The Jazz year 2022 under the sign of competition and festival
2022 was a productive jazz year for Riga. From April 7 to 9, the Splendid Palace cinema hosted the largest international competition of jazz artists Riga Jazz Stage so far, from June 29 to July 2 - the International Improvisation, Jazz and Global Music Festival Rīgas Ritmi, but in autumn concerts of its Art of Riga Jazz concert series were held as well.
The audience of the Rīgas Ritmi Festival was artistically entertained this year by the jazz greats Modern Standards Supergroup, global music band Ayom from Portugal, American singer Clark Beckham, Latvian jazz-funk band Very Cool People with singer Paula Saija, British singer, multi-instrumentalist Xantoné Blacq and other colorful artists.
The highlight of the festival was the Modern Standards Supergroup concert, in which five world jazz stars - drummer Billy Cobham, trumpeter Randy Brecker, saxophonist Bill Evans, pianist Niels Lan Doky and bassist Linley Marthe - performed together.
The main concerts took place in the scenic garden of the Riga Cathedral, but the festival stages were also located in the art center Noass on the AB dam, where the Jersika Stage curated by the jazz label Jersika Records operated, and in the Riga Jazz Lounge bar at the hotel Radisson Blu Latvija, where official jam sessions took place under the leadership of double bassist Andris Grunte's trio.
The festival program was also continued in the autumn sessions Art of Riga Jazz in the Latvian Radio Studio 1, where the Spanish singer and trombonist Rita Payés and the new Italian jazz group XY Quartet performed, as well as in the VEF Palace of Culture, where the audience was entertained by world-class jazz artists Richard Bona and Alfredo Rodriguez with their trio.
Next year, the Rīgas Ritmi Festival will take place from July 6 to 8, and the winner of this year's Riga Jazz Stage competition in the vocalist category, Louise Balkwill from UK, will also perform there. This year's winner in the drummer category - Domo Branch from the USA - performed at the festival already this year, and the recording session for his debut album was also held in Riga.