The Slovenia Times

Cerkno gets in the mood for jazz


Cerkno, a small town nestling among steep hills of western Slovenia, will cast aside its sleepy character for three days to surrender to innovative jazz music performed by some of the best musicians from all over the world.

Held for the 28th year running, Jazz Cerkno will host musicians from 14 countries between 18 and 20 May. What all of them have in common is an experimental and innovative approach to jazz, often played on instruments not typical of this genre.

One such is Disorder at the Border, a fiery Italian-Slovenian trio whose music is inspired by the free jazz of Ornette Coleman. The trio, which will open the festival, features Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaučič and for the first time trumpeter Gabriele Mitelli, a prominent member of the younger generation of Italian experimental musicians.

Otomo Yoshihide, the veteran Japanese avant-garde jazz representative, will take the stage next in tandem with Chris Pitsiokos, the rising star of the New York jazz scene.

Wrapping up the first concert evening will be The Attic, a band led by renowned Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, who continues the tradition of spiritual jazz in the style of Pharoah Sanders.

The Šalter Ensemble, an experimental collective of ten musicians from Slovenia, Switzerland and Austria, will open the second festival evening, followed by Slovenian saxophonist Jure Pukl and his ANOROK quartet.

Japanese pianist Aki Takase will be back in Cerkno to round off the Friday evening with JAPANIC, an international quintet featuring younger jazz musicians she has been collaborating with in combining jazz, avant-garde and experimental electronic music, as well as hip-hop.

In a warm-up for the final festival evening, violinist Ana Kravanja and pianist Elisabeth Harnik will perform at the Cerkno music school in the afternoon.

The programme will continue on the main stage with the American-French Tiger Trio, featuring renowned jazz musicians Myra Melford, Nicole Mitchell and Joelle Léandre, who combine chamber structure of compositions and improvisation.

In a similar vein, the Austrian-German tandem of keyboardist Elias Stemeseder and drummer Christian Lillinger will combine baroque and avant-garde in the PENUMBRA project.

In what the organizers herald as the energetic finale of the festival, the Turkish-Greek trio Konstrukt and their special guest, saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, will provide a lively bustle of Balkan music, free improvisation and experimental interventions.

For an all-around festival experience there will be a number of accompanying events, including a sound installation by Andrej Kobal at the Cerkno Museum, a round-table on music and new media technologies, and a late night jam session at Pr' Gabrijelu, the bar at the core of the festival.


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