The BargaJazz Festival comes in to being in 1986 as a composition and arranging competition for Jazz Orchestra. Over the years, as well as this, many other initiatives have taken place. For the 2010 edition, which this year is the 23rd, the Festival will be articulated in several directions; but the central core is and remains the competition itself.
We are pleased to announce that the Festival will be dedicated to and in honour of Steve Swallow who has accepted our invitation to be present in Barga and play with the BargaJazz Orchestra directed by Bruno Tommaso.
Swallow’s compositions will form the basis on which the participants will be judged. As always the competition is divided into various sections: Arranging (section A); Original Compositions (section B); new musicians (section C). Sections A,B, and C will take palace on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of August at the Teatro dei Differenti in Barga.
Steve Swallow was born in Fair Lawn, New Jersey on the 5th of October 1940. One of the first to fully adopt the electric bass and exploit the versatility of the instrument, he is considered one of the most important Jazz bass players and composers.
Swallow studied piano and trumpet before passing to double bass at the age of 14. In 1960 he leaves Yale, where he was studying composition, and settles in New York, playing together with Paul Bley in the Jimmy Giuffre Trio. In 1964 he joins the Art Farmer Quartet and begins to compose his first important pieces. The 60’s also see collaborations with Stan Getz and Jim Hall and the beginnings of his thirty year partnership with Gary Burton.
In the early 70’s Swallow makes the definitive transition to the electric bass, often playing with a plectrum. His style becomes ever more distinctive and is enriched by extreme high register solos, thanks also to the addition of a fifth string. Between 1974-76 Swallow teaches at the Berklee College of Music. Many would contend that he was instrumental in the compilation of the world famous “The Real Book”. In 1978 Swallow becomes a regular member of the Carla Bley Big Band.
During the 80’s he often teams up with John Scofield, whilst in 1988 he releases Duets album with Carla Bley and there follow a series of concerts in Europe the States, Latin America and Japan.
The 1991 l’album “Swallow” sees the participation of many of his long time collaborators, such as Gary Burton, John Scofield and Steve Kuhn.
Since 2000 he continues to be ever present on the Jazz scene with the Carla Bley Big Band and some of the most important names in contemporary Jazz: Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, John Scofield, Bill Stewart, Joe Lovano, David Liebman, Pat Metheny and, amongst Italian musicians, Paolo Fresu, Maria Pia De Vito and Pietro Tonolo.
Since the middle of the 80’s Swallow has won the Electric Bass Category in the yearly Beat Down and Jazz Times Poll several times and was also elected Electric Bassist of the Year 2001 by the Jazz Journalists Association.
A new feature for this edition is the BargaJazz Contest: a specific competition for bands which will take place between April and May 2010 at the BargaJazz Club. The four finalists will then participate in the BargaJazz Festival 2010 at the end of August. As well as this, the best soloist in the BargaJazz Contest will be awarded the prestigious “Luca Flores Prize” (in honour of the exceptional young pianist who was an integral presence of the early editions of the Festival and who died in ’95).
Girando alla Tonda/Turn Around (itinerant concerts): a musical voyage through the Garfagnana and Valle del Serchio regions – an invitation to discover places of particular natural and cultural interest (between June and August in collaboration with the local authorities)
Barga IN Jazz (22 August 2010 – a Jazz Party): once a year the historic old town of Barga is “invaded” by over ten Jazz groups for the whole day
EnoJazz, between the 20th and the 28th of August dal 20 al 28 agosto Jam Session. Over the years this has become a Festival within the Festival dedicated to the freest of improvisation.
Autumn Live! Every year in the Autumn BargaJazz presents a mini series of concerts in the BargaJazz Club. Autum Live is a display of original musical projects which are previewed before the following years Festival (October-November 2010)
Barga Jazz Festival 2010 – Rules and Regulations:
art.1 The BARGA JAZZ 2010 Competition is divided into 3 sections:
SECTION A – ARRANGING (Steve Swallow soloist)
SECTION B – ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS
SEZIONE C – FREE CHOICE PIECES (Selected during the Arranging and Composition for Jazz Orchestra Seminar in Barga)
art.2.1 The Competition is open to Italian and Foreign musicians.
2.2 Members of the BargaJazz Orchestra 2010 are not eligible.
2.3 Past edition winners are eligible.
art.3.1 Section A of the 2010 edition is dedicated to Steve Swallow.
3.2 Arrangements must be of Steve Swallow music.
art.4.1 Section A arrangements and Section B and C compositions must be orchestrated for the following line-up:
– 1st alto sax/clarinet
– 2nd alto sax
– 1st tenor sax/soprano
– 2nd tenor sax
– sax baritone/bass clarinet
– 1st trumpet
– 2nd trumpet/flugelhorn
– 3rd trumpet
– 4th trumpet/flugelhorn
– 1st trombone
– 2nd trombone
– 3rd trombone
– bass trombone
– double bass
4.2 For the purposes of Section A, Steve Swallow will perform as soloist the selected arrangements with the orchestra comprising the above line-up.
4.3 Scores for a different line-up than the one specified here will not be accepted.
art.5.1 In order to participate in Section C 2010 it is necessary to send a request the the Arranging and Composition for Jazz Orchestra Seminar which will take place during August 2010 in Barga.
5.2 Pieces composed by the students will be analysed, discussed and perfected under the guidance of M° Bruno Tommaso.
5.3 A specially convened commission will select the pieces to include in the fin al phase of the Competition.
art.6.1 In order to participate in the INTERNATIONAL ARRANGING AND COMPOSITION FOR JAZZ ORCHESTRA COMPETITION it is necessary to send the following documentation by registered post with proof of receipt to the Competition secretariat, c/o COMUNE DI BARGA, VIA DI MEZZO 45, BARGA (LU), ITALIA:
– Request for participation including relevant personal details, address and telephone number.
– Declaration of acceptance of the Rules and Regulations of the Competition.
6.2 For Sections A and B, include:
TWO COPIES of the full score (at least one in A3 front and back bound format), signed by the applicant, with the individual instrument parts CLEARLY WRITTEN IN DOUBLE COPY.
6.3 DEADLINE (date within which applications together with the relevant material must reach the Comune of Barga):
– Sections A, B: 27 July 2010
art.7 Submitted material will not be returned.
art.8.1 A commission nominated by the Artistic Director will select those pieces (sections A and B) which will continue onto the final phase of the Competition.
8.2 The decisions of the commission will be made public by the first week in August.
art.9 The authors or arrangers of the selected pieces in Sections A/B/C will receive a token for their presence to help subsidise their travel and stay expenses.
9.1 The public performances of the pieces in Sections A/B/C will take place in the Teatro dei Differenti in Barga on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of August 2010.
art.10 An International jury composed of musicians and journalists specialised in jazz music will evaluate the pieces in the Competition and assign prizes.
art.11.1 The following cash prizes will be awarded (gross of the relevant legal dutuies):
– Section A 1st place: euro 1.500,00
– Section B 1nd place: euro 1.000,00
– Section C 1st place: euro 500,00
11.2 The prize giving will take place during the final evening of the event on the 28th of August 2010 in Barga. The jury, whose decisions are final, may chose to make special mention of other worthy pieces or even not to assign one or more prizes.
art. 12 The event may be wholly or in part recorded for televisual promotional purposes without remuneration or mention for the participants, apart from that expressly indicated by the relevant copyright legislation.