About festival JazzFest...

The American guitar virtuoso of a unique style Oz Noy and above all the drum player Dennis Chambers, one of the best jazz-fusion players in the world performing with band of the guitar player Carlos Santana; these two will be the top stars of 36th international jazz festival JAZZFEST KARLOVY VARY – SOKOLOV 2019. In this context, we need to highlight the saxophonist and singer Camilla Thurman, undoubtedly a supernova of the modern jazz scene in New York, and also a Czech young pianist of an incredible talent Tomáš Kačo.

Six concerts will be held from October 11 to 24, offering modern jazz, music overlapping to different branches and fusions with other musical genres, including the symphonic one, and inviting brilliant musicians both from our country and abroad.

For the last twenty years, the Festival has been organized by the Jazzový kruh company (Jazz circle) with its director and musician Milan Krajíc. The festival has been traditionally supported by the Municipality of Karlovy Vary and the Karlovy Vary Region and held under the auspices of the Mayor of Karlovy Vary Municipality Ing. Andrea Pfeffer Ferklová, MBA and the Governor of the Karlovy Vary Region Mgr. Jana Mračková Vildumetzová.

Festival intro

As an introduction to the main festival events, a new episode titled Jazz Inspiration from the Poetry & Jazz cycle will be given on October 11 in the Cinema Drahomíra. The members of Poetic group will read jazz texts, taking turns with the music performed by the Jazz Appetite band. On the following day, October 12 in Club Imperial, the Darren Heinrich Organ Trio will introduce an outstanding piano and organ player Darren Heinrich from Australia. In his trio you can see and hear a Czech guitar player Libor Šmoldas, abroad reputable, one of the best of his generation. Their repertory consists of standards, blues and original author compositions.

Main concerts

Two main festival concerts will be held one after another in a rapid succession. On October 16 in Grandhotel Ambassador Národní dům, in cooperation with the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, an exceptionally talented pianist Tomáš Kačo will perform. He will appear with his solo performance as well as together with the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, conducted by its chief-conductor Jan Kučera. Kačo, who among others graduated from Berklee College of Music, is not limited by genres or styles. Apart from adaptations of works by classic authors, he also composes his own music, which is not Romany, nor Czech, not classical, nor jazz – “every listener can take what he wants”.

The top star of the festival, the American guitar player of Israelian descent Oz Noy will perform with his trio on October 17 in the Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre, the co-organizer of the concert. The virtuoso guitar player, producing an intoxicating mixture of jazz, funk, rock, blues and r&b, will introduce himself in a trio with phenomenal musicians: drum player Dennis Chambers and bas-guitar player Jimmy Haslip.

Since his arrival to New York in 1996, Oz Noy has made a huge impact to the local music scene. His unique style is breaking all the rules of instrumental guitar music. He toured and performed with many famous jazz, rock and pop musicians. His discography includes 10 albums, the last one was released this year under the name “Booga Looga Loo”.

For many years, Dennis Chambers was a member of one of the most significant funk bands Parliament/Funkadelic, then he played with the John Scofield band and also with the variety of the best jazz-fusion musicians. He has been working with the phenomenal guitar player Carlos Santana for the last 15 years. Jimmy Haslip is a founder and a former member of the jazz-fusion band Yellowjackets; he played and cooperated with many jazz and rock musicians. He is one of the first users of the five-string electric bass.

The concert will be opened by Jazz Dock Orchestra, a Czech modern jazz big band, based in the Jazz Dock Club in Prague, a club of a high reputation. Jazz Dock Orchestra perform their own compositions and as well as works by great authors.

Blues and contemporary jazz at the end

The fifth concert will be held on October 22 in the Municipal house of culture in Sokolov, under the sign of different blues variations. First formation to appear will be Blue Condition, a band formed by skilled musicians with an outstanding guitar player Jiří Krombholz, focusing on electric blues with rock and jazz sounds. Their performance will be enriched by a woodwind section led by the saxophonist Milan Krajíc. After that, the audience will be pleased by a jazz variation of blues by Jan Spálený & ASPM. The band leader Jan Spálený, singer, keyboard and cornet player, has invited top musicians of the Czech jazz scene: trumpet player Michal Gera, vibraphonist Radek Krampl, tuba and bass guitar player Filip Spálený and drum player Filip Jeníček. The compositions on their new album, released this year and titled “I can’t catch your breath”, have been changing and maturing in the course of time and they represent the peak of the ASPM concerts.

On October 24 in Spa III, the singer, sax and flute player Camille Thurman & MMT will show to the audience, how the pure contemporary jazz in New York looks like. The concert will be opened by the Jazz Fancies formation, with the excellent singer Petra Brabencová. The band is led by the saxophonist Milan Krajíc and most musicians have come from the Karlovy Vary jazz milieu.

The prestigious magazine DownBeat describes Camille Thurman as a rising tenor-sax star. Her rich saxophone sound is compared to such wizards as Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon, in connection with her vocal performance, Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter are often mentioned. During her short career, Camille Thurman shared the stage with the greatest jazz musicians and she received a lot of jazz awards.

For cooperation she joined with the talented drum player Darrell Green, who, in spite of his youth, can provide along list of performance home and abroad, with many famous jazzmen. The pianist Nico Menci and contrabass player Marco Marzolla make the MMT quartet complete.