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Jazz in the Park announces 13 Jazz headliners. Three of the bands are Grammy Award winners

Jazz in the Park continues the series of announcements regarding the festival with 13 outstanding, award-winning, worldwide famous bands: Richard Bona (US), Nik Bartsch’s Ronin (CH), Alfa Mist (UK), Soweto Kinch (UK), Forq (US), Bill Laurance (US), The Herbaliser (UK), Gallowstreet (NL), Balako (RO), Koffie (NL), Superpoze (FR), Essential Notes (RO) and Exit Oz (RO).

For six nights, the organizers of the festival will activate a new space: the courtyard of the Art Museum of Cluj, which will host six concerts with ticket or pass based access, with some of the top names of today’s music.

Jazz in the Park presents six extraordinary concerts at the Art Museum

The first four bands confirmed for the museum concerts are Alfa Mist, Richard Bona, Soweto Kinch and Nik Bartsch’s Ronin.

After the opening gala from the Hungarian Opera, Alfa Mist, from the UK, considered a rising star of London jazz, will perform on June 22nd, in national premiere, at the Art Museum. The group comes in a quartet formula, sensationally combining jazz with hip-hop and soul, and accurately representing the meaning of the new wave of jazz music. During their teenage years, they flirted with hip-hop production, which is still felt in its current jazz compositions.

The Grammy Award winner born in Cameroon and living in the US, Richard Bona, recognized as one of the top 5 music revelations of the last 10 years and one of the best bass players of all time, will perform Sunday night, on June 24th. His must-see concert will also be held in the museum courtyard.

The talented saxophone player Soweto Kinch, winner of numerous awards, will perform with his band, at the Art Museum, on June 26th. The Guardian wrote about Soweto Kinch that he bravely brings together pure jazz and authentic hip-hop. So far, he has won the MOBO awards, two Urban Music awards, BBC Rising Star Award, BBC Best Jazz Instrumentalist, BBC Best Jazz Band, Montreux Jazz Festival Award, Peter Whittingham Award for Jazz innovation, the White Foundation World Sax Competition and was a nominee for the coveted Mercury Award.

Another sensational name confirmed for the festival’s 2018 edition is Nik Bartsch’s Ronin, one of the most beloved foreign bands in Romania. Nik attends most jazz festivals in the country, and the famous Swiss pianist has won numerous awards. The premiere concert in Cluj from June 27th will be held in the courtyard of the Art Museum, together with the band Ronin.

New artist wave confirmed in the park

Besides from the concerts hosted by the courtyard of the Art Museum, the organizers of the Jazz in the Park Festival are also announcing new exceptional names for the Central Park stages, where there will be a free entrance, based on non-mandatory tickets.

Thus, on the park stages, among others, we will listen to Forq, Bill Laurance, The Herbaliser, Gallowstreet, Balako, Koffie, Superpoze, Essential Notes and Exit Oz.

The instrumental quartet Forq brings dynamics to a sound exploration. The group, founded by Henry Hey (David Bowie, Empire of the Sun, Jeff “Tain” Watts) and the bass player Michael League (leader of the band Snarky Puppy, Grammy Award winner), is made up of musicians who improvise in a memorable manner. Forq have had concerts in the United States of America and Europe and have performed in prestigious festivals, such as the North Sea Jazz Festival and GroundUP Festival in Miami Beach.

The pianist of the band Snarky Puppy Bill Laurance, Grammy Award winner, will perform at Jazz in the Park with the group Trio. Bill has been working as a professional musician since he was 14 and has been on international tours as a pianist, composer and has performed with artists such as David Crosby, Morcheeba, Salif Keita, Bobby McFerrin, Susana Baca, Lalah Hathaway, Laura Mvula, Jacob Collier.

Another novelty for this year: after 18 years on tour, the British group The Herbaliser, part of the Ninja Tunes record label, will reach the Jazz in the Park stage from the Central Park, with hip-hop, jazz, groove and funk rhythms.

The Dutch brass band Gallowstreet, which has grown spectacularly from a street parade band, to a band desired by worldwide famous festivals, will also be attending Jazz in the Park. The 12 members of the group come with approaches that combine saxophone with percussion and hop-hop with dance rhythms.

The French musician Gabriel Legeleux, known as Superpoze, is also confirmed for the festival. He will complete the alternative park scene with electro rhythms, accompanied by Bill Laurance.

Some of the other bands performing in the Central Park: the Dutch band Koffie comes with afro-beat and groove rhythms, the band Balako proposes a journey through various cultures and genres, a brilliant combination of powerful jazz rhythms, enriched with strong traditional influences from Balkan folklore and Latino sounds.

Moreover, Essential Notes comes with compositions influenced by contemporary jazz, but also by the music related experiences of the two musicians. The group’s influences originate from Bugge Wesseltoft & Henrik Schwarz & Dan Berglund, Snarky Puppy, Hidden Orchestra and Portico.

The band Exit Oz switches from melodic to noisy and back, with jazz influences, up to post-jazz with progressive, metal and pop influences. Their music is not compliant with the strict rules of a predetermined genre, so they have called their own music genre ‘Mlazz’ (swamp jazz).

Other bands confirmed so far for Jazz in the Park 2018: the legendary Juan de Marcos Afro-Cuban All Stars, for the Hungarian Opera opening of June 21st, and for the park – Fanfare Ciocârlia, Moonlight Breakfast, JazzyBIT, A-C Leonte, Antal Gabor Trio.

For the museum and Hungarian Opera concerts, tickets and passes are available on, and for the Central Park concerts, non-mandatory tickets will be available.

This year, the Jazz in the Park Festival will last 11 days, during the period June 21st – July 1st.

Complete Line-up

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Primăria și Consiliul Local Cluj-Napoca