Granite coves shaped over time by the weather, arches of sand resembling amphitheatres, halls set between the walls of white limestone rocks or red porphyry, squares in evocative villages, archaeological sites and even marine grottoes. Views of nature, often referring to ancestral times, become stages and come to life with the musical scores of famous performers from all over the world. From mid-July to mid-August, jazz, blues, soul, rock, pop and light music concerts take place: Jazz in Sardinia in Cagliari, the Dromos festival in the Oristano area, Abbabula with events in the Pre-Nuragic ziqqurat at the Mount of Accoddi (Sassari) and events in the Parco dei Suoni, in Riola Sardo, a unique setting surrounded by sandstone coves, a short distance from the site of the Giants of Mont'e Prama. Here, the acoustics and the natural 'stage' seem to have been especially designed for music. Then there are other events taking place in the Sinis Peninsula, at Cabras: exclusive locations like the amphitheatre of the ancient town of Tharros and the beach of Is Arutas with its grains of quartz.
The Island is the home of jazz: it has been hosting internationally renowned festivals for thirty years. The sounds of jazz blend perfectly with the environment, the rhythm of life and Sardinian character. They light up the summer. Since 1988, Cala Gonone Jazz is a 'classic' event that this year starts earlier, on 20th June. It combines melodies with the beauty of the coastal village of Dorgali. In the morning, a mini-cruise and a musical performance takes place at the Grotte del Bue Marino, a spectacular and surprising auditorium, while in the afternoon the Aquarium of Cala Gonone becomes a stage and in the evening, there is the starry sky of the park of Villa Ticca. The Island has been seduced by the melodies of the Sardinian jazz musicians. One above all the others: Paolo Fresu, born in Berchidda, the homeland of Time in Jazz, now at its 31st edition. Created and directed by the famous trumpet player, in the middle of August, this event is the high point of the summer. As well as in the land of Vermentino, the programme also takes place in other towns in Gallura (one of which is Sassari). Fresu is also the artistic director of the first edition of another event destined for success: JazzAlguer, which for the entire year (and until the end of July) has placed Alghero and the north-western coast at the centre of the musical scene with fabulous settings, from the historic centre of the Catalan village to wine-producing estates.
Enzo Favata's saxophone (and direction) has brought life to another successful jazz festival: Musica sulle Bocche (Music on the Mouths). At the end of August, in the setting of Santa Teresa Gallura, there are three days of full immersion with events at all hours in breathtaking surroundings: the beach of Rena Bianca is a theatre for concerts at dawn, on the promontory of Capo Testa, at Cala Grande-Valle della Luna, the final event is staged at sunset. The rhythms of Antonello Salis are at the origin of a historical event. At the beginning of September, Ai confini tra Sardegna e jazz (On the border between Sardinia and jazz) takes place in the little municipality of Sant'Anna Arresi in the Sulcis area, occupying an important place on the international scene. The show in Piazza del Nuraghe Arresi, is celebrating its 32nd birthday: the most long-lived in Sardinia. You can combine music, archaeology and environment with the splendid beach of Porto Pino, as well as good food and wine, with a glass of Carignano. At the end of August, there is another event: Nuoro Jazz, with a prestigious billboard of concerts and international seminars, created by Fresu.
Not just jazz. In mid-July, there is the Narcao Blues Festival, now at its 27th edition. Over the years, numerous famous artists have come to Narcao, a little town in the Alto (Upper) Sulcis area, to spread the word with an Afro-American imprint. From late July to early August, you will be accompanied by the same genre of music in Rocce Rosse Blues. After many years, this great event is returning home, in the unparalleled setting of Piazzale delle Rocce Rosse, a square in Arbatax, where it all began in 1991. Six years later, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, BB King and James Brown all performed in the same memorable edition. The long Sardinian music season does not end here: Echi Lontani (Distant Echoes) in several localities, to rediscover the pleasure of ancient music played on historic instruments. Karel Music Expò and Stagione Concertistica (Concert Season) in Cagliari, I Grandi Interpreti della Musica (Great Musical Performers) in Sassari, AnimaNera Mediterranea (Mediterranean DarkSoul) in Nuoro, Festival of the Barri Vell in Alghero and many others.