Traditional jazz at Doctor Dixie


Bologna, together with Rome, Milan and Turin, was one of the main Italian cities where the jazz scene developed and took root. In the Capital the jazz ferment had its epicenter in Franco Fayenz and Enrico Cogno of Pepito Pignatelli, to this were added other jazz clubs such as the Saint Louis or the Murales. On the other hand in the Lombard capital the "Mexican Tavern" and the "Santa Tecla" had hosted concerts by Italian and foreign musicians, as indeed in Turin in the "Intra's Derby Club", "l'Intra's al Corso" and, at the end of the Sixties, the “Capolinea”. In 1958, on the initiative of the Italian impresario Alberto Alberti, together with Antonio "Cicci" Foresti, the "Bologna Jazz Festival" was born in the capital of Emilia-Romagna, one of the first in Italy together with the Sanremo Jazz Festival founded and organized by Arrigo Polillo and Pino Maffei. The official opening of the Bolognese event had been anticipated by the musical challenge at the Antoniano Theater between Pupi Avati's "Doctor Chick Dixieland Orchestra" and the one led by the pianist and composer Amedeo Tommasi.

In the 1950s, the traditional jazz group “Dr. Dixie Jazz Band", led by trumpeter Nardo Giardina, initially with the name "Magistrate” (before the current name, the training will take on the names "Panigal", "Criminal" and "Rheno"). The "Doctor Dixie" cellar is also inaugurated at number 7/B in Via Cesare Battisti, a meeting place for musicians, guests and enthusiasts of the dixieland and mainstream jazz universe. In 1984 the instrumental ensemble, formed by Nardo Giardina, Checco Coniglio, Giordano Balboni, Enzo Gilioli, Giancarlo Trombetti, Roberto Olivieri, Aimone Finotti, Gherardo Casaglia, Gustavo Palotta, Teo Ciavarella, Marcello Rotundo, Giuseppe Spallino, with guests Renzo Arbore, Paolo Conte, Pupi Avati and Henghel Gualdi, performs on the last evening of the Umbria Jazz Festival. In September of the same year, the instrumental ensemble recorded the album "Jazzin' Together Again" at the T2 Studios in Bologna.

The director Pupi Avati in the 1978 drama "Jazz Band" tells the "fictionalized" story of the "Dr. Dixie Jazz Band”. The film, set in Bologna in the 1950s, tells the musical story of the "Criminal Jazz Band (later became “Doctor Dixie Jazz Band”), in which Pupi Avati himself served as a clarinetist, before embarking on a film career. The soundtrack of the drama is composed by one of the main exponents of the Bolognese jazz scene, Amedeo Tommasi, accompanied by a formation that includes, among others, Checco Coniglio, Marcello Rosa, Alessio Urso, Nardo Giardina, Gianni Sanjust, Roberto Spizzichino, Pupi Avati himself and the clarinetist, among the most important in the history of Italian jazz, Henghel Gualdi , author of the film's opening and closing theme songs, “Jazz band” and “Sweet Time”.

Paolo Marra

Recent Contributions

Stay in Tune

Download Jazz Up
The app dedicated to jazz music, borne by the Jazz Department of Saint Louis, is now available on digital stores!

Discover the events and stay up to date on the latest news from the Jazz department of Saint Louis!
Playings is not game

get on google play

App Store icon

powered by Saint Louis College of