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Home Crossroads 2016. Jazz and more in Emilia Romagna

Crossroads 2016. Jazz and more in Emilia Romagna

One of the biggest music festivals in the region, Crossroads is like a big puzzle of jazz music, with its bringing together of innumerable pieces capable of representing all the main esthetics of improvised music, including stylistic diversions.


The big numbers make Crossroads a big mural of sounds: the seventeenth edition will take place from February 27 to June 4, 99 days with about fifty concerts and 500 musicians involved. Besides being a musical puzzle, Crossroads is also geographic game: the monumental program will zig-zag all over Emilia-Romagna, stopping in twenty or so cities.



The 2016 edition will hear the notes of the most bewitching trumpets of Italian jazz such as Paolo FresuEnrico Rava and Fabrizio Bosso.  These musicians will all be artists in residence and will have the chance to play in a wide range of musical projects.


The opening of this Emilian jazz festival will be held, as usual, at the Teatro De André in Casalgrande (Re) on February 27 with Fabrizio Bosso and the accordion player Luciano Biondini, with a string ensemble directed by Paolo Silvestri. The masterly lyricism of the evening is summed up in its title: “Melodies”. Bosso will be back on April 13 (Parma, Casa della Musica) with the bubbly quintet Latin Mood co-directed with the sax player Javier Girotto and then again on April 17 in Imola (Teatro Ebe Stignani) to perform “Duke”, a tribute to the compositions by Duke Ellington, with his quartet and also an ensemble of wind instruments once again directed by Paolo Silvestri.


There will be three chances to hear Enrico Rava, the most emblematic national trumpet player. Rava will be the star of a pair of intense duets: with the pianist Rita Marcotulli (March 25Massa Lombarda, Ra, Sala del Carmine) and with the guitarist Roberto Taufic (April 20, Parma). From two intimate situations, the jump will seem huge for the next event: on May 1 Rava will be, together with the drummer Aldo Romano, also the singer for this occasion, the special soloist of an original production with the Italian Jazz Orchestra directed by Fabio Petretti in a tribute to Chet Baker in grand style, with a large orchestra with many string instruments.


Paolo Fresu, the other top trumpet player of Italian jazz, will perform five different evenings with as many projects: in a duo with the bandoneon player Daniele di Bonaventura (March 2, Fusignano, Ra, Teatro Moderno); and again in another duo, this time with the Serbian pianist Bojan Z (March 23, Rimini, Teatro degli Atti); then front lining with the trio TAO (April 18, Castel San Pietro Terme, Bo, “Cassero” Teatro Comunale, as part of Cassero Jazz); in another exciting duet with the trombone of Gianluca Petrella (April 29, San Mauro Pascoli, Fc, Villa Torlonia – Le Cantine); and as a star soloist in the colossal concert that will crown the learning project “Pazzi di Jazz”, together with Tommaso VittoriniAmbrogio SparagnaAlien Dee and 250 very young musicians performing in the orchestra and chorus (May 2, Ravenna, Piazza del Popolo).



Among the big foreign names a few that stand out are the contrabass player Dave Holland who will be in Piacenza with his trio (March 11, Teatro President); the quartet Volcan, a real congregation of superstars of Latin music such as Gonzalo RubalcabaGiovanni HidalgoHoracio “El Negro” Hernandez and Jose Armando Gola (April 27, Imola, Teatro Ebe Stignani); Ladysmith Black Mambazo, true ambassadors of traditional South African music (May 27, Correggio, Re, Teatro Asioli); and the Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, an Afrobeat legend (May 31, Correggio, Re).


In Spring, the Crossroads billboard will spike: from May 5 to 14 it will welcome the new edition of the festival Ravenna Jazz which will continue with its extra large formula used in recent years: important concerts at Teatro Alighieri, concerts for true intenders in various clubs and music distributed around the whole town involving many locations.

The forty-third edition of the Ravenna Jazz festival will be opened by the trio of the contrabass player Avishai Cohen (May 5 at Teatro Alighieri) and will end again at Teatro Alighieri on May 14 with the piano solo of Michel Camilo: musicians capable of taking jazz towards the Middle East and the Caribbean, giving audiences strong emotions.  At the Teatro Alighieri there will also be Take 6, a vocal group that has reached worldwide fame with its dynamic mix of gospel, R&B and jazz (May 7), and Funk Off, a marching band with dancing choreography capable of communicating its musical and cinematic exuberance also in a theater (May 8, with the participation of the special guest singer Karima).  The other evenings of Ravenna Jazz will be held as an itinerary among the various clubs, with musical shows that range from classic to decidedly unusual and transgressive.  The Teatro Socjale di Piangipane will host the Portuguese vocalist Carmen Souza, diva of world-jazz, with a quartet co-directed with the bassist Theo Pascal (May 10), and the English singer Anthony Strong, a modern incarnation of the art of crooning (May 13). At the Cisim di Lido Adriano audiences can hear the psychedelic blues-rock mix of Sacri Cuori (May 6) and the hypnotic and fascinating breakbeats of the British group GoGo Penguin (May 11). The Mama’s Club will open its doors to the duo of Cristina Renzetti and Tati Valle, voices and guitars between Italy and Brazil (May 9), and Blues Burdèl, a vocal quartet that puts jazz into traditional Romagna songs (May 12).



