Bohemia jazz fest - news
21.5.2013 | Program is finalized
Final arrangements for this summer’s Bohemia Jazz Fest have wrapped, bringing dazzling vocalists from Denmark and Norway, world music flavors from Brazil, Germany and Poland, a blues night in Prague, and some old friends and fresh sounds from the Czech Republic.
Danish singer Sinne Eeg is one of the most exciting jazz vocalists in Europe, combining strains of Nancy Wilson, Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan with her personal touch of soft darkness. She drew international attention with her critically acclaimed 2007 album “Waiting for Dawn,” and has been touring the world ever since. Eeg will headline the BJF show in Domažlice on July 13, backed by the Matĕj Benko Trio from the Czech Republic.
Karin Krog started singing in her native Norway in the 1950s and went on to become an international star. Her distinctive vocal style and fresh approaches to jazz standards have earned her many awards, and collaborations with artists ranging from Dexter Gordon to Steve Kuhn. Krog will bring guitarist Staffan William-Olsson and bass player Terje Gewelt for her headline appearance in Olomouc on July 17.
Brazilian percussionist Marco Lobo has been lighting up stages in his native country for more than 20 years with his unique fusion of Bossa Nova, Carnival and world music. Since 2006, he has been collaborating with American drummer and bandleader Billy Cobham, who calls Lobo’s music “very special and unique in every way.” Lobo and his quintet will be headlining the July 19 show in Zlín.
Polish saxophonist Grzech Piotrowski regularly wins awards for his work across many genres – jazz, folk, big band music and even film soundtracks. For the past few years he has been performing on stages throughout Europe with his World Orchestra, a collective of musicians from Asia, Russia, Scandinavia and the Baltics playing exotic instruments and music of their homelands. For his headline appearance in Plzeň on July 12, Piotrowski will be fronting his Archipelago Quartet, a tight jazz combo.
Funk fans are in for a treat from Mo’ Blow, a Berlin quartet that has recast heavy grooves, earthy sounds and driving rhythms in a jazz idiom. The group fires up audiences with blow-away funk highlighted by high-energy solos and surprise instruments like the digideroo. Mo’ Blow will be warming up the crowd for headliner Terence Blanchard in Liberec on July 16, and for Karin Krog in Olomouc on July 17.
Opening for Mo’ Blow and Blanchard in Liberec will be S Gustem, a young Czech quartet that has been drawing attention for their fresh arrangements and smart playing. A finalist in last year’s Jazz Prix competition, the band plays mostly original work that started in their days at the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory in Prague.
Current students at the conservatory play in a big band that is no amateur effort. The Prague Conservatory Jazz Orchestra is led by Milan Svoboda, the great Czech jazz pianist and bandleader, and has played everywhere from Prague Castle to a big band competition in Monterey, California. Svoboda and his student ensemble will open the first BJF show in Prague on July 10.
Following them to warm up the crowd for Medeski, Martin & Wood will be a longtime Czech favorite, Karel Růžička. The pianist and composer is a pro’s pro, having played with stars like George Mraz, Benny Golson, Toots Thielemans and many others. He will perform with his quartet, which includes his son, saxophonist Karel Růžička Jr.
Prague is in for a special treat the following night, July 11, when veteran Czech blues guitarist Luboš Andršt takes the stage and the audience can look forward to a jam with BJF founder and artistic director Rudy Linka. Andršt and Linka teamed up for an appearance in Tábor last year that still has jazz and blues fans there talking, and they’re looking forward to more guitar pyrotechnics in Prague this year.
The hot lineup for this summer’s Bohemia Jazz Fest got even hotter with the addition of two headliners, one a legend and the other a rising star. Guitarist Ralph Towner, one of the founding members of the seminal group Oregon, will be playing a solo set in Prachatice. Cécile McLorin Salvant, a vocalist in the tradition of Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, will be performing with her trio in Tabor.
The country lineup has diversified as well. Israeli saxophonist Shauli Einav is bringing his quintet for the concerts in Brno, Zlín and Prachatice. Japanese pianist Naoka Sakata, whose trio is based in Sweden, will also be playing in those three cities. And from Austria, the aptly named Kompost3 quartet will be joining the tour in Olomouc and Brno.
Towner has been making great music for than 40 years, forging a distinctive style and sound on the 12-string guitar. His work with the Paul Winter Consort led to the formation of Oregon, a group that changed the landscape of modern jazz. Towner still tours with the band, and is a mesmerizing soloist who will light up the stage in Prachatice (July 20).
At the tender age of 23, Salvant has already sung at prestigious venues like the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and Lincoln Center in New York, and dazzled audiences at jazz festivals in the United States and Europe. Praised for her passion, taste and sense of swing, she will add charm and grace to the show in Tabor (July 14).
A child prodigy who started playing at the age of four, Einav recently relocated to Paris after spending seven years honing his chops in the clubs of New York City. He has been hailed as a “fresh and original voice” both for his playing and compositions. Einav’s European/American ensemble will be making their Czech debut in Brno (July 18), Zlín (July 19) and Prachatice (July 20).
Sharing the stage in those three cities, Sakata brings a unique sound that fuses three musical voices – hers and those of bassist Anton Blomgren and drummer Johan Birgenius. Since moving to Sweden in 2008, Sakata has developed her own version of the lyrical Nordic piano style, playing with a sophistication well beyond her years.
The Kompost3 band is proud of their roots in the grungier neighborhoods of Vienna, and took a name that would not only suggest decay, but the fresh, earthy vibe of their music, an invigorating combination of acoustic and electronic sounds. Look for plenty of bold brass and funk beats when they take the stages in Olomouc (July 17) and Brno (July 18).
And stop back soon: There’s still more to come!
| Program 2013
Jazz fans should sharpen their appetites for a tantalizing mix of international flavors at this year’s Bohemia Jazz Fest. Along with American stars Terence Blanchard and Medeski Martin & Wood, the early lineup includes breakout groups from Finland and the Netherlands. And there’s more to come!
One of the finest jazz trios in America, Medeski Martin & Wood will help kick off the festival in Prague (July 10). Piano player John Medeski, who just released his first solo album, will be rejoining the tour for a special appearance in Brno (July 18).
Terence Blanchard, who has been captivating audiences with his unique trumpet style for more than 30 years, is touring with a quintet this summer. They’ll light up the stage with some aural fireworks in Liberec, a new stop on the BJF tour (July 16).
Finland is also a new addition this year, represented by the Kokko Quartet, an exciting young group from Helsinki that adds hot Indian and Arabic influences to the cool Scandinavian sound. Audiences will have a chance to hear them in three cities – Prague (July 11), Plzeň (July 12) and Domažlice (July 13).
With members from the Netherlands, Germany, Romania and Turkey, Arifa brews a combustible blend of “Anatolian Alchemy,” as their second album is called. Drawing on the musical traditions of Babylon, Bucharest, Istanbul and Amsterdam, the group will take listeners on a journey of the imagination in four cities – Prague (July 11), Plzeň (July 12), Domažlice (July 13) and Tábor (July 14).
Stop back soon for more announcements about this summer’s delectable lineup.
25.2.2012 | Program BJF 2013
Festival dates and program are subject to change due to local circumstances.
Please stay in touch with us for a detailed schedule of concerts and locations as they are updated.