Originally, the Roma Jazz Festival was held as a part of the Roman Summer project, a large-scale cultural program sponsored by the city’s municipality and aimed to attract more tourists in Rome. However, it quickly became a completely independent event. Originally, it was an open-air summer event, but in 1996 the festival was rebranded and transformed into an autumn artistic celebration.
The Roman Jazz Festival gathers both renowned and up-and-coming jazz musicians from all over the world: pianists and trumpeters, saxophonists and vocalists, bassists and guitarists. It features a wide range of genres, from classic jazz to fusion, not confining itself to just one style of jazz music. The organizers change the theme of the festival from season to season in order to introduce visitors to the whole abundance of jazz styles that have developed over the years. For example, the 2015 edition was dedicated to swing music, one of the first styles of jazz that was extremely popular in America from 1935 to 1946.
Every year, the Roma Jazz Festival welcomes the most revered Italian and international jazz artists. Over the years, the attendees have had a chance to listen to jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Sonny Rollins, Richard Galliano, John Scofield, Chick Corea, and others. The festival has presented over 1,000 concerts with a total attendance of more than a million people.
The Roma Jazz Festival has changed several venues to accommodate the growing attendance. Its recent editions took place at the Foro Italico sports complex and Auditorium Parco della Musica. Besides, festival concerts take place at numerous venues throughout the city such as bars, clubs and small concerts halls. Every autumn, jazz lovers from all over Italy and abroad come to Rome to enjoy high-quality music, meet like-minded people and get a unique experience in one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the world.
Photo by Diletta Bisetto