At the prestigious London Jazz Festival, five Estonian jazz bands performed – Weekend Guitar Trio, Kadri Voorand & Mihkel Mälgand, Erki Pärnoja: Efterglow, Heavy Beauty, and Peedu Kass Momentum will be performing. John Cumming, the director of the London Jazz Festival, commented on the performances: “I heard them in Tallinn two years ago. They’re really good.” The concert was held in the framework of the Jazz Estonia and Jazzkaar project “Jazz Present to Europe”.
Estonian jazz musicians have undertaken international festivals this year and hope it to be a boost for future opportunities. It is also a part of a cultural program devoted to both the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the centenary of the republic, said “Aktuaalne kaamera”:
Erki Pärnoja Efterglow was the first Estonian band to perform on Sunday at the Barbican Centre in London. Pärnoja said that it was great and easy to play, and the audience was warm and good.
Heavy Beauty who performed next could even be called a Baltic band. Liudas Mockunas, a Lithuanian musician, says that it was a special opportunity to perform at the festival. He explained that a jazz musician travels around and plays music at very different places, it could be a dirty underground club and it could be the philharmonic concert hall, but festivals are the best place to show your work.
At the time when Heavy Beauty was on stage, John Cumming, the director of London Jazz Festival, explained how he reached Estonian music: “The make excellent noise. I heard them in Tallinn two years ago. And I’ve known Jaak (Jaak Sooäär), the guitarist, for a long time. They’re really good. Jaak is a very important person, like Anne Erm of Jazzkaar and Helend Sildna of Tallinn Music Week. They are very important contacts for us because over the years, they have invited us to listen to Estonian music in Tallinn. That is the way I’ve become so familiar with the Estonian music community and its spirit. It’s been an exciting voyage of discovery during the last 10–12 years.”
Estonian evening was completed by Peedu Kass Momentum. The jazz musicians hoe that performing at international festivals will increasingly open new doors, London, in particular, is a very special place. Musician Peedu Kass noted that London is the centre of the world, its jazz festival is one of the biggest in the world and performing there is, no doubt, a tremendous privilege and honour.
On Sunday night, Kristjan Järvi, an Estonian conductor, stood in front of the BBC Concert Orchestra at the final concert of the jazz festival.
During two weekends, the following Estonian bands performed at the London Jazz Festival – Weekend Guitar Trio, Kadri Voorand & Mihkel Mälgand, Erki Pärnoja: Efterglow, Heavy Beauty, and Peedu Kass Momentum. The concert that took place in the framework of events abroad of Estonia 100 and the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union brought a full house of local audience and several dozens of foreign journalists to the concert place.
ERR news editor Laur Viirand.