On a nice day, I travel across the Chilivani plain, with the Limbara mountains always in front, and the Monteacuto peaks, from which the whole area also takes its name, which stand out in front of Berchidda. The last stretch is uphill, and after having crossed the main road I arrive in Piazza del Popolo, where I stop to chat with some gentlemen sitting on the benches, right next to the railing and where a beautiful stone sculpture overlooks the whole plain of Chilivani.
Michele from the Time in Jazz Association and Maria are waiting for me in front of the Town Hall. Shortly afterwards, at the bar in the square, Tonino also joins us, also from the Association, whom I met at the Mario Cervo Archive in Olbia and who gave his availability to help me during this stage.
The first appointment is at the Wine Museum, an important place of preservation of the wine culture of these territories, at the entrance of which are among the first sound sculptures of Pinuccio Sciola. Here they await us for a presentation/concert. In front of a small but attentive audience, I tell my story and play the ukulele. I then have the chance to play with some local musicians, first of all the trumpeter Antonio Meloni whom I know from the 90s, when we attended the Nuoro Jazz summer workshop. Together with him also some very young musicians, Davide Laconi and Giuseppe Spanu on guitars, and Giovanni Gaias (Nanni Groove) on percussion. After the jam, we are offered an aperitif based on local Vermentino wines. The day opens to the sign of wine … unfortunately it is only the beginning of a long day!
We have lunch at Tonino’s and in the afternoon we spend some time in Giovanni’s rehearsal room playing and talking about music, listening also to the latest productions of Nanni Groove. We then move to the headquarters of the Time in Jazz Association, a beautiful historic building on the main street of the village, recently acquired, and which, in addition to headquarters, also acts as an exhibition space for works of art, as well as for the exhibition of the beautiful artistic posters of the Festival, now more than thirty years old. I take this opportunity to do some writing work while Michele is already very busy organizing the next edition of the Festival.
The weather has changed and it has started to rain. Despite this, after work, Michele and I take a tour of the village. We go up to the Belvedere, where there is the homonymous restaurant, nestled among the granites, from which you can admire the beautiful panorama of the plain, rich in vineyards all around. We go back down to the village, where I settle in Gianfranca’s house, Michele’s aunt, who has made herself available to host me. I then take a tour, crossing this area of parallel roads and then arriving in the centre, where many houses still display granite walls, as well as the church of San Sebastiano.
The appointment for an aperitif and dinner is at the bar Il Muretto, just behind the church. Here, an ever larger group of people is gradually formed, who came to hear the story of my adventure. I speak, I play, I drink beer. All repeated several times. Then I talk and drink beer, repeated several times, then I only drink beer, repeated countless times. And the memory of this morning’s vermentino is far away. Berchidda swings! At the end of the evening the guys, someone with a wig, with the last bit of sobriety left, give me a closed envelope. They collected some money to contribute to the costs of my project. Berchidda rocks!
Inspired by Paolo Fresu’s trumpet and groove
SHORT SARDINIAN STORIES
Today the village is very quiet, and I have memories of various editions of the Time in Jazz Festival I have been to. In 2000, the edition called The other half of jazz, where I played every night at the Belvedere with the group formed by the best students of the Nuoro Jazz summer workshop. And then some other following editions, to see some of the beautiful concerts offered by the festival, here in Berchidda, in Piazza del Popolo, but also in the churches scattered throughout the countryside.
This year, I am lucky to participate again as an artist, on 12 August in Mores, in the church of San Giovanni, with Fulvio Sigurtà on trumpet and Fausto Beccalossi on accordion. Well, I resisted until the end without naming him, but I can’t help but thank Paolo Fresu, not only for having invited me to this year’s Festival, but for making all this possible, an international jazz festival in a small village in Gallura, the diffusion of jazz in an island like Sardinia (yes, yes, I know he is not the only one …) but above all for having contributed to my musical growth and to that of many other Sardinian musicians who attended the Nuoro Jazz summer workshop. Thanks Paolo!