Südtirol Jazzfestival Alto Adige
June 26th - July 5th 2020
The Südtirol Jazzfestival Alto Adige will perform in new locations and visit the Iberian jazz scene.
Welcome, Spain and Portugal!
The Südtirol Jazzfestival will kick off on the last Friday in June and come to a close ten days later, on the first Sunday in July. Nothing has changed for 2019: the opening of what has become a veritable marathon of concerts takes place on 28 June and will wrap up on 7 July. The Festival has always stood out from others for its focus on showcasing specific countries, and this year won’t be any different as it continues its voyage across Europe. Next stop? The Iberian Peninsula. The previous editions welcomed the young jazz scene from France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, the Nordic countries and Benelux. Such a trait cemented the Festival’s position as a showcase for innovative and unique, genre-defying music set against the backdrop of one-of-a-kind locations off the beaten track.
The Südtirol Jazzfestival hops across the Pyrenees and dives headfirst in exciting soundscapes. Already back in the 60s, English musician and jazz critic Leonard Feather once famously said that Spain is ‘a desert for jazz.’ Fast-forward to our times and you’ll see how the colourful Spanish scene is influenced by international contemporary jazz as well as flamenco, pop and rock, north African ethnical music, and folklore music from Catalonia or the Basque Country.
Take a plunge further east and land on the shores of Portugal where the Hot Clube de Portugal – one of Europe’s first jazz clubs – opened in Lisbon in 1948, a legendary institution which is still alive and kicking to this very day.
In 2018, the main design on the Südtirol Jazzfestival posters was a red ship opening a path through a sheet of ice, looking for new and unknown jazz sounds in an icy tundra. The sea is still a main theme this year, but everything else changes: the festival has migrated from northern Europe to the Iberian Peninsula, from Svalbard to Gibraltar or the barren Portuguese rocky coast near Sagres, where Europe ends and the Atlantic Ocean, covered by a pall of mist, begins. A sandy beach now replaces the sheet of ice; the ship, laboriously making its way through the ocean, is replaced by galloping horses, their hooves resounding off a floor of azulejos – colourful ceramic tiles which decorate churches, palaces, and homes in Portugal and Spain.
The Südtirol Jazzfestival is embarking yet again on a journey to discover new sounds, landing for this year’s edition on the Iberian Peninsula. On 28 June the Festival will kick off at the Waltherhaus in Bolzano. From that day onwards, more than 50 concerts will take place across the whole region until 7 July. You can view the concert calendar online at www.suedtiroljazzfestival.com
Countless stages feature for the first time ever on the festival programme, such as the Innovation and Entrepreneurial centre ‘BASIS’ in Silandro, the La Perla hotel in Corvara, Castel d’Appiano, the Alperia hydroelectric power station in Bressanone, the Hotel Am Wolfsgrubenersee, the Eisacktaler wine cellar in Chiusa, the Ost West Country Club located in the Marconi Park in Merano, or the Cantina Bolzano’s new building. Also add three concerts taking place in three huts on the Speikboden in Campo Tures and a jazz excursion to the Ansitz Velseck in Tires. Beautiful locations for exclusive musical experiences. In other words, New Sounds – Fresh Perspectives.
You could say the Südtirol Jazzfestival is the equivalent of a good bookshop. Customers will find what they’re looking for but also stumble upon exciting and surprising new finds. There’s plenty of interesting surprises across Spanish and Portuguese jazz: take pianist Marco Mezquida for example, who was awarded the title of Musician of the Year by the ‘Asociación de Músicos de Jazz y Moderna de Cataluña’ between 2011 and 2013, and who will be part of a variety of ensembles in South Tyrol in numerous concerts.
Incidentally, many outstanding musicians who were invited to the festival’s country-specific editions have become return guests and will cross the Brennero once again this year. These include guitarist Reinier Baas and saxophonist Joris Roelofs from the Netherlands, who will perform with Mexican bass player and singer Fuensanta Méndez, British marching band Perhaps Contraption, French singer Leïla Martial or the one-man-orchestra Lukas König from Vienna. Protagonists from the innovative European scene will perform in South Tyrol and, by the sounds of it, this summer will once again be one to remember.