Female vocalists from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the United States will share the spotlight at the fourth international Jazz_Bishkek_Spring festival April 24 to 26 in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
Aiday, a native of Kyrgyzstan and operatically trained in Italy, recorded Lush Life in 2007. Diana Ziyatdinova is the featured vocalist with Artsakh, the oldest jazz collective of Uzbekistan, which was formed in 1954 by brothers Gennady and Vladimir Safarov.
Tahmina Ramazanova is the singer with the Tajik ensemble Avesto, which synthesizes modern jazz with east ethnic musical culture. Texas-born Roseanna Vitro together with pianist and arranger Kenny Werner released The Delirium Blue Project: Serve or Suffer in 2006 to critical acclaim. Vitro is “one of the most singularly exciting vocalists of the past two decades,” according to Christopher Louden of Jazz Times.
Musicians from around ten countries of Central Asia, Europe and North American are scheduled to perform at the festivals under the theme “music without borders,” according to festival organizers in a prepared release. “Building bridges for peace and understanding trough cultural collaboration is our mission. Creativity, tolerance and freedom are the foundation and very nature of jazz music. Jazz is a universal means of communication, which is ‘spoken’ all over the world. It is a democratic kind of music, the music of people valuing freedom and creativity.”
Other performers from Kyrgyzstan include the newly formed trio Nooruz, the Vicram Rouzakhounov Jazz Sextet, and Aura, which is also well known in neighboring Kazakhstan, for its eclectic mix of fusion, folk jazz, and jazz-rock. Arwana, from Turkmenistan, was created last year and is scheduled to record its first disc later this year.
European artists will include the French duet Two, the Swiss trio, Pflanzplatz, which touts two diatonic accordionists; another trio, HDV, from Austria, and from Berlin, Germany, the quintet Jazz Indeed, which features vocalist Michael Shifel. For more information, visit the Jazz.kg web site.
[Photo: Aiday, who also performed at the 2008 festival.]