The laureates perform at the Rīgas Ritmi 2022

This year, three laureates of the international jazz artist competition Riga Jazz Stage 2022 – American drummer Domo Branch, Italian singer Valentina Fin and Latvian singer Paula Saija will also perform at the 22nd International Festival of Improvisation, Jazz and Global Music Rīgas Ritmi.
June 21, 2022, 12:24

The Domo Branch Trio will perform on June 30 at the Jersika Stage in the Arts Center Noass on AB Dam. In the competition Riga Jazz Stage 2022 Domo became a convincing winner in the drummer category, earning invitations to perform at the Rīgas Ritmi Festival and Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London, as well as won the award of the international jazz journalist jury – recording time in the legendary Latvian Radio 1st studio.

“Branch had a stealthy, subtle approach to groove that made a virtue of space, on occasion slightly recalling the intricacy of Brian Blade,” Kevin Le Gendre wrote in the review of the contest in the British magazine Jazzwise and played the recording of Domo’s song That Mine from the concert of Riga Jazz Stage in his show J to Z on the BBC Radio 3 as well. 

“His performance once again confirmed the superiority of American tradition and school in sense and rhythm… No European drummer can still compete with it,” said one of the jury members, Italian concert agent Luigi Sidero.

On the same date – June 30 – in the Riga Cathedral Garden a new program with the group Very Cool People will present singer Paula Saija, who won the honorable third place in the competition Riga Jazz Stage 2022 in the singer category, earning invitations to perform at the Rīgas Ritmi Festival and Kaunas Jazz Festival in Lithuania. 

“I particularly enjoyed the singing of Paula Saija in the final, although she wasn’t actually that remarkable on the first night,” said Martin Longley, a British jazz journalist. “For the second show she used speedy, light phrasing, with a tongue-twisting, theatrical presentation, expressive during The Peacocks, and surprising everyone with a trumpet-impersonating scat.”

On July 1 at the Riga Jazz Lounge stage bar in the hotel Radisson Blu Latvia will perform Italian singer Valentina Fin, who won the second place in the category of singers at the competition Riga Jazz Stage 2022 lagging behind the winner – British singer Louise Balkwill, who will perform at the festival next year. Valentina earned invitations to perform at Rīgas Ritmi Festival, at the festival Vision in Tallinn and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.

“Italian vocalist Valentina Fin took the highest risk by finding her own expressive free form of vocalise and integrating it in the song form for a personal lament,” wrote Henning Bolte in the Belgian jazz portal Jazz’halo.

Rīgas Ritmi Festival 2022 will take place from June 30 to July 2, when a jazz grand supergroup Modern Standards Supergroup with Billy Cobham, Randy Brecker and Bill Evans, Global Music band Ayom, American singer Clark Beckham, British singer, multi-instrumentalist Xanton Black and other artists will also perform in Riga.

Tickets are available for purchase at The festival is organized by the Contemporary Music Center Foundation, supported by Riga City Council, State Culture Capital Foundation, Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, Tele 2, Latvijas gāze, Audi Latvija, Turkish Airlines, Embassy of the United States of America, Embassy of the Italian Republic and other lovers of quality music.