Barga Jazz Festival 2018

Concerts, street bands, jam sessions and other events in the lovely Garfagnana village

From 17 August 2018 to 25 August 2018

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From August 17th to 25th 2018 Barga in Garfagnana will host Barga Jazz, an unmissable music festival that every year, for the level of the artists who take part and for the liveliness of the event, attracts a large fan of admirers of this genre. What are the ingredients that make the Barga Jazz Festival so special? Let's start with the location. The municipality of Barga is one of the most important of the whole Garfagnana, also called the green island of Tuscany. So if you want to cool down from the heat of August, this is the perfect place for you. A few kilometers from Lucca (37 km) and not too far from the beaches of Versilia (60 km), Barga in Italy has been declared one of the most beautiful villages and has received other prestigious awards such as, for example, the orange flag by the Touring Club and nominated as the Slow City. In short, an enchanting place to discover. What is there to see in Barga? The places of Giovanni Pascoli who considered it his adopted city, the beautiful Duomo known as the Collegiate Church of San Cristoforo and many marvellous historical buildings. Needless to say, all this takes on an even more intense charm during the days of the Festival in Barga!



So let's find out together the origins of the Barga Festival and go back to 1986. The event was created by Giancarlo Rizzardi, a musician and a great jazz enthusiast. At the time the jam sessions of Barga Jazz took place at the cinema, and then moved to the Teatro dei Differenti. A true 'piece of history' where in 1911 Giovanni Pascoli gave his famous speech in favor of the Libyan war.

But let's get back to jazz! What characterizes this event, its real distinguishing trait, is the International Jazz Arrangement and Composition Competition. Every year a theme is chosen, which every artist will develop during the various sections of the Barga Contest. There are sections dedicated to the arrangement of a piece linked to the theme of the year, others in which participants can engage in freer compositions, some in which emerging groups compete (Barga Jazz Contest) and others where compositions specially created for the musician indicated in that year are placed into comparison. There is also a section dedicated to Bruno Tommaso, who directed the Barga Jazz Festival Orchestra for 26 years. And it is the Barga Jazz Orchestra that will be the true focus of the festival: its musicians will perform the pieces in competition and accompany the soloists of the Barga Jazz 2018. Are you jazz fans and musicians...? Then you really have to check out the event official website and the rules of the competition. Who knows, among the various sections of the Barga competition there might be one that suits your artistic inclinations. For all the others, those who listen to jazz, there are plenty of Tuscany jazz concerts. The Barga events range from concerts, street-bands, workshops and Barga jazz masterclasses, ending with delicious dinners in the square enlivened by some background music.



What's in the pot for the 2018 edition of this fantastic Tuscany jazz festival? What's the highlight? The most popular event is undoubtedly 'Barga in Jazz' which takes place on the Sunday before the competition, so this year on August 19th. Mark it on your diary! Just imagine: streets and squares of the village filled with the melodies of groups and soloists who perform in the most picturesque corners of the center of Barga. An immersion in jazz, a music festival that will make your summer in Tuscany truly special. Precisely because of the characteristics of the delightful town that hosts it, the Barga Jazz Festival in Italy has been included in the Borghi Swing Project, which aims to promote music festivals characterized by a strong synergy with the territory.

The Barga Jazz Festival 2018 program is still underway, so we suggest you take a look at the event websites. Even if the last details are missing, we can already give you some tasty anticipations! First of all, we can reveal that the Barga composition competition this year will focus on the figure of Dizzy Gillespie, a very famous trumpet player, also a pianist, composer and singer. His figure is fundamental in the history of music as he is considered the inventor of modern jazz and one of the greatest exponents of Be Bop.
The soloist, guest of honor of the event, will be Jeremy Pelt, a famous American jazz trumpeter. It will be Gege Telesforo, jazz vocalist, musician and author, among the most beloved ‘made in Italy’ faces of jazz, to play the role of testimonial of the event, giving interesting performances. To remain in Italian territory, artists of the likes of Danilo Rea and Gino Paoli, who will perform at Barga together, will attend the festival. Danilo Rea will give life to another performance together with bassist John Patitucci while Roberto Gatto will perform with his 'Italian Trio'.

In Barga 2018 there will also be a concert by Karima, who will be a guest of the Funk Off. The stage of the Teatro dei Differenti will witness the performance of The Licaones (Francesco Bearzatti, Mauro Ottolini, Oscar Marchioni, Paolo Map). There will be international names such as David Helbock, Johannes Bar, Andreas Broger, Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian Scott. Among the side events in Barga which will enliven the evenings of the Festival, we’d like to point out Enojazz: the very popular Barga Jazz jam sessions that take place in a special place in the center of Barga after the end of the concerts and last until late at night. Artists and anyone who wants to 'jam' to improvise on the notes of the most free and creative jazz can take part. A unique opportunity to prolong, after the end of the concerts, your unforgettable experience of what is certainly the most unique jazz Festival of Italy.


If you are planning to spend a few days in Tuscany for the end of August, Barga must absolutely be part of your itinerary! You do not want to miss one of the best events in Garfagnana for 2018, do you? Among other things, from here you can reach in less than an hour even the Tuscan capital, and since you are here, why not take the opportunity to book one of our tours in Florence? Do you need anything else to make your mind up?

By Insidecom Editorial Staff


Period: From 17 August 2018 to 25 August 2018

Event location: Barga

Contacts: more info & full program

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