Is it possible to hold a jazz festival in a large city featuring a program that breaks the molds, where local artists play alongside big-name international stars; a festival that boasts extremely affordable ticket prices; where audiences, the true protagonists of any cultural process, reply with a resounding “Yes!”? That might seem almost utopian in a country like Italy, which apparently has little interest in exploiting its extraordinary cultural resources. But last year such a utopian dream came true right here in Torino, thanks to the Torino Jazz Festival, the musicians that took part, the staff, and the people who came out to enjoy the performances. This year audiences will be reaping the rewards of their dedication, inasmuch as we’ve worked to come up with a creative festival that communicates jazz, which is considered the musical mainstay of the 20th century, to the vastest, most variegated audience imaginable. Not a commercial festival by any means, but one designed with a demanding audience in mind – like the denizens of Torino and those who make their way to the city for the express purpose of soaking up the sounds of the Torino Jazz Festival.
We feel that what makes our focus distinct is the excellence of the festival’s venues and fine-tuned, time-tested work groups, our original productions that are the result of artistic residencies, our attention to the social context, through high-quality programming featuring performances spread out evenly among theaters and jazz clubs, and the utmost stylistic variety. In more abstract terms, we feel that music – especially the kind that pays little heed to marketing, that preserves the kernel of humanity responsible for generating it, a spontaneous and vital flow of expression – has the power to build communities around shared artistic experiences and values. We certainly hope the sounds of the Torino Jazz Festival sooth the soul of this city, and we are confident that our artistically inclined audiences will once again place their bets on music that’s alive, contemporary and bursting with vivid imagery. Music with the power to save us all.
Giorgio Li Calzi and Diego Borotti