Jazztopad Hosts Wadada Leo Smith, Pharoah Sanders And Mulatu Astatke, 13 - 23 November


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Jazztopad, the internationally renowned Polish jazz festival held in Wroclaw, returns for its 11th edition from 13 – 23 November 2014. This year promises to be a tremendously exciting festival, with the usual mixture of jazz legends, up-and-coming talent, World Premieres, international showcases and much more besides.

Trumpeter Nate Wooley gets the festival underway on the 13th with the premiere of his work Psalms from Hell, featuring the ever-adventurous soprano Megan Schubert and the Festival Cello Ensemble. The second half of the show features the Nate Wooley Quintet. On the 14th avant-garde jazz legend Wadada Leo Smith plays with his Golden Quartet and then, in the second half, premieres Solidarity That Sunday Morning with the Golden Quartet and the NFM symphony Orchestra. Wadada Leo Smith, a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize was described by Downbeat as “One of the 80 coolest things in jazz today.”

Another important premiere takes place on Saturday 15th when cellist Erik Friedlander presents KORE with Musicians of National Forum of Music. The first half of the evening will see a performance of BLOCK ICE AND PROPANE, a multi-media event matching Friedlander’s cello with pictures and a film by Bill Morrison.

Other festival highlights include the forefather of Ethiojazz, Mulatu Astatke and is octet on Sunday the 16th. Astatke’s 2013 album Sketches of Ethiopia is a masterpiece fusing jazz and Ethiopian modes. On 23rd November, another jazz legend, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders leads his quartet in the Wroclaw Philharmonic Hall.

As has become the custom, Jazztopad showcases the very best in Polish jazz, surely one of the deepest and most talented pools of jazz anywhere today. On 19-20 November seven Polish jazz bands will demonstrate the rude health and diversity of Polish jazz today. The extraordinary violinist Adam Baldych, leading his Imaginary Quartet should definitely set the Wroclaw Philharmonic Hall alight.

In recent years Jazztopad has increasingly opened his doors to jazz from Asia and this year is no different. Two concerts stand out. On 21st November Turkish quartet Konstrukt and Turkish trio of Erkan Oğur, Derya Türkan and Alp Ersönmez promises unique and stirring sounds. Konstrukt recently recorded Vibrations of the Day with Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra. In his review, Mark Corroto stated that the album confirms “their ascension to the highest level of improvising ensembles.”

On Saturday 22nd, Misirili Ahmet will give a solo darbuka (goblet drum) recital. This will be followed by Korean nine-piece band MosaiKOREA. This is the third consecutive year that the exciting sounds of Korean jazz/improvised music will sound at Wroclaw. MosaiKOREA’s blend of tradition Korean instruments and jazz instruments creates potent new music for the 21st century.

There’s a lot more going on at Jazztopad besides. There are Concerts in The Dark, films on jazz, workshops, Jazz For Kids, Concerts In Living Rooms, meetings with musicians…

In short, a feast of jazz and creative music for all music lovers!

For full program details and ticket information please visit the Jazztopad Festival website.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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