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HISTORY OF JAZZ
Jazz music originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, serving as a symbol of integration between cultures. What started out as dance music later turned into a more peaceful genre that is now often enjoyed in a quiet sit-down setting.
Flashforward to the present: one of the most anticipated festivals in the world of Jazz was back in Milan for its seventh edition of “JAZZMI”, from 29th September to 9th October 2022.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
JAZZMI started back in 2016 as a project by The Teatro dell’Arte and Ponderosa Music & Art, in collaboration with Blue Note Milano.
With the commencement of JAZZMIi, Andrea De Micheli and Luca Oddo’s idea to make Blue Note a sanctuary of jazz more open to the city and to a younger, more informed, and enthusiastic public, became a reality. “The sensation you get when you find yourself standing in front of one of those unmissable events which every so often invades Milan, like the Fuori Salone in April, was perceived by everyone” – Luciano Linzi, artistic director of JazzMi.
The reason JAZZMI was created was to show the universal appeal of Jazz, a genre up until now considered of having a rather specific taste. The entire city responded with enthusiasm – concerts had long queues to get in and most venues were completely sold out.
Organising more than 200 events (80 of which were free) this year, showcasing over 500 artists, in 40 city spaces and 2 main emblematic venues (the Triennale and the Blue Note), the monumental festival celebrated the iconic music genre through its infinite variations which were not only in the form of concerts. They organised movie viewings such as ‘Whiplash’ and ‘Straight Outta Compton’, meet and greets with artists, and even a secret live party featuring an unknown performer just minutes from Bocconi.
Opening its first night with a timeless performance by Venerus + Casino Royale (with Saverio Tasca and Marta del Grandi), the artists brought to the stage a reinterpretation of the songs that have marked their musical journey. Of course, like any other festival, JAZZMI was not without a few hiccups. The long-awaited “We Wonder” live show by Fabrizio Bosso Quartet was cancelled due to health reasons and subsequently rescheduled for the 2023 edition of JAZZMI. If you’re in Milan next fall, I highly recommend catching this one.
In the following days, performances by talented Italian and international artists such as Emma-Jean Thackray and Matt Bianco (one of the most interesting pop bands of the 80s) were only appropriate to honour such a multicultural genre. In addition to this, Conservatorio di Milano commemorated David Bowie’s iconic hit, “Heroes”, in honour of his new documentary, “Moonage Daydream”.
In addition to the two main centres, JAZZMI also took place in restaurants, bookshops, museums, cinemas, palaces, and even archaeological sites. The festival’s events brought Jazz to every corner of Milan, making it simply unavoidable. Taking place in nine municipalities (five of the Metropolitan area), Bocconi’s very own campus hangout spot “GUD” featured a captivating performance by Silvio Pontiggia. Personally, I was caught off guard as I stumbled upon the show after class – it was truly a great way to end a long day.
JAZZMI was a gamble that paid off from the very beginning. Hence, it is no surprise that the festival is now becoming a permanent date on all our calendars. If you like the playlist you’re currently listening to and are in Milan next fall, catching one of JAZZMI’s events is simply a must.