BOHEMIA JAZZ FEST 2013
PROGRAM IS FINALIZED!
Final arrangements for this summer’s Bohemia Jazz Fest have wrapped, bringing dazzling vocalists from Denmark and Norway, world music flavors from Brazil, Germany and Poland, a blues night in Prague, and some old friends and fresh sounds from the Czech Republic.
Danish singer Sinne Eeg is one of the most exciting jazz vocalists in Europe, combining strains of Nancy Wilson, Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan with her personal touch of soft darkness. She drew international attention with her critically acclaimed 2007 album “Waiting for Dawn,” and has been touring the world ever since. Eeg will headline the BJF show in Domažlice on July 13, backed by the Matĕj Benko Trio from the Czech Republic.
Karin Krog started singing in her native Norway in the 1950s and went on to become an international star. Her distinctive vocal style and fresh approaches to jazz standards have earned her many awards, and collaborations with artists ranging from Dexter Gordon to Steve Kuhn. Krog will bring guitarist Staffan William-Olsson and bass player Terje Gewelt for her headline appearance in Olomouc on July 17.
Brazilian percussionist Marco Lobo has been lighting up stages in his native country for more than 20 years with his unique fusion of Bossa Nova, Carnival and world music. Since 2006, he has been collaborating with American drummer and bandleader Billy Cobham, who calls Lobo’s music “very special and unique in every way.” Lobo and his quintet will be headlining the July 19 show in Zlín.
Polish saxophonist Grzech Piotrowski regularly wins awards for his work across many genres – jazz, folk, big band music and even film soundtracks. For the past few years he has been performing on stages throughout Europe with his World Orchestra, a collective of musicians from Asia, Russia, Scandinavia and the Baltics playing exotic instruments and music of their homelands. For his headline appearance in Plzeň on July 12, Piotrowski will be fronting his Archipelago Quartet, a tight jazz combo.
Funk fans are in for a treat from Mo’ Blow, a Berlin quartet that has recast heavy grooves, earthy sounds and driving rhythms in a jazz idiom. The group fires up audiences with blow-away funk highlighted by high-energy solos and surprise instruments like the digideroo. Mo’ Blow will be warming up the crowd for headliner Terence Blanchard in Liberec on July 16, and for Karin Krog in Olomouc on July 17.
Opening for Mo’ Blow and Blanchard in Liberec will be S Gustem, a young Czech quartet that has been drawing attention for their fresh arrangements and smart playing. A finalist in last year’s Jazz Prix competition, the band plays mostly original work that started in their days at the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory in Prague.
Current students at the conservatory play in a big band that is no amateur effort. The Prague Conservatory Jazz Orchestra is led by Milan Svoboda, the great Czech jazz pianist and bandleader, and has played everywhere from Prague Castle to a big band competition in Monterey, California. Svoboda and his student ensemble will open the first BJF show in Prague on July 10.
Following them to warm up the crowd for Medeski, Martin & Wood will be a longtime Czech favorite, Karel Růžička. The pianist and composer is a pro’s pro, having played with stars like George Mraz, Benny Golson, Toots Thielemans and many others. He will perform with his quartet, which includes his son, saxophonist Karel Růžička Jr.
Prague is in for a special treat the following night, July 11, when veteran Czech blues guitarist Luboš Andršt takes the stage and the audience can look forward to a jam with BJF founder and artistic director Rudy Linka. Andršt and Linka teamed up for an appearance in Tábor last year that still has jazz and blues fans there talking, and they’re looking forward to more guitar pyrotechnics in Prague this year.