The 21st International Festival of Improvisation, Jazz and Global Music Rīgas Ritmi continued on July 2 with a concert of the global music supergroup Bokanté at VEF Culture Palace, quartet Vyšniauskas/Čudars/Poišs/Arutyunyan, jazz poetry project klausies (listen) and pianist Kristaps Vanadziņš trio performance at the Jersika Records Stage in the art house Noass, concert by Lithuanian modern jazz masters Shinkarenko Jazz 4N at the music house Daile, as well as concerts by Latvian pianist Gatis Breijers sextet and Finnish pianist Tuomo Uusitalo trio in the art space M/Darbnīca.
Bokanté vividly highlighted why the word “global” appeared in the festival’s full title, replacing the previous “world”. While world music had so far rather marked the presence of traditional music of different nations at the festival, the term global music adopted in many parts of the world instead marks the tendencies of globalization in the music environment as well. Bokanté is an union of musicians from different countries, which has successfully mixed the sounds of several traditions, creating a unique music with very different influences. The general mood is appealingly warm and rhythmically catchy, without missing the exotic stage charisma of vocalist Malika Tirolien, and jazz features for which the founder of the legendary jazz-rock band Snarky Puppy Michael League is largely responsible in this project. As epidemiological restrictions prevented the VEF Culture Palace hall from being filled, the Rīgas Ritmi festival offered everyone to watch the performance of the so-called supergroup online as well.
Lithuanian masters Shinkarenko Jazz 4N, on the other hand, pleasantly surprised many who gathered at the music house Daile with a powerful wave of experimental jazz rock, reaching the highest point when they were joined by the artistically expressive singer and flutist Neda well known in Lithuania. The unaccustomedness and artistic freedom of this union would probably not leave anyone indifferent.
The artistically enjoyable atmosphere was also felt on the stage offered by the vinyl label Jersika Records in the art space Noass on the AB dam. The culmination of the evening was presented by a trio of pianist Kristaps Vanadziņš, who gave a very convincing and high-quality concert. Christoph Giese, a journalist from the largest German jazz magazine Jazzthetik, was also impressed by the trio’s powerful sound, expressing the desire to hear this trio at another festival in Latvia or perhaps another European country, which would be only logical and valid. Vanadziņš’ trio jazz aesthetics is at the same time based on the American tradition, melodic and modernly expressive, creating a desire for every modern jazz lover to listen to it again and again.
The art space M/Darbnīca also continued to take care of the quality program of the jazz festival, offering both a convincing performance by the young and promising pianist Gatis Breijers sextet and concert by the Latvia living Finnish pianist Tuomo Uusitalo trio. On the terrace, where mostly the younger generation of jazzmen joined official jam session of the festival, the largest number of visitors so far came, largely due, of course, to the magic of the summer Friday evening.