Jazz Showcase 2024 

So what is Jazz? Something that is difficult to define? Of course, because of its amazing ability to change styles! If you want it to be, it can be romantic-psychedelic magic, and at other times it’s an ambient jazz-pop journey, or perhaps a touch of hip-hop-afrobeat levitation. At the 17th, Jazz Showcase, every note points to the future.

Sometimes three people tuning into each other is sufficient for entire universes to rise up in front of us: this is what the Bálint Gyémánt Trio will demonstrate on Friday, 16 February, when they provide us with a taste of the material from their new album Vortex of Silence. The next day, on the 17th, one of the newest star groups on the Hungarian jazz scene, New Fossils, will welcome Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick to an ethereal ‘dance’ aimed at discovering their points of artistic intersection. Concluding the series on Sunday the 18th will be Àbáse, led by Hungarian keyboardist Szabolcs Bognár and recruited from four continents, as they guide us to distant lands, or at least into the worlds of West African, Brazilian and African-American rhythms and moods vibrating with electronic sounds. Each of the three evening concerts starts at 8:30 pm in the Festival Theatre.

Six young bands invited to the talent fair – pre-selected for the first time this year by a preliminary jury – will demonstrate their abilities in the theatre in sets of two over the course of the three days, with one pairing taking the stage at 4.30 pm, and the other at 6 pm. On Friday, Up To The Surface and the Emingó bands will perform, and will be followed on Saturday by two trios, Grace and Gravy and Intergeese, while Sunday will bring the spotlight down on the Claudia Raquel Quintet and the Koncz Kriszta Group, both ensembles that put female vocalists at the heart of their performances. The members of the international jury will make their evaluations either there on the spot or online, and then on Sunday, 18 February, both they and the audience will decide which line-ups they felt stood out the most, with the winners receiving invitations to return to Müpa Budapest to perform as part of International Jazz Day. Partnering with Müpa Budapest to present Jazz Showcase is the Hungarian Jazz Federation.

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