2021/2022 Jazz EXport
The aim of Jazz Estonia is to develop and promote Estonian jazz music both at home and abroad. Jazz Estonia organises concerts and thematic events, collects and shares information about Estonian jazz music and musicians, supports cooperation between musicians and organisations > ` Ãi>ÀV iÃ v À w > V > ÀiÃ ÕÀViÃ v À «À Ì } >ââ ÕÃ V° www.jazz.ee firstname.lastname@example.org
“Small country, big jazz!” – John Cumming
Alexey Kruglov/ Jaak Sooäär Quartet Jazz meets Classical / Modern Jazz / Tchaikovsky www.sooaar.com/projects/kruglov-sooaar-quartet Established in April 2010, the quartet has released four albums and given numerous performances in Russia, USA, China, France, Estonia and Finland. Their last two albums, “The Mighty Five” (2014) and “Tchaikovsky” (2020) on ArtBeat Music are based on masterpieces by legendary 19th century Russian composers. The original harmonies and forms of this well-known music are a very inspiring material for contemporary jazz improvisation and these strong melodies also sound excellent in modern context. “The Mighty Five” was included in the European Jazz Media Chart in 2014, “Tchaikovsky” in 2020 and “Arsenal” in 2021. “Capturing well something of the high spirits and passion inherent in the original works, it’s a recording that really hits the spot.” – Selwyn Harris, JazzWise
Alfa Collective Neo-Soul / Psychedelic Jazz Fusion / Jazz Funk www.alfacollective.com Ƃ v> iVÌ Ûi ÝiÃ Ì i À Õ µÕi y Ü v >ââ À V ÕÃ V Ü Ì elements of funk, soul and alternative RnB. Formed in 2017, the quintet works with songs written by the vocalist Anett Tamm, experimenting with bold new and familiar musical concepts. The band’s debut album “Canvas” (2018) is an eclectic journey fragmented into bursts of improvisation, quiet observations, effortless melodies and smooth beats. Their new inspiration and aspirations can be heard on their brand new EP, “Hello Egg” (2022).
Anna Kaneelina Alternative / Indie / Pop www.annakaneelina.com Having released her debut album in 2019, the Tallinn-based singersongwriter Anna Kaneelina received four awards at the Estonian Music Awards in 2020: Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Alternative/Indie Album of the Year and Debut Album of the Year. Her fragile power mixed with genuine shyness makes Anna and her music feel both raw and mature at the same time. Anna Kaneelina is like an urban witch who is not afraid to share her inner universe in her ethereal and enchanting pop music. She is very charming in her vulnerability and deep otherworldly wildness. “Anna Kaneelina bends pop music in odd, thrilling shapes. Her new debut album may have some passing references to Fleetwood Mac and raw, minimalist singer-songwriters, but her stunning voice and the avant-garde arrangements on tracks such as “Thunder” and “Lilledes” add many extra facets.” – Conor McCaffrey, Moo Kid
BRAUN Space / Suspense / Pulse www.qtrio.ch/braun BRAUN is a Swiss-Estonian duo founded in 2015 by Raun Juurikas and Brian Quinn. BRAUN’s musical language and sound are inspired by the genres of contemporary electronic club music and improvisation, yet their works are completed and performed in real time, using acoustic and digital instruments. The duo looks for the intersections of man-made and machine-made creations, also exploring the correlations between the environment and performance. BRAUN has performed in Estonia, Switzerland, Italy and the Czech Republic. º/ iÞ Ãii v À « >ViÃ] ÃÌ>ÀÌ Ì «À Û Ãi > ` w it. The result is alluring – majestic and ambient Û LiÃ y Ü LiÌÜii Ã Õ `ÃV>«iÃ v ] >ââ > ` downtempo. The power of improvisation takes the listener to a whole new level of sensing music.” – Sandra Leushina, Häppening
Elvus Pop / Jazz / Fusion www.facebook.com/elvusband/ Elvus was established in 2018, and released their new album “Martian Mists” in 2020. The band performs original compositions, blending jazz, pop and fusion. Their music is meditative at times, energetic, raging or powerful at others. The line-up of Elvus includes Tuuli Velling (vocal, electric piano), Teet Velling (guitars, vocal), Mart Soo (guitar, FX) and Tanel Ruben (drums). Elvus uses backing tracks to enhance their live performances.
