Chase Kuesel at Music and Literature:
On July 7, 2013, Keith Jarrett bracingly took to the stage at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. The momentousness of the occasion was not lost on anyone: just six years earlier, Jarrett had become the first artist to ever be banned from the festival by director Carlo Pagnotta, for delivering a profanity-ridden condemnation of photographers in the audience. Seeking to avoid a similar incident this time around, Pagnotta issued a preemptive plea to the crowd to put their cameras away and to greet Jarrett with a standing ovation.
As the audience stood and complied, Jarrett finally appeared, flanked once again by his longtime trio-mates Gary Peacock on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. The atmosphere of camaraderie did not last long, as Jarrett examined the audience for just a few seconds before hastily declaring, “See you later” and walking offstage. There was momentary confusion: surely this could not be a repeat of the 2007 performance, where Jarrett issued his diatribe against the audience before even playing a note. But there was Stephen Cloud, Jarrett’s manager, walking on stage to beg for appropriate behavior once again: apparently Jarrett had seen some people in the audience flashing their cameras.