FROM ROSENDO TO ROSENDO

Rosendo Mercado, as known as Rosendo, performs in Australia to commemorate the Spanish monk Rosendo Salvado. The concert is going to take place at Octagon Theatre in Perth on 29th of March at 7:30pm, and at Anu Bar in Canberra on 2nd of April at 8pm.

Rosendo

Why is this Spaniard playing in Australia? Just to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of ROSENDO Salvado, the Spanish monk that founded the Benedictine abbey of New Norcia in Western Australia in 1846. This monk, missionary and bishop of Perth was an accomplished musician as well, who embarked on a mission to create an almost experimental utopic Benedictine community for the aborigines in Western Australia.

Don’t you know who is Rosendo? He is the best exponent of so called urban rock in Spain. He founded some of the most influential rock bands of the 70’s and 80’s like Ñu and Leño and he then continued a successful solo career until today, and some of the songs of that period have become the soundtrack of the lives of many Spaniards of his generation and younger generations.

If you want to have a picture of his music, he might remind you of Rory Gallagher and other bands such as Jethro Tull, Canned Heat, Cream, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, but in Spanish.

Youtube him up, listen a few songs and order your tickets for free in the Octagon Theatre’s official website. You can get up to nine tickets for free per email.

Don’t hensitate, our ROSENDO IS PURE ROCK-SENDO.

Check it out on:

http://ticketswa.com/event/rosendo-rosendo

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LINE-UP FOR FLOW FESTIVAL HELSINKI 2016

Massive Attack, Iggy Pop and a host of other artists to play Flow

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More names confirmed for this year’s festival in Helsinki’s Suvilahti, which is in August 12-14.

British legends Massive Attack return from a lengthy recording break with a splash and will play Flow Festival in August. The band has enjoyed considerable success since the early 90s and released their latest EP Ritual Spirit in January. Guest performers on the release include Tricky, Roots Manuva, Azekel and the Mercury prize winning Young Fathers trio, who will join Massive Attack at Flow Festival. Another EP is slated for release later this spring, followed by the group’s sixth studio album. Massive Attack rose to prominence in the 90s with songs like Unfinished Sympathy and Teardrop, and has had a major impact on music with its unique blend of e.g. electro, jazz, dub and hiphop.

Iggy Pop will perform at this summer’s Flow Festival, too. A punk pioneer and founding member of the legendary The Stooges, Pop is known as an extremely dynamic performer. The cult legend will release his newest album, Post Pop Depression (produced by Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age fame), this March.

Other acts confirmed to perform at Flow Festival include extremely productive rapper and preacher of positivity Lil B and British duo Sleaford Mods, who give a voice to the concerns of today’s working class. Also slated to play this summer are Kamasi Washington, the creator of last year’s most rapturously received jazz album, Thundercat with his delicious mix of jazz, hiphop, funk and electronic music, as well as a live set by Floating Points, a producer influenced by jazz and classical music and responsible for one of last year’s most critically acclaimed albums Elaenia. Hitting the stage at Flow will also be Liima, a band consisting of Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg of Efterklang plus Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö. The group is releasing its eagerly awaited debut album on 4AD this spring.

Acts previously confirmed at Flow include Sia, New Order, The Last Shadow Puppets, Jamie xx, M83, Chvrches, Descendents, Four Tet, Hercules & Love Affair and Thee Oh Sees.

Didn’t you buy your ticket yet??

VIJAY IYER TRIO: MAGICAL FINGERS WITH MYTHICAL STRINGS AND BEATS

VIJAY IYER TRIO: MAGICAL FINGERS WITH MYTHICAL STRINGS AND BEATS

on Friday, 11 December 2015. Posted in English Jazzkaar News

PILARICA MARTIN

Vijay Trio

Photo: Liis Reiman

 

The piano player and Grammy-nominated Vijay Iyer amazed Estonian spectators with his splendid trio on 5th of December at Kumu Auditorium.

 

The five star rating pianist started the concert by saying that it was his first time playing in Estonia and he hoped he could come back. This professor at Harvard University is touring with the new album called Break Stuff that was released this year 2015. In his music he doesn’t just improvise, he knows what he is doing, and he proved it that last weekend.

Iyer has been considered as a genius and a piano player and it is completely comprehensible, because as soon as you see him with the keys it seems that each finger is living its own life. The dexterity of this composer goes further than any expectation. However, the company of his band wasn’t a side music, Cramp and Sorey knew how to stand out and make the public applause resoundingly at the end of each solo.

Even though the drummer, Tyshawn, was wearing sunglasses, he could communicate with Stephan, the bass player. Cramp was combining the pizzicato with the bow, adding different colors and texture to the tunes.

The public was listening while their eyes were closed and nodding the head like they were absorbing the chords that were floating in the auditorium. They were enjoying the music and letting it get deep inside, and to prove it, they stood up while clapping their hands at the end of the show.

