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Spring brings jazz to Bratislava

WHILE most Slovaks were enthusiastic about Friday April 24 as the day when the ice hockey World Championship started, Bratislava’s jazz lovers had a completely different event in mind for that date. It was the day when the spring edition of Bratislava Jazz Days opened in the capital – with the world-famous Maceo Parker as the headliner of the night.

Tacuma 's band kept people singing(Source: Michaela Stanková)

WHILE most Slovaks were enthusiastic about Friday April 24 as the day when the ice hockey World Championship started, Bratislava’s jazz lovers had a completely different event in mind for that date. It was the day when the spring edition of Bratislava Jazz Days opened in the capital – with the world-famous Maceo Parker as the headliner of the night.

The “small jazz days” that have now been organised for a second time in the spring, somehow ‘prepare the ground’ for the big Bratislava Jazz Days, an event with a long tradition held annually in October.
The night started in a blue tune with the HársHegyBand from Hungary, who call their music a mixture of soul, blues, funk, rock and jazz. The band’s charismatic vocalist Orsi Kozma created a melancholy mood but the following musicians did not let the audience stay down in the dumps for too long.

Jamaaladeen Tacuma and his band, including British saxophonist Tony Kofi, performing within a project named Coltrane Configurations, presented the music of John Coltrane.

“To us, when we think of music, when we think of creative music and when we think of jazz music, we always think of John Coltrane,” Tacuma told the audience before the start of his show, which enjoyed great success with the jazz-lovers of Bratislava, most of whom kept singing his “love supreme” chorus even as they made their way home from the capital’s Culture and Leisure Park (PKO).

The long-awaited arrival of Maceo Parker and his band lifted the audience from their chairs from the first notes of their music. Parker, a great saxophonist who was originally part of the James Brown band but later broke off to seek fame for himself, is often called the king of funk and black music. In Bratislava, most of the audience could not resist the energy of his funky style and nearly everybody wanted to dance beside Maceo.

Spring Bratislava Jazz Days left a good impression not only in Bratislava, but also in Košice and Komárno, where the event took place in a similar key. The spring edition has prepared the ground for what will be the 35th edition of the main Bratislava Jazz Days event scheduled for October 23 – 25, 2009.

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