Latgalian Evergreens album by Māris Briežkalns quintet has been released

Continuing the rearranging of Latvian folk music and the compositions by legendary Latvian composers in the jazz genre, the album Latgalian Evergreens by the Māris Briežkalns quintet dedicated to the Latgale region in Latvia has been released.
February 20, 2023, 10:52

In 2005, the album Latvian Evergreens by the Māris Briežkalns quintet was launched, and in 1997 the Contemporary Music Center also released the disc Kur tu teci. The now released album Latgalian Evergreens is a logical next step, offering lovers of quality jazz to enjoy such gems of Latgale's musical heritage as Auga, auga rūžeņa, Kukleits skanēja, Aiz azara malni meži and others in a new and different soundscape. In three compositions of the new album - Rudins bolss, Še lazdu kryumeņi salopoja and Aiz upītes es izaugu - the well-known Latvian folk music artist, singer Biruta Ozoliņa also took part.

"The project Latgalian Evergreens is like an emotional and informative adapter that helps the wider public to discover beautiful and unknown moods of Latvian music", says Biruta. "I am sure that the sophisticated sound of Latgalian Evergreens will be able to please every listener".

The album was recorded in the Latvian Radio Studio 1. Saxophonist Kristaps Lubovs, pianist Viktors Ritovs, harmonica and keyboard player Raimonds Macats and bassist Pēteris Liepiņš participated in the creation of Latgalian Evergreens.

The leader of the quintet, drummer and producer Māris Briežkalns has played percussion instruments in more than 60 music album recordings. He has performed and given workshops in many countries, including United Kingdom, France and Germany. Briežkalns heads the Contemporary Music Center and is the artistic director of the international improvisation, jazz and world music festival Rīgas Ritmi, as well as the international competition of jazz artists Riga Jazz Stage. He is the head of the Latvian Radio sound recording department and was also the artistic director of the Latvian Radio big band for many years.

"As surprising as it may sound, the idea for an album of Latgale vibes in a jazz manner arose... in Texas", adds Māris. "We performed in the USA and visited the Honorary Consul of Latvia Peter Ragaušs, who especially liked our CD Latvian Evergreens. Considering his Latgalian roots, he suggested that a similar program could be created using Latgale's musical heritage. Now this idea has materialized in the Latgalian Evergreens program".

The artwork created by Kristine Kutepova is used in the design of the new album. Latgalian Evergreens can be heard on music streaming sites and will also be released on CD and vinyl. The publisher of the album is Contemporary Music Center label MMC Ieraksti.