|The Coca-Cola Black Sea Jazz Festival in Batumi is almost here!|
|July 21, 2008|
July 21, 2008
The long-awaited Coca-Cola Black Sea Jazz Festival will begin this Tuesday, July 22 in the capital of Adjara, Batumi.
Jazz-lovers from all over Georgia will flock to the Black Sea holiday resort of Batumi to witness the year’s best jazz concerts in the country. This Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (July 22-24) three of the world’s best jazz acts will entertain audiences in Batumi Music Hall. All the concerts start at 21:00 and the tickets are completely sold out.
On Tuesday night, July 22, the amazing Marcus Miller Band all the way from the US of A will headline. Beloved jazz and R&B artist Marcus Miller is a also producer and composer and has won two Grammy Awards. The Marcus Miller Band consists of Alex Han on saxophone, Federico Gonzalez Pena on keyboard, Jason ‘JT’ Thomas on drums, and last but certainly not least, Marcus Miller himself on bass and bass clarinet.
Brooklyn-born Marcus Miller is considered to be one of the most talented bass guitarists in the world. He has prodcued nine albums to date, with his latest album ‘Free’ gaining particular acclaim for its distinctive style, varying from energetic wild funk to quiet classical jazz.
Marcus Miller has worked with many internationally celebrated legends such as Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Frank Sinatra and Eric Clapton. More recently, he collaborated with English singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae on the title track of his ‘Free’ album. His collaboration with Luther Vandross has resulted many bestselling R&B albums, such as ‘Never Too Much’ ‘Til My Baby Comes Home,’ and ‘Power of Love’ which won a Grammy award.
Currently, Marcus Miller is interested in mainly artistic projects. Last year he performed at the first North Sea Jazz Cruise, and in 2009 he plans to play the first Playboy Jazz Cruise. Georgian jazz-lovers won’t know what’s hot them when they go to watch this remarkable musician and his band! Well worth the ticket price of 50 GEL.
On Wednesday July 23, the festival continues with the energetic, rythmic and dynamic music of Free Hole Negro. The band consists of nine people: singers Lest Martinez, Leonardo Perez and Jorge Luis Borges; guitarist Victor Navarrette; bassist Michael Kuty Kayode; drummer Fernando Faver; percussionist Frank Kennedy; trumpet player Frank David Santiuste Castaneda and Carlos Oscar Mejias Perez on saxophone.
Free Hole Negro was created in Cuba in 1999 playing music that was mostly influenced by Havana’s underground bands. Later the band developed their own kind of music called ‘free hop’ which combines elements from rap, hip-hop, funk, regae, rumba, mumbo, and a number of others.
Free Hole Negro have played at many festivals such as the Festival de Jazz de la Habana, the Festival de la Rumba and the Festival de Reggae Internacional, among many others. Five year’s of the band’s work and performances at festivals and concerts resulted in their first album ‘Superfinos Negros’ which was released in 2006. Free Hole Negro starred in the movie ‘Havana Blues’ and also composed and performed the original soundtrack. The tickets cost a snip at just 20 GEL. Unfortunately, they are all sold out now.
The last day of the festival, Thursday, July 24, will feature the beautiful, soulful Brazilian Tania Maria. Maria will be accompanied by her talented band: Marc Bertaux on guitar and bass guitar; Caio Mambretti on drums and Edmundo Carneiro on percussion.
This famous Brazilian performer has been a musician nearly all her life, as she was only 7 years old when the learned how to play the piano, 13 when she made her musical debut when she won first price in a regional contest.
Although she gave up music to study law when she was younger, the musically gifted girl could not ignore her creativity and made her first album when she was just 20 years-old.
Today, Tania Maria is probably the most outstanding Brazilian music performers. She has been performing now for 36 years, she has racked up an astonishing 25 albums, and she has written such popular songs as ‘Piquant,’ ‘Come with Me,’ and ‘Made in New York.’