To finish the concert, Vijay said “Thanks for coming, Mr. President. It was a pleasure to play with a piano called Estonia in Estonia. I hope we’ll come back”. At the end, he was giving autographs to all who wanted a memoir of this marvellous show.

This trio is capable of constructing any melody into something deeply personal. And the Estonian audience has spoken, they want the band back.

Vijay Trio final

VIJAY IYER TRIO

Saturday, 5th of December 2015 at Kumu Auditorium

Vijay Iyer – piano

Stephan Crump – bass

Tyshawn Sorey – percussion

INTERVIEW WITH MIGUEL CRUZ: FROM MEXICO WITH “SON LATINO”

AN INTERVIEW WITH MIGUEL CRUZ: BRINGING THE SUN FROM MEXICO

on Thursday, 10 December 2015. Posted in English Jazzkaar News

PILARICA MARTIN

Miguel Cruz
Photo: Siiri Padar

The percussionist Miguel Cruz came to Estonia not only to perform a concert, but to run a workshop to music students and artists. He spent five days with them, playing different instruments in Latin jazz style.

 

After the amazing gig, where the musicians were popping up and out from the stage, making the sun shine through the beats of the conga, I could talk with the protagonist of this event.

 

How have your five days been here in Estonia? How was the workshop? 

To be honest, I’m quite surprised that they invited me to Estonia. I have been touring in other European countries, but not in the North. That’s why I was thinking: “What will I do there?” because of the difference of culture between Latin-American and northern Europe. However, I was astonished by the high level of Latin rhythms of the musicians and the flavor that they could give to the melodies that we were creating.

Even though my English is not that good, and only a few could speak some Spanish, the music is a language itself, it doesn’t have words but feelings. Do Re Mi… are the same in China, Estonia and Mexico.

 

How come that you were invited to give these lessons here? How did you get the connections from so far away?

Jaak Sooäär was the person who asked me to come to Estonia with this project. He knew about my work through Luc Delannoy, a Belgium writer specialist in Latin music history. He lived in Mexico and is also connected with Estonia. We have been friends for ages and he gave my contact to him. He recommended me as a guest teacher for this special occasion.

 

Do you think that you could do something similar in Mexico? Invite some of the artists from this workshop to go to Chiapas? 

Of course! Actually, I am interested in bringing some of the students from Estonia to the University of Chiapas, where I am the director of jazz music. Who knows, maybe we can open a bidirectional exchange.

 

One of my favorite moments during the concert was the song with the cajones. It was one of the most cheerful pieces with Latin rhythms. Did you make it during the workshop this week? 

This is actually a composition of mine. The original one is with cajones and cajones jarocho, that’s why I called it “Son Bulerías”, because there’s a transition between the Spanish bulería and the Mexican son jarocho, like in the history. Although, this time we did a cover of it, I wanted it to be like a trip to Spain, Mexico and Cuba.

 

You’ve been touring all around America, but you haven’t come to Europe that much. How come that a big artist like you doesn’t come here so often?

I have come before with one of the bands that made me travel a lot, Narimbo. This is a chiapaneca band, from the state in the south of Mexico called Chiapas, where the typical instrument is the marimba. Our music is a fusion between Latin jazz and the traditional sound of this regional instrument.

It was with them that I’ve been touring in a few countries in the Old Continent. We went to a Festival in Lliria, close to Valencia, where I also ran a workshop about percussions. I have also been to Croatia, Zagreb, and now here. It is true that I haven’t come so much, but in this group there are nine musicians and it’s quite complicated and expensive to travel so far away from home with so many people.

 

You have played with big artists such as Celia Cruz, Paquito D’Rivera and Miguel Bosé. Celia Cruz and Paquito D’Rivera have the Latin rhythm in their tunes, but Miguel Bosé is more pop. How was playing with this Spanish singer?

It was surprising! I was invited by another musician, but I didn’t know what instrument I had to play, but he said: “No worries, you will play the conga”. That made me freak out, I know Miguel Bosé by his music, but not for the conga.

When I arrived to the practice, there was a small symphony orchestra and I had to lead the symphonic percussion.

The experience was amazing and Miguel and all the other musicians were great. The project was interesting, it wasn’t the typical pop music that he usually sings.

 

If you had to choose your favorite instrument, which one would it be?

Well, I don’t have a favorite instrument, but I feel more comfortable with percussion instruments, especially the palmar ones.

 

The palmar ones? 

Yes, the ones you need to use your palm in order to play, not sticks. The ones that I like more are the conga, yembe, bongo and tambourine battan.

 

One of the continents that is most influenced by the percussion in music is Africa, have you ever thought of doing any Afro-Latin fusion? 

Yes, I actually had one project with that aim. In Xalapa we created a group called Repercute. We used to play our own compositions with African and Latin-American influence.

