Jazz present to Europe: Estonian jazz reaches England

To celebrate the first Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union and the centenary of the Republic of Estonia, jazz concerts organised by the Jazz Estonia and Jazzkaar will take place in Belgium, England, Finland, and Germany. In November, Estonian jazz will reach the EFG London Jazz Festival, where five Estonian bands will perform – Weekend Guitar Trio, Kadri Voorand & Mihkel Mälgand, Erki Pärnoja: Efterglow, Heavy Beauty, and Peedu Kass Momentum.

EFG London Jazz Festival, a 10-day festival starting on 10 November, is one of the most important jazz festivals in Europe and it’s celebrating its 25th birthday this year. This year, Estonian artists will be performing alongside with the most important jazz stars of the world.

On 10 November, Weekend Guitar Trio, followed by a concert of Pat Metheny, a jazz legend, will take place on Barbican Free Stage. On 11 November, Kadri Voorand & Mihkel Mälgand Duo will give two concerts alongside with Andy Sheppard Quartet at Kings Place Hall. On 19 November, Barbican Free Stage will belong to Estonians – Erki Pärnoja: Efterglow, Heavy Beauty, and Peedu Kass Momentum will be performing. A stand for Estonian jazz and Jazzkaar introducing Estonian jazz music and festivals will be up in Barbican on 18 and 19 November.

Weekend Guitar Trio connects three talented guitarists: Robert Jürjendal, Tõnis Leemets, and Mart Soo, whose musical background includes classical guitar and Guitar Crafts method, alternative electronic dance music, and jazz/free improvisation.

Kadri Voorand is a known Estonian vocalist and a composer. Mihkel Mälgand is one of the most musically active bassists in Estonia. Together they form a duo that mainly plays original pieces for the piano, bass and voice, which gives room for improvisation and is decorated with airy electronic efects. Lyrics compose of both Estonian poetry and original texts.

Estonian song writer and multi-instrumentalist Erki Pärnoja will come to London Jazz with a band named after him called Erki Pärnoja: Efterglow. It is a calm, acoustic, and mysterious music where ethereal synthesizer sounds meat with scratching and melancholy guitar playing.

The centre of the powerful Estonian-Lithuanian jazz-rock band Heavy Beauty is a bass saxophone – a rarely used instrument with a beautiful and gentle sound. Internationally known Lithuanian saxophonist Liudas Mockunas is just the right man for controlling the moods of a bass saxophone and with him on stage will be guitarist Jaak Sooäär, bassist Henno Kelp, and a percussionist Andrus Lillepea.

There is sharpness, intensive rhythm as well as surprising finesse in Peedu Kass Momentum’s music. The trio’s jazz magic is created by the founder of the ensemble and bassist Peedu Kass, pianist Kristjan Randalu, and percussionist Toomas Rull. In 2015, Peedu Kass Momentum performed as the first Estonian jazz group in the main program of Jazzahaed, the biggest jazz music festival in Europe.

Organised by the Jazz Estonia and Jazzkaar, the aim of the project “Jazz Present to Europe” is to introduce the original Estonian jazz creation and musicians at prestigious European festivals. To introduce our music and celebrate the centenary of the Republic of Estonia, the jazz present will reach Belgium, England, Finland, and Germany.

The project “Jazz Present to Europe” is made possible with the support of Estonia 100 and Enterprise Estonia, Estonian Embassy in London, and the devotion of Estonian musicians.

Jazz Estonia /
Jazzkaar /
Estonia 100 /