For the 55th Ljubljana Jazz Festival we have created a very special programme based on two focuses: The Piano and Norwegian Jazz. Along with the trumpet, the piano has been refreshed incredibly over the past few years after a period of certain stagnation. Apart from a few names that have pushed the envelope within the last twenty years, such as Matthew Shipp, the past years brought some musical visionaries on this crucial instrument. Either they appeared as such recently, after some years of finding their own voice and getting the tools, or they are just newcomers.
We proudly present one of the most brilliant musicians in European jazz since the mid 1960s, German genius Joachim Kühn, who is celebrating his 70th anniversary this year. In Ljubljana, he will play solo and in a trio. Besides this luminary we have invited some of the most promising young piano talents who have been steadily gaining ground and asserting themselves also outside their respective countries (Tarek Yamani, Fulco Ottervanger, Marko Črnčec, Giovanni Guidi), as well as line-ups in which piano plays a key role (The Necks, In The Country, Chalaba Trio, Cortex, Kaučič & Fernandez Duo).
For many years Norwegian Jazz was considered as the sound of the glaciers, something that artists such as Paal Nielssen-Love, Frode Gjerstad, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten and many others changed drastically in the course of the 1990s. Now it's arguably the most intense and vital new jazz in Europe and one of the strongest scenes in the world. The travel support that Norway is giving to their best musicians has created a kind of on-location scene more than one based in Oslo, Bergen or Stavanger. The wwwe.go.no focus presents the broad stylistic range and expressive force of Norwegian jazz, from the roaring jazz psychedelia champions, Jaga Jazzist, spearheaded by trumpet player Mathias Eick, and the poetic trio In The Country toCortex, the first true successor to the super band Atomic.
Enriching the two featured focuses is the most distinctive singer blending jazz and soul as the world hasn’t heard for years, the one and only Gregory Porter, this year’s Grammy Award winner. Whoever attended one of Porter’s concerts knows that his reputation is well-deserved and definitely won't miss the opportunity to relive the experience.
The jubilee festival will conclude with the superb Canadian Souljazz Orchestra whose charismatic concerts and club appearances have recently been taking the world by storm.
The Ljubljana Jazz Festival tirelessly presents live jazz in its multiple ways.
Pedro Costa & Bogdan Benigar