We had songs with balafon, marimba and battan. It was mainly Latin music with African touch.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t continue, because it was difficult to combine with our current jobs by that time. I would love to do something similar soon, though.

 

You have played in a symphony orchestra, done Afro-Latin music, traditional Mexican music from Chiapas and Cuban music as well. Have you done something else that should be mentioned?

(Laughs) Yes, I have done so many different things. But there’s something else that I did, I took part in the Oasis Jazz U, the one which was dedicated to Paco de Lucía. I had the honor of playing with Alain Pérez, I’m glad that Paquito D’Rivera invited me, because it was such a nice experience.

 

I saw that you don’t have an official website or a Facebook page. Despite of being out of the social media and marketing, it seems that you don’t need it at all, because you still have a lot of offers. How do you manage to be in touch with the big artists and receiving new proposals?

Íjole! That’s true. I do have a Facebook account, but it’s private one and I only use it to be in touch with my closest people. I don’t know, I guess that it’s the mouth-to-mouth. Fortunately, I know a lot of artists from jazz clubs, and they are the ones that recommend me. That’s how I start to collaborate with other musicians. Just a few days ago, another colleague talked to me about a Jazz Festival in Finland. I wish I could go, it sounds very interesting and once I’ve seen how the audience form the North is, I want to keep doing music up here. In spite of the cold weather, they are warm people. New projects bring me more new projects.

I don’t have a website or a Facebook page for professional purposes, but I have email, telephone, and also pigeon post (laughs). There’s always a way to be in touch with me for those who want to.

 

To conclude this interview, what are your next projects?

To keep making jazz in Chiapas. Last year we won the competition in the International Conference of Percussion, so next year we will hold the event together with the University of Juarez de Tabasco. We will receive twenty five different schools from America.

Besides that, I don’t have more big projects, maybe because I don’t have Facebook (laughs). I know that Paquito is planning a new tour, so let’s see how far we’ll go.

Miguel Cruz.jpg 2

Friday, 4th of December 2015 at NO99

Miguel Cruz – percussion

Jaak Sooäär – guitar

Allan Järve – trumpet

Ingvar Leerimaa – trombone

Martin Kuusk – saxophone

Janno Trump – bass

Aleksandra Kremenetski – percussion

Reigo Ahven – percussion

Hans Kurvits – percussion

Ott Adamson – percussion

Mihhail Nikitin – percussion

ANA MOURA: MEDITERRANEAN FLAVOR IN ESTONIA

INTERVIEW WITH ANA MOURA: FINISHING HER ALBUM “DESFADO” TOUR

on Wednesday, 09 December 2015. Posted in English Jazzkaar News

PILARICA MARTÍN

Ana Moura

Photo: Sven Tupits

With nothing but an empty stage, I met Ana Moura after her heartwarming performance. The artist changed her clothes to be more comfortable during the interview, and she also put on a big smile to answer all my questions. She finished her tour in Tallinn with her album calledDesfado, but a new album has already been released in Portugal ‒ on November 27th the new CD called Moura came out in her country getting Golden records during the first week.

 

Let’s find out a bit more about this project!

How was recording in Henson Recording Studios in California? Any funny stories?

It was amazing to record in one of the best studios in the world. You have all the conditions there, you know, if I want to try a specific microphone, they’ll do it, they have everything. All the best singers that I love have recorded there, such as The Doors, Pearl Jam, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder.

A funny story? Nothing specific, just the experience to get to know each other, because I only brought two musicians, Ángelo Freire and Pedro Soares, the others were American. Actually, the drummer was Vinnie Colaiuta, one of the best drummers, it was my dream to record with him. I think it was one of the best experiences, the first contact with them and how they felt the songs, because the producer arranged the meeting not long before we recorded the songs. We gave them the compositions, but when we started, all the musicians were doing their own thing, they were creating in the studio. That was the most important thing, they discovered me and I discovered all their small details in my music, that’s what makes it different from the other albums.

 

A lot of people collaborated in this CD, i.e. writers and musician composers. You knew how it was to work with some of them, like Samuel Úria, who also composed Desfado. How was the experience of working with them, with the new and the known ones? 

They are all my friends and they have a very Portuguese way of writing, so it was very good for me to have them in my team. The new ones were really surprising for me, like Kalaf, he wrote a beautiful fado and he did it in such a traditional style. We don’t play pure fado, we use other instruments to give it a different flavor. However, the structure of this poem or song is quite specific and we want to keep it, but it’s very nice to do it in a contemporary way.

 

However, in this new project you only kept Ángelo Freire on the Portuguese guitar and Pedro Soares on the fado viola. What happened with André Moreira, João Gomes and Mario Costa? How was the selection or proposal to join your project with the new ones? How come that you included the keyboard in this album? 

