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Popular Saulkrasti Jazz Festival turns 20!


Festival's special guest – virtuoso afro-jazz guitarist Jimmy Dludlu.

The first jazz music festival in Latvia – Saulkrasti Jazz Festival – celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer. From 17 to 22 July, outstanding jazz artists from the Baltics, other European countries, Africa and America will perform on the Saulkrasti stage. The special guest – Jimmy Dludlu from Mozambique.

Latvia has always stood out among other countries with its high musical culture and international achievements. They are most often associated with choir music, opera traditions and academic music.

However, there are also many jazz masters and fans of this wonderful style of music in Latvia.

The first Saulkrasti Jazz Festival took place in 1997, and to this day brings together jazz music fans of all ages for one week a year. The festival's program is exciting, because it consists of four essential parts: the young jazz musician camp, the “Baltic Drummer’s League” contest, nightly concerts, and the festival’s gala concert.

The Director of Saulkrasti Jazz Festival Raimonds Kalniņš explains: “Twenty years is a respectable age for a festival. During this time, a lot has happened in Latvian jazz. In twenty years, hundreds of brilliant jazz musicians from all around the planet have participated in Saulkrasti Jazz Festival. The festival’s master class camps have raised a whole generation of jazz musicians, which are giving concerts not only in the Baltics, but also in other European countries and beyond. This year’s festival will be unforgettable. This time, we are celebrating the jazz music culture in Latvia, and invite every jazz lover to join the celebration!”

The festival is popular among many brilliant jazz musicians from various countries. This summer, the guitar virtuoso Jimmy Dludlu and his band won’t be the only performers – for four nights, we will get to enjoy the mesmerizing vocal of Sharon Clark from USA, as well as the wonderful singer Cecile Verny from Ivory Coast who, together with Jelgava Big Band lead by Raitis Ašmanis, will perform a concert program dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald.

Among the festival’s performers will also be the musically innovative Anton Gorbunov & Band (Russia), the breath-taking Swedish trio “LSD Trio”, Matilda Leko and “Blue Circle” (Germany), “Walk Away” (Poland), “The Ditties”, and others.

The education of young musicians has always been the priority of Saulkrasti Jazz Festival. The anniversary year will be no different, and there will be master classes lead by experienced jazz musicians. Every year there are workshops for guitarists, drummers, bassists, keyboardists, wind instrumentalists and singers.

In 1997, the Saulkrasti Jazz Festival was famous for its “Baltic Drummer’s League” contest. The workshop camp, nightly concerts and Jam Session were added to the program only in the following years. “Baltic Drummer’s League” still exists and every year seeks to find the most skilled young drummer in the Baltics. “Baltic Drummer’s League” is a tradition that not only allows to evaluate the skill level of Baltic drummers and motivate the most talented ones, but also excites and captivates the audience.

More information about Saulkrasti Jazz Festival 2017: