For five decades, Umbria Jazz has captivated music enthusiasts from around the world. This year, the festival celebrates its 50th anniversary. Perugia’s serpentine streets and ancient piazzas come alive against this musical backdrop. Today, as in the past, locals and tourists can enjoy music at venues throughout the city, both indoors and outdoors. When those venues are quiet the jam sessions continue at the city’s many restaurants and bars.
Despite its name, Umbria Jazz is not only for jazz lovers. It’s also an opportunity to discover new talent and to see a diverse lineup of big-name acts. B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Sting, R.E.M., Lady Gaga, David Byrne, are only a few who have headlined in the past. This year Bob Dylan will take center stage. Other artists this year include Samara Joy, Best New Artist at the 2022 Grammy Awards, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, and Stewart Copeland. Alongside these famous acts, the streets come alive with talented buskers and street artists on every corner, and free performances throughout the day.
Founded by 2 jazz-loving Perugini, Carlo Pagnotta and Alberto Alberti the festival started as a small-scale event. It has evolved into one of Europe’s most prominent music festivals. In the early days, Umbria Jazz was a bit of a Woodstock style festival. People camped in the streets on sleeping bags and in tents, wearing bell bottoms, frayed jeans, buffalo sandals, and tie-die. Nowadays, the psychedelic fashions are gone. But the spirit of conviviality remains.
Beyond the music, Umbria Jazz embraces the cultural and gastronomic heritage of the region. Visitors can indulge in delicious Umbrian food and wine in a city renowned for its history, art, and charm. This year we can all raise our glasses to 50 years of extraordinary performances, magical moments, and the unifying power of music at Umbria Jazz.
Umbria Jazz kicks off on July 6, 2023. To see the full program and to purchase tickets, follow THIS LINK