Actually, it was only for the recording that I collaborated with other musicians, but my band is just amazing, I want them to tour with me as usual. Even though I like my group very much, but it was my dream to play and record once in my life with Vinnie Colaiuta. Also with Dan Lutz who creates such a beautiful music, and Dean Parks who is a great guitar player. He has played with Stevie Wonder, one of my favourite artists, so imagine how it was for me playing with him.

The proposal? Well, they had already heard my music, but it wasn’t me who contacted them, it was the producer. Actually, Vinnie told me that when he told his band he was going to record with me, his band said: “Ohh, how lucky you are!” Nowadays in music, we are trying more to go out of our comfort zone, so for him, it was playing with a fado singer, and for me it was a great experience because I love his music.

 

Looking back to your career, which has been really successful ‒ you have been awarded two Golden Globes and two Amalia awards, within other prizes. What are your expectations for this new album which has been already awarded to Golden status?

Obviously I hope that people like my album as much as the previous one, but I try to live with no expectations, as one Portuguese poet has said: “Living in surprises”, so that’s my way of living, trying to have no expectations, to grab all the experience with more “surprises”, like serendipity.

 

Your new album is called Moura, what does it mean?

That’s a good story. I was starting to feel concerned about the cover in an aesthetic way, because I wanted the cover to have a butterfly on it to symbolize the metamorphosis, to show that in every album I try to do a different thing. This album was produced again by Larry Klein and I worked with some of the same composers, but in a commercial way people will compare it with Desfado, however, in a musical way, it is a very different album. So my idea was to express this message, and then I realized I had two songs called Moura and Moura encantada. As we have a lot of folk legends, Moura encantada is about my life related with the character of that story. Then I started to look for more information about it and I discovered that those people could change their shapes, so it was similar to a metamorphosis and I thought it was what I was looking for.

 

From all the songs you have already released from your 6 albums, tell me the top 3 that are your favorite and why.

This is a really difficult question. It depends on the moment, sometimes I feel like singing one specific song because of a current situation, but I can’t say that I have a favorite song.

 

Ok, let’s ask this way: how do you feel after that concert? What song would you like to sing after these emotions? 

The new one called Dia de Folga, because it is happy and it represents my emotional state right now. I’m really happy with the result of Desfado and the new album. The first day it was released, Mourabecame almost platinum in Portugal, which was unbelievable for me. I would also pick Desfado, because it is a celebration of this big tour which was truly welcomed by the audience. I’m not saying that they are my favorite, but these are the ones that show my feelings right now.

 

You started your career as a fado singer spontaneously in 2003 when Jorge Fernando asked you to produce your debut album. How did you use to imagine your future life then, and how do you imagine it now?

I don’t know how to explain it, but I had a feeling. It’s not that I knew precisely “I will be a singer”, but I had the feeling that my future was going to be related with singing.

 

I saw that you had two glasses on the stage and I know that you like wine. Were they water and wine? 

Ahh! That’s my secret (laughs).

 

I guess it was wine but: red or white?

Red water! (Between laughs). Well, I must confess that I love liquor and any time I go to a new country I ask the hospitality rider for the most typical alcohol from the region. I have a lot of liquors in my house from all the cities where I have played. It is like a memory of my travels and concerts.

 

Was it Vana Tallinn?

Yes, that one. It was quite surprising, pretty strong, but tasty.

 

We hug to keep our Mediterranean tradition and I say goodbye to the artist. Ana Moura is not only a big artist, but a big person, too.

AnaMoura

 

INTERVIEW WITH ANTONIO SANCHEZ: KING OF DRUMMING

First night of Advent in 2015, a perfect reason to have one of the biggest drummers in the jazz scenery in Tallinn.

Antonio Sanchez.jpg 1

Foto: Sven Tupits

Antonio Sánchez is presenting his latest project as a musician, composer and bandleader – his new album The Meridian Suite. This special piece of jazz art grasped the audience with the first melodies by John Escreet on piano. After a bit more than one hour of intense music with ups and downs, with emotions, feelings and seasons, a warm applause broke out, the audience whistled and shouted giving a standing ovation to those great artists.

 

When the concert ended, I took a great pleasure in meeting with Antonio Sánchez to ask some questions about his past, present and future projects. In a truly relaxed atmosphere, the musician answered all the questions with his calm voice.

 

Is this your first time in Estonia? You have performed in so many places, I wonder if there is some country where you haven’t played yet, but dream of playing?

We came to Estonia last year with Pat Metheny. The last time I could walk around the old town, which is amazing. In addition, I didn’t expect the people to be so warm, usually the more north you go, the colder the people are, but not today.

A place where I would love to perform, and for some reason I haven’t yet, is Turkey. I’d like to go there because the cymbals that I play are the traditional Turkish Zildjian, so it’d be great to have a concert there and buy the original ones.

