Arve Henriksen and David Helbock make Mountains of sound at Südtirol Jazz Festival

The Südtirol Jazz Festival is unique among jazz festivals in that the concert locations are as important as the concerts themselves. The festival not only presents the best in new and emerging talent but also showcases the stunning beauty of the spectacular scenery of the Dolomites in tandem with the music.

The locations are carefully chosen – which this year include city spaces such as an art gallery, a park with a natural mini amphitheatre, an exhibition centre and a small club in the basement of a brewery. Locations in the countryside and its breath-taking mountains you will find concerts in remote huts, on hillsides and in forest walks, lakesides and even a hayloft. As a frequent festival visitor this is a breath of fresh air (quite literally!), with each day presenting a new adventure in sight and sound.

Director Klaus Widmann, has a mantra 'New Sounds Fresh Perspectives', and in this he succeeds brilliantly. Widmann's ability to spot emerging talent and the natural resources he can use on his doorstep make for a wonderful experience.

TD-Carate-Urio-Orchestra-at-Museum-03

So to the music. This year Widmann choose the Benelux as his showcase countries and he chose the young Dutch guitarist Reinier Baas (below) as his artist in residence. The opening concert featured Baas's jazz opera 'Princess Discombobulatrix', is a commission originally written for the North Sea Jazz Festival, but here extended to include a new piece of music based on a local legend. The show is accompanied by projected comic book drawings by the artist Typex.

TD-Reinier-Bass-Opera-10

Soprano Nora Fischer (below) was superb (and striking) in the role of the Princess and the band, including sax player Ben van Gelder and bass clarinettist Joris Roelofs were superb. Baas played guitar and piano and conducted the ensemble. The music and story made a fascinating audio visual experience, the writing very mature and thoroughly entertaining.

TD-Reinier-Bass-Opera-24

Baas re-appeared many times during the festival and his performances fully justified Widmann's choice of him for artist in residence. He is a regular (with van Gelder) in Han Bennink's trio and the show with this band (plus guests) at a Michelin starred restaurant was certainly a highlight. Baas showed a gentler style with a beautiful duet with Nora Fischer at the Kloster Neustift (an Abbey complex a short drive from Bolzano). Fischer has a wonderful range and tone to her voice and Baas delivered the perfect foil in his playing.

The night club in the basement of local brewery Batzen hosted French drummer Anne Paceo who features regularly on the European Festival circuit (her recent album 'Circles' has received excellent reviews). The venue is tiny and has a real jazz club feel to it, perfect for this gig.

The band features vocalist Leila Martial, who is an incredible vocalist - be it singing lyrics, scatting or producing harmonics with saxophonist Christophe Panzani (who himself is no mean player). The quartet is completed by keyboard player Tony Paeleman, who with Paceo drove the whole show. The gig was a revelation both for Paceo's excellent compositions and Martial's extraordinary vocal performance.

TD-Warped-Dreamer-09

In a different way but equally exciting was Warped Dreamer: trumpeter Arve Henriksen's collaboration with Stian Westerhus (guitar), Jozef Dumoulin (Keyboards) and drummer Teun Verbruggen. Starting in lyrical fashion with Henriksen playing gentle pocket trumpet and counter-tenor vocals, the mood rapidly changed to be more chaotic and darkly aggressive. Dumoulin was always inventive with his devices and drummer Verbruggen kept a frenetic but constant pace with Westerhus mostly bowing his guitar. This is music 'by wire' the band have a massive sound, which, while almost overwhelming at times, is held tightly in check by Henriksen who controlled the suite and eventually the mood and the journey came full circle. The set ended with Westerhus playing subtle chordal sequences and Henriksen returning to trumpet and exquisitely haunting vocals – an exhausting and exhilarating experience for both audience and musicians.

TD-David-Helbock-16

By total contrast in a hayloft by the side of a lake in the Dolomites, one of Europe's brightest piano players David Helbock (above) took to the stage with his trio. Helbock has rapidly gained a reputation as one of the most exciting new talents on the scene and his trio did not disappoint. With his trademark piano motif beanie, Helbock is instantly recognisable – his writing and playing are stand-out. Groove-based tunes with great hooks and clever solos are his style and the band with Raphael Preuschl on bass ukulele and drummer Reinhold Schmölzer create an immersive and very tight sound – definitely a band to watch out for.