Erki Pärnoja Cinematic / Alternative / Indie www.erkiparnoja.com Estonian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Erki Pärnoja is well known for his work as guitarist in the art-pop group Ewert and The Two Dragons. He has recently revealed a diverse and more alternative side of himself as a frontman and songwriter composing cinematic instrumental music while continuing to push the boundaries. His unique À` V Ì ÕV ] «ÀiÃÃ ÃÌ }Õ Ì>À À vvÃ > ` w i Ã Õ `ÃV>«iÃ brought him the Artist Award at Tallinn Music Week 2017, as well as the Male Artist of the Year and Indie Album of the Year awards at the Estonian Music Awards 2018. “The Story of One Hundred” (2018) was an amalgam of classical and orchestral arrangements, paired with his background in indie music. In 2020 Erki received an award from the Estonian Cultural Endowment for his boundary-bending work. “Leva” (2020) marked the next chapter of this direction. The album received the Alternative/Indie Album of the Year at Estonian Music Awards 2021, while Erki himself was awarded the Estonian Jazz Composer v Ì i 9i>À° Ƃ v Ì Ã VÕ >Ìi` ÓäÓ£ Ã w ÀÃÌ V À> Ü À ] “Anima Mea” which also incorporates indie band instrumentation. “Using an impressive array of instruments and textures, he weaves lush, dreamy soundscapes that envelop us in layers of shimmery atmospheric gossamer. Seriously, his music is fucking gorgeous!” – Eclectic Music Lover
Estonian Voices Vocal Jazz / Mixture of Genres / Rhythmical Approach www.estonianvoices.com Estonian Voices is an award-winning a cappella vocal sextet formed in 2011. Their vibrant repertoire includes both original and arranged Ü À Ã v >ââ Ü Ì y Õi ViÃ LÞ V >ÃÃ V> ] « « > ` v ÕÃ V° / i À albums of 2015 and 2018 were awarded Best Jazz Album of the Year. Concert tours have taken them to Europe, Russia and China. Their witty style fuses playfulness with absolute technical mastery, bound together with a cheeky smile and a charming sprinkle of vocal artistry. “One of the most unique sounding vocal ensembles from Europe.” – Britt Quentin, M-Pact
F# feat. Ivi Rausi & Laura Põldvere Jazz / Improvisation / Alternative ÜÜÜ° >ÕÀ> vw V > °V www.ivirausi.com F# feat. Laura & Ivi breaks all conventions of jazz, even those of free jazz, because in their music everything is allowed – even pop or reggae sequence, if that is what needs to happen. On their Estonian tour in autumn 2017, F# started a collaboration with two improvising vocalists, Ivi Rausi and Laura Põldvere. Both artists use electronics, thus adding new sound colours, textures and most importantly, improvised text. The line-up of the band includes Ivi Rausi (vocal, electronics), Laura Põldvere (vocal, electronics), Sid Hille (piano, electronics, theremin), Jori Huhtala (bass, electronics) and Markus Ketola (drums, percussion). F# released their debut album “The Wannsee Punk“ in April 2018. “The album being so well-organized and aurally multifaceted, it is at times hard to fathom that the music was improvised and recorded during a single session.“ – Jan-Erik Holmberg, The Finnish Music Quarterly
Gretagrund Jazz / Vocal / Estonian www.facebook.com/Gretagrundband Gretagrund was formed in 2014 by vocalist Maarja Aarma and pianist Britta Virves. Their joint composing process receives the w > Ì ÕV Ì i i Ãi L i½Ã V Ãi Ìi> Ü À ° / iÀi >Ài i } Ì members in Gretagrund: four instruments (piano, guitar, double bass, drums) and four vocals complement and challenge one another. The result is captivating and fresh. Gretagrund’s debut album “Püsimatu hing” (Restless Soul) was released in 2015. “The teamwork between drums and bass and the groove in the song “Pariisi viiking” (The Viking of Paris) is something especially interesting and noticeable, unique and special in Estonian music landscape.” – Kadri Voorand
Holger Marjamaa www.facebook.com/hmarjamaa
