Organised by the Cultural Association Musica Oggi, in collaboration with the Piccolo Teatro, and twinned with JAZZMI, the 5th edition of MITJAZZ is set out over three events based on original projects. This year, the first two concerts will be picking up on part of the programme for “Orchestra Senza Confini”, which was suspended after the first event due to the COVID emergency.
The festival begins with Il Jazz è Donna, a view of the Italian female jazz scene, followed by a tribute to George Gruntz and Franco Ambrosetti with a review of their significant discography from the 1980s, Tentets. Lastly, the progect Piani Diversi, involving a master of classic piano, Carlo Balzaretti, a jazz great, Enrico Intra, and a musicologist, Maurizio Franco, in a singular and commented conversation between classic works and improvisation.
The second concert for MITJAZZ pays tribute to a great Swiss musician, Franco Ambrosetti, and a cornerstone of European jazz, the pianist, composer and orchestra conductor George Gruntz, who died in 2013. The concert looks back at the music from an important recording project which the two musicians created for the Enja label in 1985: the album Tentets, for which Gruntz wrote all the arrangements and composed one piece, while Ambrosetti was the main soloist and the composer of two pieces.
The result is jazz in the most evolved form of contemporary mainstream, in which the writing does not suffocate the strength and presence of the improvisation, leaving Ambrosetti (considered by Miles Davis to be the “blackest” of white trumpet players) the space for creating his imaginative and absorbing inventions.
Gruntz’s arrangements reveal a quality of writing which sees the organic coming together of a wide range of sonorous materials and a focus on the soloists who were pivotal in his celebrated Concert Jazz Band, the Euro-American orchestra that he directed for more than forty years.
On the occasion of this concert, the Civica Jazz Band will be present in an ensemble including all of the regular soloists as well as the pianist Mario Rusca and the saxophonist Gabriele Comeglio, a very important figure on the national and continental jazz scene. The band conductor, Enrico Intra, will also be playing the piano in a number of pieces.
Piccolo Teatro Strehler
Monday 26 October 2020, 9 p.m.
Tentets. Franco Ambrosetti pays tribute to George Gruntz
guest soloist Franco Ambrosetti (trumpet and flugelhorn)
with the Ensemble of the Civica Jazz Band
Emilio Soana and Marco Mariani (trumpet), Andrea Andreoli and Luca Missiti (trombone), Giulio Visibelli, Gabriele Comeglio and Rosarita Crisafi (saxophone) Enrico Intra and Mario Rusca (piano), Marco Vaggi (double bass), Tony Arco (drums)
musical director Enrico Intra
arrangements by George Gruntz
concert introduction by Maurizio Franco