There were 70 concerts during the 10 days of the festival in 60 locations across the Alto Adige region featuring some 180 musicians. The wonderful thing is that most concerts are free and by following the gigs around you get to see the most spectacular scenery while also discovering some outstanding music. This is a real gem among the many European jazz festivals that happen this time of year.

– Story and photos by Tim Dickeson

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

George Avakian 15/3/1919 – 22/11/2017

George Avakian 15/3/1919 – 22/11/2017

  There never was a jazz record producer more important than...

Read More.....
Haino Hands On The Benjamins

Haino Hands On The Benjamins

Japanese ultra-shaman Keiji Haino has hooked up with US sludge-metal...

Read More.....
Bill Frisell, Franco D'Andrea feat. Han Bennink and the Italian new wave signal JAZZMI's ambition

Bill Frisell, Franco D'Andrea feat. Han …

 Milan's new jazz festival is inspired by London and it's...

Read More.....
Sun Ra Arkestra, Maceo Parker and Interchange Dectet gather for Gateshead 2018

Sun Ra Arkestra, Maceo Parker and Interc…

The line-up for next year's Gateshead International Jazz Festival, which...

Read More.....
Donny McCaslin, Dinosaur and Jason Moran added to Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2018 programme

Donny McCaslin, Dinosaur and Jason Moran…

The first names have been announced for the 22nd edition...

Read More.....
Mike Stern trips back to top form at Ronnie Scott’s

Mike Stern trips back to top form at Ron…

"Awesome!'' "That's great!" "Thank you so much". Mike Stern's bonhomie...

Read More.....
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society sound sinister and sublime at Kings Place

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society sound…

  There are very few composers now writing world class material...

Read More.....
The Thing Ring The Changes At Rich Mix

The Thing Ring The Changes At Rich Mix

To prise apart the increasingly converging din of his two...

Read More.....
Dan Cartwright Quartet Captivate At The Verdict

Dan Cartwright Quartet Captivate At The …

  Even comparatively hyped new artists can really struggle to fill...

Read More.....
Pharoah Sanders, Denys Baptiste and Alina Bzhezhinska make for cosmic concert for Alice and John Coltrane

Pharoah Sanders, Denys Baptiste and Alin…

Banks of lights sketch out a looming angel presence on...

Read More.....
Matthew Herbert’s Brexit Big Band Receive Government Export Funding

Matthew Herbert’s Brexit Big Band Receiv…

Jazz-influenced experimental musician, composer, conceptualist and now political protester Matthew...

Read More.....
Courtney Pine announced for Jazz Directors series and tour

Courtney Pine announced for Jazz Directo…

Multi-award winning saxophonist and composer Courtney Pine has been announced...

Read More.....
Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet create acoustic alchemy at Ronnie Scott’s

Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet create acoust…

Mark Guiliana is associated with a certain level of jazz-fusion...

Read More.....
Knower drop the knowledge at Scala

Knower drop the knowledge at Scala

"If you have to ask, you don't know by now...

Read More.....
Two Jazz Photography Exhibitions open up

Two Jazz Photography Exhibitions open up

This month sees two jazz photography exhibitions take place –...

Read More.....
Miles Mosley Melts Down The Funk At Islington Assembly Hall

Miles Mosley Melts Down The Funk At Isli…

Miles Mosley has already started making waves in the UK...

Read More.....
Evan Parker And John Russell Usher Forth The Fifth Man At Tampere Jazz Happening

Evan Parker And John Russell Usher Forth…

  A curious sight catches the keenest of eyes on the...

Read More.....
Surman and Warren Bolster Brass On Kings Place Retelling Of Their Traveller's Tale

Surman and Warren Bolster Brass On Kings…

It was during the late 1980s that John Surman (above)...

