TALLINN - The days are getting longer and warmer and everyone can feel that spring is in the air. It’s also a sign it is time for the Baltic States’ biggest jazz festival – Jazzkaar. Running from April 18 – 27, this year festival celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Jazzkaar (Jazz Arc over Estonia) got its present form in 1990, following a tradition, initiated by Uno Naissoo and Valter Ojakaar, which survived the Soviet era with difficulty. After Estonia regained its independence, new possibilities opened to invite world-famous jazz artists to perform next to Estonian musicians and put 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 of jazz.
In addition to the big Jazzkaar festival in spring, Christmas Jazz, Winter Jazz and Autumn Jazz are also organized. Christmas Jazz is a two-week intimate and more serene-sounding festival during the Holidays. Winter Jazz and Autumn Jazz are concert seasons that present local artists, their new projects and intriguing musicians and bands from Europe.
One of the aims of the festival is to offer a broad selection of music, from avant-garde tendencies
From April 18 - 27 it is possible to enjoy the best jazz in the world and several special concerts put together specially for the 25th anniversary. Festival will be opened by the first ever performance of composer Ulo Krigul’s piece called “Flight no JK025.” At gala concert “Young Estonian Jazz” there will be the best young jazz musicians. Duo Eplik-Randalu will present their new program; there will also be some exciting concerts for children. Soprus cinema will present an intriguing program of music films. In April jazz will move into city space with photo exhibitions and surprising pop-up concerts. Festival will be concluded with the main performer Pat Metheny Unity Group.
The guitar king and winner of 20 Grammy Awards Pat Metheny, the leader of the star band of Jazzkaar Pat Metheny Unity Group, has broadened the possibilities of his instrument and conquered the jazz stages of the world with his emotional playing. This time the No 1 jazz guitarist of the planet is touring Europe with his Unity Group – Chris Potter on sax, Ben Williams on bass, Antonio Sanchez on drums and Giulio Carmassi on percussions.
During its quarter-of-a-century existence Jazzkaar has been visited by 267,000 music lovers and 851 bands with 4,277 musicians from 64 countries. The audience has enjoyed the concerts of such performers as Jan Garbarek, Charles Lloyd, Richard Bona and New York Voices more than once. During the years generations of both listeners and musicians have changed – for example bass player Taavo Remmel performed at the very first festival – this time he will do so again but so will his sons Joel and Heikko.
The anniversary festival will fulfill the dreams of many music friends. Jazzkaar will present two musicians from the absolute top of jazz music today – guitarist Pat Metheny with his Unity Group and singer Cassandra Wilson who are altogether owners of 22 Grammy awards. Next to these highlights from the US, the festival will also feature young stars from Europe – Norwegian sax player Marius Neset, French singer-guitarist Nina Attal, Portico Quartet from London and others. For those who prefer world music there are the charismatic Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, Spanish quartet Las Migas, Columbian magic-man on harp Edmar Castaneda.
At Ergo Jazz Session the night will become alive with The Hi-Fly Orchestra from Germany. And naturally there’s blues that was the main focus of the first ever festival in 1990. Evenings will end at Theatre NO99 Jazz Club where one can hear both young and already established stars.
The unique and rich program has made Jazzkaar one of the most expected jazz festivals in the Baltic States. For the third year the home of the festival will be Marina Pavilion at the Port of Tallinn grounds.
Jazzkaar 25 awaits musicians and listeners, partners and sponsors, foreign visitors and journalists, children and parents – everybody who want to be a part of Jazzkaar’s big birthday party.
April 18 - 27
For full information on the festival’s program, venues and tickets go to: www.jazzkaar.ee