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Riga Meets World Jazz Festival

28-Jul-2016 / Charity & Sponsorship Today the World Jazz Festival is starting in Riga – the biggest cultural event of the 2016 season in Riga.

This jazz festival gathers together stars from different parts of the world. It is being held in the capital of Latvia for the third time, invariably with the support of Rietumu Bank.

The World Jazz Festival is a product of successful cooperation between Igor Butman Music Group and Arkady Ukupnik Producing Centre.

On the eve of the festival opening, organisers and partners of the World Jazz Festival held a press conference in one of the newest hotels of Riga – Mercure, in Empire Casino & Lounge premises.

When opening the press conference, Member of the Council of Rietumu Bank Alexander Gafin said, “The festival is already celebrating its third anniversary, and all of this time it has been supported by Rietumu Bank. Moreover, this support is not only financial. This year we have also organised a noticeable advertising campaign of the festival on TV and, to be closer to this event, we have stepped forward not as Rietumu Bank, but as Rietumu Jazz.”

Alexander Gafin noted that Riga and jazz are two inseparable things, here jazz music сan be heard from everywhere – concert halls, clubs and just in the street. “We have had jazz concerts and festivals in Riga before. But there has never been such a wide-scale and really international event like the World Jazz Festival, which is organised by my friends Arkady and Natalya Ukupniks, jointly with Igor Butman. Interest in the festival is huge – it is demonstrated not only in Latvia, but also in Europe and other countries. Previous years have shown that with proper organisation and support such a festival can be held on a very high level.

As a person having extensive experience in organising musical projects, I can say that the third year is very important for a festival: if it is as successful as before, its further life will be long and prosperous. Seeing how the festival of this year is arranged, knowing its organisers and considering the support provided by Rietumu Bank and other partners, I am sure that the World Jazz Festival will fulfil this task excellently. I wish for further success to the festival and for its spectators to derive genuine pleasure from gorgeous live jazz music,” said Alexander Gafin.

Arkady Ukupnik noted that the festival continues developing and interest in it is increasing with every year. “We dream that with time World Jazz Festival could turn into one of the biggest jazz events in Europe and even in the world. Riga and the Baltic Sea shore is an ideal place for this. Everything is available here: excellent beaches, wonderful architecture, developed musical culture and… plenty of beautiful girls. We hope that the number of spectators will keep growing. Then we will be able to invite even more world stars and hold even more interesting concerts. We are already on the way to it. For further growth, the festival needs three more constituents: support of local authorities, which we already have in the person of Riga Municipality; political support on the state level, including the Ministry of Culture; and, finally, trust and support from our partners. I sincerely hope that all three of these constituents will be linked together and the World Jazz Festival will continue gathering pace,” said Arkady Ukupnik.

The World Jazz Festival, according to the already established tradition, will start on Thursday at 3 p.m. with a free concert in Dome Square. In previous years such concerts gathered together thousands of spectators – residents and guests of the capital city. This time numerous connoisseurs of jazz also will be able to fully enjoy excellent music in a unique atmosphere – right under the afternoon sun of the ancient medieval city.

Then the World Jazz Festival will move to Splendid Palace, where at 7 p.m. performances will be held by the queen of jazz from Brazil Tania Maria, the legendary Quartet of Igor Butman, the winner of many awards and prizes pianist Oleg Akkuratov, and a very young singer Yaroslava Simonova, who has already performed together with a number of international stars.

On Friday, 29 July, the Grammy Award winner American pianist Bob James and the legend of African music trumpeter Hugh Masekela will perform in the biggest indoor concert hall of the city – Arena Riga.

Eleonora Gailisha
Mass Media and Public Relations
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