Estonia loves it jazz, and so does Tallinn! Join special guests Cassandra Wilson, Pat Metheny Unity Group and a cast of talented local and European jazzmen and women for the 25th edition of the Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar, the biggest jazz celebration of the Baltics!
From 18 to 27 April, Estonia will welcome the Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar, which celebrates 25 years of great jazz this spring. The event, which in the past has brought world’s renowned artists like Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Charles Lloyd and Dianne Reeves to Tallinn, showcases some of the best national, European and international jazz artists.
One thing that makes Jazzkaar a great success story is that fact that the organizing team has managed to combine an interesting and unique program to create a spectacular festival despite having the smallest budget in the Nordic countries. The ten-day event, which has the biggest number of concerts per year in Estonia with more than 3000 performers from 60 countries, will continue its tradition of success and high-class jazz shows this month.
Local Heroes and International Stars
For its 25th birthday, the biggest jazz festival of the Baltic states has planned a big, big, BIG celebration. On opening day, Jazzkaar 2014 will welcome a completely new piece, ordered specially for this special occasion. Tallinn-born pianist and keyboard player Ülo Krigul will bring his show „Flight no. JK025“ to the Seaplane Harbor (8:30 pm). Get ready for an exciting mix of music, visual and impressive light-effects!
The Estonian folk repertoire will be the highlight of the day at Teatre NO99. Local rising star Maria Faust, a saxophonist and composer really active on the Copehagen music scene where she lives, performs with one of the most unusual line-ups – no bass or drums. From 10 pm, she will play a set inspired by Estonian folk music.
The parade of Estonian talents will continue with two shows on 19 April. The gala concert Young Estonian Jazz is an unmissable event that showcases the future of the country’s jazz. With a line-up that features all 7 winners of the Young Jazz Talent Award – Erki Pärnoja, Kadri Voorand, Sofia Rubina, Peedu Kass, Joel Remmel, Kaspar Kalluste ja Holger Marjamaa – the Marina Pavilion is going to be filled with some of the finest jazz Estonia has to offer (4 pm).
On the same day, Jazzkaar 2014 will be the main stage for “Differences“, musical encounter between two huge names in Estonian music: pop/alternative singer and multi-instrumentalist Vaiko Eplik and world renowned jazz pianist Kristijan Randalu (7:30 pm).
On 22 April, Israeli trumpet star Avishai Cohen will play backed by Tallinn-born violinist, conductor and early music expert Andres Mustonen and his Andres Mustonen Quartet (6 pm). At 10pm, Teatre NO99 will open its doors to Abraham’s Café, skilled local band that brings together Arabic melodies, Jewish klezmer, folk and jazz sounds.
On Satuday 26 April, at Jazzkaar, it will be time for Tõnu Naissoo (10 pm). Estonian jazz pianist and composer who debuted back in 1967 at the Tallinn International Jazz Festival, he is known for having been soloist of Alfred Schnittke’s First Symphony premiers in the US with Boston Symphony Orchestra. With 15 albums released and critically-acclaimed tours in several countries, including Germany, England, Cuba and Finland, he is one of the most talented contemporary Estonian musicians.
Following the motto “the best for last”, Jazzkaar will bring in its biggest stars during the final weekend. One of the world’s most distinguished jazz singers, Cassandra Wilson will be on stage at the Nokia Concert Hall on 25 April (7 pm).
A two-time Grammy Award winner, she has been voted “Best Female Vocalist” on DownBeat’s critic’s poll for 17 times and she was hailed “America’s best singer” by Time magazine back in 2001. She will head to Tallinn following her opening show at the 2014 edition of Finland’s biggest spring celebration, April Jazz.
The second festival headliner, the Pat Metheny Unity Group, will wrap up the 25th edition of Jazzkaar at the Nokia Concert Hall (27 April, 7 pm). The band – world’s renowned and 20-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Ben Williams, saxophonist Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez on drums and multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi – celebrates the return of mainstream jazz and the core values of the genre. With a new album released just a couple of months ago, and the mix of talent on display, the Pat Metheny Unity Group is simply an unmissable act. If there’s a performer real jazz fans should see live at least once, it’s probably Pat Metheny and his Unity Group.
Music of the World
The showcase of international talents at Jazzkaar 2014 will also feature James Dalton, The Hi-Fly Orchestra feat. singer Karl Frierson, French pianist Stephan Oliva and the Norwegian Marius Neset Quartet.