There will also be the wide ranging presence of musicians from the United States. There will be the swinging entertainment of Johnny O’Neal, the singer pianist with a great past who has only recently emerged after many years of oblivion (March 17, Solarolo, Ra Oratorio dell’Annunziata), the overwhelming vocals of the Californian Shayna Steele (April 10, Gambettola, Fc, Teatro Comunale) and then the wide range of more modern styles: the open minded post-bop of the trumpet player Ralph Alessi (March 12, Ferrara, Jazz Club Torrione San Giovanni), the post-modern acrobatics of the drummer Jim Black (April 9, Ferrara), the refined avant-garde of the flutist Nicole Mitchell (April 23, Ferrara) and muscle sound of the cornet player Rob Mazurek with the Chicago Underground Duo (April 16, Castel San Pietro Terme, Bo).


Not just Fresu, Rava and Bosso: Italian jazz at Crossroads 2016 will offer many great concerts.  Events worth mentioning on the piano front are the piano solo of Danilo Rea between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (April 22, Coriano, Rn, Teatro CorTe) and with the trio of Dado Moroni along with the voice of Karima (April 21, Russi, Ra, Teatro Comunale). A double space will be dedicated to the exciting sax playing of Francesco Bearzatti: on April 2 with his Tinissima Quartet and on April 3 as a guest of the Rainbow Nation (both evenings will be held in Dozza, Bo, Teatro Comunale, as part of “Dozza Jazz”). A big classic such as the duo made up of Gianluigi Trovesi and Gianni Coscia will be followed by an unusual new idea that puts the accordion of Coscia to the words of the semiologist Paolo Fabbri (March 4, Rimini). Another big name from the Italian scene, even if he is of Argentinian origin, is Javier Girotto who will perform with the timeless Aires Tango for the occasion of the International UNESCO Jazz Day (April 30, Russi, Ra). A singer of great notoriety, Maria Pia De Vito will perform in a duo with the contrabass player Ares Tavolazzi in Santarcangelo, Rn (March 31, Teatro Supercinema).  The voice of Chiara Pancaldi is young and new and will be accompanied by the rhythms of great veterans such as Kirk Lightsey and Marc Abrams (April 15, Coriano, Rn).


Besides following these drifting styles, Crossroads will also explore places besides the usual Italy-USA route.  We have already mentioned Israel (Avishai Cohen), Santo Domingo (Michel Camilo), and South Africa (Ladysmith Black Mambazo).  There will also be Brazil, represented by the singer Rosalia De Souza, who will be the special guest of the trio Jazz à la Mode (March 8, Massa Lombarda, Ra), and by the Cello Samba Trio of the cellist Jaques Morelenbaum (March 14, Bagnacavallo, Ra, Teatro Goldoni); Finland, with the thick, cool sound of the sax of Timo Lassy (March 18, Fusignano, Ra, Auditorium Corelli); Benin, with the now New York sounds of the guitar player Lionel Loueke (March 8, Modena, La Tenda); England, with a tribute to Nat King Cole by the vocalist Hugh Coltman (April 24, Modena).


The final part of Crossroads will be held entirely in Correggio, near Reggio Emilia, under the flag of “Correggio Jazz”. A festival in a festival, which besides the big names in African music already mentioned (Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Tony Allen) will bring to Teatro Asioli the all star quartet of drummer Billy Hart (on May 16 with Ethan IversonMark Turner and Ben Street) and the duo that brings together one of the great glories of improvised French music, the sax player Michel Portal, and the young accordion player Vincent Peirani (May 23).  Along with all of this there will be a big representation of Italian jazz, also outside of the usual scene. In May audiences can hear a trio of big names in modernism such as Luca Aquino, Giovanni Guidi and Michele Rabbia (May 18); a solo with sacred tones by sax player Dimitri Grechi Espinoza followed by a tribute to Charlie Haden by the trio of the drummer Mirco Mariani with Pietro Tonolo as a special guest on the sax (May 20); the Yellow Squeeds of the guitar player Francesco Diodati paired with Frontal of the piano player Simone Graziano, with David Binney on the sax (May 25); the fascinating sounds of the duo with the reed instruments of Enzo Favata and the keyboard of Enrico Zanisi, in the evening with the quartet Travelers of the contrabass player Matteo Bortone (May 29). The tail end of the festival, in June, will offer an evening with the trio of the sax player Simone La Maida followed by the quartet of contrabass player Francesco Ponticelli (June 3) and a final event with the piano solo of Alessandro Lanzoni and the trio of the sax player Marcello Allulli (June 4).


All of the information on Festival Crossroads 2016


Last modified Feb 22, 2016

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