Contests’ Artistic Director Māris Briežkalns introduced this year contestants – young jazz artists, vocalists and guitar players, from Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and USA. He also noted that the skill set of the contest applicants has highly increased during the last few years.
Contestant performances will be judged by respected music professionals – a judging panel – represented by members from USA, China, Italy, Turkey, Lithuania, Estonia and the United Kingdom. Mr Briežkalns also highlighted this year’s artist in residence – legendary jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, who will also perform together with the Latvian Radio Big Band in a special project. Artistic director also invited everyone to attend the Jam Sessions, which will take part in jazz club “Trompete” every night of the contest.
Maestro Raimonds Pauls stressed: “We can be proud of jazz movement boom in Latvia.” He also complimented the growth and accomplishments of the Latvian Radio Big Band. “Wishing everyone a marvellous mood, as it will be fascinating to listen to the new achievers,” – added Maestro. He will also give away his own special prize of 1000 EUR to one of the contestants. Who will it be? We will know on April 8, during the Award Ceremony of Riga Jazz Stage 2017.
“The art of improvisation is as important to jazz as it is to business, that is why I am delighted that TELE2 is supporting both – Rigas Ritmi Festival for over 20 years and the contest “Riga Jazz Stage” since its beginnings. We are inspired by the contests audience’s desire to experience excellent music, so TELE2 we will be presenting a special webpage for a chance to vote for one’s favourite contestant. The prize will be presented during the award ceremony – the newest smartphone, and, in case the winner is from Latvia, TELE2 will also cover mobile communications for a year. I wish good luck to each and every contestant, especially those from Latvia, who are raising the level of jazz music genre not only in Latvia, but also abroad!” – told the Chairman of the Board of TELE2, Valdis Vancovičs.
“It’s an honour for us to be together with the contest for all these years. We are proud that both, the level of contestants, as well as the popularity and quality of the contest is increasing each year. We are very appreciative of the work of organizers, which has now reaped its benefits,”- said Plc. OLAINFARM Member of the Broad Salvis Lapiņš.
“This year pianist Viktors Ritovs, bass player Edvīns Ozols, saxophone player Kristaps Lubovs and I, myself, will be a part of Riga Jazz Quartet. Each year, the submitted music is getting more and more complex – and we are very happy about. We will try to do our very best.” – commented Riga Jazz Quartet representative, Artis Orubs.
Contestants Linards Šveklis and Rihards Goba (both guitar players) admitted that they consider the contest more as a concert, a performance, a great international experience. They will be creating connections, drawing inspiration and energy from the performances, expecting amazing atmosphere and exciting concerts.
The Director of the Contests Diāna Briežkalne thanked newest supporters “Royal Hotel Riga” for a successful cooperation and support.
Tickets to the contests’ concerts are available at all “Biļešu Paradīze”, and on the web: www.bilesuparadize.lv