For 8 years already, Latvia has been joining the whole planet to celebrate UNESCO International Jazz Day, demonstrating the wide variety and colors of the genre and being a part of the international movement that highlights jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the world.
This year the celebration features digital interactive workshops by five internationally recognized musicians and educators, as well as two digitally streamed live concerts by talented Latvian musicians. This time you can enjoy International Jazz Day Latvia from anywhere in the world!
A concert recording: Krists Saržants «Then and Now» with chamber orchestra / live at the National Library of Latvia
Krists Saržants is a Latvian contemporary and crossover music composer and pianist. Performing in Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, USA, and other countries, Krists has collaborated with many renowned musicians such as Kenneth Dahl Knudsen, Peter Hertmans, Yacine Boularés, as well as many musicians from the Latvian National Symphony orchestra, Latvian Radio big band, and Latvian National opera. The composer’s recordings were presented in the largest jazz fair in Europe, «Jazzahead! 2017», and included in the official compilation album «Jazz in Latvia 2018» and «Jazz in Latvia 2020». In 2019 Saržants was invited to open the TEDxRiga conference at the Latvian National library’s «Ziedonis hall». In the sold-out event Krists, with his quintet, shared the stage with piano builder David Klavins, composers Platons Buravickis and Anna Ķirse, movie director Andris Gauja and others.
In 2020 he released his debut album «Then and Now», which in 2021 was nominated for the Latvian annual music record award «Zelta Mikrofons». With his composition «Presence», Krists was one of the semi-finalists at the «Big Band Compositions by Young Baltic Composers» competition, and another composition from the album «The Gopher Protocol» was chosen as one of the 11 winners at the international composition competition in Denmark «Fresh From The Press» — the composition was performed at the laureate concert, arranged by the renowned Danish composer and bassist Kenneth Dahl Knudsen and Italian guitarist Laura Veltri.
«A concert recording: Krists Saržants «Then and Now» with chamber orchestra / live at the National Library of Latvia» is a live video recording from Saržants’ debut album «Then and Now» presentation concert at the Latvian National Library on September 23, 2020. In this concert recording, you’ll hear Krists’ original compositions from the album in a never before heard line-up. Chamber orchestra, conducted by Artūrs Gailis, excellent musicians in Krists' sextet — Evilena Protektore, Dāvis Jurka, Kaspars Vizulis, Toms Poišs, Artis Orubs, as well as soloists, singer Ieva Kerēvica and the Latvian National opera soloist Laura Grecka.
Soren Moller (Denmark) workshop «Express yourself: How to pursue and fulfill your dreams in music»
Hailed by the American magazine «All About Jazz» as «as close to perfect as it gets», Danish pianist and composer Soren Moller continues to explore the boundaries between jazz, classical minimalism, and indie rock in a variety of ensembles from small jazz group to the Danish Radio Big Band, Metropole Orchestra and the Danish National Opera. Since arriving in New York in 2002 to study with the great Kenny Barron towards his Master’s Degree at Manhattan School of Music, Soren Moller has received rave reviews leading ensembles and performed at established venues all around the world, including Carnegie Hall. After relocating to Copenhagen in 2013, Soren Moller was selected best release of the year in the national daily newspaper «Politiken», lately has been conducting the Danish Radio Big Band and collaborated with Singer-Songwriter Teitur and the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra on an album to be released later in 2021. Currently, Soren is teaching piano and composition at the Royal Academy of Music in Aalborg and composing new works for the Danish National Opera as well as the EVE Choir and the «Literature X—Change» festival in Aarhus.
Soren Moller's workshop will be called «Express yourself: How to pursue and fulfill your dreams in music». Do you dare to dream of making a living in music? Is music your life purpose? Yet, do you sometimes feel challenged or disillusioned by the competitive nature of your chosen «industry»? Are you hoping to become a touring musician or a central figure on your local scene but don’t see a clear path? Soren Moller is here to give you the good news: all these things can and will happen to you, IF you find your most authentic artistic self and the things in music that you genuinely love. His workshop will offer you clear guidance and inspiring reasons to establish a uniquely personal expression based on the aspects of creativity you love. Soren's goal is to help you transform the ways in which you think about your own artistic expression, which will thereby expand your possibilities for satisfaction and success in the music field. Soren says:
«In this workshop, I will present brief examples of composers who are known for their uniqueness to encourage you to find your inner voice as they did. I will also perform a few pieces that mean a great deal to me and use them to address the idea of personal expression based on my own experiences as a jazz performer in New York, a big band arranger and conductor, and a composer of the many genres of music that speaks to me (classical percussion duo, girls choir, big band, string quartet with electronics and full-blown orchestra). Hopefully, my talk will lead to a larger shared discussion, which will lead you toward a purely personal and passionate expression that helps you gain a following while you grow as a creative artist and one-of-a-kind composer. With a little luck and an open mind, by the time the class is over, you’ll be ready to take your first steps into a new life in music».
