Limes Occidentalis or the perfect mixing of cultures

27. April 2017
Elodie Bénard

On the day of the opening of German Spring, one of the most illustrious Estonian jazz pianists Kristjan Randalu, who was nominated for a Grammy award in 2006, came to Jazzkaar festival with his international ensemble and special project Limes Occidentalis.

All the musicians of the project have their own personality and are leaders of bands themselves, but Randalu successfully created a true symbiosis between them. Randalu has lived in Germany, England and America and has performed in various configurations in many prestigious concert halls in the world. The French guitarist Nguyên has been a technology innovator in the guitar since the early 80s and his country of origin is Vietnam. The Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh’i considered a virtuoso in his field, is currently based in New-York. The bassist Petros Klampanis from Greece has made a name for himself in New York and is also living in the United States now. Bodek Janke is a Polish-born drummer currently living in Germany, and whose musical collaboration with Kristjan Randalu has been going on for twenty-five years. He possesses a percussions arsenal from different countries and is, like every musician of the project, very enthusiastic about world music.

Emigration is definitely the central theme and the common thread of this ensemble, where travelling abroad is for every musician synonym of open-mindedness and personal enrichment.

They performed a series of long and brilliant deep songs, where every song appeared as being a piece of the puzzle, a chapter of the story. The story about crossing, about the current migration of thousands of people, fleeing their countries for numerous reasons. The songs “Crossing” and “Into the flow”, among others, are a nod to the current refugees crossing, redrawing the perilous journey of those whose future is uncertain.

Taking inspiration from negative things of the world to do something good, here is their musical aim and aspiration. Like a travel into the darkest recesses of the humanity, but with a note of hope, an ode to life, a touch of peace.


26th of April (6pm) at Vaba Lava (Tallinn)

Kristjan Randalu – piano
Nguyên Lê – guitar
Kinan Azmeh – clarinet
Petros Klampanis – double bass
Bodek Janke – drums, percussion



Check out the photos from the concert