In late December, icy lips blow into trumpet mouthpieces while chilled fingers grip drumsticks, fly up and down the keys on many a sax and clang cymbals as musicians in jeans, navy blue hooded sweatshirts and red tennis shoes leap and dance down the medieval Orvieto backstreets.
The Florentine marching brass band, Funk Off, never fails to warm up the crowds that follow them at the annual five-day Umbria Jazz Winter festival.
They spin, leap and bound through the streets and then stop in the piazzas to play – and encourage the audience surrounding them to join in their moves.
Wee orvietani become Funk Off fans at an early age:
The Funk Off band performs twice daily, just before noon and just before dinnertime when the musicians blast out jazz and blues on the steps of the 13th-century Orvieto cathedral.
What a backdrop.
And Funk Off is only a tidbit of the Umbria Winter Jazz highlights, a wintertime jazz festiva we never miss: what a way to celebrate our anniversary, December 30th.
See Funk Off on YouTube (during Umbria Jazz in July in Perugia)
Read about another hit at Umbria Jazz Winter
Read about Funk Off at the Umbria Jazz festival in Perugia (summer version)
Read about our favorite Orvieto anniversary dining spot
Read about – and see! – Funk Off performing in Orvieto