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Hiromi, Christian Scott at JVC Newport

Carlos Santana

In Perugia: City Of Art, Franesco Dufour writes, “Perugia is…best described as an emotion rather than a true place.” Every July, when the Umbria Jazz festival overruns this beautiful medieval hill town, Perugia’s primary emotion is euphoria. Other sensations include exhaustion and a surreal sensory overload.

This year, each day kicked off at 11:30 a.m., when the New Wave Brass Band of New Orleans made a raucous march down Corso Vannucci. The final shows ended sometime after 2 a.m., when the calls for encores at the midnight concerts finally died away. Even then, the night wasn’t over. The crowds that emerged from the concerts found the Corso Vannucci still teeming with young, photogenic Italian humanity, while huge projected iconic still images (Miles, Louis, Coltrane) moved slowly across the sides of buildings and city walls. Umbria Jazz is, among many other things, a world-class street party. (On July 9, when Italy won the World Cup in soccer, the party went on through the night.)

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