Silvano Togneri Prize 2008

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One of the most vital parts of Barga Jazz Festival which finished this week was not to be found in the piazzas or as part of the concerts in the Teatro dei Differenti but during the late night jam sessions that took place each evening at the Enojazz Club.
The musicians who spent each day rehearsing as part of the Barga Jazz Orchestra and then performing in the evening at the concerts with David Liebman would then at the end of the show towards midnight all move across to the EnoJazz After Hours Club and carry on playing until early in the morning … only to rise bleary eyed later on that day and repeat the whole process all over again.

A feat of endurance that only the strongest can survive as the Barga Jazz festival moved into the second week.

On the final night of the Festival, the EnoJazz Club was full till bursting from midnight onwards as they played the last jazz session of the year together … and this time tradition demanded that the session carried on until dawn. And that is just what happened this year, as in all the other years, at dawn they staggered out of the club for breakfast at the Giardino before falling into bed to catch a few well earned hours sleep.

Each year there is strong competition for the EnoJazz prize awarded to the musician who showed his heart, spirit (and stamina) during the enojazz marathon sessions.

Enojazz - Silvano Togneri in full swing 2004

In 2007 to commemorate the passing of Silvano Togneri the outsider musician (articles about Silvano Togneri can be found here) who was a key member of many of the after hour sessions in the past, the prize was renamed the Silvano Togneri prize and instead of a nominal award an actual award was handed to the winner – a bottle of spumante and a 45 rpm disc from Silvano’s own collection ( an article about Silvano’s record collection here)

This year it was a close fought affair with the counting (and subtraction) of votes taking place right through the night. Andrea Guzzoletti was doing well but had many points deducted once he changed over from his normal instrument the trumpet and instead played to less than his usual high standard on a series of saxophones – towards the end of evening sound more like a foghorn at Livorno than an accomplished jazz musician

The final votes were in just as light of dawn started to come through the enojazz club windows and the prize for 2008 was awarded to Stefano Onorati (site here) for his continued energy and good musical sense and what could only be described as his “heart”.

To celebrate his win he played a piece of music entitled “ST” – an improvisation on keyboards and two glasses of beer.

Click on the link below and listen to this improvisation followed by an interview with JJ Carde and Stefano recorded just after the prize giving where he explains some of the reasons behind “ST” (in Italiano)

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Grande stefano … eheheh 🙂