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JazzFest Budapest26 April - 17 May, 2023

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Jazzfest Budapest brings the greatest musicians of the genre to Budapest. Between the 26th of April and the 17th of May, a wide range of venues across Budapest will feature performances from several national and international stars from 22 countries across 5 continents. 

The organizing team has made no secret of its goal to create a festival of international standing that will serve as a platform to promote other major jazz events in the future, and this year, for the first time, the exact lineup has been put together with the help of professional curators. This means that Budapest will play host to superstars such as Lizz Wright, Avishai Cohen, Stanley Clarke, Simon Phillips, Stacey Kent, Stefano Bollani, Anouar Brahem, Bugge Wesseltoft, Enzo Favata, and Paal Nilssen-LOVE, among others, and will also feature some of the finest Hungarian performers of the genre, such as László Dés, Mihály Dresch, Kálmán Oláh, Viktor Tóth, Kálmán Balogh, János Yancha Nagy, and Luca Kézdy, to name just a few. 

 

"As a result of extensive professional cooperation, JAZZFEST BUDAPEST was already the largest in the region, and among the largest on the continent, when it was launched in 2022. A total of 64 concerts were held in 12 venues, with the participation of more than 200 artists.  During the festival we witnessed musical wonders, there were world premieres and also special musical encounters. In 2023, we will continue the journey we have started and create a festival where the biggest stars of the genre will dominate the stages for three weeks. We want to raise the bar even higher than last year, not in size but in quality. That's why we've put together a curatorial team with excellent international and national contacts, including musicians Tamara Mózes, Miklós Lukács, Mihály Borbély, Kornél Mogyoró and Krisztián Oláh, to ensure that the festival lineup is a real treat for fans of the genre. The aim is to create an internationally renowned festival that has the chance to host the International Jazz Day Gala, founded by the Herbie Hancock Institute and UNESCO in 2011.” (Attila Kleb, one of the founders of the festival and Artistic Director of Get Closer Concerts)

 

During the 22 days of the festival, there will be concerts across 10 venues in Budapest, including the Erkel Theatre, the Italian Institute, the Liszt Academy, the Eiffel Art Studios, and the Fonó, as well as smaller but equally important cultural venues such as Mixát, Lumen, iF, Jedermann, and others. On the 30th of April, the International Jazz Day event will take place in Madách Square, where jazz will play all day and the evening will close with a concert by an all-star orchestra put together especially for the occasion.

 

One of the best singers of contemporary jazz, Lizz Wright, will open the festival on the 26th of April at the Eiffel Art Studios. The legendary artist, who is making her third appearance in Budapest, is able to synthesise different styles from R&B to gospel to jazz, while keeping her own individuality and style. Later in the Jazzfest lineup, at the same venue, László Dés will perform as his Free Sounds quartet with Miklós Lukács, Márton Fenyvesi, and András Dés, and they will be joined for a performance by Nguyen Lé and Gary Husband, two extravagant artists considered masters of fusion music. Eiffel Art Studios will also host performances from legendary drummer Simon Phillips, who has been active in many genres for decades, and his band, as well as Bugge Wesseltoft, the outstanding Norwegian jazz pianist. 

 

The great master of Arab classical music, Anouar Brahem, brings the subtle sound of the oud and the harmony of modern jazz to the main hall of the Liszt Academy in Budapest, while the audience at the Italian Institute will be captivated by a performance from the joyful Italian pianist-composer, Stefano Bollani. Over at the Erkel Theatre, four-time Grammy-winning legend Stanley Clarke will be performing, followed by the legendary bassist Avishai Cohen with his latest trio, featuring Israeli Guy Moskovith on piano and his compatriot, the young talent Roni Kaspi, on drums. The closing concert of the festival will also take place at the Erkel, with the outstanding American jazz singer Stacey Kent accompanied by the Danubia Orchestra, bringing classic Brazilian tunes to the stage in a tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim.

 

The Fonó stage will play host to the music of Tara Fuki, a special meeting of two great cellists, based on completely unique and collaborative improvisations. At the same venue, audiences will also be able to experience the highly innovative and inspiring contemporary music of Jasna Jovicevic, a performer who walks the boundaries of jazz and world music. Award-winning Michal Baranski from Poland will join the Fonó lineup, which will also feature a special evening bringing together three wind instrument geniuses, with Mihály Dresch and Italian jazz phenomenon, Enzo Favata, joining Mihály Borbély's Balkan orchestra on stage.

 

At Mixát, performers will include Nico Morelli's trio, who play music based on the fusion of classical music and jazz, as well as pianist-composer Kasia Pietrzko, who is sure to bring her feminine energy and a wonderful performance. 

 

Finally, Lumen will play host to the Paal Nilssen-Love Circus, a project that came about when the Oslo World Music Festival asked the artist to create a new orchestra of only Norwegian artists as a result of travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus epidemic. This led to the coming together of seven unique musical voices around common musical ideas and ways of thinking, and a shared understanding of musical freedom, all of which will now be heard in Budapest.