A mature talent, Marjamaa is an in-demand jazz pianist, sought after in the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed with Dennis Chambers, Chris Botti, Joey DeFrancesco, Chad LefkowitzBrown, Lizz Wright, Lonnie Liston Smith, John Riley, Steve Wilson, Mike Phillips, Francois Moutin, Jukkis Uotila, Lee Ritenour, Mark Gross, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra etc. Marjamaa has received numerous awards for both his jazz and classical piano performances and has performed across the United States, Europe and Asia, in venues such as Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Centre, Mezzrow Jazz Club, Smalls Jazz Club, Blue Note Tokyo etc. In August 2019 he joined Chris Botti’s band with whom he has performed at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival, Blue Note New York Residency, Blue Note Tokyo with Chris Botti and Joey DeFranceso, SF Jazz and many more. In 2019 Marjamaa released his second album, “Mostly Standards” which was recorded in Baltimore, Maryland with Alexander Claffy on the bass and Lee Pearson II on the drums. “H. Marjamaa’s music goes from straight ahead jazz to gospel. He plays arrangements of jazz standards, originals and mixes it up with gospel hymns/songs.” – “Jazz Phenom”, Keyboard Magazine
Jazz Musician of the Year 2020
Joel Remmel Trio Instrumental / Diverse / Swinging www.joelremmel.com Joel Remmel is an extraordinary piano player who has been leading his own trio for over nine years and released seven albums: Joel Remmel Trio feat. Liisi Koikson, Jukka Eskola & Aleksander Paal, “Kevad” (2021, winner of the Jazz Album of the Year at the Estonian Music Awards 2022); Joel Remmel Trio & Jukka Eskola, “Puhkus” EP (2020); Joel Remmel Trio & Aleksander Paal, “Sügis” EP (2020); “Sharp” (2019); “Some Things Never Change” (2016); “More Than Fishermen” (2014) and “Lumekristall” (2012). Mainly performing original pieces by Joel himself, the trio’s music has evolved from Scandinavian aesthetics to more traditional sounding jazz. The trio includes Heikko Remmel on double bass and Ramuel Tafenau `ÀÕ Ã q L Ì iÞ w }ÕÀiÃ Ì i ÃÌ > >ââ > ` « « ÕÃ V scene. In 2020 Joel was awarded the Estonian Jazz Musician of the Year and in 2021 the Estonian Jazz Composer of the Year.
JT Conception Jazz / Funk / Groove www.jannotrump.com/conception JT Conception is a 10-member groove orchestra led by Janno /ÀÕ «] Ü V «iÀv À Ã Ã À } > ÕÃ V° Ƃ Ài>`Þ >Ì Ì i À w ÀÃÌ concerts in 2015, the band won the hearts of the local music lovers with their brilliant performances that fuse jazz, rock and funk music. JT Conception has released two LPs: “One” (2016) and “Wait For It” (2017). The group has also won a number of nominations and awards on the local music scene, most importantly the title of Jazz Ensemble of the Year 2019. With its saturated big band sound and intense musical energy, JT Conception has also attracted listeners in neighbouring countries with their performances at jazz festivals in Riga, Klaipeda and Vilnius in recent years. º ÀÀiÃ ÃÌ L i Ûi >VÌ vÕ v À>Ü Ƃ iÀ V> vÕ i iÀ}Þ°» – Joosep Sang
Kadi Vija Key Project Modern Jazz / Vocal / Improvisation www.kadivija.com Kadi Vija Key Project is a fresh and innovative jazz group led by the outstanding Finnish-Estonian jazz singer Kadi Vija. Their sound, which is soft yet substantial and quiet yet captivating, remains lingering on the listener’s mind, leaving it hungry for more. The unique instrumentation of this group creates the sound that is new and open. Kadi Vija Key Project includes A-list musicians of the Finnish jazz scene. Their debut album “Roaming In The Contemporary Society To Make Peace With It” was released in 2020. “She is a refreshing, dynamic, thought-provoking human nightingale with a sense of improvisational prowess that proves well beyond her years.” – Jason Palmer
Kadri Voorand 21st Century Pop Jazz / Story-telling / Improvisation www.kadrivoorand.com Kadri Voorand, who recently released her latest album on the ACT label, is a charismatic singer, songwriter, pianist and improviser who creates music through emotional story-telling, combining catchy rhythms with a completely unique way of blending the elements of improvisational pop, jazz and folk music. Voorand has already received a lot of acclaim in her home country, including the title of Best Female Artist at Estonian Music Awards for her previous work, as well as Best Jazz Album for several of her albums, including “In Duo with Mihkel Mälgand”. She has performed at many jazz festivals including EFG London Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz, Jazz Baltica, Tampere Jazz Happening, Südtirol Jazz Festival and Beijing Nine Gates Jazz Festival. “A great voice that hits people’s body and soul.” – London Jazz News