 

When you were 17 you enrolled in the National Conservatory of Mexico to study classical piano. How did you feel changing the sticks to piano keys? Did it have any influences on the way you used to play the drums? Why did you decide to quit it?

I have never changed sticks to piano keys, even when I was studying this instrument I never forgot the drums. I could say that the drums is my wife and the piano was my lover.

I always say to percussionists that they should study piano. It gives you another sensibility within the music, the chords and the colours. Colours are really important to orchestrate the music. Studying piano helped me a lot when performing later with big artists such as Pat Metheny or Danilo Perez. When you have so many sections you need to know how to orchestrate in different ways, so that music can get alive. If I hadn’t studied in the conservatory it would have been way too difficult to compose.

 

In a past interview by Mark Smal, you said you used to write a lot of music earlier, but after playing with musicians like Pat Metheny, Danilo Perez and so on, it didn’t sound so good anymore. However, as you wished you lead your own band now. How do you feel your music skills have developed? What do you do to keep improving and surprising all the time?

I think everything in life is the same, if you try and practice constantly you improve. In these times I was shy as a composer and I couldn’t find the way to set my composer side free. However, after a while I made a decision that I knew how the good music sounds, I only had to make the effort of getting it out from the inside. As I have played with first class musicians, my ears can recognize the right sounds, so if I compose something and it sounds good, then it is. If it doesn’t, then I modify it or erase and start again.

 

The name of your current band is Antonio Sanchez & Migration. Why “Migration”? What does it mean to you?

Migration is essential to our music, in geographical and musical sense. Obviously, I left Mexico, my country, to emigrate to the United States. As you know, the life of an emigrant is not easy at all, it has its positive and negative sides, and arriving to a new country to start your life from scratch is difficult, especially for me as a Mexican. Creating jazz music in the country where it was born was a challenge.

To be more specific, if you look at my band there is only one guy from the United States – Matt Brewer. Seamus Blake is from Canada, John Escreet from the United Kingdom and my wife Tana who couldn’t come today is Croatian-American. As you can see, the keyword in our band is migration. We are like jazz-gypsies, all the time travelling and performing.

Furthermore, presenting the same music every single night to audiences with diverse cultural backgrounds is a great experience. It sounds so different, although it is the same music. This is the moment when the music gets alive.

 

At the beginning of the concert you said that this concert was going to be one hour of non-stop playing as part of your only song and album The Meridian Suite. You defined it as a musical novel and not as a short stories book. So, what is the novel about?

While creating music I don’t think of the dawn or the planets, I just flow with the chords. Contrary to the most musicians I usually name the song after the composition process.

In this case, this is the story of melodies, rhythms and ideas that develop during the whole piece, from the beginning until the end. For me, the story was a self-related narration and before I realized, I already had almost an hour of music.

The public is not used to sit and listen to more than one hour of music non-stop, so this was kind of an experiment as a composer, musician and bandleader. However, we try to make the peaks and valleys extreme: soft and loud, fast and slow, electric and acoustic. Also, I want that everybody in the group has their own solo moment, to show their own voice through their instruments. I must say that the audience gave a good response. This is why I like to begin by explaining my project, so they know what to expect.

This is a new concept for me, it’s like a film, instead of enjoying four or five short movies you have the long one at once.

 

How do you think your Mexican background has influenced you as a musician? Do you have any influences from your culture in your beats?

Geographically, Mexico is a special country because it is close to the United States, the Caribbean, the Central and South America. We get the influences from all those places, the good ones and the bad ones, so I grew up listening music from all over the Americas.

When I am creating my own pieces, I think the influences work unconsciously. Somehow, The Meridian Suite is autobiographic because in it are all the things that I’ve been playing and listening since I was a child – rock, fusion, free jazz, bebop, electric and acoustic tunes. It’s like making guacamole – you put inside all the ingredients that you like. My band is like me, they don’t like the limits and stylistic borders, that’s why I love playing with them. We don’t have rules, jazz doesn’t have rules.

 

You were asked to write the soundtrack to the Mexican movie Birdman by Alejandro González Iñarritu, and it won a prize in the Venice Film Festival. How did you like collaborating in such a rewarding project? Would you do something similar in the future with other films? 

Amazing. It was an incredible experience, because I usually take part in projects with musicians, but this was the first time that I was collaborating with a film director of this level. The thing I enjoyed the most was going deep inside his thoughts and see his creativity and energy feeding my inspiration, in order to get the product that he was looking for. Showing the feelings and the emotional state of the main character Riggan Thomson, who was played by Michael Keaton, was the key to get the film-spectators into the feelings of stress and anxiety necessary to follow the movie.

To be honest, it was quite easy. The director wanted me to improvise. So for me it came naturally, it’s what I do in jazz. The composition was my reaction to the screening and the story, in the same way I do it with musicians on stage.

It took me just two days to finish the soundtrack.

