The 18th Jazzkaar that took place from the 20th until the 28th of April, was a dignified end to the first Month of Jazz (Jazz Appreciation Month) ever to take place in Estonia.
The artists managed to perform in 12 other Estonian cities besides the capital, Tallinn. 100 Estonian and 100 foreign musicians from 15 countries performed at the Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar. More than 13 000 music lovers visited the concerts this year.
In addition to the 48 concerts of the festival, 14 other jazz concerts took place in Estonian schools during the Month of Jazz, which was opened with the traditional Uno Naissoo composition competition for young people. The winner of the competition was a 20-year-old singer-composer Kadri Voorand.
Among other events that made April into the Month of Jazz were also a competition of jazz posters that brought 300 great jazz-related designs from schoolchildren; jazz history lectures by the initiator of the Month of Jazz, John Hasse; an interview with the ambassador of jazz, Archie Shepp, by a New York jazz journalist Brandt Reiter.
It was also the first time for giving out jazz awards. The first Elion Jazz Award was given to an internationally experienced guitar player and band leader, chairman of the Estonian Jazz Union, head of the jazz department of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Jaak Sooäär. A guitar player Erki Pärnoja received the Young Jazz Talent award.
The Jazzkaar audience had many different favourites this year. Among others were Andy Bey, Archie Shepp and Mike Stern from the USA, Kristin Asbjörnsen from Norway, Marcos Valle from Brazil, Michelle Nicolle from Australia, Nicola Parov & Agnes Hercku from Hungary, bands Incognito from England and Ojos de Brujo from Spain, Baez Trio and Birdy Nam Nam from France.
The performances of our own Estonian artists were much enjoyed as well. Liisi Koikson, Sofia Rubina, Siim Aimla, Villu Veski and Brian Melvin were the busiest musicians at the festival.
The Estonian Radio Classical Channel and Radio 4 brought 15 concerts directly to the listeners all around Estonia. The live broadcast of the Raivo Tafenau International Quintet was heard by music lovers in 15 European countries. The Estonian Televison and Radio broadcast festival diaries to keep the public informed of the events. The concerts of Jazzkaar were covered by Ylesradio (Finland), magazines JazzNytt (Norway) Downbeat (USA), Jazz.ru (Moscow), large jazz portals AllAboutJazz.com (USA) and Jazz.ru.
The concerts were reviewed and the impressions of the audience collected by young journalists and photographers of the Jazzkaar web-site. The daily papers Eesti Päevaleht and Postimees covered the main events of the festival. About 50 young music lovers volunteered to help organise the festival.
The main supporters of the festival were the Ministry of Culture, Cultural Endowment, Tallinn Cultural Heritage office, Elion, Sokos hotel Viru, Eesti Päevaleht, Dunker, Estonian Air and Vikerraadio. The assistance provided by the embassies of Spain and the United States, the French Cultural Centre, the British Council, the Goethe Institute and the Hungarian Institute, among others, was extremely important.
The organisers of the Festival Jazzkaar 2007 – Anne Erm, Marju Kask, Anu Luik and Ingrid Põldoja – as well as the project manager of the Month of Jazz, Madli-Liis Parts, would like to thank all musicians, partners, journalists, helpers and an excellent jazz audience!