The Buenos Aires Jazz Festival, which opened on Wednesday with a concert by veteran US jazz double-bassist Gary Peacock, has become a staple in the City’s Autumn calendar of cultural events. For its 10th anniversary edition, the festival brings together more than 400 artists, both local and international, in some 100 concerts spread out in 18 venues across Buenos Aires. Genre buffs will also get free events, as well as masterclasses, genre films, live performances by Argentine and foreign musicians playing together and works that were especially commissioned for this edition.
This year’s slate of shows will take over local jazz clubs and outdoor locations and extend to some less traditional venues for the genre, with events scheduled at Usina del Arte, the Colón Theater’s Golden Hall, Café Vinilo, Thelonious and Bebop Club, and neighbourhood fairgrounds such as Villa 20 and Rodrigo Bueno, among others.
Coming from abroad are Berlin-born French jazz pianist Jacky Terrasson, the Matthew Ship Trio, Spanish duo Chicuelo and Marco Mezquida, trumpet player Ralph Alessi – who will perform with Argentina’s Sergio Verdinelli – and the sexted led by Brazilian pianist André Marques, who will perform a piece commissioned by the festival: a particular tribute to Astor Piazzolla on the 25th anniversary of the tango master’s death, featuring Argentine singer Roxana Amed.
Female musicians get high clearance as well at the BA Jazz Fest, with performances by German drummer Eva Klesse and her quartet, Austria’s The ChuffDrone Quintet, Italy’s pianist Rita Marcotulli’s trio and singer Maria Pia De Vito, and Swedish singer Lina Nyberg and her group, among others.
Local artists include Mariano Loiácono, Juan Arredondo and Pablo Ledesma, and the festival promises a boon with onstage cross-over performances by Argentine musicians and foreign guests, such as Swedish guitar player Gustav Lündgren performing with Argentina’s Ramiro Pienovi and Swiss violinist Sophie Lussi, or the Piazzolla project by Brazil’s André Mehmari and Argentina’s Roxana Amed.
The festival is led by pianist and composer Adrián Iaies, who recently spoke of the event’s exponential growth since creating it a decade ago. “We went through a little more than 20 concerts to almost 100, the audience has grown and we saw significant improvements in quality from one edition to the next,” the musician told local media about the event.
The closing concert will be held on Monday at the Usina del Arte, with the “Terramondo” duet partnership of pianist Jacky Terrasson and trumpeter/ flugelhornist Stephane Belmondo. They will be performing songs from their album Mother, a quiet, reflective and even mournful collection of 14 songs. The set list includes originals, American standards by Charlie Haden and Dave Brubeck, French standards (including the love song La Chanson d’Hélène from French cinema), the cover of a hit song by Stevie Wonder, and several short interludes scattered about the album (including the 40-second whimsical Pic Saint- Loup, which is the name of the region’s local wine, and the pounce and thunder 54-second tribute to the town).