Kaisa Ling Thing Blues / Humour / Vaudeville www.kaisalingthing.ee The humorous Estonian feminist vaudeville blues ensemble Kaisa Ling Thing is one of a kind. Led by singer Kaisa Ling, with Rene Paul on the piano, Argo Toomel on double bass and Peep Kallas on drums, they present a sharp commentary on current iÛi ÌÃ Ü Ì Ì i i « v Ã i Û Ì>}i y > À] Ì i>ÌÀ V> ÌÀ V Ã] humour and deep feelings to shake the listeners to their core. “Among other things, Kaisa Ling Thing reminds us with her record that the history of blues is not just a long line of men competing with each other on electric guitars, as we tend to imagine. The same is true for the blues of those brilliant women who, in their pursuits, were far ahead of their time and practices.” – Muusika magazine
Kelli Uustani & Band Pop / Jazz / Musical Theatre www.kelliuustani.com Singer, songwriter and actor Kelli Uustani has gathered likeminded musicians with whom each concert becomes a unique event. Mainly performing their original compositions, these iÝÌÀ> À` >ÀÞ ÕÃ V > Ã] ÌÀÕi >ÃÌiÀÃ Ì i À w i `] >`` > Ü i new dimension to both the melody of songs and lyrics. Kelli has a ÕÃ V> i`ÕV>Ì Ì i w i ` v >ââ >Ã Üi >Ã ÕÃ V> Ì i>ÌÀi°
Kirke Karja kirkekarja.voog.com
Kirke Karja is a pianist and composer characterised by her original harmonic musical language and experimental, uncompromising performances. Her music takes dark curves and does not >` iÀi Ì Ì i Ã«ii` ÌÃ Ì >Ì `iw i }i ÀiÃ] >`` Ì > Þ V Õ` } Û>À ÕÃ y Õi ViÃ vÀ V Ìi « À>ÀÞ ÕÃ V° - i is the leader of several ensembles: Kirke Karja Quartet, Pae Kollektiiv and international groups Kirke Karja Trio, Captain Kirke and the Klingons, and Karja/Renard/Wandinger. “The Estonian pianist Kirke Karja is one of the country’s most exciting and adventurous artists.” – Martin Longley, Jazzwise
Kristjan Randalu Jazz / Modern / Contemporary www.randalu.com Pianist Kristjan Randalu is one of the most active Estonian jazz musicians on the international scene. Sought after as soloist, collaborator and composer, he has performed at renowned festivals and prestigious concert halls worldwide. Randalu’s ECM debut record “Absence” was released in 2018. He currently works in trio with Ben Monder and Markku Ounaskari and in duo with Dave Liebman (“Mussorgsky Pictures Revisited”, BMC Records, 2020). “Kristjan is a dazzling piano player.” – Herbie Hancock
Lembe Lokk Duo Sensitive World Jazz www.lembelokk.com Lembe Lokk is a singer and songwriter with a unique voice and style. Lyrics (in French, Estonian and English) and use of the word play a very important role in her work. Her versatile use of voice Àiy iVÌÃ iÀ iÝ«iÀ i Vi iÝÌÀi i Þ ` ÛiÀÃi ÃÌ>}i «À iVÌÃ° In 2018, the French Académie Charles Cros awarded her with Ì i ƂÜ>À` v À Ài>Ì Û ÌÞ v À iÀ w ÀÃÌ Ã > LÕ ] º i Ì Ìi traduire” (How to Translate for You). Her latest album “Secret Chords – Songs of Leonard Cohen” was released in 2021. “The way an artist like Lembe Lokk is using, feeling, and questioning languages in her songs, makes French or any other language more beautiful and vivid.” q >ÕÀi Ì 6> jÀ ] À> Vi ÕÃ µÕiÉ *
Maarja Aarma MA Neo-Soul / Soul / Jazz www.maband.ee Maarja Aarma MA was formed in 2017. Besides the leader of the band, vocalist Maarja Aarma the line-up includes bassist Janno Trump, pianist Madis Muul and drummer Dmitri Nikolajevski. Their debut album “Connected Through” was released in 2019, followed by an EP “Queenland” in 2022. Maarja Aarma MA has performed around Estonia, including the popular festivals Jazzkaar and Tallinn Music Week. Their music and live performances will enchant you and take you on a fascinating musical journey. “The soloist’s soulful burn is related to Erykah Badu’s early recordings. […] The groove felt as if it was coming from deep within, just like on Aarma’s new album “Connected Through”.” – Matti Komulainen, Jazzrytmit
Maria Faust Maria Faust Sacrum Facere, Maria Faust Machina, Maria Faust/ Tim Dahl/Weasel Walter, Shitney, Maria Faust Jazz Catastrophe Experimental Jazz / Contemporary Jazz / Free Improvisation www.mariafaust.com Maria Faust is a freelance saxophonist, composer and arranger. - i Ã Üi Ü v À iÀ Ü À Ì i w i `Ã v >ââ] >Û> Ì }>À`i] third stream, improvised music and other alternative music ÃÌÞ iÃ° >ÕÃÌ >Ã Ü w Ûi > Ã ÕÃ V ƂÜ>À`Ã] Ì i > Ã Critics Prize, DJBFA Hæderspris, Jazz Album of the Year at Estonian Music Awards 2021, Estonian Jazz Composer of the Year in 2019 and Estonian Jazz Musician of the Year 2016. She Ü>Ã > Ã Ì i w > ÃÌ >Ì Ì i 7 7i Ì >ââ ƂÜ>À`Ã Óä£ ° “Maria Faust is an artist – and magician. As a composer and saxophonist, she practices the rare art of wordlessly conveying emotions and stories. - i w } ÌÃ > ` Õ }iÀÃ v À ÌiÃÌ } iÜ L Õ `>À iÃ] and cross-pollinates impressions and genres to end up with her own unique expression.” – Anna Lidell
