Through this permanent exhibition of photographs taken between 1963 and 1973, the Siena Jazz Academy wishes to celebrate some of the great jazz masters from the ’60s and early ’70s: a period of great artistic fertility, rightly defined as the last golden age of jazz.
The exhibition bears the title of the 1978 book in which Arrigo Polillo, Roberto’s father, directly recounts the 40 years in which he lived surrounded by jazz (STASERA JAZZ). It is a faithful and uninterrupted diary of his meetings with jazz greats, often behind the scenes at concerts that he himself organized. Indeed, all of the photographs on display were taken during the concerts described in the book, for publication in the magazine Musica Jazz, headed at the time by Arrigo Polillo.
All the 67 images on display are silver gelatin 40×50 cm prints, prepared with the author supervision from the original negatives.
Roberto Polillo, born in 1946, is the son of Arrigo, who transmitted his passion for music and visual arts. Roberto was only 16 when his father gave him his first professional camera and assigned him the task of photographing the jazz concerts he wrote about and which, in many cases, he himself organized. Between 1962 and 1974 Roberto photographed, in almost one hundred and fifty concerts, almost all of the jazz protagonists of the time, thus building an archive of hundreds of portraits taken on stage or behind the scenes. These images have been displayed in many solo exhibitions and published in magazines, books, and on CDs. Since the ’70s, Roberto has dedicated himself to information technology as an entrepreneur and university professor. He actively resumed working on photography in the early 2000s by exploring new artistic languages in travel photography.