On January 17th at Brussels Jazz Festival – Rigas Ritmi Allstars: Maris Briezkalns Quintet and Laima Jansone Trio!
To represent the best of Latvian jazz a double concert of Rigas Ritmi Allstars will take place in „Flagey” (Brussels) on January 17th. The concert is included in the cultural programme of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Rigas Ritmi Festival is one of the most attended and loved music festivals in Latvia. For 15 years it has promoted the jazz genre by organizing concerts, workshops and special Showcase programmes of Latvian jazz artists for guests from abroad. Rigas Ritmi Festival is a member of Europe Jazz Network which helps to promote the jazz events all over the Europe.
Maris Briezkalns Quintet (MBQ) is one of the leading and interesting acoustic bands on the Latvian jazz scene. It gathers the most significant jazz musicians from Latvia – Edvins Ozols (bass), Viktors Ritovs (piano), Maris Briezkalns (drums), Gints Paberzs (saxophone) and Intars Busulis (trombone, vocal). A special guest artist – Tiago Loei on percussions – will join for this concert. MBQ has performed on different international stages – MIDEM, Pori Jazz, Ottawa Jazz, Jazz at Castle in Prague and Venice Jazz Festival. In 2011 band visited USA with concert series promoting the Rigas Ritmi Festival. They debuted in the prestigious jazz club “Blue Note” with programme “Latvian Evergreens” and becoming the very first Latvian musicians to perform there.
The Laima Jansone Trio first appeared on stage at Rigas Ritmi Festival in 2012, when Latvian folk instrument kokle player Laima Jansone performed together with percussionist Artis Orubs and bassist Andris Grunte. The trio revealed a new melodic synthesis, unique and uncommon to jazz music. Jazz magazine “All About Jazz” called the project “the find of the Festival”. In year 2013 the audience had the chance to witness the trio’s new concert programme, called “Zarbugans”. The trio continues to impress with the unique synthesis of modern and traditional music, joined by the extraordinary stage layout and visual presence of musicians.
"Maris Briezkalns and his group proved that Latvian jazz is more than just alive and well - it is the embodiment of a creative energy that characterizes the human spirit. Latvia is taking the lead in asserting its place in the cultural landscape and its musicians are significant players on the world stage. Uplifting triumph!" — Jeff Levenson, Half Note Records Executive Vice President, Half Note Records
This concert is part of the cultural programme of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The main values of this programme are contemporaneity, uniqueness and excellence. The aim of the cultural programme is to present Latvia as a reliable partner in cooperation, a cultural tourism destination and a source of inspiration, top-class professionalism and cultural achievement. The programme will consists of almost 200 events. In the framework of the Presidency’s cultural programme, MBQ will also perform in Washington DC and Laima Jansone Trio will have a concert in Luxembourg.