Credit: Sebastian Trio

JazzFest Brno’s Club Life Concert Series Brings New York Jazz To Brno

In the stylish setting of Cabaret des Péchés, the JazzFest Brno festival is launching a new concert series called Club Life, aimed at bringing the atmosphere of New York jazz clubs to Brno. Brno will soon see a variety of jazz stars, such as Julian “J3PO” Pollack, Takuya Kuroda, Trio Grande, Keyon Harrold, this year’s Grammy nominees Lakecia Benjamin, Gretchen Parlato, Lionel Loueke, and youngsters New Jazz Underground. 

South African pianist, composer, and producer Nduduzo Makhathini from the Zulu nation kicked off this year’s Club Life series on 31 January. Next up, on 13 March, U.S. trumpeter Keyon Harrold, known for capturing the musical element of Miles Davis’s essence in the biographical film “Miles Ahead,” will take the stage. Harrold is also well known from his collaborations with artists including Eminem and Mac Miller. 

The festival evening on 21 March will offer a special double concert at the Goose on a String Theatre. New York saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, who was nominated for three Grammys this year, merges the roots of modern jazz with contemporary approaches, resulting in something original and distinctly current. In the second part, New York-based Japanese trumpeter Takuya Kuroda will show why Japan is known as a jazz powerhouse. On 26 March, the Trio Grande all-stars project will perform at Cabaret des Péchés, featuring guitarist Gilad Hekselman, saxophonist Will Vinson, and drummer Nate Wood.

On 9 April, in a Czech premiere, the U.S. trio New Jazz Underground will blend virtuosity with humour, as seen on their successful YouTube channel. Then, on 18 April, U.S. vocalist Gretchen Parlato and Beninese guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke will merge classical pop and jazz with Latin, R&B, and Afrobeat. Club Life will conclude on 21 April with pianist and keyboardist Julian “J3PO” Pollack and his trio, fusing electronics, synthesisers, samples, and lo-fi beats. 

Celebrations for International Jazz Day on 30 April will be led by the Emmet Cohen Trio from the U.S. and the Kravchenko Clees Duo, consisting of Ukrainian singer Kateryna Kravchenko and Luxembourgish vibraphonist Arthur Cleese, at the Goose on a String Theatre.

Other concerts include legendary jazz-fusion band Snarky Puppy, this year’s Grammy-winning Gen Z star Laufey, and Sting’s trumpeter Chris Botti. In June the festival will also present the traditional Syncopation Celebrations with rapper Kassa Overall, saxophonist Immanuel Wilins and Czech jazz bands 2in2out and Limbo as starring acts.

The full program, more information on the artists, and ticket presales, are available on the festival website.

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