The Slovenia Times

Jazz Cerkno

May 16 - May 18

Cerkno, a small town in western Slovenia, will transform into a concert venue for its annual jazz festival, known for a penchant for experimental and innovative approach to the genre.

Jazz Cerkno as a rule hosts creative musicians who take jazz as a starting point to combine a diverse range of other genres.

This year if will feature anything from experimental and avant-garde electronics, through atmospheric, film score-like minimalist music, to inspired free and spiritual jazz and Ethiopian traditional music.

The main programme will see ten ensembles take the main stage erected in the heart of town during the three concert evenings, with six more events in the accompanying programme, includeing a guided hike with a concert and a geolocation sound walk.

A highlight of the first concert evening is Jones Jones, a trio featuring Mark Dresser, Larry Ochs and Vladimir Tarasov who have been winning over audiences and critics with their improvised performances since their first performance together in 2006.

The second evening will see the Italian trio The Elephant led by trumpeter Gabriele Mitelli, the Viennese trio Radian and the London trio Ill Considered, who DownBeat says "effortlessly blends wide-ranging influences - from jazz freedom to punkish angst to spiritual mother Africa".

Serbian reed player Jasna Jovićević will perform a concert at the Cerkno music school on the afternoon of the last festival day.

Back at the main stage, Rok Zalokar ZHLEHTET collective, which draws on the tradition of spiritual jazz and combines acoustic and electronic sound, will be followed by the singer-pianist duo Sofia Jernberg and Alexander Hawkins MUSHO, which combines Ethiopian songs from the singer's homeland with elements of avant-garde classical music, unconventional vocal techniques and jazz improvisation.

American saxophonist Darius Jones, one of the leading American alto saxophonists, will be presenting his original project for the first time in Slovenia, and the Darius Jones Trio (including bassist Chris Lightcap and drummer Gerald Cleaver) will present the highly anticipated upcoming album Legend of e'Boi (The Hypervigilant Eye).

For the programme and tickets, click here.