Jazzin' Around Europe

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Messina Sea Jazz Festival 2013

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Messina Sea Jazz Festival 2013Messina, ItalyJuly 17-21, 2013Messina, the city on the Sicilian side of the Straits connecting the Thyrrenian and the Ionian seas--for the geographically challenged, that bit of sea on the point of the Italian boot--is not on the list of the most famous Italian or even Sicilian touristic locations. Overshadowed, in its own province, by Taormina--and by the cultural as well as environmental riches of other cities--it serves mainly as the point of entry, its harbor busy with ferries for visitors coming by train or car.The Straits area is ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Ismet Siral Creative Music Studio Istanbul 2006

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The days of the Ismet Siral Creative Music Studio in Istanbul have been so intense and full of meanings to be difficult to describe in an orderly way, so bear with me while I try to organize the information beginning with a bit of background about the Creative Music Studio and Ismet Siral.

BACKGROUND

The name of Ismet Siral is not familiar to most jazz listeners, but there's a number of fairly well known and very much appreciated musicians who will instantly react to his name: among them Marilyn Crispell, John Lindberg, Cyro Baptista, Trilok Gurtu, Nana Vasconcellos, Dave Holland, ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Polish Jazz for Dummies: 60 Years of Jazz from Poland

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Index Introduction 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s-1990s Polish Jazz Now Ten Essential Jazz Recordings from Poland

IntroductionAfter 1945, like the rest of the Eastern and Central Europe, Poland fell under the dominance of Stalinist Russia--and the Soviets certainly did not dig the swing!! Consequently, only certain musical forms were allowed to flourish, particularly those with folk rhythm, without syncopation. One tempo was prescribed for everybody and army marching bands rose in importance. The process of political and cultural oppression intensified ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Jazzclub Singen (Hohentwiel, Germany) 15th Anniversary

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Fifteen years ago Jazz-Club Singen was established in relation to the modest little theatre cum cinema (called GEMS) at the edge of the little industrial town of Singen-am-Hohentwiel, in the handsome German hinterland of Lake Constance (the Bodensee). About halfway through this period I became a part-time resident of the region. I hopped on a train one night in February 1998 and there was one of the concerts of my life: Paul Motian, Joe Lovano and Bill Frisell celebrating Friday the 13th with lots of Monk. A starry concert a few years later had a rave review in ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Istanbul: Ortakoy European Jazz Weekend

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Istanbul is already home to two major jazz festivals, but the scene registered a meaningful new addition lately. Emin Findikoglu, a pianist, composer and arranger who studied in USA during the '60s and was behind the very first jazz festival organized in the Bosphorous city, was contacted by the Municipality of Besiktas to organize a jazz weekend. Now this is a great surprise and very welcome change, according to Emin, since in the past it was always the other way around: he had to go and plea to the local authorities to organize jazz concerts.

Besiktas is one ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Changamire at GIFT: Part 3-3 - Homeward Bound

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By Changamire

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Introduction I am Changamiré, a Jazz/R&B singer in Washington, DC, USA. This story is about my performance at the 8th Annual Georgian International Festival of the Arts (GIFT), the weekend of June 11, 2004, in the warm and charming city of Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia. I have always wanted to perform abroad, and Tbilisi was the perfect city to first partake of such an endeavor.

VIPs Tati was still sleeping when I returned to the room, and I tiptoed around ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Changamire at GIFT: Part 2-3 - Changamire's Gift

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By Changamire

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Introduction I am Changamiré, a Jazz/R&B singer in Washington, DC, USA. This story is about my performance at the 8th Annual Georgian International Festival of the Arts (GIFT), the weekend of June 11, 2004, in the warm and charming city of Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia. I have always wanted to perform abroad, and Tbilisi was the perfect city to first partake of such an endeavor.

Changamiré at GIFT While touring the old city our first day, we saw a street ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Changamire at GIFT: Part 1-3 - Departures and Arrivals

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By Changamire

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Introduction I am Changamiré, a Jazz/R&B singer in Washington, DC, USA. This story is about my performance at the 8th Annual Georgian International Festival of the Arts (GIFT), the weekend of June 11, 2004, in the warm and charming city of Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia. I have always wanted to perform abroad, and Tbilisi was the perfect city to first partake of such an endeavor.

Leaving Home Clifton Brockington, my pianist, and I were scheduled to leave DC on Tuesday, ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Jazz in Prague

Vit Svec (right) eerily opens up his last set with bass chords that flutter like bat wings in a dark cave.To his right, the head of pianist Matej Banko begins to dip and bob and, just before his nose touches the piano keys, he begins to play quick, staccato notes that bounce around the tourists seated in U Stare pani, a jazz club located just blocks from bustling Wenceslas Square.By the time the Vit Svec trio closes with a brilliant, fast-paced version of Thelonius Monk's “I Mean New," the indifferent audience members are busy finishing their ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

A Quickie Guide to Jazz Festivals in Eastern Europe

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The Jazz festival movement did not penetrate the Iron Curtain until the late 1950s, when some Communist regimes, trying to liberalize their public image, allowed many things that were not possible during Stalin's era: abstract art, modern dance, cinema with no propaganda message, and jazz music.

Jazz Jamboree , the first major jazz festival to establish itself in an Eastern Bloc country, is the longest-running to date: its first edition took place in Szopot, Poland, in 1958, and since the next year it happens annually in Polish capital, Warsaw.

In 1962, Jazz Jamboree turned into an international festival. Hundreds of ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Jazz Meets Wine in the South of France

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Perpignan is an ancient and noble town on the border between France and Spain. It was the capital of the Catalan kingdom, and it is still very proud of this heritage: in some ways, traveling by train for example, it's much closer to Barcelona than to Paris. This is one of the reasons why the Jazzebre Festival is passionately devoted to present different forms of improvised, swinging music from all the Mediterranean countries. Is this Jazz? Many American listeners might not be familiar with many of the names of the performers, and in fact this year the presence of American ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Braxton in Italy, November 2003

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Are you still mad at yourself because you didn't pick up those Arista LPs in the cutout bins? Would you kick your own butt because you missed the concert when Anthony Braxton's quartet with Crispell, Dresser and Hemingway came in a venue near you? Don't despair, there is hope still. In the current time-cycle, rather 'complex' as Professor Braxton would say, he managed to establish an unit which is just as good as his legendary quartets, but it's happening here and now. In two dates in Italy of the recent European tour, I witnessed the different faces of the group, ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Tampere Jazz Happening 2003

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Tampere is the biggest inland town of Scandinavia, but it’s sitting between two lakes on a narrow strip of land, so it has a somewhat marine air about it. Due to the abundance of water it was an important industrial center for papermills and textiles, but now most of these heavy industries have moved elsewhere: Finland’s prosperity is based on high technology, and in fact a town called Nokia is within driving distance. The industrial building have been converted to community centers for cultural activities, so Tampere’s movie, theater and jazz festivals all share the old Customs’ house, in whose ...

JAZZIN' AROUND EUROPE

Barga Jazz Festival 2003

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The Serchio valley extends north-east of the city of Lucca, in Tuscany, toward the Appennines and the city of Modena in the Northern region of Emily. Situated between two rich areas – the Lucca plain and Versilia with its fashionable beaches and the marble quarries area of Carrara – it’s rather poor and kind of a backwater itself, since the new business routes bypassed it. Its steep hillsides and coldish climate are not especially suited to agriculture, and the great riches of Tuscany – oil and wine – don’t grow there. For these reasons, it remained “undeveloped” and now this ...



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