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Jazzforum Budapest 2011

Program of Jazzforum Budapest 2011 

Introducing possibly the widest spectrum of contemporary jazz from mainstream to experimental has always been an intention of the Jazzforum Budapest throughout its eight-year history. From 7 to 10 September there will be 23 concerts at the usual venues (Palace of Arts, Budapest Jazz Club and Trafo House of Contemporary Arts). The free concerts in Ráday Street will take place in the iF Café and the Jedermann Café.

Similarly to the previous two years, our program is based on a special focus - this time on Polish jazz, because Poland has taken over the EU Presidency from Hungary. From seven thematic performances (one opening concert and three concerts each in the BJC and Trafo) there are three Polish-Hungarian co-productions with brand new material written specially for the festival. Parallel to this main focus the program contains numerous, mainly West European bands and soloists, often in a unique line-up with Hungarian musicians.

Of the two planned BMC album release concerts only one will go ahead, the reggae-jazz project, a homage to Bob Marley with artists from four different countries. The other CD will also be released in September, though it cannot be presented in the original line-up due to the unfortunate death of György Szabados. Instead, the French double-bass player Joëlle Léandre performs with Ákos Szelevényi and their duo concert will be dedicated to the memory of György Szabados.

We hope that the program of Jazzforum Budapest testifies to the vitality of contemporary jazz, since this genre is constantly improving and transforming, with more and more modern and exciting productions appearing despite the difficult general circumstances. And we are convinced that alongside the European vanguard, Hungarian jazz can contribute to this process.

László Gőz
Director of Budapest Music Center

Focusing on Poland

"There would be something missing from European jazz as we know it without the addition of Poland's distinctive voice. Krzysztof Komeda and Tomasz Stanko for example were at the forefront of the wave of musicians who purposefully translated the urgent sounds of freedom emanating from Miles Davis and John Coltrane into a uniquely European vocabulary, enthralling not only the jazz scene in their homeland, but serving as a source of inspiration for musicians throughout the world" This quotation above comes from the press material of a Polish jazz album released in Germany. When Polish jazz is so highly appreciated in Berlin, in one of the centers of current European jazz, then what more can we Hungarians say? Is it possible to top this?

Sure. If we look into the sparkling eyes of an old Hungarian "jazz veteran" and pay attention to his faraway look, his occasionally faltering voice as he recalls one of those unforgettable Polish jazz tours: "And remember how it was, when back in "83 we hit the road to the Warsaw Jazz Jamboree with backpacks, hitchhiking?" Then he continues by enumerating the Polish jazz albums bought in the Shop of Polish Culture (Michał Urbaniak, Urszula Dudziak, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Stańko) and naturally goes on with the legendary Polish newspaper, the Jazz Forum, written in English: "With a little trickery you could subscribe to the paper, but lending it proved to be a huge mistake, because it would be worn to shreds by the time you finally got it back."

Because of my age, I missed out on all this, but what I have is the relation with the current generation. My experiences so far just very briefly: the Poles - not only the artists and the audience but the social organizations as well - still take the status of jazz very seriously. I guess the younger generations are even more conscious. Because what do they see? Something that here in Hungary seems as yet unthinkable: a jazz musician that has the reputation and financial recognition of a pop star. Of course, even there in Poland are not many jazz musicians in their mid-thirties, dressed in white suits, building up strict marketing plans with fashion photos and the aura of a celebrity, but you can find some, which is a good example of the general degree of support for Polish jazz.

In such circumstances it's no surprise that a constant stream of musicians from younger generations appear, with high expectations and jazz releases of increasing quality. (Here special thanks are due to Wojtek Kriston for the continuous and very generous supply of CDs).

If we could afford it, we would invite at least another dozen world standard artists of the younger and just as many of the older generation. It's not easy to give an overall picture of current Polish jazz, because as the quotation above continues: "Diversity is the word that best describes Poland's contemporary jazz scene". Nevertheless, we can get a taste of various kinds of music (such as jam) through the Polish focus, and we hope that everyone will find something to his or her liking.

Tamás Bognár
Jazzforum Budapest / BMC Records
További hírek
Mediterranean Impressions | Kortárs Spanyol zongoraest
Fókuszban Magnus Lindberg - Az Eötvös Péter Alapítvány Mesterkurzusának záró koncertje
CentriFUGA produkció: Befejezetlen Contrapunctus
További lemezek