Wine and Jazz

The young double-bass player will receive the Premio Cincinnato award on Sunday 6 September


Cincinnato pairs with jazz and after our interview with a great musician like Paolo Damiani, precisely his helpfulness and creativity placed our wines front of stage in the 23rd edition of Una Striscia di Terra Feconda, the French–Italian jazz and improvised music festival running 5–8 September at Rome’s Casa del Jazz.

In the runup to the event, a series of OltreRoma appointments were scheduled (Palestrina, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Fortuna Primigenia sanctuary; Caprarola, Palazzo Farnese; Subiaco, Rocca dei Borgia). There was also a preview evening in Rome, hosted by the Auditorium Cavea Parco della Musica on 30 July, with concerts by Roberto Negro “Dadada” (winner of the SIAE 2020 award), and the Paolo Fresu Quintet, with special guest Filippo Vignato.

On Saturday 5 September the official opening will be dedicated to tango, with the national premiere of Eric Seva’s Mother of Pearl for Soirée Tango, followed by Javier Girotto’s Aires Tango.

On the morning of Sunday 6 September, an original production dedicated to children will begin in the Casa del Jazz Park with Dinosauri, airy voices, colour and … stories written to be sung, an event managed by Tullio Visioli and Chloé Roquefeuil in collaboration with Il Jazz Va a Scuola. In the afternoon, another original production, in the Auditorium Parco della Musica’s Sala Petrassi with the screening of the docufilm Una Striscia di Terra Feconda, in collaboration with RUFA, Rome University of Fine Arts, and created by Arianna Sciancalepore and Daniele Cimaglia. In the evening, Residence 2020 Continuum & Singularity an original production in collaboration with the Institut Français Italia, the French Embassy to Italy, ​​MIDJ and SIAE featuring Joachim Florent, double bass; Anais Drago, violin; Livio Bartolo, guitar; Francesco Fiorenzani, guitar; and Francesca Remigi, drums. Afterwards, the Gianluca Petrella Trio, featuring Thomas De Pourquery and Pasquale Mirra.

On Monday 7 September, the national premiere of Nosax Noclar: Julien Stella, clarinets, and Bastien Weeger, saxophone and clarinets, followed by the original production Sconfinato, with Geraldine Laurent and Rosario Giuliani, both alto sax, Fabrizio Sferra, drums, and Dario Deidda, double bass.

The 2020 edition of Una Striscia di Terra Feconda ends on Tuesday 8 September with the original production Canzoni Francesi, Chansons Italiennes, with Danilo Rea on piano, and the other original production La Clameur des Lucioles by Joël Bastard with Erik Truffaz, trumpet, and Sandrine Bonnaire, narrator.

Although festival staff have already made the acquaintance of the wines, which will be served at all the event dinners, the official encounter between Cincinnato and the festival (art direction in the capable hands of its two creators Paolo Damiani and Armand Meignan) will be on Sunday 6 September, when the Premio Cincinnato – an absolute novelty for the festival and for our winery – will be awarded. This year’s prize goes to Joachim Florent, motivated thus “For his intoxicating scores: like music, wine is culture, research, emotion, pleasure. Wine is music.”

As the deadline for our monthly interviews came round, we thought there was no better time to get to know Joachim Florent better. Born in 1979, in Brussels where he still lives, the double-bass player has worked with a number of partners (Jean Louis, Metalophone, Impérial Quartet, Radiation 10), he studied Physics of Materials at Lyon Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, and at the same time started his career as a musician by studying classical double bass at Villeurbanne ENM (École Nationale de Musique, Danse et Art Dramatique) and jazz at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse.

Hi Joachim, we’re very happy to award this prize to a young European musician, not least for the international aspect you bring to us. Our first question is to ask what you think of music as a symbol of the union of cultures, peoples, continents …

“Although there is a long and brilliant history of solo music, and I do solo performances quite regularly, it seems to me that music – like theatre – is the quintessential collective art. This means that the music acquires its full meaning when shared among musicians, and this happens above all in improvised music or in jazz, where the musicians share their culture and their personalities during a moment in time that is then shared with the audience. So it’s above all the story of sharing in sound form among all musicians, and among them and the public. One of the main capabilities of improvised music and jazz in its history is precisely that of being nurtured by all the cultures encountered. I think jazz itself derives from the appropriation by African–American musicians, with their blues and gospel roots, of European classical culture, and then – in return – the appropriation by white musicians of this new music created by blacks. All this is not without its problems, but it affords this music and this practice something transcultural which I find respects deeply and even enhances the individual cultures. Personally I am very happy to meet musicians from all continents, sharing our art with them without any concern for understanding one another, although sometimes we can barely exchange a few words. In this sense and thanks to its emotional and abstract power, music can overcome language.”

In your opinion, how many things do music and wine have in common?

“The best proof is that the two go very well together! What could be more delicious than a glass of fine wine while listening to a good record or a great concert! Beyond this, for me wine and music are synonyms of conviviality, and both are woven with infinite threads. Sometimes I imagine how the work of the winemaker can be compared to that of the musician as an artisanal skill. I feel close to the approach of the winegrowers who produce natural wine, to those who generally work on a small scale and make quality products, running risks and facing the unknown, but who are in the rows and in the cellars to manage all the processing stages up to distribution, a bit like me for the records I produce …”

Do the places you visit or your life experiences, even with food and wine, also inspire your music?

“I have to admit that I don’t think about it too much. In fact, before Paolo Damiani’s invitation to compose music related to wine, I had never given it any serious thought. Having said that, I believe we are what we eat and drink, which helps us to capture the little musical notes floating in the air!”

Have you already been to Rome or have you perhaps tasted the wines of our region?

“I’ve played in Rome many times, often at the invitation of Una Striscia di Terra Feconda, and even if I haven’t turned them into music, I have many delicious culinary memories! I have certainly had a chance to taste Lazio wines but I admit I’m not a great wine connoisseur. Let’s not forget it’s a truly vast world! Especially considering that in France we’re equally well supplied and it’s not always easy to find quality foreign wines (could there be a hint of French chauvinism here…?)”

What message would you like to leave to our readers (many of whom will be attending your concert on Sunday 6 September)?

“As we described them, wine and music are symbols of sharing! The full meaning of wine emerges during its sharing, which is always better than drinking a glass alone in your own corner. In the same way, music is also an opportunity for people to meet and share a unique moment. Let’s not forget that we have spent several months locked in our homes without seeing anyone, and now we even think twice before shaking hands … We need to be wary of forgetting what makes us flesh-and-blood human beings and remember that we’re not hyper-connected beings confined behind their machines!”