On Sunday, July 9, Bucharest Jazz Festival ended up, with standing ovation, an effervescent edition that managed, by a diversified program and a lineup with innovative artists, to recruit new fans of the jazz music among those who listen rock, electro, samba, ethno and classical music.
From July 3 to 9, with seven days of festival, foreign journalists, two stages for concerts, Grammy artists, first-time musical collaborations, a new jazz contest and an audience of more than 10,000 people, the event organized by the Bucharest Municipality through ARCUB, Bucharest Jazz Festival 2017, brought jazz closer to the city’s inhabitants, from those who love photography, to the explorers of the new trends in music, interested by musical journalism or nostalgic of the classic jazz.
On Monday evening, July 3, the independent photographer of the American magazine Jazz Times, Sánta István Csaba, together with the Artistic Manager of the festival, Teodora Enache and with the ARCUB Manager, Mihaela Paun, opened the Bucharest jazz festival with the opening of the solo exhibition Jazzonance, dedicated to the last legends of jazz since the second half of the last century. Between the festival club at ARCUB and the stage in George Enescu Square, Bucharest Jazz Festival 2017 prepared, form July 4 to 9, a program full of workshops and conferences, jam sessions, the mini-recitals of the New Jazz Voices contest and live concerts.
Journalist Simon Rentner from New York was present throughout the festival for interviews with the artists and a material about Bucharest Jazz Festival. Being awarded by Jazz Times magazine for the best podcast in 2016, the musical journalist also came to the festival’s club to speak about the beginning of the jazz. The talk was attended by photographer Sánta István Csaba and Ion Baciu Jr., one of the festival’s headliners, who, in the fourth day of the festival, filled the place from Gabroveni Jazz Club with dozens of youngsters coming from the music improvisation workshop. The day events of the festival’s club at ARCUB included the Wednesday meeting between Mihai Iordache and Tavi Scurtu on the one hand, and radio journalists, representatives of the record companies and publishing houses in the country, on the other hand, while on Friday, before climbing the stage in the George Enescu Square, the guitarist Stanley Jordan answered the questions about music, therapy and his unique technique to play the guitar, at Gabroveni Jazz Club. One day before his concert which closed the festival, the Israeli percussionist with Brazilian origin, Joca Perpignan, held a workshop about Brazilian rhythms and music styles. In the last day of the festival, the festival’s club moved in the George Enescu Square for a music educational workshop specially created by musician Catalin Milea for kids.
In the five evenings of live concerts, jazz was heard in combinations of rock, electro, samba and poetry, on the festival’s stage in the George Enescu Square. On Wednesday, July 5, the new jazz band KRiSPER opened the series of the concerts, being followed by Luiza Zan & the Radio Big Band led by conductor Ionel Tudor. One of the best female voices of the new jazz generation, with roots in the underground music, A-C Leonte presented their most recent project, Reveries, on July 6, at Bucharest Jazz Festival, while Ion Baciu Jr. and Ari Hoering and Or Bareket combined ballads with jazz improvisation. For the first time at Bucharest Jazz Festival, on the stage in George Enescu Square, lyrics by Walt Whitman have been heard on blues music in the concert held by Mike Godoroja & Blue Spirit, on July 7. The ambiance was hot both on the stage and among the audience, on the occasion of the concert Stanley Jordan | Gábor Dörnyei | Kornél Horváth presents The Thunder Tour, an unusual collaboration between the versatility of Jordan’s guitar, the energy of Gábor Dörnyei’s drums, and the rhythmicity of Kornél Horváth’s percussions.
Saturday evening, July 8, was reserved to artists who were nominated for the Grammy Awards, favorite of the magazines Rolling Stones, Jazz Times and winners of Jazzpar Prize. The former percussionist of Miles Davis and Jan Garbarek, Marilyn Mazur, gathered thousands of spectators in the George Enescu Square, while the concert of Branford Marsalis Quartet & Kurt Elling delighted the audience with refrains that can be sang and melodic songs. Energetic rhythms, original styles and multiple influences – these were the key-words of the concerts from Sunday, June 9, at the end of the festival, the one of the Bessarabian ethno-jazz band Trigon and of the world music band of the Israeli percussionist with Brazilian origins Joca Prpignan.
Two of the Bucharest Jazz Festival’s premieres with a great success, the New Jazz Voices mini-recitals and the jam sessions held in the festival’s club at ARCUB, gathered every evening, after the concerts in George Enescu Square, hundreds of youngsters coming from other artistic areas, tourists and foreign musicians, as well as artists of the festivals like Ari Hoering and A-C Leonte.
On the last day of the festival, Teodora Enache announced on the stage in George Enescu Square, who is the winner of the New Jazz Voices contest: Vlad Simon. The finalists enrolled in the contest were from Bacau, Bucharest, Constanta, Husi, Petrosani, Pitesti, Sibiu and the Republic of Moldova.
In addition to the interviews and records made by the American journalist Simon Rentner, the concerts and the jam sessions were broadcasted live also by Cealalta muzica (The Other Music – e.n.), the project promoting creative music, initiated by Michael Acker, Tavi Scurtu and A-C Leonte.
Photo credit: Sorin Toma