Sasha Mashin (Russia) workshop «Improving your sense of rhythm»
Sasha Mashin was born in 1976 in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1991 he joined the «Kvadrat jazz-club», where he met many jazz musicians of St. Petersburg. After studying for two months at the Mussorgsky Music School, he decided to start his professional career as an artist and quit school. From 1995 to 1998, Sasha was a permanent member of the quartet of saxophonist Igor Butman. In 1998, Sasha participated in creating the MosGorTrio band and moved to Moscow, where he also kept busy collaborating with some of Russia’s best jazz musicians. In 2005 Sasha Mashin participated in the educational program «Open World Program USA» in New York and played with such legends as Clark Terry, Kenny Barron, and Jimmy Heath at the «Blue Note Jazz Club». Since 2008 Sasha has invited many foreign musicians to perform along with his band all over Russia. Sasha Mashin performed with a long list of musicians such as Benny Golson, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron, Johnny Griffin, Lew Tabackin, James Spaulding, Eddy Henderson, Steve Slagle, Gary Smulyan, Larry Schneider, Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, Alex Sipiagin, Isfar Sarabski, Dhafer Youssef and many others.
Sasha Mashin's workshop will feature such important questions as How to get better as a musician by improving just one skill? What is the most important skill for musicians? The drummer is sure: it doesn’t matter what instrument or style of music you play, you need the best sense of rhythm it's possible to achieve.
Diego Beirao (Brazil) workshop «Understanding samba as a genre»
Diego Beirao is a Brazilian guitarist and music teacher. Graduated from Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), he has been working as a session musician and sideman with several local artists in Sao Paulo, ranging from pop and rock to jazz and Brazilian music, as well as teaching guitar (both electric and acoustic) and music theory in private lessons.
Brazilian Music is a huge universe of multiple genres. Undoubtedly, the most prominent of these is Samba. It was born in the black communities of Rio de Janeiro’s peripheral neighborhoods at the beginning of the XX century, persecuted by governments, and eventually became a national symbol. Samba has very particular idiosyncrasies in its development of rhythm, harmony, and melody, beyond the traditional understanding of European music theory. This workshop is intended to give further understanding of these idiosyncrasies, as well as a brief historical panorama and an overview of some of the most notable composers and interpreters of the genre.
Nicole Zuraitis (USA) workshop «Songwriting course for all levels»
Vocalist, pianist, and songwriter Nicole Zuraitis is a Grammy nominee and winner of the 2021 «American Traditions Competition», drawing from the traditions of jazz, pop, and blues to create music that is rich in depth and heart. As a bandleader, a recording artist, and the premiere vocalist of the world-famous Birdland Big Band, among other notable ensembles, Nicole has established herself as a staple on the New York City Jazz scene and has made a significant mark on the global modern jazz landscape. Nicole’s stunning vocal prowess, paired with her facility on the piano and her talent as a consummate entertainer on her newest album «All Wandering Hearts» (DotTime Records), prove that she is anything but your average jazz singer. In 2019, Nicole’s illustrious career blossomed even further when she and her husband, renowned drummer and bandleader Dan Pugach, were dually nominated for a Grammy for their arrangement of Dolly Parton’s «Jolene». Nicole was named in the top 40 under 40 for 2020 in «Connecticut Magazine» and her weekly live stream during the Covid—19 crisis «Virtual Piano Lounge Plus One» was featured in «Forbes» in October 2020. While not leading her own ensembles, Nicole performs and tours extensively with her husband’s renowned ensemble, the Dan Pugach Nonet.
Join Grammy-nominated New York-based jazz recording artist Nicole Zuraitis in a hands-on songwriting course for all levels and skillsets. Participate in prompts to make your writing process more efficient and your lyrics more effective. Learn how to find a powerful and effective song title, discover lyric building, develop the rhythms of your song sections, create contrasting ideas to re-color your chorus, and get feedback on your current work in a supportive and welcoming environment.
Jason Heath (USA) workshop «The power of storytelling for musicians: What I’ve Learned Interviewing 800 Musicians»
Jason Heath is the host of Contrabass Conversations, a podcast devoted to exploring music and ideas associated with the double bass. His blog and podcast are highly regarded in the music world and have been featured as top offerings in the world of arts and culture for the past decade. Jason serves on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Bassists and is the Double Bass Product Manager for Eastman Strings. He also serves on the advisory board of Be Part of the Music, and he is internationally active as a clinician and consultant. A highly decorated veteran teacher, Jason is a past faculty member at DePaul University, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Trinity International University. He currently works with the San Francisco Symphony’s Music and Mentors program and teaches internationally at various bass events, clinics, and masterclasses. Jason’s former students hold positions in the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Baltimore Symphony, and Philharmonie Sudwestfalen. As a high school orchestra director, Jason’s orchestras had many notable performances, including the Midwest Clinic in Chicago and tours in Peru, Spain, and Cuba. A graduate of Northwestern University, Jason performs with the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, Tennessee, and ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was a member of the Elgin Symphony for 16 seasons and has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, and numerous other professional ensembles.
Jason's workshop will be called «The Power of Storytelling: What I’ve Learned Interviewing 800 Musicians». In this session, Jason Heath explores the common elements that make up a good story and what he has learned about this craft through his years of writing, interviewing, and audiovisual recording. He'll tell his own story and teach the audience to tell better stories and ask better questions, as well as explain what's important for making your emails and applications being noticed in a pile of such.
as a FACEBOOK LIVE at jazzdaylatvia
«Dream Teller» virtual concert at M/Darbnīca
«Dream Teller» is a meeting point for young Latvian composers and performers where they unite to create music that explores themes of dreams, the subconscious, and the undiscovered within your own self. Their music draws inspiration from life experience, long conversations, travels, and quiet reflection, merging classical, jazz, and indie music. The band consists of vocalist Kristīne Liede, pianist Edgars Cīrulis and double bassist Jānis Rubiks, all three of them also being composers and composition authors.