Ten Years of Jazz

0


While these dates clash with those of the country’s most prominent jazz event, Jazz Festival Ljubljana, the organizers emphasize that these two events are not so much similar in their programmes as they are complementary. The festival’s public relations representative, Mario Batelic, points out that Cerkno’s festival was developed with more creativity and a freer style and that musical diversity has always been the main priority. The programme usually includes many improvisational and experimental performances – even DJ-ing gets a look in. Since the majority of bands also include other styles in their repertoires such as drum’n’bass, funk, art rock, free jazz or variations of traditional components, one could be forgiven for believing that the term jazz has only been used to describe the one common element that the performers share. The festival started ten years ago, when a few jazz enthusiasts decided to organise a festival to draw attention to a newly established bar. The public enthusiastically lapped up the concept and the festival has continued to grow from that time point on. By its fifth year, additional stages had to be prepared, and eventually the festival came to the point where organizers realized that they were lucky that there was a hotel in town, which usually only caters for skiers throughout the winter season. Besides being actively supported by the hotel, music workshops are established in the local youth club, concerts are given in the music school and several artists open exhibitions of their work for the duration of the festival. Since the festival has developed a considerable international reputation it has now became an important cultural tourist event for the local community and region. However, the organizers see no sense in overextending the festival and are of the belief that the best concerts are small ones, where the spirit and connection between the musicians and the audience is more intense. Instead of quantitative progression, the founder and coordinator of the festival, Bostjan Cvek, emphasizes that the festival has continued to develop on the back of creativity, quality and production. To meet this end, another festival called Keltika was established three years ago, which organizes and presents concerts throughout the year. Arguably, the organizers are even more successful as promoters, since practically all performers presented in this year’s programme are internationally recognized musicians. Some of them will warm up the audience during Saturday’s morning concert, which is another of the festival’s novelties. The festival programme can be found along with information regarding other festivals at: www.gabrijel.si.