James Dalton was born to be an entertainer. He is a storyteller, a poet, a guitarist, but, most importantly a giver. Join him at Teater NO99 on 19 April (10 pm) for an exciting mix of music, laughs and…secrets! The Hi-Fly Orchestra is probably one of the most energetic live bands around. Playing a repertoire that blends jazz with influences from the ’60s, they will be joined on stage by Karl Frierson, known as frontman of the legendary De-Phazz (19 April, 11:00 pm).
French pianist and composer Stephan Oliva is among other things a passionate film lover. This interest has led to the released of three albums inspired by movies by different film-makers. At Jazzkaar, he will bring the sounds of films by Jean-Luc Godard. Enjoy a concert filled with high-quality music at Teater NO99 (21 April 10 pm).
Saxophonist and composer Marius Neset has become one of the most talked-about contemporary European jazz artists. At just 25 years old, he was described as “the most talented Norwegian saxophonist since Garbarek in the ’60s”. Join his band Marius Neset Quartet (22 April, 9 pm) for a musical journey that will bring you across the world of jazz.
The Edmar Castaneda Trio out of Colombia (23 April, 6 pm) and Malian singer Fatoumata “Fatou” Diawara (23 April, 9 pm) will be the representatives of world music at Jazzkaar 2014, while the showcase of European talents will continue with Swiss tro VEIN with special guest Greg Osby, Nils Landgrend & JazzBaltica Ensemble, young star Nina Attal and the Susana Sawoff Trio, as well as Portico Quartet and the musical encounter between the Kadri Voorand Group and the Hanna Paulsberg Concept.
24 April will be the unmissable day for fans of Baltic jazz. Starting from 6 pm, Swedish trombonist and vocalist Nils Landgren will be joined on stage by the JazzBaltica Ensemble, big band that brings together some of the finest jazz artists from the Baltic region. JazzBaltica Ensemble’s talented soloists, arrangers and composers – people like saxophonist Raivo Tafenau and Finnish star Verneri Pohjola – will bring “deutsche Frühling” to Jazzkaar led by the sensational Nils Landgren.
24 April will also be the day of an incredible cast of talented women. At 9 pm, the Marina Pavilion will open its doors to young French star Nina Attal.
Despite being only 20, she has already captivated audiences with concerts all over France and throughout the world. With her catchy mix of soul, funk, R&B and pop melodies, Attal is among the most talented guitarists and singers to have come out of France in the last couple of years.
From 10 pm, Teater NO99 will be all about women of jazz. Charismatic singer Kadri Voorand, one of Estonia’s favourite young vocalists who has also made a name of herself in Europe and North America, will step on stage along with the Hanna Paulsberg Concept. In Concept, Paulsberg – one of the most notable sax players – has proven to have put together one of the most talented line-ups Norway has seen in recent years. Join this talented women for a show that will span from bright compositions and strong melody lines to heart-touching slow-tempo songs.
The showcase of European jazz talents will continue on 25 April with Portico Quartet and the Susana Sawoff Trio.
Portico Quartet is a versatile jazz band from London. After spending nearly two years playing small gigs and busking outside the National Theatre in London, they signed to Babel Label in 2007. On that year, they released their debut album Knee-Deep in the North Sea, which received a Mercury Music Prize nomination.
After becoming regular performers at London’s popular Vortex Jazz Club, they went on to become one of the UK’s most promising jazz acts. At Jazzkaar 2014 (25 April, 10 pm) they will bring their most famous compositions, including songs from their latest album Portico Quartet, released by Real World Records.
At the same time, Jazzkaar will welcome Austrian pianist Susana Sawoff and her trio. In the perfect jazz club-like atmosphere of Teater NO99, the Susana Sawoff Trio – piano, bass, drums and Sawoff’s soothing, warm and sometimes melancholic voice – will bring you some great first-class live jazz.
In addition to incredible jazz music, there will also be other exciting music genres at Jazzkaar. Join Las Migas (26 April, 6 pm) and their mix of violin, guitars, spine-tickling flamenco, catchy Spanish lyrics and Latin flame for a show that will make you dance like you have ever before. If you are more electro-music oriented, you can dance the night off with the Brit duo Mount Kimbie (26 April, 10 pm).
The biggest jazz celebration of the Baltics is almost here! Join Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson and a talented cast of jazzmen and women for the 25th edition of the Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar. Jazz, pop, soul, world sounds and electro music…Jazzkaar brings the world’s best music to you.
18 – 27 April
Tallinn & other locations