Skip to main content

JAZZ & WINE 2011 in Montalcino Tuscany

Montalcino program Jazz & Wine 2011

Italy makes you think pasta, wine and Michelangelo? You are missing out on a few, but the one that can be most surprising is that Italy should also make you think... jazz!

The current Montalcino JAZZ & WINE festival is the perfect place to discover for yourself some of the knack and talent that is populating the Italian jazz scene. The festival has been going strong for the last 13 years and as every year the program of JAZZ & WINE brings together international jazz celebs with Italian top players.  

To be clear: EVERY single one of this year's 9 gigs is more than worth your money. So if you happen to find two spare weeks, come for all of them and enjoy the free time between concerts by indulging in Montalcino's Sangiovese wines (the famous Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino). 

If you don't belong to those lucky ones, try everything you can so as not to miss my two favorite gigs:
DANILO REA's piano solo night (Saturday 16th of July) and the BILL SMITH & ENRICO PIERANUZI duo (Friday 22nd of July). Anybody who ever fell in love with a Bill Evans record will thank god that they have been there. 

DANILO REA brought the house down when he played a solo piano night at the Guggenheim museum in New York in 2006. I only read about it, but his past gigs at Montalcino JAZZ & WINE made me understand why (and I guess the 15€ entree fee in Montalcino may have been slightly higher at the Guggenheim). 

ENRICO PIERANUNZI may not need an introduction, as this fine Italian jazz pianist has played with Chet Baker for years. His performances at Jazz & Wine have always been stellar. I'll never ever forget the night he played with drummer Paul Motion at a winter JAZZ & WINE edition at Castello Poggio alle Mura (Banfi's Wine Estate - the main sponsor of the event). 

If you'd like to know more, a good introduction to some of Italy's top Jazz pianists can be found in this JAZZ TIMES article. 

Ps: whatever night you come, remember to dress warm. Montalcino's beautiful fortress (the concert venue) is always subject to a cool breeze at night - even during July's heat waves. And if you forgot to bring your jacket (or you just didn't believe me), look out for the woman with the big bag full of blankets and pashminas. I've been disturbed far too often by the chattering of teeth from the neighboring table. 

MONTALCINO JAZZ & WINE 13th - 24th of July 2011

Popular posts from this blog


A quick round up of my favorite wild hot springs and historic bath towns in Tuscany (more detailed information on spas and rock pool bathing can be found in the single articles the links will lead you to).  WILDERNESS POOLS   PETRIOLO  half an hour to the south of Siena. With its steaming hot water in the upper row of pools a favorite of mine on icy cold winter mornings. The Farma river passes right next to the hot springs. So be courageous and have a splash to try the benefits of kneipping.   SATURNIA  the biggest, most southern and also Italy's best known (and loved!) wilderness pools. The closest option for a soak if you arrive from Rome. To be avoided on weekends.  FOSSO BIANCO  in the Val d'Orcia is a spectacular sight hidden away in the woods below Bagni San Filippo. The shady surroundings make of these natural springs a nice location in the summer.  BAGNO VIGNONI  has a lovely pool below the small waterfall. However, the water arrives from the medieval t


In the wine world the Tuscan coast equals Bolgheri and Sassicaia. No other wine has done as much to turn the lay-back beach side paradise south of Livorno into a famous wine growing region as the prestigious Sassicaia from Tenuta San Guido. But whilst the rise of Supertuscans blended from French grape varieties may resemble a fairy tale story, it shouldn't keep you fro m drinking Sangiovese wines in the smaller and lesser known wineries along the Tuscan shore. 


The Fosso Bianco hot springs and natural pools in Bagni San Filippo If there's one thing I didn't expect when moving to Tuscany, it's the multitude of freely accessible natural hot springs. Day spas and thermal baths can be found all over the world. But when talking hot baths in the wilderness my first guess would always have been a geyser in Iceland.  The generous natural pools near Saturnia  and the hot springs in Petriolo taught me differently. Both places are well known in Italy, a fact that can make them packed on weekends and public holidays. If you like to take your bath a bit more privately, move on towards Val d'Orcia and explore the Fosso Bianco hot springs   near Bagni San Filippo. The waters are as hot as they should be for some comfortable soaking and high in sulfur and calcium (which explains the formation of the white rock and the name of the place).