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Taking place from 23 to 30 April, the 34th Tallinn International Jazzkaar Festival has announced its main programme that includes over 30 concerts with performers from 17 countries. Jazzkaar will present the most prominent artists in today’s local and international jazz scene and also focus on new works and albums as well as exciting special projects. Today and tomorrow, concert tickets for Jazzkaar 2023 are offered at 50 percent discount.

“Scale, mastery and the expansion of musical ideas are the keywords of this year’s festival. We are happy to welcome the biggest stars in the current jazz scene, such as Ben Wendel, The Baylor Project, Steve Coleman and Linda Fredriksson, closely followed by Kirke Karja, who is conquering European jazz stages with her special project Karja/Renard/Wandinger goes XL. I am looking forward to the masterpiece Ocean of Guitars composed by our talented musicians, the new performance of Erki Pärnoja’s heartfelt Story of One Hundred, this time performed with the Old Town Educational College String Orchestra conducted by Rasmus Puur, as well as Rahel Talts’ compositions for a 15-member ensemble. It is a proud feeling to see the unique “handwriting” of Estonian jazz become more and more clearly defined,” the artistic director of the festival, Anne Erm introduces the performers of the upcoming festival.

Jazzkaar 2023 will bring to you the currently hottest names and much-awaited artists on the jazz stages of the world. Instrumentalist and composer Ben Wendel, who quickly found his place among top saxophone players, will bring to the festival his motif-based composition style and exciting harmonies. Steve Coleman and Five Elements are among of the coolest artists in American new wave jazz, merging jazz with urban culture, rap and hip-hop. Representing world music, Sara Correia is a charismatic Portuguese fadista whose powerful and nuanced voice perfectly conveys the essence and passion of this popular Portuguese music genre. The music of the American-Dutch band Michelle David & The True-tones is a unique blend of gospel, soul, blues, jazz and afrobeat. We are grateful to Seesam Insurance for helping us bring this concert to Estonia. British pianist Taz Modi’s mesmerizing minimalist piano music intertwines with the energetic playing style of Estonian string quartet Prezioso. Exotic touch will be added to this year’s festival by the Gambian-Danish duo of kora player Dawda Jobarteh and versatile percussionist Stefan Pasborg, as well as the Cuban pianist, composer, arranger, percussionist and singer Jorge Luis Pacheco. The story of Ukrainian jazz will be told by electronic trumpet duo Koloah & Dennis Adu. We are also happy to welcome in Estonia the American bass player and singer-songwriter with an intimate and self-conscious sound language, Chris Morrissey.

The opening concert of Jazzkaar 2023 is a tribute to the most versatile instrument in jazz music – the guitar. The joint project by composers Laur Joamets, Andre Maaker and Peeter Vähi, Ocean of Guitars will be performed on 30 strings and 5 guitars, unveiling the multi-layered emotional world and endless possibilities of the instrument. This spring marks the 100th anniversary of the composer Valter Ojakäär. Beloved musicians Marianne Leibur, Anett Tamm and Ewert Sundja, joined by the band led by Marti Tärn, have created fresh arrangements of well-known songs as a tribute to the grand master in Estonian music. The closing concert of Jazzkaar 2023 will celebrate five years from the premiere (and so far the only performance) of the masterpiece The Story of One Hundred composed by acclaimed musician and composer Erki Pärnoja and performed in the now demolished Noblessner ship building hangar in 2018. This spring, the music will be performed with an expanded line-up and in new arrangements composed by Rasmus Puur. The ten-member original ensemble will be joined on stage by Old Town Educational College String Orchestra conducted by Puur. Well-known Estonian rappers reket, villemdrillem and nublu will bring the special project RAP’N’JAZZ to the stage with Raivo Tafenau, performing their best-known songs in jazz arrangements with a live band. The laureate of Jazz Musician of the Year 2022, Kirke Karja has invited four more brilliant musicians to join her trio Karja/Renard/Wandinger on stage to add colors to the trio’s modern soundscapes. There will be two pianos and also two drum sets on stage.

Beloved musicians Liisi Koikson and Joel Remmel, Rahel Talts Ensemble and Estonian singer living in Switzerland, Ingrid Lukas, will present their new albums. Ramuel Tafenau Quartet will take the listeners on a journey through exciting soundscapes, while the power trio Kelp/Borka/Rämmal will bring the elements of rock to the festival. Bass guitarist Raimond Mägi together with visual artist Emer Värk will take the audience to a world inspired by gypsy fairy tales, where the soundscape will be given a special extra dimension by a visual mixed media collage. The Dixieland band Reval Revival will be celebrating their 40th anniversary at this year’s festival. This time, our youngest listeners will be delighted by actor and musician Juss Haasma, who has asked the group Pikapäevarühma poisid to perform with him the well-known songs learned in kindergarten alongside more modern rock tunes.

UNESCO Cities of Music, Tallinn and Katowice will collaborate across festivals: bassist-composer Mingo Rajandi will join her creative ideas with DEAE (Zofia Ilnicka and Ola Rzepka) in a Tallinn-Katowice joint band, whereas the Estonian music will be introduced to the Polish audience at the Katowice JazzArt festival by Mingo Rajandi Quintet and Kirke Karja with her trio.

The 34th Tallinn International Jazzkaar Festival will take place from 23 to 30 April 2023 across Estonia. In addition to the inspiring Telliskivi Creative City, concerts will also be performed in Tartu, Pärnu, Viljandi, Kuressaare and Haapsalu. On 9 and 10 February, tickets for the Jazzkaar 2023 concerts are offered at 50 percent discount, except for the tickets for previously announced performers such as Mike Stern Band and The Baylor Project. The number of discounted tickets is limited. Please take a look at the festival programme and information about the artists on our website. See you at Jazzkaar!

Press photographs can be found HERE.

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, Estonian Author’s Society and Estonian Public Broadcasting. Our cooperation partner is Estonian Jazz Union. 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.

Andre Maaker, Laur Joamets, Peeter Vähi & ensemble, Ocean of Guitars / 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 (EST–FRA-–GER–AUT–FIN–KOR) / Kelp/Borka/Rämmal / Koloah & Dennis Adu (Ukraine) / Liisi Koikson & Joel Remmel / Linda Fredriksson Juniper (Finland) / Marianne Leibur, Anett Tamm, Ewert Sundja & ensemble, Valter Ojakäär 100 / 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) / Rahel Talts Ensemble (Estonia–Denmark–Latvia–Poland) / Raimond Mägi & Emer Värk / Ramuel Tafenau Quartet / reket, villemdrillem, nublu, taff & band, RAP’n’JAZZ / Reval Revival / The Story of One Hundred 5,  Erki Pärnoja Ensemble & Old Town Educational College String Orchestra / Sara Correia (Portugal) / Steve Coleman and Five Elements (USA) / Taz Modi & Prezioso (UK–Estonia) / The Baylor Project (USA)