 

A fresh question before we finish: if you had to identify yourself with a part of the drum set, which one will you be?

I would be the ride cymbal, the main one. It’s the one which marks the tempo, overall in jazz, and you can take so many colours from it, everybody follows it, it gives the tempo, the groove and the rhythm.

 

To end the interview: what are your next projects?

Next year I will write a soundtrack for an independent British movie.

 

Can you say the title? 

No, it’s still a secret (laughs).

After that, I will be touring with my band and continue with a new project by Pat Metheny. Although, I would like to write the music for my new album as a soloist drummer. After the release of the Birdman soundtrack, I realized that if I had to do a solo drummer album, it would be much different. I got the idea and I want it to come true.

Antonio Sanchez

Antonio Sanchez & Migration performed at Vaba Lava on 29th of November at 6 pm.

SARA MITRA: A SPARKLING SMILE AND A LAMBENT VOICE

SARA MITRA: A SPARKLING SMILE AND A LAMBENT VOICE

on Wednesday, 02 December 2015. Posted in English Jazzkaar News

PILARICA MARTIN

Sara Mitra
Foto: Kaur Ilves

The British singer and composer Sara Mitra performed with her delightful band at Vaba Lava, opening the Christmas Jazz Festival on November 28th.

 

Sara was the solution for Kellylee Evans’ last minute cancellation. The Canadian artist, who was supposed to come to Tallinn at the beginning, was forced to cancel the gig due to her health. Fortunately, Jazzkaar didn’t have to cancel the musical event, because they found a singer who combines her emotional voice and charming charisma that are necessary to properly kick off a Christmas festival.

Indeed, Mitra started by saying that she is also a big fan of Kellylee Evans, and that she was sorry for her health. She dedicated a few of her songs to her, adding: “We hope she is with her family and friends and that she gets better soon”.

The cherubic singer impressed the whole audience with her clear and fresh voice, showing the great control she has on it by nice rhythmic displacements and swings. However, she wasn’t the only one shining on the stage, the fabulous band with an amazing double bass player, incredible guitarist and awesome drummer made the soiree simply perfect.

Nevertheless, the leader of the band didn’t impress only because of the wonderful colours in her tone with a heartwarming touch. It was the sense of humor and her spontaneous comments which got the spectators with sincere laughs. Full of energy during the entire show, she only went away for one song to rest a bit because of her pregnancy, while letting the bad play and please the public.

When the humble artist came back, she took the guitar to perform a solo song. Even when the artist began, saying: “I’m not that good at piano, even less at guitar,” she was able to give shivers with her voice and rocky ballad. Improvising and going with the flow, the band was coming back, when suddenly she decided to sing another solo self-written song called “Sixteen miles”.

The end of the concert was getting closer with her last work “Baby and me” and with Nina Simone’s version. She doesn’t usually sing these kinds of tunes, however, as Kellylee makes a lot of these versions and she couldn’t come, Sara didn’t want to disappoint the audience, so she included “Feeling good” to her repertoire.

After the warm applause and acclamation by the audience, the woman in a white dress came back alone to the piano to put the cherry on top by playing a cover of Joni Mitchell’s song ‘River’ from the album ‘Blue’.

It was such a beautiful and sounding concert with some real eclectic moments. This woman with an angelical voice was the first ornament on the Christmas Jazz tree, the shining angel. I am willing to listen to the next blinking artists and hoping that we can soon enjoy Kellylee’s music as well.

 

November 28th at Vaba Laba, Tallinn.

Sara Mitra – singer, piano and guitar

Tim Giles – drums

Andy Button – guitar

Johnny Brierley –bass

ESTONIA IS LOOKING FOR A JAZZSTAR VOL.2

ESTONIA IS LOOKING FOR A JAZZSTAR VOL.2

on Wednesday, 11 November 2015. Posted in English Jazzkaar News

PILARICA MARTIN

ESTONIA IS LOOKING FOR A JAZZSTAR VOL.2
Photo: Rene Jakobson

In the second and last part of “Estonia is looking for a Jazzstar”, the young Kristjan-Robert Rebane and Lauri Kadalipp performed with Weekend Guitar Trio, Kristjan Mängel and Madis Meister who perfomed with Estonian Voices on 31st of October at Kumu Auditorium.

The only thing better than sitting in an intimate Auditorium listening to a smooth vocal jazz group and, sometimes relaxing but sometimes powerful, 18-string guitar band is seeing the new talented young musicians playing with the old stars in a perfect harmony, even standing out at some points. The event was divided into two parts: first concert was by Weekend Guitar Trio with the multi-instrumentalist Rebane and the saxophonist Kadalipp, followed by the second concert by Estonian Voices displaying their a cappella tunes with the drummer Mängel and the guitar player Meister.

