The Port of Florentine Musicians
Jazz and traditional Italian music at the Porto di Mare club
As with any port, Porto di Mare-Eskimo is synonymous with exchange, correspondence, and coming and going. This year the club has an important novelty: courses of typical Italian dance Tarantella, which will be taking place on Friday night.
Porto di Mare’s 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. Among these are 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.
The band’s genre has evolved from classical music to a looser, improvised style.
“Morris’s idea was to dissolve any sort of ‘formation’ in the orchestra, and for this reason, conducting isn’t undertaken in one style but acts more like a tool for endless different styles,” Fabio Morgera explains. “I conduct a group of musicians but they have complete freedom of the choice of notes; it’s an exchange between us. There’s no rigid music score to follow … In this way, it’s possible to create music together that has an organic quality,” Francesco says.
The band performs live at the venue every month, and has already had many requests from specialised magazines to festival directors. Porto di Mare therefore not only offers locals and outsiders the opportunity to immerse themselves in and contribute to the local music scene, but also to witness the emergence of Florence as host to a new style of jazz.
CONTACT FRANCESCO COFONE
Porto di Mare – Eskimo
Via Pisana, 128
055 71 20 34
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WEEKLY LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR
Live music at Porto di Mare – Eskimo ranges from Italian artists to soul and funk and includes:
Wednesday: Italian singer Giovanni Bogani;
Thursdays: Funk, soul and blues;
Fridays: Singer-songwriter Francesco Cofone;
Saturdays: Salsa band or funk, soul and blues.
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