Vita Gazette

News from Italy

Woody Allen’s wind blows in Italy

Vita gazette – Woody Allen never ceases to excite the public with his films or music. After attending the Venice Film Festival at the Lido, where he presented his new movie Coup de Chance out of competition, the famous director stopped in Milan, where in the evening, he performed on the stage of the historic Milanese music venue Blue Note. Following this, a single Roman date will be scheduled for September 16th as part of the Villa Ada Festival.

Italians had the opportunity to simultaneously experience two careers of the famous director Woody Allen. After attending the Venice Film Festival at the Lido, where he presented his new film Coup de Chance out of competition, the renowned director stopped in Milan and performed again at the historic Milanese music venue Blue Note.

As is known, Allen develops the passion and craft of the seventh art and the passion of the seven notes. The clarinet with jazz, swing and Dixieland atmospheres is Allen’s cup of tea as much as the films with excellent photography, brilliant dialogues and memorable plots. The so-called “Dixieland Jazz”, for those who don’t know, is one of the oldest forms of the musical genre that goes under the label “jazz”.

Allen in Rome on 16 September

He is a clarinet virtuoso and has performed in front of Italians on three dates in Italy. Allen, who played the clarinet at the Blu Note with the New Orleans Jazz Band, will perform in Rome on September 16, accompanied by the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. (from 110 to 130 euros)

The American filmmaker and clarinettist had already played several times in Rome (once at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, when he was filming To Rome with Love in 2012, in chef Antonello Colonna’s space, and the other at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, again with his faithful companion – his beloved clarinet – and accompanied for the occasion by the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band). In terms of musical influences, Allen adores Sidney Bechet (to the point of having named his daughter Becket in homage to the musician); he is crazy about King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong.

Since the Seventies, he has combined his career as a stand-up comedy artist, actor, and film director with a musical career. He began performing accompanied by a group now well-known by lovers of the genre: we are talking about the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band. This is the ensemble with which Allen played on a historic date at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi in Milan, as well as having performed with the same lineup in another historic show: the one at the Teatro Smeraldo staged in 1996.

Allen’s musical career includes not only live performances, but he has also recorded several albums as a clarinettist. Notable records include The Bunk Project, Wild Man Blues and New Orleans Jazz.

The Oscar-winning director is awaiting the release of his fiftieth film Coup de Chance (which will be released on September 27 in Paris and will then arrive in theatres in Italy starting from December 6, 2023)

The musician Allen’s repertoire comprises over 1200 songs ranging from popular melodies to hymns, from traditional spirituals to blues and rags dating back to the early twentieth century. The particular thing is his tendency to never decide on the concert schedule before going on stage: in fact, it seems that Woody Allen only decides on the spot, based on the mood, the atmosphere and the audience. However, there is always a song that never fails during his concerts in our country: Bella Ciao, revised in a jazz key.

For the director and his New Orleans Jazz Band, it is the first time at the Blue Note and the first in an Italian jazz club. The concert lineup was improvised as usual, in line with the spontaneous nature of the music. The sound of the group is the result of the music that the director has loved since he was a child, with some sources of inspiration such as Sidney Bechet, George Lewis, Johnny Dodds and Louis Armstrong. A repertoire comprised over 1200 songs, including hymns, marches and blues: “We make popular, church and entertainment music. Let’s play jazz,” Allen said, thanking the Milanese audience.

There is even a protest!

Another Italian stop after the Venice Film Festival, where he presented the new French film “Coup de Chance”, bringing home a five-minute standing ovation but also a protest on the red carpet from around thirty people, mostly women, who staged a flash mob, even going topless, due to accusations of sexual harassment from which the director was cleared in the past.

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