New album by Maestro Raimonds Pauls was presented with a standing ovation
On the evening of July 7, the central event of the 23rd international improvisation, jazz and global music festival Rīgas Ritmi took place in the Riga Cathedral garden. It was the presentation concert of the new album Songs Without Words by Maestro Raimonds Pauls and the chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga.
The evening, marked by several standing ovations, was spent in the Riga Cathedral garden on a warm and emotional Maestro’s melodic wave, when the author himself together with musicians of the jazz trio and the chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga under the direction of conductor Normunds Šnē performed well-known compositions by Raimonds Pauls arranged by the British musician Callum Au. The song Baltā saule (White Sun) was especially popular with the audience, and was performed even twice, with the audience singing along to the words of singer’s Margarita Vilcāne eternal hit, as well as Dāvāja Māriņa (known internationally as Millions of Scarlet Roses) transformed in a distinctly jazzy manner and Mēmā dziesma (Speechless Song) accented with strings. The Maestro himself on stage not only provided the inevitable dose of his characteristic humor, but also did not hide his emotions for the excellent concert evening.
Before the program Songs Without Words in the Riga Cathedral garden prominent Danish guitar virtuoso Jacob Gurevitsch allowed to delve into the nuances of flamenco playing together with the accompanying musicians, creating a lyrical and romantic feeling already in the first part of the concert evening. In the morning, he also gave an informative master class in the Latvian Radio Studio 1.
On the other hand, the two-day festival program curated by the vinyl record label Jersika Records was launched in the Noass art center located on AB dam. On the Jersika Stage, saxophonist Kārlis Auziņš performed an exciting program of new original compositions together with bassist Edvīns Ozols and drummer Kaspars Kurdeko, while the evening continued with a fusion funk party by vibraphonist Miķelis Dzenuška together with his band Uzvaras bulvāris, performing the program of the album Satiksmes mezgls released this year.
Meanwhile, the charismatic British singer Louise Balkwill, winner of last year's Riga Jazz Stage jazz artist competition, performed on the Riga Jazz Lounge stage of the Radisson Blu Latvija hotel, and after the concert, the evening continued with a jam session with double bassist Andris Grunte and his colleagues.
The album Songs Without Words by Raimonds Pauls and Sinfonietta Rīga is available on vinyl record and CD format and will soon be available on music streaming services as well. It includes ten arrangements of Maestro compositions made by the British composer Callum Au, performed together with Raimonds Pauls by double bassist Toms Poišs, drummer Māris Briežkalns and the chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga under the direction of conductor Normunds Šnē. The album was produced by Māris Briežkalns, it was recorded in the Latvian Radio Studio 1, with Gustavs Ērenpreiss working at the sound console and assisted by Ivo Tauriņš, Reinis Bagātais and Krišjānis Geidāns. Final mix was made by Louis Dowdeswell and master version by Mark Ashfield of PresentDayProduction. The author of the album design is Roberts Blumbergs.