09/18/2013 01:34 pm ET Updated Nov 18, 2013

Sardinia: A True Festival Island (PHOTOS)

A different way to enjoy Sardinia

Ibiza is often referred to as "Europe's top party island," but if you think that it's the only European island where you can party, you're absolutely wrong. Sardinia, for example, organizes amazing music events every year, from soulful jazz to exciting rock.

The Island is capable of surprising you with its glamor coast in Costa Smeralda, Caribbean beaches or the bucolic villages in the center of Sardinia. But the common point is that Sardinia is a natural set for every kind of event, from romantic gateway to international festivals. And there's more.

Musically speaking, Sardinia boasts ancient musical treasures, from the nostalgic sounds of the launeddas (Sardinian pipes), and the pinpoint rhythm of the ballu tundu (round dance), to the enchanting and mysterious cantu a tenore (polyphonic folk singing style), which was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. As a matter of fact, taking part in Sardinia festivals means perpetuating centuries-old rites.

Here is a short review of five interesting music concerts that occur during the "high season" in Sardinia. I'm sure that your emotions will be aroused by the beat of music.

1. Summer Gala Concerts: Jamiroquai and Mary J. Blige
As usual, luxury, exclusivity and international artists have been the keywords of the Summer Gala Concerts (organized by Starwood), which take place in Porto Cervo in July and August. During this edition, the spotlight at the VIP Costa Smeralda has fallen on Mary J. Blige and Jamiroquai. Both performances (as well as the stunning buffet gala dinners) have been so enthralling that even the only 600 "Happy Few" guests (who could afford it) have thrown away the "etiquette" to dance until late night!

2. European Jazz Expo
The 31th edition of the European Jazz Expo (organized by Sardegna Concerti) has been characterized by several novelties, as the organization of the event in the summer season and the new location of Villa Muscas and the Parco della Musica in Cagliari, was largely approved by citizens and jazz lovers. A welcome change was also the Expo 2013 program, characterized by an eye toward the future: not only great masters of jazz, but also young talents. "Move" by Hiromi Trio Project feat Steve Smith and Anthony Jackson and Goran Bregović feat Wedding and Funeral Band have been, undoubtedly, the most acclaimed performances.

3. Karel Music Expo Preview
Karel Music Expo is the festival of independent music in the Sardinian capital. The showpiece of this seventh edition (organized by Vox Day) has been Grupo Compay Segundo de Buena Vista Social Club, for the first time in the Island. Nine musicians, the amazing sound of Cuban music and the dance performance of Roberta Pierazzini and Paolo Angelini, have created a heartwarming connection between the band and the audience. This live was only a preview of the Karel Music Expo which take place from third to the sixth of October in Sardinia.

4. Rock Night Maurillos & Friends
Rock Night Maurillos & Friends is a not-to-be-missed event in Sardinia, not because it is organized by Massimo Cellino (Cagliari Football president) and the Fanny Music Academy for a low price ticket (10, 00 euros/50 Euros with dinner), but because you have the chance to see live some of the greatest rock musicians of all times. This year the main characters of the three hours concert, which takes place as usual in the enchanting "club house Hercules Cellino" in Assemini, have been Rick Wakeman (Yes), Ian Paice and Roger Glove (Deep Purple), Uli John Roth (Scorpions), Kee Marcello (Europe), Doogie White (Rainbow), just to cite a few great rock names.

5. Max Gazzè Sotto Casa Tour
Among international and most famous singers, the roman artist and composer Max Gazzè stands out for his performance of rare expressive intensity. His concert took place last week in Arena Sant'Elia and was the last of the much-discussed concert season in Cagliari. Max Gazzè has presented old and new successes and each song has been accompanied by a cinematography made of geometric shapes and colorful montages which underlined the ironic and sharp meaning of the songs. Max Gazzè's most famous piece is "Vento d'estate" (Summer wind), a song which perfectly matches whit the summer Sardinian nights.

If summer in Sardinia is filled in music events, when the days begin to get shorter and autumn is getting closer, the Island offers a different lineup of appointments based on food and cuisine tradition. So, if you are planning an holiday in Sardinia, you shouldn't miss Porto Cervo Food Festival and Autumn in Barbagia.

Sardinia: a true festival Island