Remaining unchained over time in its international breathe, the festival has also gradually consolidated its links with the local territory , through an increasingly rich collaborative network of cultural and business associations..
As a result, Bergamo Jazz stands for a perspective of openness and innovation. The dialogue between tradition and innovation is always evident in the festival’s programmes. It is also reflected in the choice of venues for the concerts. They are spaces that symbolize the historical and cultural heritage of the city and are those often frequented by young people.
The history of the Bergamo jazz festival is a long one which can be divided into two phases. The first was from 1969 to the early 1980s, under the name of the International Jazz Festival and the the Autonomous Tourism Company. The second dates from 1991 onwards, under the banner of Bergamo Jazz and the aegis of the City of Bergamo and the Teatro Donizetti (now Fondazione Teatro Donizetti). They are the current holders of the “Bergamo Jazz Festival” brand.
Taking the stage at the Teatro Donizetti, and for a few years at the Palazzetto dello Sport, appearing artists have included those such as Keith Jarrett, Gerry Mulligan, Charles Mingus, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Stefano Bollani, John Scofield, Bill Frisell, Chick Corea, Gato Barbieri and many others.
Since 2006, the Artistic Direction of Bergamo Jazz has been entrusted to an internationally renowned musician. From 2006 to 2008, the American pianist and composer Uri Caine performed this roll, followed by Paolo Fresu (2009 – 2011), Enrico Rava (2012 – 2015), and the American Dave Douglas, in charge since 2016. The latter wanted to dedicate a space to young talents with the “Scintille di jazz” (Sparks of Jazz) review, entrusting it to Tino Tracanna, a nationally famous musician and teacher from Bergamo.
For years, the Festival has also expanded throughout the city, with concerts at the Teatro Sociale, the Auditorium di Piazza della Libertà, the Biblioteca Mai, and the Accademia Carrara. San Lupo, a particularly striking location, will be added to these in 2018.
In 2018, there will be many events hosted in theatres, museums, libraries and on the streets, with many international artists and young talents making a name for themselves. Bergamo Jazz 2018 will take place from 18 to 25 March, involving the whole city and confirming its roll as a prestigious showcase of multifaceted music following numerous stylistic directions.
For a special occasion like the 40th edition, the Fondazione Teatro Donizetti and the American musician Dave Douglas (in his third round as Artistic Director of one of the most beloved musical events enjoyed by those from Bergamo and beyond) have set up a well-thought out and varied program. Numerous institutions and associations active in the cultural and entrepreneurial fields have contributed to its realization. Two events have been especially conceived for this important anniversary. The final concert at the Creberg Teatro, which will unusually see the four Artistic Directors of Bergamo Jazz from 2006 onwards alongside each other. They are- in the order — Uri Caine, Paolo Fresu, Enrico Rava, and Dave Douglas. There will also be a photographic exhibition reliving the Festival’s highlights.