February 10 and 11 in the concert hall Latvia a music festival will be held Saxophoniawhich is the largest saxophone music festival in Europe, where world-class saxophone stars meet.
Saxophonia is one of the most visited and most popular music festivals in Latvia. It is an opportunity for listeners to hear jazz, popular, classical, contemporary and world music together in an excellent performance. Concerts are held in Latvian concert halls and jazz clubs. On the first day of the festival, the Latvian Radio big band in the concert hall Latvia two heavyweights of the jazz world from America – saxophonist Donny McCaslin and keyboardist Jason Lindner – will meet on the stage. On the other hand, in the second concert of the saxophone music festival, the Ventspils Big Band will take the stage under the direction of the artistic director and saxophonist Renārs Lāčas, and the soloists will be: saxophonists Kārlis Vanags, Dāvis Jurka, Jānis Puķitis, musicians of the saxophone section of the Latvian Radio big band, participant and laureate of various national jazz music competitions, pedagogue of Ventspils Music High School, saxophonist Toms Rudzinskis, former student of Ventspils Music High School, Master’s student of the Royal Academy of Music (Aalborg, Denmark) Undine Rolava (vocals) and pianist, composer – many groups Lips composer Ritvars Garoza (piano).
The soloists are high-level professionals, several of them are excellent composers and arrangers, participants of international projects, which is why original music was chosen for the concert – compositions created by soloists, as well as popular pieces of music for the big band composition. The Ventspils Big Band concert line-up consists of students and teachers of the Music High School, the collective has performed together with Latvian composers, musicians known in Latvia, as well as world-renowned artists. Traditionally, the saxophone music festival in Ventspils takes place in February, celebrating the birthday of Ventspils big band leader saxophonist, Ventspils Music High School pedagogue Renārs Lāčas. Most of the soloists are Renard’s former students and friends in music and life.
Wishing Renārs Lācis a lot of happiness on his birthday, which he celebrates today, February 7, and also further success in the professional field, we invited you to a small conversation before the music festival to be held on the weekend.
How did the saxophone music festival begin?
– It happened many years ago in the theater house Sea Gate – started as a birthday celebration, because what could be better than celebrating it with friends and doing your heart’s work. I am glad from the bottom of my heart that this festival from Sea gate the small stage has grown to a concert hall Latvia for the big stage. Together with Dāvi Jurkas, who is the director of the Latvian Radio big band and the leading saxophonist, as well as one of my first students, the idea of attaching a festival to our celebration was born Saxophonia. The idea, in my opinion, has been successfully developed. On the second day of the festival, our Big Band will play a program specially prepared for this event.
What will be featured in this program? And what does music mean to you?
– Most of the original works written by Latvian Radio big band musicians will be played. I am pleased that vocalist Undine Rolava, who is a graduate of Ventspils Music High School and is now studying for a master’s degree in Denmark, will perform. I definitely want to mention my colleague Ritvars Garoza, whose compositions we will play, as well as Anna Vibi, who will present her original composition. When it comes to music, I have always paid attention to quality performance, I look for melodies, rhythmically interesting things and harmony in music. I’m sure it’s important not only to me, but also to the listener. You don’t have to be too much of a specialist in jazz music or the history of this music, but if a person, being at a concert, manages to get a pleasant mood from the sounds of the melody and various interesting rhythms, to feel the energy of the people who perform in large numbers on the stage, and in addition to indulge in the musicians and listeners’ emotions for mixing, it always appeals to people and does not leave them indifferent. Big band – it’s a real color palette made up of rhythm sections, three wind groups, vocals. If you don’t like one color, someone else will surely appeal to you. Although the original compositions included in the concert were created in recent years, the basic idea that characterizes African-American music will still be felt. I am sure that the rhythms characteristic of this music will be able to warm our hearts in Latvian February. I invite you to visit the music festival Saxophonia – warmth and the possibility of warming up are guaranteed! Rhythm, color spectrum, dynamics, sound intensity – all this fascinates both the artist and the listener, and for real.
The saxophone music festival in Ventspils takes place in February, celebrating your birthday. Do you like to celebrate it?
– If the celebration takes place like this on stage while performing, then I really like it, because there can be no better gift than the fact that my students call me, come to me to create compositions and really want to play these compositions together and from the heart – this is the important continuation . The moment of preparation has always seemed to me the most beautiful. I am very happy and honored that we have developed a successful cooperation with the high-class Latvian Radio big band musicians.
Saxophone music festival in Ventspils is organized by SIA Kurzeme Philharmonicthis concert is financed by Ventspils municipality.
Tickets for the concerts can be purchased „Ticket Paradise” at points of sale and on the Internet.