'Everybody wants to play jazz':
Sicilia Jazz Festival, an all-Sicilian festival

Giugno 21, 2023 - Absolute Sicilia

Life is a bit like jazz: it is better when you improvise. GEORGE GERSHWIN

Sicily: the mother of jazz

Jazz, a timeless music of rebellion, improvisation and happiness that still makes people dream with its sound full of history and appeal. It is well known that its birth was shaped by the fusion of songs sung by slaves imported to the United States. Yet, there are those who do not think so; in fact, according to Claudio Lo Cascio, a Palermo jazz pioneer, jazz was invented in Sicily, by the Sicilian Nick La Rocca. In 1917, Nick and his 'Original Dixieland Jazz Band' crossed the ocean to the United States to record the world's first jazz album.

The Brass Group and Jazz Culture in Palermo

Sicily, with its magical fusion of history, culture and emotions, offers a unique experience to those who visit it for the first time. In addition to culinary traditions and historical heritage, this land also vibrates with a fervent passion for art, in all its forms. And among these artistic expressions, music shines with a special charm.

It is not uncommon to enter a club and sip a glass of wine to the rhythm of jazz, a style deeply rooted and felt in these places. This Sicilian passion gave rise to the Brass Group, the jazz equivalent of the Amici della Musica for classical music, founded in 1974 by Ignazio Garsia as a brass band. The famous Sicilian Jazz Orchestra is one of Italy's largest organisations specialising in the production of jazz music, famous for collaborating with renowned conductors and internationally renowned soloists. In over 3,000 concerts, it has had the honour of hosting jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra, helping to make Palermo a true European jazz capital.

It was only in 2021 that the Brass Group founded the increasingly popular Sicilia Jazz Festival, one of the most important Italian events dedicated to this expressive and energetic musical genre.

Sicilia Jazz Festival

The all-Palermitan jazz festival is now a fixed appointment for the city and a point of reference for lovers of  this genre throughout the region.

Born as an evolution of the Palermo Pop festival of the 1970s, the Sicilia Jazz Festival is committed to bringing this style of music back to the island after 30 years of silence. Its aim is to promote and spread jazz in Sicily, offering the public high-quality concerts with renowned national and international artists. Over the years, the biggest names in jazz have filled the city's most beautiful stages, hosting some of the biggest names in jazz, including Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett and many others.
One of the key points of the festival is to immerse jazz in evocative historical and cultural contexts in Palermo, offering lovers of this musical genre an even more evocative experience. This is why the shows come to life in some of the city's most evocative historical venues, including the Teatro di Verdura, the Sant'Anna Monumental Complex, the evocative Santa Maria dello Spasimo Monumental Complex, and the Real Teatro Santa Cecilia, as well as the headquarter of the Brass Group.

Thanks to its prestige and success story, the Sicilia Jazz Festival has helped consolidate Palermo and its venues as a place of great importance on the jazz scene, attracting fans and musicians from all over the world. The festival continues to play a significant role in the promotion and enhancement of jazz in Sicily, as well as of the island itself, proving to be an unmissable event for lovers of this timeless musical genre.

A Sicilian summer to the rhythm of jazz

Once again this year, Palermo becomes the theatre of great performances in honour of jazz. In fact, another extraordinary edition of the Sicilia Jazz Festival is about to begin. From 23 June to 2 July, the Brass Group will enchant spectators with an exceptional programme boasting the presence of big names such as Gregory Porter, Marcus Miller, Anastacia and many others, offering original productions and world premieres. More than 100 concerts  will be held at suggestive historical venues in Palermo, including the Teatro di Verdura, the Santa Cecilia theatre and the Spasimo.

It is a unique experience, completely dedicated to orchestral production, with the Sicilian Jazz Orchestra as the undisputed protagonist. An event promoted by the Sicilian Region, in collaboration with the City Council, the University of Palermo and the region's music conservatories.

Come and live a unique and immersive experience in Sicily, discovering the artistic and melodious soul of this extraordinary land. Explore places sacred to art, let yourself be carried away by the captivating rhythm of jazz, and immerse yourself in a new and fascinating perspective. Don't miss the opportunity to get to see Sicily's most evocative cultural scenarios and discover the charm of this land. With Absolute Sicilia, plan an unforgettable journey through art, music and all that this island has to offer.

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