During ten spring days 17 – 26 April, the 26th Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar brought joy to over 21 000 music lovers all over Estonia with 200 events.
Happening for the first time at Telliskivi Creative City, the new home of the festival was well received by both musicians as well as the audience. Concerts took place at Vaba Lava theatre and Punane Maja, creating a good symbiosis between two different atmosphere venues. The listeners got to be part of high quality jazz, and lovely festival mood. “Jazzkaar’s move to the two venues in the Telliskivi district was highly successful. The new location became a high energy scene with a hip, communal festival vibe. The Jazzkaar program was strong and varied as always, and this year more of the best music came from Estonians than ever before,” noted journalist Tom Conrad from the respected US publication JazzTimes.
More than 12 000 tickets were bought for the Jazzkaar concerts in Tallinn. Together with free concert days and Linnaruum (City Space) project concerts, nearly 21 000 people took part. All over Estonia, Jazzkaar offered unforgettable emotions, plenty of fresh and surprising creations, and many concerts brought full house in other cities as well – in addition to Tallinn, concerts took place in 13 more cities in Estonia.
As a special project, a programme for Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday was created, and a concert show praising love by the Estonian Dream Big Band musicians and poets. Estonian artists presented five new albums at the festival. The most concerts were given all over Estonia by singer Ingrid Lukas. Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö’s improvisational concerts in Tallinn’s home kitchens turned out to be very popular. The drummer was also the busiest musician furing the festival, he participated also in several projects by Estonian musicians.
This year’s jazz awards were given out during the festival. The multitalented musician Kadri Voorant won the grand prix, Danske Jazz Award 2015. The Young Jazz Talent award was given to the 26-year-old saxophone player Aleksander Paal, and the Jazz Promoter award was given to guitar player – teacher Tiit Paulus from Saaremaa.
The most popular artist of the festival was the number one jazz singer from the US, Grammy winner Gregory Porter whose concert brought over 1800 music lovers to Nordea Concert Hall. Full house was also brought by John Scofield-Jon Cleary, Ester Rada, Magma, Billie Holiday 100, and many other concerts. The absolute favourites of the audience were also performances by Hauschka, Caecilie Norby and Mathias Eick. Estonian artists also filled the concert rooms, and got extremely positive feedback. Little and big hearts were also won by the traditional children’s programme of Jazzkaar – this time with rapper Genka, and jazz musicians, as well as a shadow theater performance.
26th Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar was a success. Jazzkaar collaborated with Estonian National Broadcast. Klassikaraadio streamed a lot of the concerts. Festivals Kaunas Jazz and Oslo Jazz presented artists from their country at Jazzkaar. 17 foreign journalists visited the festival. Cyril Moshkow from Jazz.Ru notes: “This year’s Jazzkaar confirmed once more that this kind of festival in Tallinn is an important event for the whole Eastern Europe. A festival that brings the absolute jazz elite to the capital of Estonia already for 26 years and isn’t afraid to experiment, innovate, and develop artistically.”
In addition to newspaper and magazine reporters, the festival was covered also by Jazzkaar’s volunteer reporters and photographers from different countries. The festival home page and Facebook hosts videos, photo galleries, reviews, and audience questionnaires. Over 700 music lovers took part in polls.
Jazzkaar cordially thanks all musicians, volunteers, partners, and supporters – only with you we could bring bright emotions to 21 000 jazz friends! Big thanks also go to the fantastic audience of Jazzkaar – it’s all organised for you!
The gold sponsor of the festival is Danske Bank. The main sponsors of the festival are Eesti Päevaleht and Kafo, sponsors of the year My City Hotel, Tallink, Aktaprint, United Motors, and Port of Tallinn. Festival is supported by City of Tallinn, Kultuurkapital, Ministry of Culture, foreign institutions Institut Français, Pro Helvetia, Embassy of Finland, Embassy of Israel, Institute of Danish Culture, Goethe Institute, Estonian Authors’ Society, Sports and Youth Department of Tallinn City and many more. Festival center was built with the help of Prike, and cafe partner was Reval Cafe, festival was helped by Jazz carwash, Ergo, Kodupaber, and Telliskivi Creative City.
Big thanks also to an exceptionally good audience!
Jazzkaar is organised by: Anne Erm, Anu Luik, Eva Saar, Marju Kask, Merli Antsmaa, Sten Arvi, Erik Teemägi and more than 130 volunteers.
Until we meet again!