Thursday, 14 August 2008

This is how they do it...

...during the day...

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Jazzinty Concert - Playgrounds

On the day two of the Workshop it was practically impossible to see any participants walking around. It seemed like they all left the Earth to some other place, some musical world. After their hard-working day, it was time for a relaxed evening, a drink, a pleasant talk, and, of course, some music.

With their fresh yet calming sound, we attended the concert of Playgrounds. A very young band (if I remember correctly, the singer said half a year old), formed in Graz - the closest jazz music piece of heaven we have. Though they are very young, they have already had some respectable performances in Vienna, Graz and Villach.

They started the concert with a song I'll be seeing you, a standard piece in the jazz setlists. With people starting to fill the club, Tjaša (vocals) and her band, contionued with her own compositions Soft and tender, A Different view, Travelling Chant and some more. One of the compositions, Pogresam te (I miss you), was written by the band's pianist Michael Lagger. With Michael Ringer (bass) and Reinhold Schmölzer (drums) they created this beautiful fairy tale, playing like real professionals. All of the songs seem to have this conceptual and contextual connection, and with which made everything together sound like a story, a tender evening lullaby. Soft and tender, actually.

Jazzinty Concert - Kaja Draksler's "Acropolis"

The Jazzinty opening concert was the fresh project of an outstanding young Slovene pianist and composer Kaja Draksler. With her band (Kristijan Krajnčan – drums, Jure Pukl – saxophone, Robert Jukič – bass) she presented her lates project, her first album "Acropolis". Kaja already did several projects, last year we were able to hear her big composoition, a concert for accordion and orchestra in three movements based on a story of Orpheus and Euridice, performed by Janez Dovč and Slovenian philharmonic orchestra.

All the band members already being known at Jazzinty for their talents it was of no surprise that the concert was amazing. Still, Kaja and her members decided to go beyond amazing, making it one of the best concerts in Novo mesto and around ever.

The Jazzinty Mentors

Since Jazzinty aims to give all the participants the best, the mentors also need to be spectacular. And they are.

This year, the Workshop is hosting:

1. Adam Nussbaum - a major name in the jazz world, Mr.Nussbaum is an amazing drummer and is leading this year's Jazz Improvisation Masterclass

2. Vlatko Stefanovski - after great experience on the Jazzinty 2005, the guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski, known for his extraordinary techniqe, is leading the Ethno Improvisation class.

3. Joris Teepe - the NYC jazz scene bassist, composer, producer and so much more is not a new name on the Jazzinty list. His programe on the Workshop combines basics of improvisation, walking bass, jazz, latin and funk bass techniques and advanced improvisation techniques.

4. Simone Zanchini - one of the best European Jazz Accordionists and a teacher, also a well known mentor on the Jazzinty Workshop, leading the Accordion category.

5. Jasper Soffers - pianist of the Dutch Metropole Orchestra, teacher of jazz-piano at the conservatory of Then Hague and Groningen.

6. Ratko Zjaca - the acknowledged Dutch jazz guitarist, especially known for reaching above the standard jazz phraseologies, on the Jazzinty as the electric, acoustic and fretless guitar.

7. Judy Niemack - "A jazz singer with a perfectly glorious voice!" Bob Harrington, New York Post. Enough said.

8. Miles Griffith - with his amazing voice and talent, as well as delightful approach to teaching, he is leading the blues part of the vocal category.

9. Andy Middleton - the best of the best, this highly regarded mentor is leading the workshop in the saxophone category.

10. Daniel Noesig - the young trumpet player with promising future, a graduate of the Royal Conservatory in den Haag and a trumpet mentor on Jazzinty.

11. Marijan Dovič - a Slovene jazz violinist, on Jazzinty the art director and the violin mentor in this developing category.

12. Amel Serra - a world-wide known Cuban percussionist that is teaching the participants afro-cuban rhythms.

13. Gašper Bertoncelj - the drummer that the NYC took from his homeland Slovenia, making him an amazing musician.

14. Erik Marenče - an outstanding young Slovene pianist and composer with a lot of technical skills, on the Jazzinty Workshop the teacher of the course about improvisation, basics of harmony, harmonic analysis of jazz compositions and the analysis of composition techniques and styles

Jazzinty 2008

Another festival summer in Novo mesto has started. And yes, it is rather festive. This week, the town and LokalPatriot are, for the 9th time, hosting Jazzinty Festival and Workshop.

In eight years of steadfast evolution, Jazzinty has grown from the initial workshop to an extensive production, which combines four complexes: music workshop, jazz festival, competition for composition award Jazzon and the cycle of jazz concerts. The central complex remains the Jazzinty Workshop, one of the biggest music workshops in Slovenia and beyond, which includes 12 basic categories and a cast of over ten internationally acclaimed home and foreign mentors. The programme offers six consecutive days of intensive music education, combining level lectures, group and individual work with mentors, public rehearsals and performances, playing in »combo« bands, jam sessions and the final concert. Essential mission of Jazzinty is encouraging of creativity: opening new doors and views on music.

The workshop is accompanied by the Festival Jazzinty, which brings attractive concerts of mentors and other invited artists, concerts of the young and perspective Slovene jazz bands, the final concert of Jazzon composition award and accompanying programme at various venues. Jazzinty is taking place every summer in Novo mesto, Slovenia, the juncture of Eastern and Western European cultures. In August Novo mesto offers a pleasant and peaceful shelter with its historic town’s centre, surrounded by the green river Krka. The wokshop and festival are taking place at various venues around the old part of town, such as Marjan Kozina Music School, Club LokalPatriot, the beautiful Museum Gardens, Bookstore Goga atrium, contemporary art gallery Simulaker and picturesque Main Square.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Day 3

It was just another day at Jazzinty...Some students practicing, some running to get a cup of coffee, some slowly moving up the stairs to the classrooms where mentors are waiting... After work, dinner and shower it was time for another big night: Jazzon - Grand Awawrd for the Best Slovene Jazz Composition. For the 5th year, the jury had to make a preselection and choose the seven finalists whose compositions were the performed by the Igor Lumpert Jazzon Quintet.

After hearing all compositions it was obvious that the decision, at least the one on the audience side is going to be difficult. And in the jury: Barry Harris, Judy Niemack, Ratko Zjaca, Andy Middleton, Janez Gregorc, Joris Teepe.
After the break the results were known:

1st Award: Tine Grgurevic: Three For Blue
2nd Award: Blaz Remic: Cartesian Theatre

The Audience Award: Klemen Smolej: Sporocilo (Massage)

Congrats to the winners and other finalist!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Day 2

Jazzinty would not be Jazzinty if there was no passing the knowledge to the younger generation eager to learn.:) The Workshop is an intensive program of musical education, stretching over a week. It is an academy, open to anyone interested in improvisation and jazz. It brings students that play piano, bass, the violin, accordion, drums, percussions, trumpet, saxophone, guitar, do vocals or just want to learn some basic jazz harmony and composition skills. This year's seventy participants have individual classes as well as combo practices where they play in different groups.

Day 1

This year Jazzinty started in style, as always. Miles Griffith Quintet opened the Festival with powerful beats as well as softer melodies. Respectable musicians and public hungry of jazz...

The energy moved to the Club LokalPatriot where Jazzinty participants performed on a jam session...

Tuesday, 14 August 2007


Art Blakey once said that music washes away the dust of every day life. For the past seven years, an anual summerish week of jazz embracing a variety of musicians and their energy has been doing exactly that. Washing away the dust of every day life in this small town. Bringing something new each year. Something exciting, calm or powerful, happy or sad, sometimes all at the same time. It is an amazing mixture of sounds, tunes and therefore brings an extraordinary wave of feelings.