First up were the mystic melodies composed with the help of looper pedal and the perfect combination of the soprano saxophone and the accordion with the three guitars. Kristjan-Robert was switching the instruments during the performance, playing the keyboard and the accordion, as Lauri did as well with the soprano and alto saxophone and the transverse flute. Their talents could be heard by the audience, who were with eyes closed to feel the sweet chords deeperer. The theme made especially for the Halloween evening was brilliant, a melody that reminded of a scary movie. At the end, their music became more country, in a fusion of American guitar and East European gypsy folk.

The second part was the acclaimed band Estonian Voices, a band that transformed their a cappella style in an instrumental one with the beats of a drum and the riffs of a guitar. The young stars, Madis and Kristjan, performed their own compositions, bringing rhythms even from Peru. A challenge for Estonian Voices that was a complete success. All of them, new and old stars were genuinely good, musicians who are all individually talented enough to carry a show on their own, all rolled together in an absolutely amazing experience. As usual, they were pushing the limits of what can be done with the human voice, a band that is experiencing a massive surge of fans, they brought “a cappopularity” to the Northern Baltic Country.

In conclusion to this two volumes, the new Estonian stars in the jazz scene were shining, showing their capacity of creating art through their instruments. The stand-out musicians of the country, the new generation has started. They already have some space on the stage. Let’s see how far they go.

iNTERVIEW KADRI VOORAND

KADRI VOORAND: ESTONIAN VOICES, SINGING FROM THE HEART

on Sunday, 30 November 2014. Posted in English Jazzkaar News

PILARICA MARTIN

KADRI VOORAND: ESTONIAN VOICES, SINGING FROM THE HEART
Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

Kadri Voorand, the leader of the a cappella band called Estonian Voices, gave us an interview before the presentation of their new album at the Christmas Jazz on the 30th of November.

Pilarica Martin: Kadri, your background, despite your young age, is well known for many different projects. Can you tell us something about your background as a soloist?

Kadri Voorand: As a soloist? Well, my background contains many aspects of me being a musician in general, I have many groups. But I don’t think that I’m a different part of the band, not from any of the other members. I think that being a soloist is not an option in jazz or any kind of music where creative process takes place on the stage or new ideas develop on it.

PM: And your background as a musician?

KV: My background goes back to my childhood. My mom leaded a folk band, so I went to all the performances they had since I could walk, and I played whatever folk instrument I could play with and dance. This was a big part of me becoming a musician. But my education in music was the classical piano during high school, when I also played folk violin, mostly by ear, I only took a few lessons. I was also in a cappella group when I was at school, I started my own group called Sheikid.

PM: So you already had some experience in that kind of bands, did you want to try it again?

KV: Exactly, a cappella group was very natural for me because I’ve sung in Sheikid, we even won some competitions! In Estonian of course. But after finishing high school, our band didn’t last for long because everybody went to study different things and I was the only one who went to study music.

PM: So you were asked to lead the group, why? And how did you feel about it?

KV: Because Estonia was the capital of culture in 2011, and Jazzkaar is a part of whatever jazz event music in Estonia. So they just thought that it would be really good to start something new. And when I got this offer I didn’t hesitate for long because I already knew what I could do with a cappella group, as I was singing in my first band Sheikid. I can say that I felt excited.

PM: You said that the band was created for Estonia 2011, but your first performance was in the Christmas Jazz in 2010, how was that?

KV: We had the first presentation in that festival which was recorded and sent to Britt Quentin, who was coming to teach us. He got this material for analyzing, so when he came, he already knew very well each of our voices. That was the main reason of our soonest presentation in public. And Britt Quentin inspired us to continue, so we didn’t break up after this project for 2011. We really liked it and it was a lot of work. It would have been a pity just to let it go, so here we are.

PM: Now, four years have passed: what has changed? What are your expectations for the forthcoming concert?

KV: We have now more material and of course everything has gone better in quality. So I just hope that people don’t come to listen to us nothing but with open and warm mind, because we are really singing from our hearts and we hope that people get this message. And I also hope that the concert inspires each member of the group to continue the work.

PM: You already have an album, how and where was the recording process?

KV: We recorded here in Tallinn in Radio Studio and it was different from usual bands. But the mastering was in Sweden, as we met Peder Karlsson from The Real Group (a famous Swedish a cappella group). When I was searching the mixing sound engineer for our album, I was looking for the best so I asked Peder about it and he introduced me to two men who are recording, mixing and producing their own projects, but they did an exception with us and mastered the record.

PM: All of you come from different backgrounds, was it easy to lead the group? What were the difficulties you had at the beginning?

KV: Well, different backgrounds were more a strength than a weak point, the difficulty was, as I already mentioned, that everybody is really busy with many projects, we don’t have that much time so it wasn’t easy to find the perfect time for everyone.

PM: You are presenting your new album in Estonia until 10th of December, are you continuing with it next year?

