Austė Radžiūnaitė, 2010 05 07


The festival has preserved all traditions created in the period of 20 years, event of children’s drawings – among them

Concerts of outdoor staged lured admirers of jazz dances

In brief: The biggest jazz festival of the country Kaunas Jazz celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. It appeared that the budget reduced by half was sufficient for the free programme of the festival on the outdoor stage and in churches, for the events of jazz fashion and fireworks, for good club projects and for inviting three mega-stars to the main stages of the festival.

S.Jordan felt ecstatic on the stage – he played music with every cell of his body

Still, even one concert of this year would be enough in order not to forget the jubilee Kaunas Jazz. The biggest impression was made to Lithuanians by the poet of the guitar from the USA Stanley Jordan. He performed well-known jazz, bosanova and pop music pieces: “Stolen Moments”, “Autumn Leaves”, “How Insensitive”, “Over the Rainbow”, etc.

The musician looked completely ecstatic on the stage: he played by the guitar and piano as well as his entire body. The inner glow of S.Jordan dwarfed the ambiguous music compositions created by him and let one be not so critical about the stage partners of different style and thinking: bass player Nat Reeves and drummer Kenwood Dennard.

C.Pine unites people by music, no matter where fate takes him

The British wind instrument player Courtney Pine, who believes in the power of music to unite people, presented a completely different quality of sound. He astounded listeners by the colourful mix of melodies: from New Orleans, Caribbean and Balkan motifs to pop songs and even Lithuanian song “An Oak Grew in the Forest”.

The musician has unique projects in his repertoire; still, he reminded of a wedding musician in Kaunas who tried to amuse the audience at any price. As a result, C.Pine received the prize of listeners “Jazz Eaters Award” as if the audience of Kaunas Jazz valued entertainment and amusement the most.

However, the stormy applause for the shows of S.Jordan and subtle Polish pianist Andrzej Jagodzinski proved that it was not so.

A.Jagodzinski discusses with F.Chopin elegantly by his music

The aristocrat of piano music A.Jagodzinski left an impression that he was able to distance from personal experience and to look at musical icons through the eyes of eternity. The trio of A. Jagodzinski (Adam Cegielski – double-bass, Czeslaw Bartkowski – drums) interpreted Fryderyk Chopin in the concert masterfully.

The youngest participant of the festival G. Lehavi spread non-childish ardour

Much of piano jazz resounded in Kaunas Jazz of this year. A pleasant surprise was the show of the trio of the youngest musician in the history of the festival, 14-year-old Gadi Lehavi from Israel (Max Oleartchik – double-bass, Itay Morchi – drums). The virtuoso shined with non-childish ardour on the stage and charmed by wonderful technique, musicality and ability to communicate with partners freely.

G.Rubalcaba, who sat at the piano, dipped into dispute with himself

The winner of Grammy award, Cuban pianist from the USA Gonzalo Rubalcaba did not succeed to please the audience of Kaunas Jazz so well. Unfortunately, people left his concert at Vilnius Congress Concert Hall implacably.

The music of G.Rubalcaba reminded of a long philosophical dispute with himself, which frustrated the audience expecting recognisable motifs. Only F.Chopin played for encore improved the atmosphere of the concert.

The entire programme of Kaunas Jazz of this year encompassed 30 projects. The 20th Kaunas Jazz festival also granted a hope that concerts of the festival would be seen even by the ones who did not buy tickets to them: the jubilee idea to show archive recordings of the festival on the screen of the Unity Square touched hearts of many jazz lovers.

Photos by V.Suslavičius

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