenna, where from May 2 to 11 the new edition of the Ravenna Jazz festival will be held, and will once again this year be a part of the Crossroads itinerary.  A whole 10 days filled with events, with evening concerts at Teatro Alighieri and in various clubs of the city and nearby towns, besides the afternoon events in various locations throughout the city.

The calendar of Ravenna Jazz 2015, with its parade of vocalists, will have a lot to say (and a lot to listen to) in terms of jazz singing.  Four of the five concerts at Teatro Alighieri will star a voice, starting with the inaugural show of the festival, on May 2, when Dee Dee Bridgewater will take the stage with her new project dedicated to New Orleans accompanied by the New Orleans 7 led by trumpet player Irvin Mayfield.  After such a jazz diva, it will be very stimulating to hear, just a few days later, another great African-American singing star, Dianne Reeves, who will present the R&B, latin and pop repertoire of her recent album, Beautiful Life (May 8).  Gregory Porter, the most sensational male voice in African-American music in recent years, will complete the shows dedicated to the best African-American voices around (on May 10).  On May 7 Alighieri will host “Soupsongs”, a tribute to the music of Robert Wyatt led by the English trombone player Annie Whitehead: a show that has a long history of international success and that takes advantage of a noteworthy vocal cast with Cristina Donà, Sarah Jane Morris and Jennifer Maidman.  Then there will be instrumental music, incredibly moving, on May 9, with the sextet of Arturo Sandoval, the most vigorous trumpet in latin jazz.


Vocalists will again be the stars at the concerts in local clubs: from the adorable swing of the Blue Dolls (on May 3 at the Teatro Socjale in Piangipane) to the provocative emotional impact of the French-African Mina Agossi (May 11, also at Socjale).  But there will also be the hi-tech jazz tribute to the masterpiece A Love Supreme by John Coltrane by the sax player Francesco Bearzatti and the crew of electronic guru martux_m (on May 4 at the Cisim in Lido Adriano; on the same day at the same place there will also be a workshop with Bearzatti) and the quartet of the sax player Alessandro Scala, enhanced by the presence of Flavio Boltro on the trumpet (on May 6 at Mama’s Club).


Given the massive success of the last edition, once again this year the free concert “Pazzi Di Jazz” Young Project will be held on May 5 in the spectacular setting of the floating stage set up on Canale Corsini “Candiano” (City Docks) in Ravenna.  There will be 250 very young musicians with orchestras, percussion groups and choirs directed by Tommaso Vittorini, Ambrogio Sparagna and Alien Dee, as well as the participation of the trumpet player Paolo Fresu.


American jazz will pop up on many places along the geographic journey of Crossroads: from the modern dynamism of the quartet “Fairgrounds” of the drummer Jeff Ballard (Parma, March 17, Casa della Musica), to the delirious and irreverent adventures of Sexmob led by the trumpet player Steven Bernstein with the Fellini-esque music of Nino Rota (Lugo, Ra, May 22, Teatro Rossini), and the revival of vintage songs by the Texan vocalist Hailey Tuck (Modena, April 9, La Tenda), and even the singer-songwriter, multi-instrumental jazz-folk musician Raul Midón (Rimini, April 25).  The Jazz Club Torrione San Giovanni in Ferrara stands out with its three not-to-be-missed concerts that weld the African-American tradition to the most effervescent new American jazz: the performance of the quartet of sax player Mark Turner (March 21), that of the guitarist Peter Bernstein (March 28) and the trio of the sax player Steve Lehman (April 18), who won many awards from Top Jazz 2014 (as best musician of the year as well as best album and best group in international jazz).