KV: Yes, of course. That’s why we’ve been working so hard and are still working. There are some projects for summer in Estonia.

PM: You have already performed in Germany, Russia and Sweden, are you thinking about a tour abroad again? Which countries? Any new countries?

KV: Of course, that’s the dream to have those performances but there’s a long way to go. It’s a long process and a lot of work to spread our music and let people know about us and that’s not happening overnight, it takes time. But when the CD comes out, we have some ideas that I can’t say out loud now (laughs).

PM: What’s your opinion about the obstacles that the musicians have at the moment?

KV: Web music stores, but changes are coming, as far as big companies such as iTunes, Spotify, etc. are planning different kind of fees to make it easier, but the system is not clear yet. We will see how the music develops online. Anyway, it’s not a good timing for recording.

Moreover, Estonia is a small country so if you want to have more than 8 concerts you must have contacts abroad, and that’s really difficult. There are not so many managers for jazz bands who can connect us and spread our music as much as we would like to.

PM: Would you like to add something? Any clarifications, messages, feelings to say?

KV: I just hope that people are open-minded and open-hearted to music and new things. And for musicians: it’s hard, you have to practice and work a lot but keep going.

Estonian Voices, 31st of Ocober 2015 at Kumu auditorium

Kadri Voorand – vokaal

Maria Väli – vokaal

Mirjam Dede – vokaal

Mikk Dede – vokaal

Arno Tamm – vokaal

Aare Külama – vokaal

ESTONIA IS LOOKING FOR A JAZZ STAR VOL.1

ESTONIA IS LOOKING FOR A JAZZ STAR VOL. 1

on Tuesday, 20 October 2015. Posted in English Jazzkaar News

PILARICA MARTIN

Vol.1
Photo: Siiri Padar

Students from different music schools in Estonia performed with the well-known bands Tafenau – Aimla Ensemble and MiaMee on October 11th at Kumu Auditorium.

This was a unique concert divided into two parts with two famous bands uniting forces with four new stars. One of the people that came up with the idea was Peedu Kass, whose goal is to bring together the young and old jazz generations. The reason is – he explained – that almost all the contacts are made in schools, so for those musicians who are not in that environment, it is difficult to find the new upcoming celebrities.  How to connect both parts? Easy, just organize a concert where the well-known artists from the Estonian jazz scene perform with the blooming musicians.

The difficult part was to choose eight students. To solve the problem, Peedu asked four music academies that include jazz music in their program. Teachers from Estonian Music Academy, Viljandi Academy, Tallinn Georg Ots Music High School and Tartu Music School gave him feedback about the most talented youngsters in this field.

The first concert was Ensemble Raivo Tafenau – Siim Aimla feat. guitarist Harri Heinsoo from Viljandi. Starting the concert with great saxophonist, Heinsoo met the expectations, he was a shining blossoming star. After two melodic songs, Triin Lutsoja, a singer from Estonia Music Academy, came to the stage and turned on the voice to the music without lyrics. Heinsoo showed the influence of Django Reinhardt, with the impressive arpeggios. Tafenau and Aimla were, as usual, spectacular with their syncopated notes. Finishing the first part, Triin came back to perform the last song with her sparkling voice.

Vol 1

The second part of the concert was MiaMee featuring Kalle Pilli and Taaniel Kõmmus. Kalle, the guitar player, is from Georg Ots School, and Kõmmus is a bass player who comes from Viljandi Music School. The concert was fascinating and both parts clicked since the first melody. There couldn’t have been any better end for this star-looking concert than the particular song called “I’ve heard the Old man said”. This singular song commences in a relaxed move with an intense climax where all the instruments are performing their own solo moment at the same time, matching in a perfect harmony. Pilli and Kõmmus were very appropriate in this precise piece.

To keep hunting talents, there is another concert with the same dynamic: four students and two well-known bands, one of them is the claimed a cappella band Estonian Voices. The next volume is on October 31st at 17:00 at Kumu Auditorium. In this occasion, this unplugged band will perform with a drummer. Peedu Kass, who made the pairings, said: “The hardest part was to match the new stars with the bands, it was quite tricky. Today it wasn’t that difficult, but the next time, especially with Estonian Voices and the drummer or the guitarist,that’s going to be quite crazy. Amazing, I think.”

Estonia is looking for a jazz star vol. 1

October 11th at Kumu Auditorium

Tafenau-Aimla Ensemble

Raivo Tafenau – saxophone

Siim Aimla – saxophone

Harri Heinsoo – guitar

Triin Lutsoja – voice

Mihkel Mälgand – double bass

Eno Kollom – drums

MiaMee

Liina Saar – voice

Anni Egecioglu – voice, cello

Mart Soo – guitar

Kalle Pilli – guitar

Taaniel Kõmmus – doublebass

Taavi Kerikmäe – clavier

Kaspar Kalluste – drums