Chamber Music / Pop Jazz / Heartfelt www.marianneleibur.com Marianne Leibur is a versatile young singer and violinist who ÀiVi Ì Þ Ài i>Ãi` iÀ w ÀÃÌ > LÕ ° Ì Ü>Ã >Ìi` iLÕÌ Ƃ LÕ of the Year at the Estonian Music Awards. She has gathered excellent musicians to record her original compositions and arrangements. In addition to a jazz quartet she has also formed a string quartet to enrich the soundscape with more warmth and different colours. All the songs on the album are in Estonian for > Ã«iV w V Ài>Ã q >À > i >Ã V > i` Ì vii > ÕV `ii«iÀ connection to the music when the lyrics are in her mother tongue in order to convey genuine emotions. In 2020 Marianne was awarded the Estonian Young Jazz Talent for her outstanding activity.
Young Jazz Talent 2020
Marianne Leibur & Ensemble
Jazz Composer of the Year 2020
Mingo Rajandi Quintet Passionate / Poetical / Through-composed www.mingorajandi.com Composer and double bass player with a versatile musical language, Mingo Rajandi brings together the cream of Estonian jazz musicians in her ensemble. The live performances of the quintet packed with passion and psychedelic energy. The roots of Rajandi’s work spread out in several directions, both geographically > ` ÃÌÞ ÃÌ V> Þ° 9 Õ V> i>À y Õi ViÃ vÀ ÃiÛiÀ> V Ì i ÌÃ] hints of modern composing techniques and a passion for free improvisation. Her rhythmically active and harmonically multidimensional sound is strongly based on Estonian and English texts spanning from timeless poetry to modern works. In 2020 Mingo received the Estonian Jazz Composer of the Year award.
ÖöTöÖ Classical Jazz Quintet / Original Music www.facebook.com/ToomasRullMusic There are things in the night, as the saying goes. The repertoire of the quintet includes music that was largely created at night, with new material by Toomas Rull as well as new nocturnal arrangements from older creations. The music stylistically belongs to the limitless world of jazz. It is optimistic, captivating and danceable in essence. “Although they are an instrumental ensemble, their music is neither meant to be listened to as a background nor to dance. Rather, we should listen to it with enjoyment.” – Siim Jõgis
Peedu Kass Momentum Piano Trio / Rhythmical / Virtuoso www.peedukass.com Peedu Kass Momentum is a bassist-led piano trio with an adventurous programme and spirited stage presence. Audacious rhythms, sparkling virtuosity and sophisticated compositions are key to the group’s immediate, visceral appeal. They have appeared twice at London Jazz Festival, and throughout continental Europe as well as on stages in Japan, Canada and Australia. “Estonian bassist Peedu Kass’ Momentum ensemble served as an exciting and intricately woven remake of the piano trio format.” q Ãiv 7 `>À`] Ü i>Ì
Quartet With No Name Traditional Jazz / Nordic Minimalist Jazz www.andresalaru.com The quartet performs both traditional straight-ahead jazz music and more modern compositions, with the aim of creating contrasts and creating a versatile repertoire. The same lineup also performed as Andres Alaru Quintet at the Jazz Across Borders Festival in St. Petersburg in 2019. Their album “Cookin’ With the Cats”, recorded at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, is very down to earth and delivers the essence of goodnatured and healthy instrumental jazz without any fuss.
Raimond & The 3 Magi Contemporary / Electronica / Experimental Jazz raimond.iminap.ee Raimond & The 3 Magi was formed in 2019. The group is a collaboration between Estonian and French musicians and includes Kirke Karja on piano, Hans Kurvits on drums, Raimond Mägi on double bass and Pierre-Marie Lapprand on saxophone. All members are well known on their local jazz scene. The group performs contemporary jazz, blending in elements from other genres such as electronica, experimental jazz and rock music.