The Crossroads 2015 program also provides a perfect snapshot of the variegated expressions of improvised Italian music, through the numerous events dedicated to it.  Danilo Rea will bring his trio with Ares Tavolazzi and David King to the Auditorium Arcangelo Corelli in Fusignano, Ra (March 3); the trio Guano Padano with his surrealistic mix of jazz and psychedelic rock will be in Modena on March 12; Raiz and Fausto Mesolella will revive rock, pop and Neapolitan classics in surprising arrangements for voice and guitar (Solarolo, Ra, March 19, Oratorio dell’Annunziata); Manomanouche will polish the exuberance of manouche jazz (Modena, March 26); the trumpet player Fabrizio Bosso will be in “Tandem” with the pianist Julian Oliver Mazzariello (Gambettola, Fc, April 2, Teatro Comunale/La Baracca dei Talenti); Pink Floyd's music will become the subject of improvisation thanks to the pianist Rita Marcotulli, surrounded by a remarkable cast that includes Andy Sheppard, Raiz, Fausto Mesolella, and Ares Tavolazzi (Russi, Ra, April 16, Teatro Comunale); on April 24 Coriano (Rn) will host a totally Brazilian late night show with the duo that joins the voices and guitars of Cristina Renzetti and Tati Valle followed by the Trio Correnteza, with Gabriele Mirabassi, Roberto Taufic and Renzetti; Quintorigo, strengthened by the drums of Roberto Gatto, will explore the phantasmagoric repertoire of Frank Zappa (Russi, Ra, April 30, for the occasion of the UNESCO International Jazz Day); conducted by Fabio Petretti, the Italian Jazz Orchestra, with its vast classic-jazz staff, will be the star of “Angelo Azzurro”, an original production focusing on the songs of Marlene Dietrich, with the main roles played by the singer Silvia Donati and Fabrizio Bosso (Forlì, May 1, Teatro Diego Fabbri).


But Crossroads will also delve into alternative routes besides the usual Italy-USA itinerary.  This is the case with the Brazilian singer Paula Morelenbaum, with her Bossarenova Trio (Massa Lombarda, Ra, March 20, Sala del Carmine), and one of the most provocative voices of Argentinian tango, that of Daniel Melingo (Imola, Bo, May 23), and of the well known pop jazz English vocalist Sarah Jane Morris, in a duo with the guitarist Antonio Forcione (Massa Lombarda, Ra, March 8).


Besides Ravenna Jazz, Crossroads will also host, as part of its encyclopedic program, other ‘festivals within the festival.


Cassero Jazz, in Castel San Pietro Terme (Bo), will shine with wind instruments: with the quartet “The Roar At The Door” (Francesco Bearzatti on tenor sax, Mauro Ottolini on the trombone, Raffaello Pareti on the contrabass and Walter Paoli on the drums) and with the profusion of woodwind instruments brought to the stage by Javier Girotto with the Atem Sax Quartet (on March 6 and 7 respectively, “Cassero” Teatro Comunale).  The next weekend Dozza Jazz, again near Bologna, will alternate the tribute to Ellington with the large and swinging staff of the Roveri Big Band and the homage to Charlie Haden of the small but tough trio of the drummer Mirco Mariani, joined by the sax player Daniele D’Agaro as a special guest (on March 14 and 15, Teatro Comunale).


The final part of Crossroads will be dominated by the ten evenings of Correggio Jazz in Correggio (Re).  Besides the already noted Masekela, Teatro Asioli will also host a selection of the most representative Italian jazz musicians: from the tribute to Don Cherry by the polychrome octet Multikulti of the drummer Cristiano Calcagnile (May 14) to the comparison of underground and post-bop, brought to the stage in succession by Hobby Horse (Dan Kinzelman, Joe Rehmer, Stefano Tamborrino) and the quintet Fresh Fish with Daniele Tittarelli and Francesco Lento (May 19), then continuing with the polyglot jazz of Pasquale Innarella and Carmine Ioanna, who will share the evening with the tribute to John Zorn by the quintet of the sax player Gabriele Coen (May 20).  And then the electronic trio of the untamed pianist Franco D’Andrea (May 22); the red-hot trumpet of Fabrizio Bosso (May 24, in a quartet); two unscrupulous trombonists like Gianluca Petrella, with his new quintet “Cosmic Renaissance” (May 27), and Mauro Ottolini, with the latest version of his Sousaphonix, eleven elements that will bring life to the astonishing  “Musica per una società senza pensieri” (May 30); the Times Quintet, which will include Maria Pia De Vito and Rita Marcotulli (June 1).  And there will also be another international group, with the participation of the trio of one of the most famous contrabassists, the Israeli Avishai Cohen (May 21).


All the information on Crossroads 2015


Last modified Apr 21, 2015

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