Tania Maria has taken part in just about every major jazz festival around the world, including Montreal, New Orleans, Tokyo and Nice. Her latest album ‘Intimidate’ was released in 2005. A ticket for Tania Maria’s concert cost a reasonable 40 GEL.
As well as all these world-famous, highly experienced and talented international stars, Georgian jazz performers will also be playing at the Coca-Cola Black Sea Jazz Festival.
The organizers of the festival are, as usual, the Eastern Promotion Company and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Autonomous region of Adjara, in conjunction with Batumi City Hall.
Since 1988, Eastern Promotions – a company owned by five staunch music lovers – has brought many famous musicians to Georgia, including Ray Charles, George Benson, Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, James Brown, Roy Ayers, Coolio, Jamiroquai, Al Jarrau, Joe Zawinul, Joe Cocker and many more.
The jazz festival in Georgia started in Tbilisi in 1996 and since then Coca-Cola has always been its one of its major supporters. This resulted in its name the Coca-Cola Tbilisi Jazz Festival. Last year the event moved to the Black Sea resort of Batumi, and the name was changed accordingly to the Coca-Cola Black Sea Jazz Festival.
Giga Sikharulidze, the Marketing Manager for Coca-Cola Georgia, said: “We try very hard to provide an ever higher quality of festival every year and now our jazz concerts are mentioned in many catalogues of the different countries. It is now considered to be quite important jazz event.”
The event is also supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara and Batumi City Hall. Speaking in an interview with GT, the Adjarian Minister of Culture, Mate Takidze, said: “The festival is really important for Georgia in several ways as well-known brands are going to visit Batumi, and it gives the city special tourist importance. Besides, the event is really enjoyable for every jazz-lover in Georgia. Together with Eastern Promotion, we organized the festival this year for the second time, and still think of improving our work every year, by increasing the number of participants or the duration of these joyful days.”
The other sponsors of this years’ festival are network provider Magti, the newly refurbished Volkswagen Center Tbilisi and the Iberia Company, who all support the high professionalism of the performers and organizers as being highly beneficial for Georgia.
All these companies appreciate the support for innovative ideas and high professionalism, they all know well that supporting the festival does not serve only the interests of music lovers but that it also aids the cultural development of the country and helps Georgia take its place among other developed European countries.
As the festival is so important for Georgia’s cultural development, the ticket prices were lower compared to last year, thanks to TBC Bank. Teona Miqadze, a TBC Bank spokesperson, said: “This year it was so accessible to get tickets to the festival. That is probably why they sold out so fast. We want to help to develop the festival, to give the Georgian audience a chance to listen to quality live music.”
As previously mentioned, the concerts will be held at Batumi Music Hall. The Music Hall has recently been renovated to a high, modern standard and the jazz lovers are sure to appreciate their comfortable new surroundings. Keti Aptsiaurti, a proud representative of Batumi Music Hall, said: “We want to satisfy all the demands of the festival and become better and better every year.”
The hotels that will host the performers have been preparing for their guests. The jazz festival’s performers, both Georgian and foreign, are to stay at two hotels in Adjara: the Georgia Palace Hotel in Kobuleti and the Intourist Palace Hotel in Batumi. The Georgia Palace Hotel will host Marcus Miller and Tania Maria, and has been busy making preparations for their arrival, including making special menus for them to sample, and generally ensuring their stay there is as pleasant as possible. Georgia Palace Hotel Administration Manager Lika Chikhladze said that the hotel would provide everything necessary to make their guests’ stay memorable.
After the three big concerts in Batumi, the festival will continue in Kobuleti. Sydney Ellis Quartet, Nu Jazz House Party feat. DJ David Lee and Free Hole Negro will be turning the heat up in Georgian Palace Hotel of Kobuleti.
Needless to say, the Coca-Cola Black Sea Jazz Festival is sure to please music-lovers no end, and for those who did not manage to get a ticket, there are many other live bands who are heading to Batumi to pick up the remaining crowds in other bars and clubs. The laid-back holiday atmosphere alone is worth the trip.
All additional information about the artists and about the festival can be found on the following web-site: www.batumijazz.com.
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