The 20th International Festival of Improvisation, Jazz and World Music Rīgas Ritmi was opened on July 2 with concerts in the Old Riga open-air restaurant No Problem and in the jazz cafe Sidrērija.
After the official opening speeches of the festival director Diāna Briežkalne and artistic director Māris Briežkalns, the unusual guitarist and world traveler Reinis Jaunais was the first to perform at the anniversary festival with the band, offering a completely fresh program Earth, which will be released in an album format next month. In his manner, Reinis offered not only instrumental compositions and songs created during the travels, but also great stories.
At the same time, Finnish pianist Tuomo Usitalo performed with his trio in a very cozy atmosphere in the courtyard of the jazz cafe Sidrerija, offering a more classical jazz program. It should be reminded that he will perform again at the satellite event of this year's festival on July 5 on the Ciemupe stage as part of his wife Una Stade's quintet.
The evening at the open-air restaurant No Problem was closed by singer Dināra Rudāne together with already proven local jazzmen and mutual friends: her husband, bassist Edvīns Ozols, pianist Artjoms Sarvi, saxophonist Gints Pabērzs and drummer Artis Orubs. There was a stable mark of quality in the concert, but the repertoire included cover versions of popular songs, thus creating a real feeling of a summer evening party at the concert venue.
The events of the first day of the festival continued in the jazz cafe Sidrērija, where a jam session took place, with the participation of local jazz music students, which created a lively and attractive feeling.
The Rigas Ritmi Festival will continue on July 3 with the performance of the Rihards Lībietis Orchestra and later also the singer Rūta Dūduma's group in the open-air restaurant No Problem, as well as the concert of pianist Edgars Cīrulis Quartet in the jazz cafe Sidrērija.