Salemi Welcomes Home Tony Scott

This weekend, the town of Salemi, the rooftops of which are pictured here, is hosting “Welcome Back Tony Scott,” a festival recognizing one of the town’s famous grandsons, clarinetist Tony Scott (1921-2007). You may or may not know that I’m a clarinet player, so when a documentary film about this Sicilian-American jazz great was shown a few years ago in New York, I couldn’t resist going. I didn’t know much about Scott at the time, but I was enthralled by his resume and his fantastic playing. The film, “Io sono Tony Scott,” (I am Tony Scott) captivated me. No question, Scott was a great of jazz, specifically bebop, during his prime; however, after some hapless events, his life and mental health took a turn. Scott’s parents emigrated from Salemi to the U.S. before he was born in New Jersey. Although he lived until he was 85, Scott’s story is somewhat tragic. The fascinating part is that he lived out his last years in Italy, where he aimed to reconnect with his roots. This weekend, Salemi plays tribute to Scott with concerts, an awards ceremony, and a showing of “Io Sono Tony Scott.”

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