Keith Jarrett to Return to Umbria Jazz Festival

Jarrett’s 2007 outburst regarding cameras in the audience caused the fest to ban him

Jack DeJohnette, Keith Jarrett and Gary Peacock image 0
Rose Anne Jarrett

Jack DeJohnette, Keith Jarrett and Gary Peacock

The Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, has announced the addition of Keith Jarrett with his trio of Gary Peacock (bass) and Jack DeJohnette (drums) to the 2013 lineup. The booking is significant because the last time he performed at the festival, in 2007, the pianist confronted photographers in the audience who were using their flash units by calling them “assholes” and requesting that they “turn them fucking off right now.” At the time Jarrett told the audience that he and his band mates reserved the right to “leave the goddamn city” if they saw any cameras being used. In the wake of the incident Umbria announced that Jarrett would be “permanently banned” from the festival.

According to an email from Enzo Capua, the U.S. representative of Umbria Jazz Festival, that rift has now been mended. Jarrett and the trio will return to perform on July 7. This year marks both the 40th anniversary of Umbria and the 30th anniversary of the Jarrett-Peacock-DeJohnette trio.

According to the email received by JazzTimes from Capua, “The confirmation arrived last night after a brief email correspondence between the festival and Jarrett’s management.” He added that, following the 2007 incident, “It seemed that relations between the pianist and Umbria Jazz were over forever. But … [according to] Artistic Director, Carlo Pagnotta, both Jarrett and Umbria Jazz wanted to stitch things up. What is certain is that we shall do everything to ensure a serene evening and to make especially sure that the artist, who experiences his music very deeply, is not disturbed by any flash.”

Other scheduled Umbria performers this year include Sonny Rollins and Diana Krall.