WHEN Slovakia was still in the iron grip of communism, musicians from all around the globe, including the most “rotten” capitalist countries such as the USA, were already coming to take part in Bratislava Jazz Days (BJD). And while dramatic changes have taken place on the political stage, the festival seems to have hardly changed: after a third of a century, it still offers the best of the world’s jazz.
The jubilee 35th edition of the oldest and the biggest music event in the country will be held at Bratislava’s Culture and Leisure Park (PKO) between October 23 and 25 and will feature a rich programme of concerts by Slovak and foreign artists.
“We have prepared an extremely varied mixture of currently prevailing styles and genres so that the audiences gain a complete overview of the latest developments in the international jazz music scene in just three days,” said Peter Lipa, well-known Slovak musician and co-organiser of BJD.
Every evening, a series of five concerts will be staged. On Friday, renowned American drummer Steve Gadd and his guests will crown the music marathon following the performances by, for example, American keyboardist Scott Kinsey and Slovak musician Oskar Rózsa.
Saturday evening will host, among others, American singer and guitarist Terry Callier, his compatriot, bassist Christian McBride and Maria Joao, a successful Portuguese singer.
The biggest highlight of this year’s BJD is the Sunday performance by Candy Dulfer, famed Dutch saxophonist, who has co-operated with stars such as Prince, Pink Floyd and the Eurythmics.
The 40-year-old diva started to play the saxophone at the age of 6 and she founded her first band, Funky Stuff, which will also accompany her to Slovakia, when she was only 14. Since then, she has released 10 albums with mostly funk and smooth jazz pieces. Her appearance will follow a unique concert by the BJD Superband, a 17-member ensemble of Slovak jazz stars created specially for the festival.
As has been a tradition in recent years, music festival-goers from other Slovak cities will also get the opportunity to see some musicians from the BJD’s line-up playing live. The accompanying concerts will be held in Komárno, Žilina and Košice, and the eastern Slovak metropolis will even be honoured by a visit from Candy Dulfer herself on October 24.
For more information about Bratislava Jazz Days, visit www.bjd.sk.