Bringing world class jazz musicians to Ibiza

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Jazz Point Ibiza 2020
By Jerry Brownstein
Jazz Point Ibiza is putting our island on the international jazz map by bringing some of the biggest names in the business to perform here on March 6 and 7. The Ibiza Music Agency worked with Joel Chriss Productions and Hampton’s Jam Sessions (both of New York) to present these two very special nights of entertainment. Heart Ibiza will be the scene of the first night with an opening set at 21:00 h followed by the featured stars at 23:00 h. There will also be an open jam session with the masters, and then dance music by DJs until 4:30 h. On the following night the action switches to the Teatro Ibiza club, located at calle Carlos III, 24 in Ibiza Town. The first set at 20:30 h will get the vibe going for the stars who will be performing until 23:30 h. After that the Teatro house band will play great dance music until 4:00 h.

Jazz music has a fascinating history that originated in the African-American communities around New Orleans (US) during the early 20th century. Its roots are in blues and ragtime, but jazz is characterized by spontaneous improvisation and the use of ‘blue notes’ – notes that are played at a slightly different pitch from normal. While a classical performer’s goal is to play a composition exactly as it is written, the jazz artist is free to interpret a song and rarely plays it the same way twice. The melodies, harmonies, and timing may change depending on the performer’s interaction with the band and the audience. One music expert expresses it this way: “Inventing meaning while letting go is the essence and promise of jazz.”

The featured set at Heart on Friday 6/3 is an all-star line-up led by the internationally renowned saxophonist Rick Margitza, who has recorded and performed with the great Miles Davis. Three time Emmy Award nominated composer Trevor Coleman will be on keyboard & trumpet, with the rhythm provided by Joe Sanders – “the King of Bass”. The legendary New York City drummer Nasheet Waits will set the beats, and Alex Sipiagin will bring his special magic on the trumpet to parts of the session. The band will be joined in a guest appearance by Valencia’s celebrated saxophonist/composer Javier Vercher. The opening set will kick things off with Ibiza’s own Muriel Grossmann quartet plus star bass man Joe Sanders.

“Jazz is spontaneous music with the freedom to go with the flow”

Moving to the Teatro on Saturday 7/3, the main attraction is led by the famed international recording artist Jure Pukl on saxophone. The rhythm and beats will again be provided by Nasheet Waits on drums and Joe Sanders on bass. This group will have a somewhat different sound thanks to the sweet notes that will be laid down on the vibraphone by Joel Ross of Blue Note Records. Joel has been called “the most thrilling new vibraphonist in America.” Javier Vercher will again join the main set, and the opening act is local favourite Pere Navarro and his band with special guest Joel Ross on the vibraphone. 

On Saturday afternoon from 12:00 h to 13:30 h some of the star performers will be giving what are called ‘Master Classes’ for local musicians at Can Ventosa. These will be open sessions where Jure, Trevor, Nasheet, Joe, Javier and Alex will share their wealth of knowledge about jazz and the art of performing at the highest levels. On Sunday (8/3) Trevor Coleman y Javier Vercher will join the Big Band Ciutat d’Eivissa for a free concert of jazz classics from 12:00 to 13:00 at the Old Market in Ibiza Town. The band is sponsored by Patronat Municipal de Música (Ajuntament d’Eivissa). 

Getting all of these famous artists together on Ibiza was the result of some amazing synchronicity. Joel Chriss is one of the top jazz agents in America. He grew up and went to school with long-time Ibiza resident David Moss who (among other things) manages the Ibiza Music Agency. As a result Joel has developed a love for Ibiza, and he wants to share his passion for jazz with the island. Joel feels that Ibiza could become an important part of the international jazz scene. It would actually be quite fitting for our island to be a place where jazz music thrives. Jazz is based on the freedom to make special music by using your gifts and talents in an unconventional way. For the past fifty years Ibiza has been a place where people from all over the world have come to bring “new music” to their lives by expressing their gifts and talents in unconventional ways. Seems like a match made in Heaven.