Harbinger of spring, Jazzkaar 2023 to yield over 18,000 visits - Festival Jazzkaar

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04/05/2023 Harbinger of spring, Jazzkaar 2023 to yield over 18,000 visits


During its eight days, the 34th Tallinn International Jazzkaar Festival brought to jazz lovers 110 musical events, featuring artists from 18 countries. The festival’s 18,000 concert visits and 7 sold-out concerts confirm that jazz music is indeed cherished by Estonian audiences.

Jazzkaar 2023 took place from 23 to 30 April at Vaba Lava and Fotografiska Tallinn in Telliskivi Creative City, as well as in six other cities in Estonia, presenting a total of 110 music events, including 48 concerts in the main programme. In addition to the concerts in Telliskivi Creative City, the audience could also enjoy the day of free concerts, home concerts and the events in the Urban Space Project, as well as photo exhibitions, jazz talks etc. Jazzkaar’s concerts also reached the audiences in Tartu, Pärnu, Viljandi, Haapsalu, Otepää and Kuressaare. The festival attracted more than 18,000 visits, with over 9,600 ticket sales.

“We are very happy that jazz music lovers visited the concerts with such great interest this spring. It is probably a sign of hope that, despite the rampant inflation, the audience needs a breath of fresh air in the form of high-quality culture in order to have more strength and courage to face everyday difficulties. Our special thanks go to the Estonian musicians for presenting their fasinating new projects, such as the opening concert, Ocean of Guitars, which charmed the audience with its rich shades of color and virtuoso solos; Kirke Karja’s multifaceted international project Karja/Renard/Wandinger goes XL; Rahel Talts’ 15-member international ensemble’s first concert in Estonia; the exceptional and exciting RAP’n’JAZZ born in cooperation between our popular rappers and Raivo Tafenau; a powerful version of The Story of One Hundred by Erki Pärnoja with the Old Town Educational College String Orchestra conducted by Rasmus Puur. The presentations of the new projects and albums of several other Estonian artists also took place at Jazzkaar, bringing freshness and the joy of discovery, which is indeed one of the main goals of the jazz celebration,” Anne Erm, artistic director of the festival, shares her emotions.

This year’s festival presented the performances of world’s top musicians: guitar legend Mike Stern with his band and the popular soul-jazz group The Baylor Project justly deserved the headliner’s title with their spectacular joy of performing and mature programmes. Only superlatives were given to the Ben Wendel Group for their debut at Jazzkaar and the young Portuguese fado star Sara Correia, who enchanted the audience with her extraordinary voice and nuanced passionate performance. Among the audience’s favorites were also Michelle David, a gospel-inspired singer with incredible energy performing with her stylish band, and the radiant Cuban virtuoso pianist Jorge Luis Pacheco.

Anne Erm added: “There are only praises for all the artists who performed at the festival. Also, it is nice to note that Jazzkaar’s listeners were very successfully able to seek out concerts that interested them – be it a family concert, a tribute to the grand old man in Estonian jazz, Valter Ojakäär to celebrate his 100th anniversary, or an intimate home concert.”

The festival featured artists from 18 countries, with most performers from Estonia, followed by artists from the USA, Holland and Finland. Both the festival’s versatile programme and its professional organisation were praised by the foreign musicians and delegates.

Taking place for the 17th time already, the Urban Space Project, which has become an integral part of the festival, presented 56 concerts in Tallinn, Pärnu, Tartu and Viljandi. Young jazz talents performed in hospitals, day centres, bus stations, markets, schools, kindergartens and other public spaces to a total of 5,132 listeners. The day of free concerts included 11 diverse music events enjoyed by over 2,000 people. At Jazz Talks, the married couple Jean & Marcus Baylor from The Baylor Project told the story of their band, and the French photographer Andre Perlstein recollected his encounters with the world’s jazz legends.

The Estonian capital Tallinn and the Polish city of Katowice currently both bear the title of UNESCO City of Music. At the end of April, jazz festivals took place in both. Thanks to the cooperation of the UNESCO Cities of Music, Mingo Rajandi Quintet and Kirke Karja Trio performed at Katowice JazzArt Festival on 27 April. Additionally, a joint band of musicians from Tallinn and Katowice was formed, performing on 28 April in Katowice and on the final day of Jazzkaar in Tallinn.

Jazzkaar 2023 in numbers:
– 48 concerts in the main programme, including 3 home concerts, 10 concerts outside of Tallinn and 7 concerts on the day of free concerts;
– 10 concerts outside of Tallinn;
– the programme took place in 7 cities all over Estonia;
– 56 projects in the Urban Space Project;
– 11 events on the day of free concerts;
– 3 home concerts;
– 2 jazz talks;
– 3 exhibitions prepared for the festival;
– more than 110 music events all over Estonia;
– more than 2,000 visits on the day of free concerts;
– 5,132 visits in the Urban Space Project;
– more than 18,000 concert visits in total;
– more than 9,600 ticket sales;
– 15 concert venues in various places of Estonia;
– musicians from 18 countries;
– 7 sold-out concerts: Mike Stern Band; Michelle David & The True-tones; The Baylor Project; Liisi Koikson & Joel Remmel; The Story of One Hundred 5 by Erki Pärnoja Band & the Old Town Educational College String Orchestra, and home concerts of Maria Faust and Kadri Voorand in Duo with Mihkel Mälgand;
– 5 live broadcasts on Klassikaraadio – Ocean of Guitars by Andre Maaker, Laur Joamets, Peeter Vähi & ensemble; Valter Ojakäär 100 by Marianne Leibur, Anett Tamm, Ewert Sundja & ensemble; Estonian Jazz Awards 2023 – Karja/Renard/Wandinger goes XL (Estonia–France–Germany–Austria–Finland–South Korea); Steve Coleman & Five Elements (USA); Sara Correia (Portugal);
– 110 volunteers helping to organise the festival;
– cooperation between Katowice JazzArt Festival and Tallinn in the framework of UNESCO Cities of Music;
– 15 foreign delegates from across Europe (foreign journalists, festival organisers and leaders of jazz clubs);
– approximately 3,000 photos taken by the 15 volunteer photographers of the Jazzkaar media team.

The 34th Tallinn International Jazzkaar Festival took place from 23 to 30 April 2023 in different places in Estonia. Keep an eye on Jazzkaar’s activities on our website, Facebook and Instagram.


The main sponsors of the festival are JURA, Jazz Pesulad and Eesti Päevaleht. Annual sponsors are BMW Inchcape, Nordic Hotel, Tallink and Aktaprint. The concert of Michelle David & The True-tones is presented by Seesam Insurance. Telliskivi Creative City, Prike and Fotografiska Tallinn help set up the festival hub. We are also supported by Reval Café, MyFitness, Kodupaber, Piletikeskus, Pro Helvetia, Estonian Author’s Society and Estonian Public Broadcasting. Our cooperation partners are Estonian Jazz Union and the French Institute of Estonia. We would like to thank the Ministry of Culture, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Tallinn – UNESCO City of Music and Enterprise Estonia for their support

Main programme of Jazzkaar 2023:
Andre Maaker, Laur Joamets, Peeter Vähi & ensemble, Ocean of Guitars / Beady Belle (Norway) / Ben Wendel Group (USA) / Chris Morrissey (USA) / Dawda Jobareth & Stefan Pasborg Duo (Denmark) / Ingrid Lukas & Band (Estonia–Switzerland) / Jorge Luis Pacheco Trio (Cuba) / Juss Haasma & pikapäevarühma poisid / Karja/Renard/Wandinger goes XL (Estonia–France–Germany–Austria–Finland–South Korea) / Kelp/Borka/Rämmal / Koloah & Dennis Adu (Ukraine) / Liisi Koikson & Joel Remmel / Linda Fredriksson Juniper (Soome) / Marianne Leibur, Anett Tamm, Ewert Sundja & ensemble, Valter Ojakäär 100 / Maris Pihlap live & party feat. TIKS DJs / Michelle David & The True-tones (Holland) / Mike Stern Band feat. Dennis Chambers, Leni Stern, Bob Franceschini & Chris Minh Doky (USA) / Mingo Rajandi & Duo DEAE (Estonia–Poland) / Papanosh (Prantsusmaa / Rahel Talts Ensemble (Estonia–Denmark–Latvia–Poland) / Raimond Mägi & Emer Värk / Ramuel Tafenau Quartet / reket, villemdrillem, nublu, taff & band, RAP’n’JAZZ / Reval Revival / Erki Pärnoja ansambel & VHK keelpilliorkester, The Story of One Hundred 5 / Sara Correia (Portugal) / Steve Coleman and Five Elements (USA) / Taz Modi & Prezioso (Great Britain–Estonia) / The Baylor Project (USA)