Ramuel Tafenau Jazz / Instrumental / Contemporary www.facebook.com/ramueltafenaumusic Ramuel Tafenau is one of the most dazzling drummers of the younger generation in Estonia. Being an active musician and collaborating with several classical, pop and jazz musicians from Estonia and Finland (including Joel Remmel Trio, Kristjan Järvi, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Erki Pärnoja, Sander Mölder, Jukka Eskola and others), he has performed at several festivals and concert tours in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Germany and Croatia. His debut album “Gather Around” was released in 2019. According to the artist himself, his strongest creative y Õi ViÃ >Ài Ì i iÝVi i Ì Ã Õ ` > ` >VV «> i Ì v Ì i Pat Metheny Group, the atmospheric environment of Janek Gwizdala and the technical tight drumming of Antonio Sanchez. “The tracks are carefully composed, free of randomness and freedom of milder jazz. However, Ã ÕÃ V } ÛiÃ > vÀii y Ü } > ` `Þ > V iÝ«ÀiÃÃ Æ Ì iÀi Ã Ãi Ãi v >ÀÌ w V > ÌÞ Ü V you can hear in today’s technically complex jazz.” – Hedvig Hanson
Robert Jürjendal Electro-Acoustic Ambient Jazz www.robertjyrjendal.com Robert Jürjendal has participated on more than 60 records as a guitarist, composer and producer. His collaborations include Weekend Guitar Trio, UMA, Suurõ Pilvõ, Vox Clamantis, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Petri Kuljuntausta, Toyah Willcox, Markus Reuter, David Rothenberg, Volkmar Zimmermann, Jan Bang, Colin Edwin, Arve Henriksen, Sandor Szabo among many others. He has released solo albums “Rõõmu allikas / Source of Joy” (2013), “Balm of Light / Valguse Palsam” (2015), “Lihtminevik / Simple Past” (2016) and “Water Finds A Way” (2021). He has performed in Latvia, Lithuania, the Nordic countries, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Poland, France, Ireland, Russia, Moldova, USA, Japan and elsewhere. “When he’s playing guitar it doesn’t sound as if he were. A true guitar wizard with a big heart.” – Kari Nevalainen
Shabat Quartet Acoustic / Jazz / Folk www.facebook.com/shabatquartet The leaders of the Estonian jazz quartet are drummer Aleksandra Kremenetski and double bassist Ara Yaralyan. In addition to improvisation, the soundscapes of the ensemble include a rich heritage of archaic folklore, beautiful melodies, complex rhythms and a virtuosic ensemble work characteristic of chamber music. The other members of the quartet are JaanAlari Jaanson on guitars and Margarita Voskanyan on Armenian y ÕÌiÃ° Óä£ ] Ì i µÕ>ÀÌiÌ Ài i>Ãi` Ì i À `iLÕÌ > LÕ º i i Kodu” (Our Home), which was mentioned in the same year among the best records in the European Jazz Charts. “Kremenetski and Yaralyan stand out on the Estonian (jazz) music landscape with their talent, personality and versatility. The new facet of the latter is manifested in their new ensemble and a recent record that builds a bridge from Armenian and Jewish music to jazz.” – Joosep Sang
Siim Aimla Funk Band Nordic / Funk / Pulsating www.safunkband.ee Funk has been pulsating in Siim Aimla’s veins for a long time – namely the kind of funk represented by James Brown, Michael and Randy Brecker and Nils Landgren. Aimla’s long-time dream of forming his own funk band became a reality in 2017. The group released Ì i À w ÀÃÌ > LÕ º7i ii` Ì /> » Óä£ Ì VÀ Ì V> >VV > °
Sooäär/Yaralyan/Ounaskari Piano trio without a piano / Melodic / Airy www.sooaar.com/projects/sooaar-yaralyan-ounaskari Estonian guitarist Jaak Sooäär, Armenian-Estonian double bassist Ara Yaralyan and Finnish drummer Markku Ounaskari established the trio in 2016. They have performed in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The music of the trio follows the Nordic mood with melody at the very heart of it. The trio’s repertoire also includes Armenian music and some improvisations on the themes by J.S. Bach. In 2018 the group released their debut album “A Shooting Star” on the German label O-Tone Music and their second album “Goodbye July” was released by the same label in 2020. “His new album is a dream, a trio dream [...] Jaak’s theme for “A Shooting Star” is so beautiful you almost want to cry, his voicings are delicacies, his improvisations are statements and arguments, free of any randomness. Sooäär is not a shooting star, he is an established star.” – Alexander Schmitz, Jazzpodium
