Portorož – The Piran/Portorož Jazz Festival gets under way at the Slovenian seaside on Wednesday evening. Various venues in coastal towns will be home to blues, salsa, bossa nova, Cuban music and tango until Saturday, with performance by the Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil being one of the highlights.
The Slovenian take on Brazilian and Cuban rhythms will be presented in Portorož Auditorium on the first eve of the festival, with original music by authors such as Svetlana Makarovič, Milan Kleč and the late Marko Brecelj performed by the Slovenian band Bossa de Novo.
This will be followed by an Afro-Cuban jazz concert by last year’s Latin Grammy winner Ivan Melon Lewis, a Cuban-born pianist, in what the festival’s artistic director Brane Rončel said will be a special treat.
The remaining days of the festival will be genre-dedicated as well, offering something for everyone under eight concerts, Rončel added. Jazz enthusiasts can look forward to US American post-bop jazz musician Kenny Garrett and English blues guitarist and singer Matt Schofield, among others. The festival will culminate in a performance by singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil on 14 July.
The Piran/Portorož Jazz Festival has not been dubbed as the first, even though it is, because it could very well be the only one. There are no plans for now to organise another one next year, Rončel told the STA, noting this was one of the best festivals he has organised in his more than four-decade career as artistic director at home and abroad. The festival is the realisation of 30 years of plans to bring such a festival to the coast.