The 21st International Festival of Improvisational, Jazz and Global Music Rīgas Ritmi was opened on June 30 with a concert of the pianist Rūdolfs Macats Quartet in the art space M/Darbnīca and an official jam session led by saxophonist Toms Rudzinskis on the terrace of the art space in the K. K. von Stricka villa quarter.
The concert of Rūdolfs Macats and like-minded friends – saxophonist Kārlis Auziņš, double bassist Uldis Vītols and drummer Sebastians Macats – took place in the hall on the second floor of the art space M/Darbnīca suitable for high-quality and nuanced improvisational music. As Rūdolfs Macats emphasized in the conversation after the performance, the audience was great because had come to really listen to the music. In addition, there were people of very different age in the audience, which opens new doors for the listeners, as well as for the very new art space itself.
Offered by Rūdolfs Macats Quartet or R. Macats 4tet was leisurely played extensive compositions of the leader of the band, blowing them into free improvisation with roots in both Scandinavian and American jazz schools. Although the quartet had reunited literally the day before, it was not felt for a moment, leaving a very convincing and musically rich impression. The audience of the festival appreciated it with loud applause and ovations, which was probably pleasant to hear both for the musicians and the listeners themselves after such a long pause.
The evening continued on the outdoor terrace, where the pampered by the weather and great atmosphere jam session was led by saxophonist Toms Rudzinskis, who had just arrived after a long absence in Berlin, opening the outdoor terrace of the art space M/Darbnīca together with such great musicians as the Finnish pianist Tuomo Uusitalo living in Latvia, double bassist Toms Poišs and drummer Ivars Arutyunyan.
The Rīgas Ritmi Festival will continue on July 1 with the concert of pianist Toms Mikāls trio at 7 PM in the art space M/Darbnīca and the performance of the project Riga Jazz Allstars led by pianist Viktors Ritovs together with the young and promising vocalist Paula Saija at 8 PM in the music house Daile. At the end of the evening there will be another jam session on the terrace of the art space M/Darbnīca.