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Keith Jarrett Officially Banned from Umbria Jazz Festival After Outburst

Although pianist Keith Jarrett (pictured) has played at the celebrated Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy several times since 1974, festival artistic director Carlo Pagnatta recently announced that the pianist will not be invited back. Jarrett has always been known for his onstage tirades at the microphone, but he surprised and offended many with an implosive rant at his performance in the 4,500-seat Arena Santa Giuliiani on July 10.

Without provocation and before playing a single note, Jarrett flew into a bizarre, seething rage, opening with “somebody tell those a–holes to put away their f—ing cameras. … I see that red light there, and that means you, you, you,” and stabbing his finger toward various spots in the crowd. Among other caustic comments, Jarrett threatened to stop performing if he saw a single camera flash during the show, “and leave this goddamn city.” While the concert itself went off well, Jarrett dispensed with his traditional encores when a couple of flashes were seen in the far back section.

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