ParmaFrontiere presents itself as a flexible and vital organism, orientated towards “imaginary borders” that could be a physical or spiritual place of meeting between different forms of artistic culture and language.
The festival promotes projects within the world of jazz and contemporary music in a melting-pot of different kinds of jazz, musical improvisation, ethnic and “classic” extra-European music forms.
ParmaJazz Frontiere was established in 1996 by Roberto Bonati. The festival was administrated by Teatro Regio until 2001, when the cultural non-profit association ParmaFrontiere continued the direction and organizing of ParmaJazz Frontiere.
Roberto Bonati is still at the reins of the festival and holds the position as Artistic Director of ParmaFrontiere. Bonati is a composer, double bass player and conductor, as well as Professor and Head of the Department of “New Technologies and Musical Languages” at the Conservatory “A. Boito” in Parma.
The ParmaFrontiere festival is an annual event, taking place from the end of October until mid December. Despite the predominance of music, ParmaFrontiere also organizes workshops, exhibitions, listening courses and international projects in collaboration with several European music academies.
The festival is located at several venues in the city of Parma, and plays an important role in promoting the non-conventional historical locations in which concerts take place: CSAC-Abbazia di Valserena, Complesso Monumentale della Pilotta-Teatro Farnese, Palazzo Sanvitale and more.
Since the establishment of ParmaJazz Frontiere, hundreds of artists have performed at the festival: musicians, dancers, actors, photographers and painters. All together, they have contributed to position ParmaJazz Frontiere among the most interesting festivals on the European scene.
Since its beginning, ParmaFrontiere has had a special focus on educational workshops, listening courses and international projects in collaboration with several European Music Academies. Its attention is focused mainly on young talent, music experimentation, and original productions specifically for large ensembles. The European Jazz Workshop is an exciting initiative in the segment of large jazz ensembles, and ParmaFrontiere brings knowledge and experience into the project.
In 2012, the creation of an independent label; Parmafrontieres Records, increased the production of Parmafrontiere’s executed festival works and projects.
Through the Giorgio Gaslini International prize, and the European Ensemble project, the festival aims to present the first works and art commissions of young, emerging talent. Prestigious Academies are gathered together, and especially talented students are invited to compose for the festival.
ParmaFrontiere has since 1996 been organising workshops, aural training courses, and international workshops with several European Music Academies. The attention focuses mainly on young talent, music experimentation and original productions specifically for large ensembles.
Furthermore, the festival is collaborating on projects within a network of other festivals/organizations. For example, ParmaFrontiere has since 2016 taken part in the I-Jazz network, the national association that brings together many Italian jazz festivals and aims to promote shared projects. In 2018 ParmaFrontiere also became a member of the Europe Jazz Network.