The Slovenia Times

Ljubljana Jazz Fest for buffs and everyone else

Ljubljana, Cankarjev dom.
Jazz festivala Ljubljana.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

The 64th Ljubljana Jazz Festival will feature 27 concerts by musicians from 18 countries between 5 and 8 July headlined by Gard Nillsen's Supersonic Orchestra and British artist Benjamin Clementine.

"Ljubljana Jazz Festival is not only for jazz buffs, it's for all those who love music and everyone else who listens to music only occasionally," Bogdan Benigar, an artistic co-director of the festival, has told reporters ahead of the event.

Compiled by Benigar and Borja Močnik, the programme is marked by diversity from all over the world that caters to different generations of audiences. The concerts will take place at several venues, centred at the Cankarjev Dom arts centre and Europe Park outside it.

After a hiatus of several years, the opening concert will be held at the Križanke open-air theatre, featuring Alfa Mist, a major figure in London's current music scene, and Benjamin Clementine, whom Močnik described as one of the most strikingly original self-made avant-garde pop artists.

At his wish Clementine will perform in an exclusive collaboration with members of the Slovenian String Sextet in what will be just one of several collaborations between foreign and national artists at the festival.

This year's artist-in-residence, percussionist Domen Cizej, will play four concerts in four line-ups while releasing as many as five albums under Clean Feed Records. And vocalist Nina Virant's VIRA project will feature Norwegian drummer Gard Nilssen.

The highlights include the New York-based saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin and Nillsen's 18-member Supersonic Orchestra, which Močnik described as the world's busiest jazz orchestra at the moment.

Concerts will also be given by Jeff Parker Quartet from the US, Danish saxophonist Signe Emmeletuh and her Amoeba quartet, Jelena Popržan Quartet from Serbia and Austria, Selene Saint-Aime Quintent from France, Italian jazz veteran Roberto Ottaviano and Theo Cross from the UK, among others.

US saxophonist John Zorn was also due to perform at the festival with his New Masada Quartet, but the concert has been postponed due to illness to April 2024.

There will be a spotlight on young local talent and a photo exhibition on percussionist Zlatko Kaučič marking his 70th birthday and more than 40 year-long music career. Kaučič will perform with Barry Guy and Augusti Fernandez on the second day of the festival.

For a full programme, click here.


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