Kvarner newsletter / no 41

Liburnia Jazz Festival
Opatija again a town of jazz

The beginning of July in Opatija is traditionally reserved for the Liburnia Jazz Festival – a three-day event that takes place from the 1st to the 3rd of July, transforming the whole of Opatija into one large musical stage. Jazz will be played on boats, on the streets, and on musical stages, and the scheduled performances of international stars will surely attract many jazz lovers from all over Europe to Opatija.

From the 1st to the 3rd of July, Opatija will once again be the centre of jazz music. Jazz will be played on many stages across the town and on a jazz ship that will sail along Opatija Riviera.
The programme has been carefully chosen to include various styles of jazz music – from classical to modern and combinations of several styles. The aim of this selection is to meet the expectations of even the most demanding audience, but also to awaken interest for this kind of music in people who are otherwise not interested in jazz. Having that in mind, the organisers will bring to Opatija numerous international jazz stars and many Croatian bands and musicians.
The festival starts on Friday the 1st of July with the concert of the Canadian jazz attraction, the Souljazz Orchestra. Based on the rough groove from the 1960s and 1970s, this group successfully combines soul, jazz, Afro and Latin rhythm, which made it one of Canada's most important jazz bands.
On Saturday the 2nd of July, Opatija's Open Air Theatre will host the performance of this year's festival's biggest star – the young Japanese pianist and composer Hiromi, who already enchanted the international jazz audience.
She has won many awards as the pianist of the year, the best jazz performance, and the best jazz album. This year, she also received a Grammy for the project in collaboration with Stanley Clark. Hiromi: The Trio project, with the legendary Anthony Jackson and Steve Smith, guarantees a superb, unforgettable jazz experience. The audience in Opatija will have the opportunity to listen to the pieces from the latest album Voice short after its publication on the American market.
On Sunday the 3rd of July, there will be a big concert Tribute to BP. As opposed to a series of concerts that are dedicated to the late Croatian jazz guru Boško Petrović but do not include his music, this concert will put emphasis on his own compositions. For some of them new texts and arrangements were written and will be premiered on the Liburnia Jazz Festival. The concert will include performances of the Croatian Radiotelevision Big Band and many artists who either performed with Boško Petrović or were his students, such as Neven Frangeš, Mario Mavrin, Primož Grašič, Elvis Stanić, and Vid Jamnik.
This year's Liburnia Jazz Festival will include a total of 17 concerts performed by numerous Croatian and international musicians, such as the Denis Razz Quartet, the Spart Jazz Group, the Mystic Rose Ensemble, and the Big Band Samobor. The festival will also include performances by the bands that were selected on an international competition: E.K. Avenue, The Illusions, Oridano Gipsy Jazz Band (winners of the second round), duo Alba & Leo, Dixieland Band Čakovec, Mangroove, Punk Data, Sweet & Notorious Trio and Tvrdokorne mrlje. The winner of the 11th Liburnia Jazz Festival will be announced on the last day of the festival.