On April 8th, at cinema “Splendid Palace”, Riga, the winners of International Jazz Artist Contest“Riga Jazz Stage 2017” were announced – 1st place in category “Jazz Guitar” was awarded to Matīss Čudars from Latvia, but 1st place in category “Jazz Vocal” was awarded to Shenel Jhons from the USA. Shenel was also awarded a “Shure” microphone from one of the contest’s main supporters “AT&Trade”.
Contestants were evaluated by an international panel of judges from Great Britain, Latvia, USA, Italy, Lithuania, Estonia, Turkey and China! The 2nd place in category “Jazz Guitar” was awarded to Luca Zennaro (Italy) and 3rd – Jānis Bērziņš (Latvia). 2nd place in category “Jazz Vocal” was awarded to Anastasija Volokitina (Russia) and 3rd – Susanna Aleksandra Veldi (Estonia).
The Special Prize of Distinguished Member of Jury Maestro Raimonds Pauls, EUR 1000, was awarded to Anastasija Volokitina.
Vocalist Kārlis Mangulsons received special prizes from “Tele2” and Riga Jazz Stage webpage audience favorite – both prizes were established upon votes from the audience.
Invitations to jazz festivals and clubs were assigned in the following order:
- Rigas Ritmi Festival 2018 – Camille Barbillon, Shenel Johns, Anastasija Volokitina
- Jazz Time Festival – Matīss Čudars, Kārlis Mangulsons
- Viljandi Guitar Festival – Rihards Goba, Jānis Bērziņš, Matīss Čudars
- Kaunas Jazz Festival – Matīss Čudars, Kotryna Juodzevičiūte
- Nardis Jazz Club - Susanna Aleksandra Veldi, Matīss Čudars
- Ronnie Scott’s - Shenel Johns, Matīss Čudars, Luca Zennaro
- Beijing’s Nine Gates Jazz Festival - Matīss Čudars, Anastasija Volokitina, Rihards Goba, Joanna Kucharczyk
- Venetto Jazz Festival - Anastasija Volokitina, Shenel Johns, Ģirts Celmiņš
Lincoln Center will announce their invitation by May 1st of 2017.
Judges decided not to grant the Grand Prix award this year.
After the award ceremony, the audience, contestants, finalists and the winners received a special treat – Kurt Rosenwinkel together with the Latvian Radio Big Band. Winners of the category “Jazz Guitar” – Matīss Čudars, Luca Zennaro and Jānis Bērziņš – joined Kurt on stage for the closing tune of the concerts.