Jazz to enhance castles and museums: the 6th edition of the MutaMenti festival in Lunigiana

For the 6th edition of the MutaMenti jazz festival, held in Lunigiana, the role of music as a suitable language to enhance heritage will be experimented with: castles, museums, parishes and cultural places will also emerge through music and dedicated activities.

Lunigiana, the “Land of a Hundred Castles,” is hosting the sixth edition of the MutaMenti Festival , fluid spaces of borderless jazz under the artistic direction of Max De Aloe, from Sept. 13 to Oct. 1. MutaMenti is a “colorful plot,” explain the organizers, “that unites the territory through the colorful threads of jazz languages. It is a musical journey that leads to the discovery of wonderful places, art and culture of the entire Province of Massa-Carrara. It is a dialogue between music and other art forms. It is a sonic and visual journey through space and time. MutaMenti is an idea, a goal of change, renewal and growth through music, art and culture.” In fact, the title of the festival describes a project that, in presenting itself as a music festival, develops into a complex of activities and purposes (also encompassing interactions with different artistic forms and collateral activities capable of enhancing the plurality of places of a composite, multifaceted and interdependent land, which thanks to the festival gives a sign of its strength to residents and tourists by skillfully combining its diversities).

The uniqueness of the festival lies in its vision of the multiplicity of languages and codes of jazz music, and its interaction with other artistic forms, as a tool for the narration of heritage, and in the conception of castles, museums and more generally of places of culture as laboratories open to society to be narrated in ever new forms that make them not only venues of a personal and unique experience, but also places of ’individual and collective identity.

Recovering jazz in its deepest meaning as a music of contaminations, experimentation and encounter, the artistic choices of the festival identify in overcoming the separation of genres, not only a distinctive element, but also a key to access for diverse audiences who, regardless of a predilection for traditional jazz, approach this musical genre finding involvement and passion.

In the festival’s schedule, alongside prominent names, there is room for performances that highlight the work and talent of women and emerging artists, new productions, original productions and co-productions. In promoting new talents and fostering generational change, MutaMenti moves on two planes that will characterize the programmatic choices and that see on the one hand the design of paths (such as MutArti) that can be opportunities for the development of creativity for new generations, and on the other hand the inclusion of emerging groups and young talents in the program schedule. The program of this first session consists of ten appointments involving the municipalities of Podenzana, Filattiera, Casola in Lunigiana, Fivizzano, Fosdinovo, Comano, Tresana, Pontremoli, Mulazzo and Massa. The concerts take place among castles and parish churches, historic palaces and villages up to natural amphitheaters, and are accompanied by collateral events dedicated to the knowledge and enhancement of the territories by combining the identity of the place, by means of guided tours and food and wine tours, with site-specific art projects.

On the stages of the 2022 edition of MutaMenti will feature international musicians and a diverse lineup of established artists and emerging talents from the national jazz scene.

The festival opens on Sept. 13 in the Castelletto Malaspina of the Cioli Family, taken the town of Podenzana with Hyper+ the trio of Nicola Fazzini, Alessandro Fedrigo and Max Trabucco: a “musical laboratory” in which the three musicians develop a research path between different languages. On Sept. 14 in Filattiera’s Piazza Castello Ermes Pirlo and Simone Zanchini, unanimously considered among the most innovative and ingenious accordionists on an international scale, will present an original repertoire in which writing blends with improvisation. On Thursday, Sept. 15 at the Pieve di Codiponte, in the municipality of Casola, the overwhelming duo composed of Max Tempia and Massimo Serra will present Alter Ego 2.1 an “explosive” path led with Hammond organ and drums. On Sept. 22 in the Garden of the Fantoni-Bononi Palace in Fivizzano, the very young winners of Top Jazz 2022, Anais Drago and Francesca Remigi, will meet to present, together with the students of the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara, an artistic-musical performance outcome of the artistic residency realized within the MutArti project. On Sept. 23, at “La Torretta” Park in Fosdinovo, the quintet of Helga Plankensteiner, Achille Succi, Glauco Benedetti, Michael Lösch, and Marco Soldà presents Jelly Roll, a project devoted entirely to compositions by Jelly Roll Morton, the great pioneer who called himself the “inventor of jazz.”

