From 25 February to 11 March, the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra will invite its listeners to the Liepāja International Stars Festival for the 31st time already, offering them a diverse and outstanding journey into the world of music.
At the closing concert of the Festival on 11 March the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra itself will meet on the same stage with the Latvian Radio Big Band in the symphony jazz programme, with Guntis Kuzma at the conductor's desk.
The Triple Concerto “Trio Colossus” for tenor saxophone, double bass and percussion composed by Kārlis Vanags, the artistic director of the Latvian Radio Big Band, will be premiered this evening, featuring Edvīns Ozols, Artis Orubs and the composer himself playing the tenor saxophone as soloists.
This piece was inspired by the legendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins' canonical work, the Saxophone Colossus album, which is one of the most significant jazz albums of all time.
“Working on this triple concert called “Trio Colossus” has been a very exciting and interesting experience,” says Kārlis Vanags, “I have dared to try a lot of new things – both in terms of concept and instrumentation. I am very excited to meet the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, even more so, knowing that Guntis Kuzma, whose ability to stage and interpret music of various genres is simply amazing, will be at the conductor's desk.”
Kārlis Vanags has around 200 compositions and arrangements for chamber ensembles, big band and symphony orchestra, and his original music album “Identities” has received the Latvian music records award of the year “Golden Microphone 2019”.
He started working as a big band conductor in 2007, creating the “City Jazz Big Band”, receiving the Latvian music records award of the year for his debut album “Introducing The Band”. In 2018, Kārlis Vanags was also the composer and musical director of the Euroradio Jazz Orchestra.
As a saxophonist, Kārlis Vanags actively plays music both in the trio named after him and in the ensemble “Souls Jazz Society”, and also in Raimonds Macats’ quintet “RM5” (with this lineup he also received the Latvian music records award of the year “Golden Microphone”).
In different projects he has collaborated with one of the world's leading jazz vocalists Kurt Elling, Italian jazz diva Roberta Gambarini, and also with such brilliant musicians as Randy Brecker, Jojo Mayer, “New York Voices”, Marius Nesset, Mats Holmqvist, Diana Schuur, China Moses, Alan Harris, Nils Landgren, Seamus Blake, Richard Bohn, Pierre Bertrand and many more.
This Concert is going to be a real treat for jazz lovers, because on stage the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and the Latvian Radio Big Band will be joined by the world-famous jazz singer Ola Onabule, who was born in London and educated in Nigeria, and whose velvety voice will be heard in Liepāja for the first time. He knows how to entwine jazz and soul into a single piece like no one else does, and we will be able to hear that for ourselves, while listening to a selection from Onabule's latest album “Point Less”.
The 31st Liepāja International Stars Festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the State Cultural Capital Foundation, Liepāja City and SEB bank.
Tickets for the Festival concerts can be purchased at “Biļešu paradīze” ticket offices.