In 2017, the Jazz em Agosto festival features 14 projects with the hallmarks of today’s jazz from both sides of the Atlantic, a vast field of transformational contamination, as will be quickly seen in the opening and closing concerts: Sélébéyone, a new proposal by saxophonist Steve Lehman, in which jazz embraces rap and hip hop with the participation of the historic HPrizm (Antipop Consortium), and the High Risk project of trumpeter Dave Douglas, which features an electronic approach with the incomparable Shigeto, evoking the pioneers of the genre.
Two groundbreaking guitarists are reference points: David Torn in the Sun of Goldfinger project, backed by the compelling Tim Berne and Chess Smith, and the French musician Julien Desprez, as a member of the creative and unpredictable Coax Orchestra, and solo in the original Acapulco Redux performance. The solo adventure also extends to Steve Lehman, expanded through the use of electronics, and bassist Pascal Niggenkemper exploring the boundaries of the instrument. An iconic figure of libertarian jazz, saxophonist Peter Brötzmann celebrates his latest, unexpected relationship with Heather Leigh, a pedal steel guitar specialist.
The dominant feature of all these concerts is the presence of musicians who cross geographical barriers in a continuous movement, forging new associations and new ways of thinking about jazz. This is the case of the Scandinavian quintet Life and Other Transient Storms, of Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva, which features saxophonist Lotte Anker and pianist Sten Sandell, and the Sudo Quartet, an ensemble of renowned European improvisers including the Portuguese violinist Carlos Zíngaro, the bass player Joëlle Léandre and the drummer Paul Lovens; the Portuguese representation in Jazz em Agosto 2017 is completed by the EITR duo with musicians Pedro Sousa and Pedro Lopes, already celebrated improvisers from the new generation.
Three groups made up of personalities who have left their mark on contemporary jazz through their numerous participations in multi-directional projects are also included in the festival programme: the torrid Starlite Motel quartet, with the organist Jamie Saft and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on electric bass; The Fictive Five quintet of saxophonist Larry Ochs who draws on contemporary filmmakers (Wim Wenders, Kelly Reichardt) with trumpeter Nate Wooley, drummer Harris Eisenstadt and two bassists Pascal Niggenkemper and Ken Filiano; and finally the collaborative Human Feel quartet with drummer Jim Black, saxophonists Chris Speed and Andrew D’Angelo and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel.