The Umbria Jazz Festival (http://english.umbriajazz.com/mediacenter/FE/home.aspx) takes place in Perugia in Umbria from 6 – 15 July, 2012. Umbria Jazz has become one of the major dates in the world of music and music festivals. It is also unanimously acclaimed as being the top Italian music festival in terms of quality, and internationally it is one of most highly-rated festivals. This year you can enjoy Al Jarreau, Erykah Badu, Sting, Macy Gray, Sonny Rollins and Pat Metheny – just to name a few.
From the moment of its birth in 1973, Umbria Jazz was clearly different from the other Italian jazz festivals. While jazz was usually to be heard in small clubs and occasionally in theatres and concert halls, Umbria Jazz took the music into the historic town squares of Umbria to audiences of up to twenty thousand young people, and every concert was free. The music of the New World was performed in the setting of Umbria’s medieval towns and spectacular scenery, and it was this unusual combination which gave the Festival its special appeal.
The Festival’s fame soon spread amongst both musicians and the public, but it was to be the victim of its own success as it eventually attracted crowds which were bigger than its venues could hold. The Festival stopped because of this in 1978 but in 1982, was revived in a new form which reflected the public’s changing approach to the music; there was a greater interest in its artistic value and less interest in the festival as a mass event. The Festival established itself in the town of Perugia, and the combination of music and spectacular historic settings continued. Today, most of Umbria Jazz takes place in the town’s medieval centre. The programme starts early each day and continues well into the night, and for ten days it offers music for all tastes. Many of these concerts continue to be free.
Essential Italy can recommend the following accommodation options just a short distance from Perugia.