Fara Sabina, a little medieval town in the center of Italy, has a grand 200 inhabitants for the majority of the year that is of course until the end of July. That is when for ten days it becomes a place where music and country talk together. And so the ancient town wears a new skin and turns into an international stage, hosting some of the most important jazz personalities in the world, a little haven of hospitality and creativity.
8000 people come to listen to free concerts, jazz sessions and projects that come from all around the world which make up the Fara Jazz Festival.
The festival represents the final part of a more complex project, for Enrico Moccia, the artistic director “it is an ambitious and wide project: Festival, Masterclass, International Award and a School of Music…” now in partnership with the collective school of Music in New York.
Concetta Colucci gives her guide to this year’s festival:
Every evening concert will be introduced by a Jazz Live Award Finalist and this year it will be a mix of projects: National, European (Poland) and International (Brazil, United States). In the 2017 edition, Estonia will be the country hosting in partnership with Poland which will include two projects created by the Krakow Mateusz Palka Trio and the pianist Pawel Kaczmarczyk.
“Develop an international network was one of our first goals and after ten years, a small festival is next to giants like Tallin Music Week, Luxemburg Jazz Meeting, Bratislava Jazz Days and Italian Jazz Days in NY”, said Moccia.
In 2011 Fara was contacted by the Italian Cultural Institute to be the “Italy of Jazz” representative in New York.
The next year the festival received the patronage of UNESCO and now they are part of a European Network that since 2012 is sponsored by different embassies including Slovakia, Luxembourg, Israel, Poland and Estonia.
In Italy, as member of I-Jazz Circuit Festival, the Fara Jazz plays in L’Aquila and in the areas affected by the earthquake.
The Summer School which was established in 2007 has been attended by 800 students coming from all around the globe with 5 albums having been produced and distributed.
A multicultural approach has teachers from all over the world bring their own “peculiarity”: Kenny Werner, Jonathan Kreisberg, Matt Clohesy, Colin Stranahan, and the Italians Roberto Gatto, Dario Deidda, Fabio Zeppetella, Roberto Tarenzi work together during the summer school, translating – completely the meaning of jazz philosophy as dialogue. The Jazz philosophy is to share and involve, talk and answer in a flow similar to a conversation, where the protagonist is the player, that, on his side, generously welcomes other players, to hear the answer, a sound renewed every time it is expressed.
It is an experience that becomes deeper any time that the musical knowledge, as player or as listener, improves. Jazzmen that are able to create a memorable atmosphere during their performances, have been studying and practicing for hours and years.
“One of the strong point of the event is the possibility of having a group of teachers made up of Italian and American musicians.” said Italian jazz drummer Roberto Gatto, “Students have the opportunity to study music through two different points of view. Americans seems to be a step ahead and can express this to the students as well,” added Gatto.
It is a great training for young musicians, who constantly need professional feedback on how they are working. Learning to play jazz is a big challenge: not only must you become skillful on an instrument but also you have to find your own “jazz” melody, in this process you need to be supported by your own reception, your technique and personal musical language. Everything that seems fluid and light is the result of years of study, a strong framework built with exercise. The fluidity is a complement of the structure, it seems a paradox but the creativity needs knowledge to be totally free and go beyond. A jazz player should study and make mistakes, to build the basis of experience.
What students understand during the Summer School is that they are doing good jobs, that each of the structure they chose is useful to produce that particular performance, that creation.
During the summer school there are instrument course and music labs to be attended together along with other students.
Masterclasses during the festival, help to share and to open mind, give the awareness of who you are and of who the others are (audience, colleague, teacher).
Students can compare themselves from a professional and emotional point of view too. Of course, masterclasses last a while, but all the input created and the energy invoked have the power to persist for a long time, as the more you know the better you appreciate all the nuances that each player can give you.
“While we were playing “our” jazz, “our” piece, we did not feel the anxiety for the competition, or better, often we felt the competition with ourselves” said Sofia Romano, from Sidewalk Cat Quintet “we knew there were student much more “mature” than us from an artistic point of view, in those moments we felt only the anxiety to perform better.”
This Festival is an accelerator for groups and new talents. All the young talent that need to be known on an international scene, often choose this festival to “climb” a step up, to be recognized and to learn … from teacher and other students too.
All the people of the team involved are focused on those young blossom ready to explode, this is a great perception for students, they feel they have been finally recognized and what they do works fine.
The Fara Jazz Festival is on from 21 July to 30 July 2017. www.faramusic.it/eng/
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