The summer concerts of the Rigas Ritmi 2020 ends - the third day

On July 4, the improvisation, jazz and world music festival Rīgas Ritmi summer concerts ended with an explosive performance by the band Very Cool People and singer Aija Andrejeva at the Old Riga open-air restaurant No Problem.
July 7, 2020, 11:53
Kaspars Zaviļeiskis

In the first part of the evening, Very Cool People for the first time publicly offered the program of their next album of instrumental jazz, Balkan and other influences, which was given the temporary name Rambo. As the musicians later admitted, the stress before the premiere was great, but everything went well, which was obvious from the audience.

A party with the first minutes of the evening, jokes in the style of Very Cool People, sunflower seed snacks and a thorough charge of no less sunny energy. The strongest piece in the first section was definitely Oskars. Dedication to the group's trumpet player Oskars Ozoliņš, who should always be called out loud to the group's sound check before the concerts…

In the second part, the band played with Aija Andrejeva. The program was dedicated to the legendary singer Janis Joplin. It was strong, emotional and touching, as a result of which the applause and ovations was huge. Me and Bobby McGee was sung as bonus - a song by Kris Kristofferson, which posthumously became a mega-hit in Janis version. Very Cool People and Aija Andrejeva's program Tribute to Janis Joplin was prepared for the festival as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the singer's departure from this world, and it is thought that Joplin would be more than happy about this evening.

"I was very worried," Aija did not hide after the concert. "I have an abnormally good feeling that the circle is over. The idea for the program originated ten years ago. It has finally happened. And it's great that it happened right now, because hardly a decade ago I could have done it the way I could now. However, this program requires some stage experience. Everything has its time!”

"Aija is my student and in my youth I was an absolute fan of Janis Joplin," said the conductor, singer and teacher Ivars Cinkuss, who attended the concert. "I know every one of her songs by heart, so I was very interested in how Aija will deal with this repertoire. It is one thing to copy something, but another thing is to get your breath in another's mouth. I think Aija really did it tonight.”

"The organizers of the Rigas Ritmi Festival have hit the stars and space with the initiative to create such a program of Aija and Very Cool People," Kristīne Komarovska, the producer of the Latvian Television culture program Kultūrdeva, was also delighted after the concert. "This program showed Aija's full range of vocal abilities, talents and indescribable passion for music. I have never seen such an Aija and I sincerely hope that this cooperation will continue and the program will reach listeners not only in Latvia, but also elsewhere in the world, because the potential is really great.”

The evening of the festival also continued in the cafe Sidrērija, where the project Riga Jazz Stage Talents created especially for the festival by the participants of the jazz performers competition Riga Jazz Stage performed with Santa Šillere at the microphone. The performance in the premises of the former jazz cafe Trompete took place in a hot atmosphere, both literally and figuratively, and the evening continued with the usual jam session of the festival, at the end of which the guitarist Matīss Čudars also demonstrated a very touched performance.