On Saturday, Sept. 24, in the stunning Natural Amphitheater at the Church of San Giorgio in Comano, Sebastiano Dessany, in a sound and visual journey, will recount the 377: solo project that has seen him cycle through, accompanied only by his bass ukulele, 377 municipalities in Sardinia. On Sunday, September 25, at the foot of the Malaspina Castle in Tresana, it will be the turn of a brand new quartet of under 35s composed of Luca Tagliabue, Eugenia Canale, Andrea Grumelli, and Carlo Attolini . The last three dates of this first session will reach the municipalities of Pontremoli, Mulazzo and Massa. On Sept. 29 in the marvelous Palazzo Dosi-Magnavacca in Pontremoli, the Mauro Grossi Trio led by Mauro Grossi on piano accompanied by Guido Zorn on double bass and Michele Vannucci on drums will range through a vast repertoire consisting of original pieces, standards, new -standars and ethnomusic. On Friday, Sept. 30, instead, in Mulazzo’s Piazza Dante, the wonderful voice of Michela Lombardi in a historic duo with Piero Frassi will present My way to you a concert that traces stages and stories of the artistic partnership that has seen the two musicians collaborate since 1997.

It closes this first phase of MutaMenti with the eponymous concert by Marlise Goidanich and Max De Aloe, co-produced with the Estensioni jazz club diffuso festival curated by Slou: the Mutamenti concert unites two instruments rarely united in music by offering pieces ranging from jazz to Brazilian choro, from Italian music to the pop of Icelandic singer Bjork, from echoes of baroque music to suggestions of music from the Middle East.

Side activities and news 2022

MutaMenti is an opportunity, through the project Discover and Taste with MutaMenti, to get to know the province of Massa-Carrara through slow and sustainable tourist routes of discovery of its territory. Each stage of the Festival,as usual, is associated with a different “experience.”

  • Tuesday, September 13 visit to the Castelletto Malaspina di Podenzana - Podenzana

  • Wednesday, September 14 visit to the Pieve di Sorano - Filattiera

    Thursday, September 15 visit to the parish church of Codiponte

  • Thursday, Sept. 22 visit to the ancient fund, the museum of sacred art and the village of Fivizzano

  • Friday, Sept. 23 Discovering Fosdinovo, Fosdinovo

  • Saturday, September 24 visit to the Castle of Comano

  • Sunday, September 25 Visit to the village and castle of Tresana

  • Thursday, Sept. 29 Visit to Dosi- Magnavacca Palace, Pontremoli

  • Friday, Sept. 30 Visit to the Malaspina Archives-Museum, Mulazzo

The last day of the Festival also inaugurates one of this year’s novelties: “The Land of a Hundred Castles,” a weekend (Oct. 1 and 2) of extraordinary openings and visits to castles in the province of Massa-Carrara, with a visit to the Cybo - Malaspina Palace in Carrara, home of the Academy of Fine Arts, a visit to the Malaspina Castle in Massa, and a visit to the Ducal Palace in Massa.

Another novelty will be “HUNDREDS OF MUSIC”: moments of deepening, sharing and meeting with the protagonists of MutaMenti accompanied by tastings of the typical products that characterize the different places of the Festival. As in the previous year to accompany the stages of the Festival will also be a mobile tourist HUB made by the Lunigiana Tourist Board, which will provide participants with information about the territory and the different tutirstic and cultural routes.

In the articulated program of events accompanying the Festival, exhibitions and artistic residencies developed in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara in the context of the “MutArti” project will also find shape. MutArti is a project aimed at developing, in parallel with the Festival, a permanent laboratory of contemporary art that, playing on admixtures between visual arts, places and jazz music, connects the talent of the students of the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara with all the territories of the Province of Massa-Carrara. Under the curatorship of Professor Fabio Cavallucci, the project includes for this edition, in addition to the realization of exhibition of works in the different venues touched by MutaMenti, also, from September 17 to 23, an artistic residency during which the students will work side by side with Anais Drago and Francesca Remigi. Outcome of the residency, the performance scheduled for Sept. 22 in Fivizzano.

A sustainable festival

In line with the various goals ofAgenda 2030 MutaMenti promotes sustainability in various ways, is a resource for the well-being of people and communities, intervenes with its activities in protecting cultural and natural heritage, involving peripheral areas and territories at risk of depopulation, and promotes equal opportunities and inclusion. For this edition 2022 collaborates, with the Azienda Usl Toscana Nord Ovest (Tuscany North West Health Authority) at #SAM2022 (World Breastfeeding Week) promoting, with the October 1 show, breastfeeding among the strategies of sustainable development ;

As in the previous year, the Festival applies sustainable consumption models through the adoption of the Minimum Environmental Criteria (CAM) developed as part of the GreenFEST Project - Green Festivals and Events through Sustainable Tenders.

The Festival includes:

  • reduction in the use of paper and printing on eco-friendly materials

  • transportation management for reaching the event and transporting materials annually

  • attention to energy consumption

  • waste management

  • staff training and public information

Pictured: the Malaspina Castle in Massa. Photo Castles Enhancement Institute

Jazz to enhance castles and museums: the 6th edition of the MutaMenti festival in Lunigiana
Jazz to enhance castles and museums: the 6th edition of the MutaMenti festival in Lunigiana

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