the festival was written in bold letters into the history of Slovak cultural events and especially deep into the souls of thousands of fans, to whom it brought the world‘s biggest cvengo names in the course of its long history. Festivals are mostly attended for the atmosphere, but in the case of BJD, it is the atmosphere supported by excellent music and that makes them special.
The proud bearer of the jazz tradition and co-founder of the festival, Peter Lipa, in addition to his own work, proves perhaps the best thing that can exist in the case of an artist – that he does not just remember the “old golden days”. It focuses on what should interest us the most – the present. Lively, sparkling and extremely attractive. This is doubly true for the upcoming year of the festival, the overwhelming majority of performers of which are young blood from the American, British and domestic jazz scene. But the most important thing is the fact that none of them owe anything to the reputation of jazz – and that’s good, that’s how it should be. Everyone moves the imaginary boundaries of the genre in their own direction. According to your taste, opinion and feeling. And they will perform their rehearsal in front of a Slovak audience between October 20 and 22 in the A4 Studio at Trnavská cesta 39. The main partner is the Slovak Savings Bank. You can catch the traditional parade of young talents on October 19 at the Jazztikot club and experience some of next year’s performers.
tune in to jazzers now
The opening Friday evening will be opened by the Slovak group Hip-zz. They are the winners of the SPP Foundation Young Talents Podium last year. Even before that, however, they convinced with their instrumental performance in the New Faces of Slovak Jazz competition. They combine a mix of varied genres such as jazz, hip-hop and urban music.
The second star of the Friday evening is the British pianist, singer and composer Reuben James. He is a contemporary representative of the intersection of jazz, soul and urban music. His talent was also noticed by Joni Mitchell, who needs no special introduction. A great grooving band and his gentle soulful voice form an interesting symbiosis.
The Friday trio will be completed by a band with the catchy name The Comet is Coming. It is based on the central player Shabaka Hutching, a brilliant saxophone and clarinet player. The trio of saxophone, drums and keyboards mixes jazz and funk with electronic music and psychedelic rock. The result is a colorful mix of contemporary approach and respect for traditions. The band has been active for ten years and was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2016 for their debut album Channel The Spirits.
Saturday night will be opened by the local group of local musicians Triple Jump. Experienced multi-genre guitarist and composer Michal Bugala teamed up with remarkable young musicians. We will hear David Hodek on drums, and the rhythm section is completed by the discovery of the current domestic scene – Richard Csino. They combine elements of jazz, fusion and pop.
The second performer on Saturday’s stage is Lakecia Benjamin Phoeninix. She is an exceptional American saxophonist with an extraordinary portfolio. Prior to her successful solo career, she performed and recorded with a host of stars including Harry Belafonte, Anita Baker, Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Gregory Porter, The Roots, Count Basie Orchestra, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, Kool & The Gang and Clark Terry . In January of this year, she released the album Phoenix, and thanks to her talent, creativity and perfect technique, she made it not only to the headlines of Downbeat and Jazzwise magazines, but also to the top of the world‘s jazz scene.
The highlight of Saturday night will be Kamaal Williams. In his music, we can find various inspirations – electronic music, American records from the sixties, in short, everything that musicians encountered in multicultural London. He started out as a drummer, but for several years now his domain has been keyboards, which he masters in a masterly manner. In his concerts, improvisation is given a lot of space, but despite the numerous influences, it is undoubtedly full-blooded jazz. After all, he will convince us of this himself.
Since the world of music is infinite, Jazzáky do not set their boundaries either. The opening of the last concert evening will be performed by the home group Slovak Nuevo Quinteto. It consists of five well-known Slovak artists who decided to dedicate themselves to the works of the master who in his compositions combined the world of tango with classical music in an original way – Astor Piazolla. They debuted at BHS in 2021 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Without a doubt, they will contribute to the massive musical vault of this year.
The world production will also be presented by the American trumpeter, composer, producer and singer Theo Croker. He was nominated for Grammy and Echo awards. He has released seven albums since 2007, and the current Love Quantum from 2022 features guest stars like Jill Scott, Jamila Woods, and Wyclef Jean. He is well versed in the classic styles of swing, be-bop and acoustic jazz, he also played in a big band, but his music also reveals a love for full-blooded funk, soul, salsa and hip-hop, in short, for groove. His life, career, and place of permanent residence changed when he met Dee Dee Bridgewater, who produced his third album, Afro Physicist. The album launched Croker into the first jazz league, in which he composes, records and performs to this day.
This year’s Jazz will be rounded off by a group of English musicians, Kokoroko. The group, led by trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Gray, mixes West African gospel music with jazz and the sounds of the dance scene. It is unbridledness, spontaneity, musicality and an irresistible sound that represents the roots and the future of jazz. It is a unique, typical London sound, to which each member brings his own, colorful musical influences. The common denominator is the love for afrobeat and highlife. Rhythm is dominant. Thanks to her distinctive singles, she has received tens of millions of views on Youtube and Spotify, which is undoubtedly a current indicator of success. In 2020, they won the Urban Music Awards as the best band, and at the same time, they also performed for the first time in the iconic Royal Albert Hall.
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