If you were to organise a music festival that lasts for ten days, how would you start the journey? How would you give a vibrant kick to a proper Jazzkaar? Well, one option that does not fail is Romare ‒ young and ambitious jazz artist who fascinates music fans all over the world with his intermittent sounds, incorporating a twist of classical jazz into modern day interpretations. Jazzkaar, whilst saluting the Estonia100 celebrations, contrasted the patriotic side of the opening concert “Saja lugu” (The Story of a Hundred in Estonian) with a psychedelic jazz by Romare. “All that in one evening” you may ask? Well, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”.
First of all, one has to admit that this jazz was everything but ordinary. Minutes after the concert started, everyone in the audience realised that they are all witnesses of something unique. The aura, the moments and the energy of the band made people dance along, even when they tried to resist, and the beat, with deep notes and pattern-like pulse worked a spell on the crowd. Romare’s way to capture a variety of styles and tastes from different cultures in a modern electronic-jazz format brought everyone to the future, with notes leading the way.
The technical side of the music was meticulous, the rhythm solos balanced each other out, without being unnoticed. Romare/Archie Fairhurst (keyboard, electronics), Xander Wright (percussion, electronics) and Daniel Fairhurst (flute, saxophone) all had their own separate styles and methods of delivering solos. Nevertheless, in some amazing way they managed to incorporate all of those different interpretations of modern jazz into one complete whole, whilst making it seem effortless. And that was the thing that I personally enjoyed the most, no-one overpowered other members of the band nor were left unheard.
Moreover, Romare is extremely unpredictable. Every new set they played had their own story to it. By the end of their performance, the listener could have guessed the meaning behind tempos or used vocals, because nothing is left unreasoned when it comes to Romare. Every song contained an emotion or a feeling and even though there were some listeners who were not familiar with their previous work, they understood the message instantly, as if they had been listening it for ages.
When someone would ask me to comment on Romare’s style, I would most certainly be lost for words. It could be described as a mixture of psychedelic, funk, blues and disco, but I would say it’s more than that. The band has its own personal style, which is not comparable to anything else. Maybe it has something to do with the influences of Afro-American visual culture that gives their music “a special and a vibrant kick”, but one has to see it to believe it.
To sum everything up, what happened on the opening night in Vaba Lava was truly phenomenal. Not many artists are as skilled to mix up already well known genres and create something totally unique and never-before-seen, as did Romare. With their sounds, deep base patterns and interchangeable vocal usage, followed up by an electronic tempo, made their performance of Jazzkaar 2018 unforgettable and left the audience yearning for more. So, the question was “How would you give a proper ending to the opening day of a ten-day jazz festival?” The answer can be given in one word ‒ Romare.
Check out the gallery from Romare’s concert here.
Romare (United Kingdom)
20th of April, 10.30 pm at Vaba Lava
Romare/Archie Fairhurst ‒ keyboard, electronics
Xander Wright ‒ percussion, electronics
Daniel Fairhurst ‒ flute, saxophone