Jazz in Ajaccio – XII Festival and what Marcel Guidicelli has to say ..


The festival holds the advantage of being held in the prestigious open air grounds of the Lazaret (http://bit.ly/12FcQbH) in Ajaccio, and this is an adventure that has been continuing since 2002 to the delight of the population, along with the fortunate tourists that are present at this time. This is the highlight event of the year within these walls, where celebrities such as: Stacey Kent, Mina Agossi, Michel Legrand, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Didier Lockwood, Bona Vista Social Club, Youn Sun Nah, Manu Katché, Gianmaria Testa, Raul Paz, Kenny Barron …. have been present, just to give you a small idea of what the past years brought for appreciation.

I met Marcel Guidicelli, who has been the orchestrator of this event since the beginning. He speaks passionately about this whole adventure, how it has build up over the years, and how this association of 17 volunteers has worked extremely hard for the finest results – and he can be proud of these results too for the quality, choice, sensations and discovery blend perfectly, allowing a diversity of harmony, both vocal and musical, over these five evenings, and in these wondrous surroundings. One of his fondest memories has been with Michel Legrand, just last year – a giant in his domain, and someone who has influenced Marcel through the years too, so, this was indeed a chance of a lifetime, and a dream come true. We are not always aware of the preparations behind this type of event, searching and finding specific themes which vary year in and year out too. The need was certainly present, and jazz is everywhere, popular and stylish. J.J.Johnson once said “Jazz is restless, it won’t stay put – and it never will”.

This year’s program is once again, very attractive indeed and I love to discover what they have in store for us too!
Biréli Lagrène, Tania Maria, Florin Niculescu, Eliane Elias and Michel Jonasz – names you have certainly heard of, and maybe have had the opportunity to listen to/see at some time, and they’ll all be present this year. A reminder here too, each concert will have its opening part, which will be ensured by: Xavier Paoli, Ross Woorhess, Jean-Paul Frigara, Moru Latinu, and Paul Mancini. A strong touch of southern America, and particularly Bresil, will sway the crowd and take you travelling for a few hours.

Personally, I’d say there are choices for everyone here, whatever the instrument you may prefer too and I would remind you to reserve in advance, in order not to be disappointed upon arrival, as there are 600 places … Memorable moments for all! Am certainly looking forward to it too.

Photo credit: Ajaccio Jazz Festival

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