As with any port, Porto di Mare – Eskimo is synonymous with exchange, correspondence, and coming and going. Anyone is welcomed through the doors of this club, which also hosts a pizzeria and cafè. And this year there is an important novelty: courses of typical Italian dance Tarantella, which will be taking place on Friday night.
Its focus on live music and cultural exchange is one that the man who started the club, Francesco Cofone, holds close to his heart: “We never play anything recorded here” he says with a smile. The method of bridging cultures at Porto di Mare is just getting out an instrument and beginning to play. “I’d be keen to talk to anyone who is interested in playing and sharing their music with us,” Francesco says.
The club has also created its own big band, the Eskimo Jazz Orchestra. An all-star Tuscan jazz band born under the initiative of Francesco, it includes some of the biggest and respected names on the jazz scene amongst its members. These include trumpeter and band conductor Fabio Morgera, who played under legendary American jazz cornetist, composer and conductor Butch Morris for 30 years in New York; Dario Cecchini, sax and leader of Italian marching band Funk Off; trumpeter Luca Marianini; trombone player Stefano Scalzi and guitarist Riccardo Onori, who both played alongside renowned Italian singer-songwriter and rapper Jovanotti; percussionists Walter Paoli, ex-member of 1970s Italian jazz, progressive rock and electronic group Area, and Piero Borri; clarinet player Nico Gori; and guitarists Paolo Conte, Ivano Fossati and Riccardo Galardini – to name just (a little more than) a few.