Festival Jazz Manouche
It is an unique event in Central and Southern Italy, sponsored by the Municipality of Petralia Sottana, that involves every year, in late August, dozens of musicians from various parts of Italy and abroad, and prestigious guests such as Angelo Debarre, considered one of the greatest interpreters of this kind of music in the world.
It consists of three intense days of music characterized by morning and afternoon jam sessions along the old town, with evening events and concerts-reunion that gather a lot musicians who share the passion for this genre of music, that is widespread especially in France and Central Europe and, in recent years, also in Italy. The term “Manouche” was the name given in France to the Sinti, a partially-nomadic ethnic group. It was called also Gypsy Jazz, that is the style of music characterized by a lilting rhythm and that founds his best realization in string instruments (guitar, bass, violins …), typical of the gypsy band.
This kind of music was born thanks to the unique artistic experience of the guitarist Django Reinhardt, who is considered the inventor and its greatest exponent. He made possible the union between the ancient gypsy musical tradition of the stock of Manouches and American jazz.
The fruit of this union is a genre that combines the sound and the expressive creativity of Thirties swing with the musical tradition of the French valse musette and eclectic gypsy virtuosity.
The style is very similar to American swing of Twenties and Thirties, that was more commonly played with an orchestra. Although the two genres have developed contemporaneously and resemble each other, they have very different origins. In fact the American style is attested in places that traditionally have been strictly bound to it (eg New York, New Orleans). One of its greatest exponents, Duke Ellington, collaborated with the official founder of Manouche, that is the still unequalled Django Reinhardt.
This guitarist of Belgian origin belonged to a nomadic family that, at the end of many travels, settled with his caravan in Paris. From this occurrence was born the idea of the so-called “gypsy gender”, also supported by contemporary scholars. The criticism, however, argues that Manouche style derives from jazz-swing with folk influences, such as the Spanish flamenco and other kinds encountered by various artists along their path. During the event many other initiatives take place, such as guided tours, food tastings, seminars and an extemporaneous painting. These three days of full immersion in music and socio-cultural exchanges are an occasion to spend special moments reach of great emotions.