A musical walk through Estonian forests - Festival Jazzkaar

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01/05/2022 A musical walk through Estonian forests

Reviews Kaisa Potisepp

Sliding from fall to summertime, Jazzkaar has been searching for times during the pandemic where jazz music lovers can still come together and let music carry us into a moment of bliss.  After the turbulent times, the festival has once again arrived back to springtime, announcing the arrival of warmth, beauty and new beginnings. But after a search like this, Peedu Kass’ and Joel Remmel’s “Ode to the forest” seemed like the perfect concert to open the 33. Jazzkaar Festival. 

Many of us turned to nature during the last few years and it seems that pianist Remmel and double bassist Kass did the same. “Ode to the forest” is a song of praise for nature that supports human existence and a sharp blues for felling sites. During the concert listeners were taken on a walk through different seasons in the Estonian forest, starting with tunes to mimic the crisp fall, moving on to frosty winter time where the fast tempo took us through a blizzard. With the help of an acoustic guitar and some piano spring arrived  suddenly but gently – just like in nature. As the melodies became lighter and more playful, the concert reached summer and the circle of seasons was complete. 

All the instruments of the jazz band were supported by Bert Prikenfeld alias Bert On Beats whose electronics added an extra layer to the sound and the visuals by Tencu created a full experience, since we feel nature and its cycle of changes with all our senses. The instruments represented nature and all its organisms, the electronics created the overall atmosphere and the visuals helped the audience to decode the music and its meaning in each seasons. 

When thinking about Estonian forests in music, jazz wouldn’t probably be the first genre to come to mind for most people. We are used to acoustic guitar or big symphonies to portray our precious nature – something that’s simplistic and slow but grand. But Joel Remmel and Peedu Kass with the talented band managed to put Estonian fall, winter, spring and summer into jazz in a way that hopefully spoke to not only Estonians but also introduced our mystical force that is our forests to jazz friends from other countries. 

Jazzkaar 2022 Opening: „Ode to the forest“ Joel Remmel & Peedu Kass Ensemble

Sunday , April 24 18:00, Vaba Lava


Joel-Rasmus Remmel piano
Peedu Kass double bass
Martin Petermann drums, spds sampler, ethnic percussion
Jaan Jaanson guitars
Aleksander Paal saxophone, flute
Jason Hunter trumpet, flügelhorn
Marten Meibaum cello
Hans Christian Aavik violin
Bert Prikenfeld alias Bert On Beats electronics
Tencu video artist
Meelis Lusmägi lighting engineer
Kaur Kenk sound engineer