Culture
Tbilisi Jazz Festival Begins
22 November, 2012

 

Featuring World-Class Jazz Figures

 

 

It is the 15th Tbilisi International Jazz Festival that Eastern Promotion is presenting to the Georgian audience, together with respective sponsors and supporters. To our satisfaction, this occasion has managed to be enlisted among such well-known festivals as Montreux in Switzerland and others. As always,  this year brings  distinguished representatives of modern jazz music.

It must be interesting to listen to Mrs. Dee Dee Bridgewater, who is the straight heir of Ella Fitzgerald and the number one female

performer of modern swing, as well as Jack Dejohnette Group, Nils Landgren Funk Unit and The Chick Corea Trio with Christian McBride & Brian Blade, capping the fabulous program, starting from November 21 and ending at 25 at Tbilisi Concert Hall (initial and final concerts) and Event Halls (the middle two).

 

This time, the tradition has been broken and besides the usual time, the festival is being held in November, because of the October Parliamentary elections. According to Kakha Kandelaki, one of the founders of Eastern Promotion, it coincided with London Jazz Festival and therefore, they are here, otherwise, the tickets would be extremely expensive. Tbilisi Jazz festival is already a brand and similar to Black Sea Jazz Festival in Batumi, they serve as visiting cards for these two cities. Jazz festivals turn into real celebrations for all the music and art lovers of Georgia, as sometimes they never ever manage to go abroad and now, the whole foreign world of jazz is coming. It gives a huge arena for them to contemplate and find something extremely interesting for them.

Dee Dee Bridgewater is the performer with whose help Eastern Promotion has been conducting negotiations for the last 6 years. At last she has arrived. She is so much cherished that there is a special rose in France that bears her name and is said to be very fragrant. The only demand of Dee Dee Bridgewater towards the hosting company was to organize flowers in a small nice vase on the stage. Another demand of hers, as of a woman maybe, was to write ‘a star’ on her working room’s door instead of her actual name.

According to Giorgi Kereselidze, one of the founders of Eastern Promotion company, Jack Dejonhette, the second guest of the festival, is the drummer who has been working with the legendary Keith Jarrett. “Jack DeJohnette [is] one of the most important musicians in the last 40 years of jazz”, writes New York Times. One of the finest jazz drummers of all time, Jack DeJohnette celebrates his 70th birthday in fine style with a quintet that includes the brilliant reedman Don Byron, plus Marvin Sewell, George Colligan and Michael Mondesir. In a career that spans over half a century, he’s been the percussionist of choice for a veritable who’s who of jazz giants – Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock to name but a few – and he himself received a coveted Jazz Masters Award earlier this year.

Nils Landgren is the Swedish musician who has been working in the United States for years.

Swedish funk and jazz trombone player Nils Landgren spent his formative years at the music college in Karlstad and at the university in Arvika studying classical trombone. He discovered improvisation after a meeting with jazz legends Bengt-Arne Wallin and Eje Thelin and moved to Stockholm, after which he toured with Swedish pop phenomena Bjorn Skifs (“Hooked on a Feeling”). Since then, Landgren has appeared on some 500 albums, including collections from artists as diverse as Herbie Hancock, ABBA, the Crusaders, and Wyclef Jean. He released his debut solo album (Planet Rock) in 1983, followed by a string of successful titles including Streetfighter, You Are My Nr 1, Miles from Duke, Chapter 2, and Follow Your Heart. In 1992 he formed the Nils Landgren Funk Unit, which has released numerous recordings including Live in Stockholm, Fonk da World, 5,000 Miles, and Funky ABBA.

Chick Corea Trio is coming for the second time. Backstage people say that he has presented beforehand the in- detail menu, in which he would like to see a lot of vegetables, which must include garlic, pepper, radish, courgette and as much greens as possible, including lettuce. The backstage representatives also confessed that all of the participants of the festival demanded sweets – chocolates and candy.

This festival is distinguished with its sold-outs too. Even Jamiroquai and El Jarro who are so popular in Georgia could not fill the hall. Kakha Kandelaki says that it is partly to the tribute of the grown up young generations who really care for jazz music. It must be said once again that Georgian audience is very sophisticated. To prove this, it is probably enough to mention that jazz festivals got started back in 1978, when jazz was something unimaginable to listen to in the Soviet country. Since then, with small pauses and even during the hard early 90ies, it has been possible to bring such great names as James Brown, Rey Charles, Tania Maria, etc. Now, it is already an annual tradition, long awaited by Tbilisi dwellers. Happy Jazz days, dear friends!

 

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