Rocca Malatestiana

by Emanuele Fortino

The Malatesta Fortress is one of the main monuments of Fano. The imposing quadrangular fortress built in the fifteenth century is not only a place of historical and cultural interest but also a fascinating location full of events, especially in summer, as well as one of the symbolic settings of Fano Jazz By The Sea.

Rocca Malatestiana between history, events and tourism

Built by three Renaissance architects Matteo Nuti, Antonio da Sangallo and the great Filippo Brunelleschi at the behest of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in the fifteenth century, the fortress was as an ancient military fortress located near the port that was designed to defend the city from the sea.

Even today the Rocca Malatestiana is a symbol of the city, in fact it is impossible to pass by Fano without visiting its wall, and even the most distracted eye could not escape the charmed of this ancient structure. Today the Rocca, especially during the summer, is home to exhibitions, cultural events and concerts that can be enjoyed while enjoying a drink or an aperitif thanks to the small bar inside.

Rocca Malatestiana and Fano Jazz By The Sea

Over the years the Malatestiana Fortress has become one of the symbolic sites of Fano Jazz By The Sea. The first concerts at the fortress were held in 1996 when artists such as Nnenna Freelon and Bill Frisell delighted the Fano audience with their music. However, in the early 2000s the location was abandoned by the Fano event and was resumed only in 2017, after an excellent work on the site’s redevelopment and security, thanks to which it has now a capacity of 800 seats.

Following the steps of the past two editions, this site will be the Main Stage of the festival, where internationally renowned artists like Joshua Redman –  considered as one of the best saxophonists in circulation – and Terence Blanchard – a multi-awarded trumpet player and soundtrack composer. His score for Spike Lee’s “Blackkklansman” received a Grammy Award, as well as a nomination to the prestigious Academy Awards.

Jacob Collier is set to return at this year’s festival, this time no longer alone but with a band, after the tragic concert two years ago, interrupted due to weather issues. Donny McCaslin and his saxophone will bring their music to stage reminding us why David Bowie chose to work with him on his last album Blackstar. Another performance, led by Paolo Fresu and Giovanni Sollima, will give life to the venue as jazz and classical music brings us to a musical odyssey.

Portico Quartet, a british band from London nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2008 and lauded as one of the faces of the new wave jazz, is also one to witness at the festival. We’re looking forward to see Omar Sosa and Yilian Cañizares, a musical duo whose music will draw their Afro-Cuban roots, with a touch of classical music, with the help of Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles. And last but not the least, the GoGo Penguins as they promised to come back after a last minute cancellation last year. Their unique sound consisting of a mix of a wide array of acoustic and electronic sound, ranging from jazz, rock, to minimal music and cinema score.

There is no other combination than Fano Jazz By The Sea and Rocca Malatestiana that makes a better fit to create the best musical soundscape over the night sky of Fano.