Publicity photo from certaldo-info.com
GMF Tuscany 2019 with the Scott Hamilton / Champian Fulton Quartet will be an intimate jazz festival and course in a magical and historic location. It will take place at the end of August this year. Stephen Keogh (*) writes:
There is a tiny, beautiful hill town in Tuscany called Certaldo Alto. It has attracted artists and musicians for hundreds of years, dating right back to the 14th century, when poet and writer Giovanni Boccaccio lived and died there. You can visit his house which is now a museum.
Physically not much has changed since back then. It has a castle, a palace of justice, now used as performance spaces and for art exhibitions, two churches, several small piazzas and a collection of medieval town houses and palaces, all beautifully arranged along one main street, the Via Giovanni Boccaccio. Artists, sculptors, writers and musicians live and work there all year around. Of course you could say that in Tuscany there are many towns that fit the same description. But Certaldo Alto has a special atmosphere. The kind of atmosphere that makes people want to paint it, write about it and compose songs about it, as did the great jazz guitarist Louis Stewart, and also the wonderful vocalist/composer Rene Marie. Both songs are recorded and appear on albums. Louis Stewart’s Angel Eyes featuring Peter King, and Rene Marie’s Grammy nominated album The Sound of Red.
If you visit the town you’ll know why, and like almost all who do visit you will want to return. It’s a combination of the beauty of it, the good food and wine; Chianti starts at its borders, the relaxed pace and that the inhabitants sit out on chairs in the street chatting, and everyone’s front door is open.
You might be having a coffee one morning at the Bar Boccaccio and realise you are standing next to the legendary saxophonist Scott Hamilton.
Or you might be staying at the hotel Albergo Il Castello, and discover it is owned and run by a great jazz drummer called Alfred Kramer (below on drums with Scott Hamilton).
There are many arts events and festivals happening in Certaldo thoughout the year that include theatre, music, painting, sculpture literature and more.
Global Music Foundation has been staging music courses and festivals in Certaldo since 2005, as well as art and photography exhibitions.
After a short break of three years we return to produce GMF Tuscany ‘19 with Scott Hamilton & Champian Fulton, August 28 – 31, 2019. There are daily workshops and sessions with Scott Hamilton & Champian Fulton Quartet, and concerts each night plus jam sessions in the Cellar Bar at Il Castello. We are going to keep it small in numbers because we want it to be quality time at all the events.
If you would like to come as a student/participant or just to enjoy this magical place and attend the concerts each night, click the link below which will take you to the Global Music Foundation website where there is information about the event and how to reserve. To repeat, we can only take a limited number of people so don’t leave it for long to get in touch if you think you would like to come. GMF Tuscany ’19.
Photo credit: Vignaccia76 /Creative Commons
(*) Irish-born, Spanish-based drummer Stephen Keogh is Director of the Global Music Foundation – FULL BIOGRAPHY)