18.04.2023 #concert #jazz #kulturlxnews #music

Throwback to SPARK – Jazz from Luxembourg

© Ben Glasgow

An initiative of the renowned Edinburgh Jazz & Blues festival, the SPARK festival took place from March 24th to 26th. It was a privileged time to introduce Luxembourgish jazz to Scottish jazz audience and sector. Fiona Alexander, the producer of the festival, explains that the strategy of the festival consists in giving Edinburgh’s audiences a broad view on European jazz scene through small focuses, instead of one-shot concerts. It is thanks to this reflexion that SPARK, a mix of concerts and artistic collaborations, has come to life in order to put light on existing relationships between Scottish and Luxembourgish jazz. Artists from both territories were gathered for short residencies.

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Double bass player Marc Demuth and saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski revived their long-standing collaboration that started when they were part of the European Youth jazz orchestra and showed again the scope of their musical friendship. Resulting from the Criss-Cross Europe project, the collaboration between drummer Michel Meis and double bass player David Bowden could go further after a first residency in Summer 2022. After this second residency in the frame of SPARK, they presented their respective compositions on stage. Last but not least, committed to foster the development of emerging artists, SPARK invited trumpet player Daniel Migliosi to collaborate with pianist and teacher Pete Johnstone and his trio.

These after-residency concerts were positively received by the public and made it possible to maintain, revive or build musical encounters that are a necessary breeding ground for creation within the jazz sector.

In addition to these fruitful artistic collaborations which led to tailormade concerts, SPARK also gave the bands Tele-Port and Dock in Absolute the opportunity to present their latest projects.

The musicians from Dock in Absolute, who played at a previous edition of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, presented their latest compositions at Glasgow’s MacKintosch Church, Aberdeen’s Blue Lamp, and Edinburgh’s St Brides Centre. This three-dates tour allowed them to extend their fanbase on the Scottish territory.

Tele-Port made their Scottish debut, which marked a significant step in their establishment on the British territory.

On the Scottish side, SPARK featured pianist Dave Milligan, bands AKU!, Helena Kay Trio, NooVision, and the Kershaw, Stephen, Dick trio.

This kind of operation is a precious tool to allow Luxembourgish artists to be active on foreign jazz scenes and pursue their identification on the international level. In the thinking that such focuses have got virtuous effects, Kultur | lx intends to form close ties with further international partners to repeat such initiatives.