Jazzkaar Festival brings international names to Tallinn
The biggest jazz festival in the Baltic states takes place over the weekend.
Founded in 1990 by Anne Erm, a music editor at ERR's Vikerraadio, the festival has become well respected at home and abroad alike, attracting both big names and future talents in the jazz music world.
According to Erm, the educational aspect of Jazzkaar is important. The festival aims at presenting music trends in Europe and the world and showcasing local talent, not only the big American jazz artists.
Nevertheless, this year's festival’s line-up of American artists include saxophonist David Sanborn, guitarist John Scofield, blues singer and songwriter John Cleary, and Grammy-winning jazz singer Gregory Porter.
Local talents are represented by Estonian vocalist and composer Kadri Voorand, the winner of the 2015 Estonian Music Awards for Best Jazz Album, as well as Liisi Koikson and Ingrid Lukas. A band called Abraham’s Café is also Estonia-based, but plays Arabic, African and Latin inspired melodies.
World's music will be presented by Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf, West African and Balkan inspired musicians Mehmet Polat Trio, Albanian-Swiss singer Elina Duni, and dynamic Israeli-born Ethiopian singer Ester Rada, who was recently nominated for MTV Music Award as best Israeli singer. Avant-garde musicians and vocalists, such as French rock-jazz pioneer legends Magma, philosophical post-rock creator Oleg Pissarenko, and German electronic pianist Volker Bartelmann aka Hauschka will be performing as well.
Although Jazzkaar Festival first took place in 1990, it follows a long tradition initiated by Estonian composers Uno Naissoo and Valter Ojakäär, albeit the jazz tradition survived the Soviet era with difficulty.