A Tribute to Sting at Valdarno Jazz

Steve Coleman

Saturday Feb. 4 through Friday March 31: VALDARNO JAZZ FESTIVAL. Terranova Bracciolini, Loro Ciuffenna, San Giovanni Valdarno, various venues. Varying ticket prices, available online.

 The 29th edition of the popular Valdarno Jazz Festival in the province of Arezzo offers six concerts featuring Italian artists and special guest American jazz saxophonist Steve Coleman. Opening the festival on February 4 the Valdarno Jazz Collective presents the program “Sting-No Limits.” The homage to British musician Sting, who has a residence in Valdarno, draws on the artist’s commitment to human rights and social issues (Auditorium Le Fornaci, Terranuova Bracciolini. 9:15 pm).

Florentine pianist Alessandro Galati performs on Friday, February 10 with pieces from his album “On a Sunny Day.” Accompanied by bass and drums, Galati lulls the listener with his simple and rich melodies (Auditorium Le Fornaci, Terranuova Bracciolini. 9:30 pm).

The following Friday, February 17, Serena Brancale and “Soulenco” take the stage. With her soulful voice accompanied by percussion and keyboards the San Remo performer offers an evening of pure enjoyment for the jazz aficionado (Auditorium Le Fornaci, Terranuova Bracciolini. 9:15 pm).

With his music resonant of Django Reinhardt’s gypsy swing, guitarist Dario Napoli continues the festival with the “Modern Manouche Project.” Featuring “hot club” standards and original compositions, the lively rhythms and guitar rifts promise to bring the 1930s Paris music scene back to life (Saturday March 4, Auditorium Comunale, Loro Ciuffenna. 9:30 pm).

To close the festival, American saxophonist Steve Coleman takes the stage with “Reflex” on Friday March 31. Growing up in Chicago’s South Side, Coleman gravitated to the music of Charlie “Bird” Parker. He counts as his inspiration gospel, blues, jazz and the music of West Africa.

In 2000 he stopped performing to travel extensively to study the music of Cuba, Brazil, India and West Africa later serving as an assistant professor teaching and doing research at the University of California at Berkeley. Awarded a McArthur Fellowship, the so-called genius grant, in 2014 Coleman continues to compose and perform his innovative work in jazz (Teatro Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno. 9:15 pm).

Further information and ticket purchase available at www.eventimusicpool.it.  (rita kungel)