Louis Armstrong once said: “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know. “ It is the music that brings you to another atmosphere, covers holistically your brain, body and soul, and gives you an unforgettable joy of the art of music, the joy of current moment.
March 4-7 Student Jazz Festival was held in different cities around Estonia. I was honored to attend the final performance in Tallinn. During the festival around 10 bands introduced their music and compositions created by themselves.
Building F in Telliskivi Urban Walk was very crowded. People from different backgrounds, nationalities and interest had gathered together to spend amazing time listening to jazz music. The performance quality was even higher than the audience had expected from the music school students.
Students from Saue music school, TÜVKA, EMTA, Göteburg Music School, Heino Eller’s Tartu Music School and Tallinn Georg Ots Music School presented their bands with original expressions of music and the sense of jazz music. Each group had individual techniques inspired by their personal emotions. The lighting was in harmony with the music and encouraged musicians on the stages. It was live environment in Building F and there were two different stages simultaneously performing jazz.
Combinations of traditional jazz and extremely contemporary jazz were performed during the festival. MeetingPoint, Harri Heinsoo Trio, Mental Floss and Kalle Pilli Quintet performed traditional jazz music but created by students. It was amazing to watch students from different schools, with different instruments performing and composing on the stage. Jazz is all about improvisation. You pick up different notes and parts in the piece of music and improvise with them. It was very smooth, soft, classical and traditional. Therefore, it was a very big joy for the audience expressing their emotions with frequent applauses.
Later on, experimental jazz music was executed by Kakelvrak and Innersound. Their extraordinary talent and perception of music encouraged the whole environment and made it more powerful and entertaining. Kakelvrak performed “Old China”- which was dedicated to struggling, how to reach the peace in life. It was very modern and tangible issue proved by the fact that that audience was just staring at their performance and was really amazed. Saxophone glorious sound, electric guitar, bits of drum, contrabass’s sad melody and pure vocal created splendid emotions. They were experimenting with jazz and expressing themselves proudly and audaciously.
It is needed to mention, that music schools had united students’ bands Project A & Project B formed from the students of EMTA and Göteburg Music School. It was rather a new step to combine people from different countries to play jazz music in front of the audience. Project A performed “Puddle” with rhythmic music, improvisation and expressing the inner love of music, life. I was watching young new-comers in jazz music, or in music in general, and observing them, seeing how deeply they feel the sense of the music, how they create, try, rehears, improvise and share their individual spirit to the audience. “River” was more like a smooth and soft melody, with saxophone solo and contrabass experiments. “The desert” expressed a way different emotion and motives. Blue lighting with slight movement of musicians, instruments was significantly inspiring. Project A was different from other bands from its performance quality and differentiation of compositions.
Telliskivi Urban Walk was full of incredible smell of jazz music in the evening on 7March. The idea of organizing and giving youngsters opportunity to create a show on the stage offers a really nice challenge. Student Jazz Festival is an annual festival and it gives a chance for Estonian as well as international students to practice, rehears, create, compose and improvise.
Generally, the last day of the festival was inspired to be most attractive and fully programmed. It was a really nice experience for the spectators as well as for the musicians. Therefore, participation in the events like Student Jazz Festival is vital in Estonia in order to promote jazz music and evolve the general music taste in the society.