The programme of Christmas Jazz 2018 that is taking place from 28 November to 14 December, is now public. The headliners of Christmas Jazz are Portuguese singer songwriter Salvador Sobral and one of the absolute top artists in American vocal jazz – Lizz Wright.
Salvador Sobral, one of the headliners of the festival, found his way into the hearts of Europeans with his bossa-influenced piano ballad ‘Amar Pelos Dois’ which brought him the victory of the 2017 Eurovision song contest. His 2016 debut album ‘Excuse Me’ smoothly combines the tones of Latin American bossa and jazz. Salvador’s sensitive music and performance that respects traditions fit perfectly into the pre-Christmas mood. Salvador Sobral is performing two concerts in Estonia – in Tartu on 2 December and in Tallinn on 3 December.
The second headliner of Christmas Jazz is the deep and velvety-voiced Lizz Wright who also performed at the 2012 Jazzkaar. She is sharing the stage with the Estonian Dream Big Band who are celebrating their 20th birthday, lead by Siim Aimla. The singer has released six albums and received only praise from critics and listeners alike and she has also conquered the top of the Billboard charts.
The Cuban singer-violin player-composer Yilian Cañizares’es concert is taking place at 19:00 on 29 November at Vaba Lava. Cañizares surprises the audience with the eclectic mix of Afro-Cuban and jazz sounds where traditions are combined with fresh tones.
The Anglo-Scandinavian jazz trop Phronesis that has been labelled as one of the world’s most interesting and dynamic jazz trios, has been gathering popularity with their crazy performances. The original approach to the trio format and a rhythmic energy that can be experienced by the Estonian audience on 1 December, has won the trio several awards. A similar description could be given to the Swiss trio VEIN that probes the borders of classical music and jazz – it is an interesting quartet lead by the Andy Sheppard who is the top British saxophone player and composer.
The Hungarian swing kings in the band called Swing a la Django takes listeners to a historical journey into the music sphere of the 30s and 40s. Their creations are a mix of Hungarian gypsy music, swing, tango, and jazz. Fresh sounds at Christmas Jazz will be provided by the Belgian-Luxembourgish trio Dock in Absolute. The trio combines jazz, classical music, and rock and all of this while flickering on the edge of minimalism. Various directions will be experimented with by the German quartet called Philipp Gropper’s Philm where classical jazz, European chamber music as well as a more contemporary feeling.
The opening concert of Christmas Jazz is organised in collaboration with the Estonian Jazz Union. The concert performance ‘9 Hymns for Freedom’ was created especially to celebrate Estonia 100. New music can also be enjoyed at the concert of one of the most spectacular organ players in Estonia – Ulla Krigul – at her concert in Niguliste Museum, where the focus is on the king of the instruments – the organ. New music from Maria Faust, Sander Mölder and Raul Ojamaa will be performed. At the same venue, the audience can enjoy the performance of guitar trio Teemu Viinikaunen and Andre Maaker who share a common image of music that can at one point be dreamily transparent, but at the same time carry rock-like force. The concert ‘Winter Landscapes’ by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Robert Jürjendal, Arve Hendriksen and Madis Metsamart offers a suave advent meditation. New music from Robert Jürjendal will also be played.
Little music lovers have not been forgotten around Christmas either. Sandra and Jalmar Vabarna from Trad.Attack! tell colourful and fun stories from their family and travels, supported by guitar and Estonian folk instruments.
Christmas Jazz 2018 is taking place in Tallinn, Viljandi, Tartu, Pärnu, and Haapsalu. Find the programme at www.jazzkaar.ee. Tickets are available at Piletilevi sales points and online www.piletilevi.ee.
The gold sponsor of Christmas Jazz is Danske Bank. The main sponsors of the festival are KAFO, Jazz Pesulad and Eesti Päevaleht, sponsors of the year My City Hotel, BMW, Tallink, Aktaprint. Christmas Jazz is supported by Reval Café, City of Tallinna, Kultuurkapital, and Ministry of Culture, Hungarian Institute, Embassy of Luxembourg.