Susanna Aleksandra Quartet Melodic Vocal Modern Jazz www.susannaaleksandra.com Vocalist, composer, lyricist and a rising star Susanna Aleksandra started making music with the Finnish pianist and Steinway artist Joonas Haavisto in 2018. They share a common desire to add multiple layers to the music by uniting complex harmonies and v À Ã Ü Ì i> }vÕ ÞÀ VÃ > ` i À>L i i ` iÃ° y Õi Vi` by many styles, including jazz, classical, pop and folk, their music falls under the umbrella of modern jazz. It is determined by the stylistic choices of the musicians and their fantastic ensemble playing. Susanna Aleksandra’s music is inspired by personal growth and honesty. Under a simple surface, it hides clever momentums, time signatures and modern harmonies, offering the audience something fascinating and relatable at the same time. Susanna Aleksandra Quartet’s debut album “Souls of Night” was released in Japan in March 2020 (Blue Gleam). The international version of the album was released as “The Siren” in January 2021 (Eclipse Music). It was selected as one of the best albums of 2021 by Jazzwise Magazine. “Smooth, effortless and accessible without ever being bland, this is a mainstream jazz album to treasure, with Aleksandra a real talent to watch. You’ll be happy to fall under The Siren’s spell.” – Kevin Whitlock, Jazzwise
Tanel Ruben Solo Performance / Original Compositions / Improvised Drum Solos www.facebook.com/tanel.ruben Tanel Ruben is a jazz musician, drummer, lecturer and composer who has been active as a musician since the 1990s. This time almost all the qualities and skills will come together in one person. His solo programme includes traditional solos on a drum set as well as the combination with electronic instruments. Ruben has recorded over 60 records, of which 9 he has produced himself. He has written over a hundred compositions. Ruben has performed with well-known musicians both in Estonia and abroad, David Liebman, Avishai Cohen, Anders Jormin, Brian Melvin, Omar Torez, Alexey Kruglov, Jaak Sooäär, Miguel Cruz, Raimonds Pauls among many others.
The Brian Melvin Quartet www.brianmelvin.com
A new quartet playing original compositions along with select music of other jazz masters. Brian Melvin is an internationally known drummer, percussionist and educator. He has played and recorded with many of the world’s leading musicians. Not limited by styles, he has worked with the late Joe Henderson, Mike Stern, John -V w i `] V >i ÀiV iÀ] ,> `Þ ÀiV iÀ] i Û> ] L -Ìi Ã ] Toots Thielemans, Richard Bona, Bob Weir (“The Grateful Dead”), Greg Allman (“The Allman Brothers Band”) and many others.
The Free Musketeers Free Improvisation / Performance Art / Spoken Word www.mingorajandi.com The music of The Free Musketeers can be described as a terrible chemical concoct that has four main components: Mingo Rajandi as a good heat conductor and a healthily toxic element, Ekke Västrik Ü Ãi ÃÞ >«Ì V LÀ> V iVÌ Ã Ü Õ ` `iÃiÀÛi > Ãi«>À>Ìi w LÞ David Lynch, Ahto Abner as a man whose drum playing includes the effects of nuclear reactions, and Jan Kaus in whose case it is hard to determine whether he is currently in liquid, solid or gaseous state. “The most lively and unexpected performance was the premiere of “Reaktsioon” (Reaction) by The Free Musketeers. As Jan Kaus runs rings around the jazz musicians when it comes to stage charisma, we could easily recommend to him to focus on a career of a rock musician.” – Maria Mölder, Sirp
Titoks Reinhardt & Grappelli / Gypsy Jazz / Swing www.facebook.com/Titoksid Titoks was formed by three Estonian friends who take a fresh look at the gypsy jazz repertoire, giving it a contemporary energetic edge. You can expect a virtuoso playing technique and lots of passion with a strong improvisational element. The sound language of this dazzlingly masterful and insanely technical, yet at the same time mellow-sounding group is something that was achieved in Estonia only in the past century. Their music takes the listener on a time travel to explore forgotten melodies, energetic swing rhythms and the tender atmosphere of smoky lounge music. º/ Ì Ã i `i` >ââ VÕL>Ì À Óä£Ç Ü Ì > >Õ` i Vi crying for more after a set of stunning and perfectly executed reworks, classics and originals interspersed with charming quips. Their coherency and chemistry as a ÌÀ `À>ÜÃ Ì i ÃÌi iÀ ] > ` Ì i À ÌiV V> «À w V i VÞ makes even the most intricate passages feel relaxing.” q -iL>ÃÌ > Ƃ iÀ] }] >ââ VÕL>Ì À
Tormis Quartet Chamber / Folk / Jazz www.sooaar.com/projects/tormis-quartet Estonian composer Veljo Tormis (1930–2017) was one of the main choral composers of 20th century Europe. The vast majority of his works are based on ancient Estonian folk songs. As part of the celebration of Tormis’ 85th birthday, Jazzkaar Festival proposed a concert of his works in jazz arrangements for which Kadri Voorand and Jaak Sooäär were joined by singer Liisi Koikson and guitarist Paul Daniel. The four musicians decided to continue as a group and have since performed at all main folk and jazz festivals in Estonia, but also in the UK, Israel, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Slovakia and Finland. In spring 2018 the quartet released their debut album “Tormisele / Hommage To Veljo Tormis” on the German label Nordic Notes. The quartet also received the Etnokulp folk music award as the best newcomer in 2016. “The Tormis Quartet, featuring master guitarist Jaak Sooäär and vocalist Kadri Voorand, is simply majestic.” – Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise Magazine
Trio Maag Blend of Argentinian Tango / Latin-American / Folk / Jazz www.avarusmusic.com/triomaag/ Having started as interpreters of Argentinian tango, Trio Maag (Kaspar Uljas, Marek Talts and Mingo Rajandi) has now expanded their repertoire to include original compositions, Latin-American folk songs and original arrangements of famous composers music such as Stravinsky, Villa-Lobos and Kanchely. Everything is seen through the prism of the tradition of tango and jazz. Bandoneon blending with guitar and double bass create a warm and nostalgic soundscape. Each of Trio Maag’s performances covers a full spectrum of emotions, whether it is bitter-sweet longing for love, cries of passion or pure joy for life.
Tõnu Naissoo Electric Trio Electric Jazz / Prog Rock / Fusion / Free Jazz www.tonunaissoojazz.com The members of Tõnu Naissoo Electric Trio are Tõnu Naissoo on Rhodes, clavinet and Moog, ARP and Prophet synthesizers, Mihkel Mälgand on electronic basses and Ahto Abner on drums. The }À Õ«½Ã w ÀÃÌ > LÕ º vviÀi Ì ÀiVÌ Ã» Ü>Ã Ài i>Ãi` ÓäÓ£°
Tõnu Naissoo Hammond Trio Post-Bop / Jazz Fusion www.tonunaissoojazz.com
The members of Tõnu Naissoo Hammond Trio are Tõnu Naissoo on Hammond organ and Moog synth, Danel Aljo on soprano and tenor saxophones and Ahto Abner on drums. The group has released the album “A Time There Was”.
Tõnu Naissoo Trio and Solo Piano Mainstream / Post-Bop / Free Jazz www.tonunaissoojazz.com
/ª Õ > ÃÃ ½Ã w ÀÃÌ « > ÌÀ `iLÕÌ Ì « >Vi Ü i i Ü>Ã £È >Ì the Tallinn-67 Jazz Festival. During the Soviet times he performed at numerous jazz festivals in the former Soviet Union, both with his trio and as a solo pianist. More recently he has performed mainly in Japan and Russia. He has released over 20 solo albums, most of them in Japan (Atelier Sawano) and Russia (ArtBeat). “This is one of those holy grail albums that Ì> iÃ Þ Õ > ÕÀ iÞ vÀ ÃÌ>ÀÌ Ì w Ã ] > masterpiece and a milestone in Estonian jazz.” – Greg Foat, Greg Foat Group
Weekend Guitar Trio Ambient Jazz / Free Improvisation / Live Electronics weekendguitartrio.wordpress.com Weekend Guitar Trio (Robert Jürjendal, Mart Soo and Tõnis Leemets) performs composed and improvised music on three i iVÌÀ V }Õ Ì>ÀÃ > ` i iVÌÀ VÃ° / i ÌÀ Ã y Õi Vi` LÞ >ââ] electronic and world music. Being active since 1993, the group has released 10 records and performed at prestigious jazz and new music festivals both in Estonia and abroad (Marciac Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival and PUNKT Festival among others). The music of the WGT has also been played on the popular music programme of BBC Radio 3 and they have performed at Kings Place, London with British pop artist Toyah Willcox and Norwegian electronic music producer Jan Bang. In 2013, the WGT celebrated their 20th anniversary with concerts and a double record. “The Weekend Guitar Trio is a real mystery. [...] The trio plays a very own sophisticated form of ambient music that has been deepened and expanded impressively over the years and still sounds fresh as its concert V Û V } Þ ÌiÃÌ w i`° Ƃ Ài>`Þ > ÕÃi ` > i Europe they deserve to be programmed more by music/jazz festivals just because it is one of the rare V w }ÕÀ>Ì Ã Ü iÀi Ì i v VÕÃ Ã v À £ää¯ Ì i ÕÃ V°» – Henning Bolte, LondonJazz