This year’s Jazzkaar Festival attended by 26,200 music lovers

03. May 2018

Tallinn International Jazzkaar Festival, held from April 20 to April 29, attracted a record number of music lovers. 26,200 people attended concerts, events on the Free Concerts Day and pop-up concerts as part of the Urban Space Project. 12,500 tickets were issued for Jazzkaar concerts.


There were 60 concerts performed in the festival hub in Telliskivi Creative City, Alexela Concert Hall and private homes in Tallinn during Jazzkaar. The festival also reached 12 other locations elsewhere in Estonia. The Jazzkaar programme included a total of 160 musical events.


Anne Erm, the artistic director of Jazzkaar, looks back at this year’s jazz festival: “Together with a large number of foreign journalists we rejoiced in a diverse and high-level concert programme. Original Estonian jazz music is gaining more and more attention in Europe, and all our guests praised the remarkably high level of Estonian jazz musicians. Estonian music and musicians were represented at the festival with fascinating and unique programmes. Next year, which will mark the 30th anniversary of Jazzkaar Festival, we will definitely get to enjoy music by Estonian jazz artists created especially for the festival.” The next Jazzkaar Festival will take place from April 19 until April 28, 2019.


The opening event of this year’s festival was a special concert performance “Story of a Hundred” in Port Noblessner, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia and attended by 1,500 people. “Story of a Hundred” portrays a hundred Estonian people through the music by Erki Pärnoja, photos by Kaupo Kikkas, selected thoughts by Laur Kaunissaare and the video staging by Kaupo Kikkas and Jaak Prints. The opening event of Jazzkaar was supported by Viru Keskus.


Laura Mvula, the main performer of Jazzkaar this year, gave an affirmative and touching performance at the Alexela Concert Hall, which was attended by more than 1,700 people. The highest level jazz music was brought to the audience by The Bad Plus trio, Ambrose Akinmusire, Cory Henry, Nik Bärtsch and Bill Evans as well as many other performers.


Several leading Estonian jazz artists introduced their new works at Jazzkaar. Being the first Estonian jazz artist to release an album under the prestigious record company ECM, Kristjan Randalu presented his new CD, Absence. Laura & W, the duo of Laura Põldvere and Villu Veski, performed songs from their freshly released album, Crazy Enough. The quartet Voorand-Koikson-Sooäär-Daniel payed homage to Veljo Tormis with their new album, Tormisele, and performed the maestro’s music with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Kaspars Putninš. Estonian Voices, Anna Põldvee and several other artists presented their new original works. The festival also brought joy to little jazz fans. Eeva and Villu Talsi made music with children in Tallinn, Tartu and Viljandi, and young jazz musicians from Estonia, Denmark and Portugal received their first international experiences with the Kids Can project in Tallinn.


More than 25 concerts and other events organised in Telliskivi Creative City on the Free Concerts Day and the Jazzkaar Urban Space Project took jazz music beyond concert halls. There were 79 activities organised as part of the Urban Space Project, bringing music to kindergartens, schools, trams, cafés, traffic jams, hospitals and many other unexpected places both in Tallinn and elsewhere in Estonia. On the Free Concerts Day, several companies located in Telliskivi and its immediate surroundings opened their doors to music and music lovers. Over 4,900 people enjoyed music on that day.


This festival programme also included the ceremony of Estonian Jazz Awards. The Danske Jazz Award was given to Mihkel Mälgand, while other laureates were the saxophonist Lauri Kadalipp in the category of Young Jazz Talent, Kristiina Liivik, the organiser of the Visioon Festival and headmaster of Saue Music School, in the category of Jazz Promoter of the Year, and the Kirke Karja Quartet in the category of Jazz Ensemble of the Year. A new category of Jazz Composer of the Year was introduced this year, which was awarded to the pianist and composer Kristjan Randalu.


The festival cares about the environment. For the second time we applied a drinking cup recycling system in collaboration with Topsiring to reduce the amount of plastic waste. This way we were able to save several thousand drinking cups from being thrown away.


We would be grateful if all festival guests could find a moment to take an audience survey to help us organise an even better festival in the future: www.surveymonkey.com/r/jazzkaar2018


Jazzkaar would like to thank all visitors, musicians, partners, supporters, volunteers and others who contributed to the successful festival.

Jazzkaar’s Gold Sponsor is Danske Bank. The festival’s main sponsors are KAFO, Jazz Pesulad and Eesti Päevaleht, yearly sponsors are My City Hotel, BMW, Tallink and Aktaprint. The festival centre is supported by Prike and Telliskivi Creative City; the cafe partner is Reval Café. The Laura Mvula concert was brought to Estonia by Viru Keskus. The“Story of a Hundred” project was supported by Viru Keskus, EV100 and Port Noblessner. Other festival contributors are Kodupaber and Myfitness, RGB Baltic, Overall, Topsiring, Viva Color and Kataja Event. The festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Tallinn Cultural Office, Estonian Authors’ Society, City of Tartu, City of Pärnu, Embassy of Spain in Tallinn, French Institute of Estonia, Danish Institute of Culture, Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Norway, Prohelvetia and Enterprise Estonia.


Jazzkaar 2018 in numbers:
– 26,200 visitors
– more than 6,000 people attending the pop-up concerts in the Urban Space Project, and more than 50 performing young musicians
– 250 Estonian artists, including 170 musicians and 80 participants in the “Story of a Hundred” project
– 170 volunteers
– more than 4,900 people attending the Free Concerts Day
– more than 25 foreign journalists
– 7 home concerts
– 5 jazz talks
– 12 concert places besides Tallinn: Tartu, Pärnu, Viljandi, Haapsalu, Saku, Rakvere, Narva, Türi, Laitse, Võru, Kuressaare, Suurupi
– more than 3,200 images in the festival’s photo gallery
– more than 70 reviews, audience surveys and interviews on the Jazzkaar website
– 19 videos of the festival


Jazzkaar 2018 in images:
Reviews, interviews and news on the Jazzkaar website:
Jazzkaar 2018 in YouTube: