Jazz and the Future, the Future of Jazz

Elia Grassi trio – A Homage to Bill Evans | Volvo Studio Milano, May 26th, 2021

18.09.2021, by Martina Iacoangeli

Jazz and new generations, new generations and jazz: two universes that often look so distant, but that come into contact more often than we might think.

Jazz, after all, is a peculiar genre: drawing life from the heritage of its past great masters, of course, but at the same time constantly reinventing itself and, in this day and age, offering a veritable manifesto about the meaning of the word “change”. Jazz, like a sponge, absorbs everything around it: history, landscapes, the evolution of humanity and social needs. Within this constant change it must make no excuses, but always look towards the future.

All this is well known to Maestro Enrico Intra, an old friend of Ponderosa’s, and not only because, if jazz looks the way it does today, it is partly due to his artistic personality. The Maestro’s keen musical sensibility has led him, over the years, to develop a deep sense of duty towards the new generations of jazz musicians. Intra directs Milan’s Civici Corsi di Jazz at the Civica Claudio Abbado music school, an example of Italian excellence. And his way of (literally) pushing the future protagonists of jazz to the fore could not stop at “technical” teachings (if any of you have ever had the pleasure of meeting him, you can easily understand how the word “stop” is not part of the well-known pianist’s vocabulary).

Twenty-six years ago, Intra created “Break in jazz”, a means to (really) highlight the best current and former students of his music courses in order to facilitate their full entrance into the world of professional music. A job, that of musicians, that too often is regarded as “second-rate”. Intra draws agreements with partners and institutions, organizes shows and concerts, engages young musicians to play at his concerts, stimulates them and takes them out into the world.

Alessio Dal Checco quartet – A Homage to John Coltrane | Volvo Studio Milano, May 12th, 2021

Break in Jazz joins together education and production. It is an important passage for young musicians who will soon perform on “real” stages, and it represents a clear break with the old-fashioned idea that jazz is a music played by old people and directed at old audiences. Jazz can be experimental and avant-garde, reflect on important issues, symbolize rebirth and courage, never forgetting its fundamental links to the past but always keeping the future in mind.

From this perspective Intra sought a collaboration with Ponderosa, and Ponderosa respond enthusiastically with JAZZMI, the upcoming Milan jazz festival (running October 21st – 31st, 2021) which, to warm up its audiences for ten days of great shows by famous artists, young jazz bands, labs, debates, art and much more, will join Civici Corsi di Jazz in presenting 22 clips devoted to the future of jazz. Each contains a “mini-performance” by some of the school’s students, as well as an interview with their teacher.

Jazz, Instruments, Teachers – find the playlist on JAZZMI’s Youtube channel

An exceptional playlist, proof of Intra’s tireless work in promoting new talents from his school and of JAZZMI’s own focus on the issue, for the sixth year running.

“Jazz, instruments, teachers” is a collective testament to the work of many different entities: of JAZZMI, which every year devotes much of its autumn program to young jazz bands cherry-picked by the festival’s artistic directors, and which throughout the years produces special “future-themed” events; of the Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado and of Intra’s pioneering work; of the young students and their courage as they start on a complex educational path during a difficult historical time.

There’s nothing left but for you to enjoy the shows, 22 performances here and more than 80 from October 21st through the 31st, with JAZZMI 2021.

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