A new edition of the Heineken Jazzaldia is on its way. Number 51. With a long list of important names: some classic, others new, with cutting edge projects and artists of tremendous impact and attraction for all kinds of audiences. Diana Krall, Gloria Gaynor, Branford Marsalis, Brad Mehldau, John Scofield, Jan Garbarek and Marc Ribot are joined by Cyrus Chestnut, Snarky Puppy, Charles Bradley, Terje Rypdal, Jerry Bergonzi, Ellis Marsalis, Jack DeJohnette, José James, Steps Ahead and Bobo Stenson, among many others.
Tickets are on sale on this website and at the Victoria Eugenia Theatre ticket desks (11.30 am-1.30 pm and 5-8 pm).
Jazz Band Ball
Let’s look at it in parts. On July 21st the Jazz Band Ball will take to the Zurriola Beach and the Kursaal Terraces. The star of that day will be, of course, the singer Gloria Gaynor, all of a reference in the field of Afro-American voices. Also on the Green Heineken Stage, at midnight, we will have one of the icons of funk, a group to have enjoyed an enormous run of hits and who became famous for their use of the Vocoder, The Zapp Band, in one of their extremely rare European performances.
On other stages, that same night, a luxury bill: the trio featuring three super-musicians: Cyrus Chestnut, Buster Williams and Lenny White; the latest project by Marc Ribot, one of the key contemporary jazz guitarists who already enjoyed great success last autumn at the Kursaal and now brings us this homage to Philadelphia Sound along with two members of Ornette Coleman’s Double Quartet, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Calvin Weston; another fantastic guitarist, the Scandinavian Terje Rypdal accompanied by the power-jazz ensemble Elephant Nine; John Nemeth, star of American Blues, originally from one of the cities with the greatest Basque influence in the US, Boise, Idaho; and the singer of Antillean origin, Tricia Evy.
Plaza de la Trinidad
From July 22nd, the Heineken Jazzaldia’s most emblematic stage, the Plaza de la Trinidad, will host four extraordinary double Jazz sessions. Starting with a star-studded reunion between two members of the Marsalis family: Ellis, the father, will open a session with his quartet, followed by the great Branford Marsalis, whose group will include a performance by one of the most greatly admired voices in vocal jazz, the singer Kurt Elling.
On July 23, two veritable contemporary Jazz references. To get things going, the trio of drummer and pianist Jack DeJohnette, featuring saxophone player Ravi Coltrane. The second part will be brought to us by the group 5 Elements fronted by saxophone player Steve Coleman, a musician followed closely by Heineken Jazzaldia throughout his exciting career.
On Sunday July 24th, the session will open with the performance of another singer setting the trend in recent times, José James, who will present his album dedicated to the great Billie Holiday. Following him, the legendary group Steps Ahead, with their leader on the vibraphone, Mike Mainieri, and an accompanying formation of extraordinary big-name musicians: Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson, Donny McCaslin and Billy Kilson.
Finally, on Monday July 25th, in the Plaza de la Trinidad, one of the most eagerly awaited sessions of this year’s Heineken Jazzaldia, bringing the grand diva of jazz voices, Diana Krall, to the stage with her new quartet. To warm up, we will enjoy a performance by one of the most sensitive and lyrical musicians of the moment, Sweden’s Bobo Stenson.
In the Kursaal Auditorium, four big concerts with famous, passionate artists: in the first place, the trio formed by Brad Mehldau, John Scofield and the young drummer Marc Guiliana. The following day, July 23rd, a rising figure and veritable star in many European countries, the trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf with his electric project. On Sunday, one of the biggest names in European Jazz, Norway’s Jan Garbarek with his group, among whom are the Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu. Finally, on July 25th, in the Kursaal Auditorium, a name to look out for in American jazz, the trumpeter from New Orleans, Christian Scott and his new project bringing 9 musicians to the stage.
Victoria Eugenia Theatre
We previously announced that this year will see the celebration in San Sebastian, coinciding with the Heineken Jazzaldia, of the competition 12 Points, featuring the performance by 12 of the most interesting up-and-coming European groups. Along with these performances, to take place in the Victoria Eugenia Theatre (programme still to be defined) on July 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd, there will be jam sessions in Tabakalera’s Kutxa Kultur space in addition to experience exchanges and talks in the Victoria Eugenia Club.
Two very special concerts will complete the Victoria Eugenia Theatre programme. On July 24th we will once again enjoy a session of Bertsoa & Jazza, performed for the first time on the same stage more than ten years ago. And on July 25th, at 5.30 pm, one of the most original, creative, indefinable and brilliant groups on the European jazz scene: La Marmite Infernale, from Lyon, in their first concert in Spain, even if they have been on the go since 1967.
San Telmo Museum
This year Heineken Jazzaldia introduces an important new feature: the San Telmo Morning Sessions. These will take the shape of 5 midday concerts at 12.30 with five heterogeneous top-notch proposals. They will start on the 21st, with one of the most interesting Basque jazz projects of 2015, the group of the singer from San Sebastian, Ainara Ortega, who has already performed in the Victoria Eugenia Theatre to fantastic audience and critical acclaim. The second of these matinée sessions will lend the centre stage to Mikel Andueza, an extraordinary alto saxophone player, greatly loved in our city, giving us the opportunity to hear one of the best albums of 2015, on which he brilliantly directs his own sextet.
On Saturday 23rd, a super-saxophone player with a splendid band: the tenor sax Jerry Bergonzi, authentic contemporary jazz legend, at the head of a quartet alongside Valencia’s Perico Sambeat, among others. Sunday 24th will see a performance by an iconic ensemble, the Workshop de Lyon, not only one of the most interesting contemporary jazz groups in Europe, but also one of the longest-lived, with almost 50 years of existence under its belt. Some of the most important French soloists have performed with the group and today it remains one of the most remarkable exponents of Gallic jazz. To end this series of attractive concerts, on Monday 25th a trio of fantastic musicians will treat us to music on the borderline between the best jazz and the best instrumental flamenco: guitarist Josemi Carmona, bassist Javier Colina and percussionist Bandolero.
Green Heineken Stage
As always, one of the most interesting stages for the younger public is the Green Heineken Stage. We have already named the artists who will perform on this stage on July 21st (Gloria Gaynor and The Zapp Band). Its programme over the following days will, as usual, focus on a glorious combination of varied, complementary and playful styles. On July 22nd the sessions will start at 9 in the evening with presence of the guitarist and singer Ryley Walker, who treads the ground between folk and rock, treating us to a repertoire packed with extraordinary ballads and thrilling electric numbers. The night will end with a performance by Snarky Puppy, winners of a Grammy this year, earning them a solid position as the most powerful, youthful and inventive group of instrumental R&B.
Saturday 23rd will see the turn of one of the Basque groups in greatest demand over recent months, Rural Zombies. At midnight, Nick Waterhouse, all the sensitivity and spirit of old-style R&B in the voice of a new performer behind a series of marvellous albums full of simple songs brimming with light. The Green Heineken Stage line-up will come to a close on the 24th with two proposals as different as they are exciting: at 9 pm, Grupo Fantasma, one of the Latin bands to enjoy the widest reach in the United States. A fantastic group of Latin musicians coming from their home in Austin, Texas, and who have all the power and rhythm of the most legendary combos. And if it’s legendary we’re talking about, Charles Bradley, the king of soul, the singer who, with his voice and stage command, takes us back to the fabulous golden years of soul.