International jazz festival Jazzkaar returned to Tallinn over the weekend and continues until 28th April at the specially built unique Marina Pavilion by the sea at the Port of Tallinn grounds. It’s twenty fourth time for the festival and it is again attracting many international talents.
The main performers are soul-jazz talent Zara McFarlane from the UK, Japanese charming piano virtuoso Hiromi, American new-generation star vocalist Gregory Porter and the New Quartet of the legendary composer and sax player Charles Lloyd, featuring Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers and Gregory Hutchinson. That concert is also a part of Maestro Lloyd’s 75th birthday tour.
The festival’s opening weekend belonged to young jazz musicians such Zara McFarlane Quintet from London; Hanna Paulsberg Concept and Heliotroop from Norway and MaiGroup from Estonia.
The best European jazz is offered by the French masters Andy Emler Trio, Michel Portal and Bojan Z, Austrian accordion-cello duo Klaus Paier-Asja Valcic; fashionable and magnetic Hildegard Lernt Fliegen from Switzerland; Kruglov – Sooäär Quartet and many others. The internationally acknowledged Italian trumpet virtuoso Fabrizio Bosso with his Quartet are playing to the background of Italian cult film „The Easy Life” (1962). Notable Estonian jazz singer Hedvig Hanson will be presenting her new album „First Moments”. World music is represented by Serbian guitar trio Balkan Strings and Portugese young fadista Claudia Aurora.
Young musicians from Georg Ots Music School will fill the streets and parks of Tallinn with vibrant music during the whole festival period.
Jazzkaar (“Jazz Arc over Estonia”) got its present form in 1990, following a tradition initiated by Estonian composers Uno Naissoo and Valter Ojakäär. The jazz tradition survived the Soviet era with difficulty. After Estonia regained its independence, new possibilities opened up to invite world-famous jazz artists to perform next to Estonian musicians and mark the Tallinn Festival onto the world’s jazz map. Jazzkaar offers the best opportunities for Estonian jazz artists to see the work of current top jazz artists from all over the world, and for listeners it is a window into the wide world.
The aim of the festival is to offer a broad selection of music, from avant-garde tendencies to mainstream-jazz, but also the more interesting levels of world music and blues. The first festival years hosted such great artists as Ray Anderson, Steve Lacy, Leroy Jenkins and Roscoe Mitchell Quartet. In the mid-90’s, the tradition of club jazz events were initiated, aimed at younger crowds. Among the performers of these dance-orientated events have been DJ Gilles Peterson, Nils Petter Molvær, Osibisa, Bugge Wesseltoft, Beady Belle, Mad Sheer Khan, Koop, NoJazz, Bossa Eletrica and others.
Besides the above-mentioned, the festival has hosted many distinguished artists over the years, such as Joe Zawinul, Toots Thielemans, Dave Douglas, Jan Garbarek, Charles Lloyd, Béla Fleck, Courtney Pine, John Abercrombie, Eliane Elias, Mike Stern, Joey De Francesco, Richard Bona, Omar Sosa, Bobby Previte, Brad Mehldau, Diane Schuur, John Scofield, Randy Brecker and Markus Stockhausen.
Jazzkaar Festival takes place in Tallinn, Estonia on 22 – 28 April 2013
More information: http://www.jazzkaar.ee/en/
Video by MaiGroup. MaiGroup is an Estonian-Swedish jazz-fusion band led by Estonian bass player Mai Agan. She called together a group with whom to play her own compositions. The band has just released their debut album “Luv”.
Cover photo: Lizz Wright at the 2012 Jazzkaar by Sven Tupits.