Read More.....
Pat Metheny Quartet epic and electric at Barbican

Pat Metheny Quartet epic and electric at…

In these turbulent times small things can provide a reassuring...

Read More.....
Watch a Live Stream of Jazz Voice from the EFG London Jazz Festival

Watch a Live Stream of Jazz Voice from t…

This year's 25th anniversary edition of the EFG London Jazz...

Read More.....
Muhal Richard Abrams 19/09/30 – 29/10/17

Muhal Richard Abrams 19/09/30 – 29/10/17

  Though it may have escaped many of the thousands of...

Read More.....
Empirical Among The Imperious At Jazzfest Berlin

Empirical Among The Imperious At Jazzfes…

  For his third and final edition of Jazzfest Berlin, the...

Read More.....
Whirlwind triple bill for Rich Mix and club programme highlights as 25th EFG London Jazz Festival gears up

Whirlwind triple bill for Rich Mix and c…

This year's EFG London Jazz Festival kicks off its milestone...

Read More.....
Tommy Smith goes it alone and together with Brian Kellock

Tommy Smith goes it alone and together w…

Saxophonist Tommy Smith takes his latest project home this month...

Read More.....
Richard Bona brings the boogie and Amok Amor unleash improv anarchy at Enjoy Jazz

Richard Bona brings the boogie and Amok …

Some festivals cram everything into a single weekend, but Enjoy...

Read More.....
Andy Sheppard, Native Dancer and Beats & Pieces line-up for Cambridge Jazz Fest

Andy Sheppard, Native Dancer and Beats …

The third edition of the Brewin Dolphin Cambridge International Jazz...

Read More.....
Saxophonist Steve Coleman Sublimely Elemental At Paris Showcase

Saxophonist Steve Coleman Sublimely Elem…

  As Britain attempts what seems like an ungainly improvisation out...

Read More.....
Love Supreme Jazz Festival Rocks Up To The Roundhouse

Love Supreme Jazz Festival Rocks Up To T…

  With this year's annual event having drawn its biggest audience...

Read More.....
Oli Rockberger Rules The Multi-Genre Roost For Sovereign Launch

Oli Rockberger Rules The Multi-Genre Roo…

Whether exploring a gospel-tinged, hymnic solo introduction, which would have...

Read More.....
Atzmon & Orient House Ensemble Pay Tribute To Legends At Pizza Express

Atzmon & Orient House Ensemble Pay T…

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble will be presenting...

Read More.....
Ronnie Scott’s Instrument Amnesty Returns

Ronnie Scott’s Instrument Amnesty Return…

Following the success of the inaugural Music Instrument Amnesty in...

Read More.....
Instant Composers Pool Orchestra goes Dutch with UK and Ireland dates

Instant Composers Pool Orchestra goes Du…

The unique, internationally renowned Instant Composers Pool Orchestra launches Going...

Read More.....
Martin Taylor and Jazz at The Philharmonic concert to save Swanage Jazz Festival

Martin Taylor and Jazz at The Philharmon…

News that this year's 28th edition of the Swanage Jazz...

Read More.....
Nérija, Dinosaur and Jim Mullen among Parliamentary Jazz Award winners

Nérija, Dinosaur and Jim Mullen among Pa…

The 13th annual Parliamentary Jazz Awards took place for the...

Read More.....
Hugh Masekela withdraws from Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya concert due to ill health

Hugh Masekela withdraws from Abdullah Ib…

Revered South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela has announced that, due...

Read More.....
Dee Byrne's Entropi Radiate Amid Rough And Tumble At Kings Place Album Launch

Dee Byrne's Entropi Radiate Amid Rough A…

  The most striking thing about Moment Frozen, the second release from British...

Read More.....

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

@luminouslabel @cathrobots @deebyrnesax @vortexjazz @HunterAnton @tullisrennie @juliekjaersax @jazzfm Some of the g… https://t.co/Jmn2ZYNv59
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@Freejazzblog @EyalHareuveni @TomasFujiwara @throngoftremolo @alessir1 @crumbletones Is that Eyvind Kang I spy?
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

Sign up to the Jazzwise monthly E-Newsletter

 

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA