Wednesday, January 26, 2022

DC Jazz Festival Announces Permanent Move of Its Annual DC JazzFest to Labor Day Weekend

DC Jazz Festival Announces Permanent Move 
of its annual DC JazzFest to Labor Day Weekend

DC JazzFest at the Wharf, September 3-4 over Labor Day Weekend

The DC Jazz Festival® (DCJF) today announces the dates of the 2022 DC JazzFest, which will take place August 31-September 4, 2022, marking a permanent shift of its annual DC JazzFest to the end of summer over Labor Day Weekend. With five days of concerts citywide, the 2022 DC JazzFest will be a celebration of all things jazz in more than a dozen neighborhoods including its marquis weekend at The District Wharf, a waterfront destination with an inviting array of restaurants, shops, and spectacular river walk views. DC JazzFest at The Wharf will take place September 3-4, featuring multiple waterfront stages, as well as the DCJazzPrix international band competition at Union Stage. 
“I’ve always loved the cultural diversity represented through DC JazzFest and the way music helps connect us,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization of Washington, DC. “The festival is a staple of the city that visitors and locals will look forward to as we celebrate a fun and vibrant Labor Day weekend in DC.”
A cultural staple and artistic jewel of the nation’s capital, the 18thAnnual DC JazzFest will feature a robust lineup of incredible artists – from homegrown talent to international superstars and emerging artists to NEA Jazz Masters. The 2022 DC JazzFest will include more than 50 performances with up close and in person “Meet the Artist” conversations and panel discussions.  
Executive Director of the Wharf Community Association, Bob Rubenkonig, said of the 2022 festival schedule; “The Wharf is proud to be a part of DC JazzFest and we look forward to hosting the beloved festival over Labor Day weekend. The Festival’s mission to unify diverse communities and enable connections between artists and audiences—while providing performance opportunities for DC-based jazz musicians—will make the holiday weekend one to remember at The Wharf.”
“While still in the middle of challenging times, the DC Jazz Festival will work closely with our DC partners to deliver a safe, world-class festival experience featuring great music for the jazz enthusiast and casual fan alike,” said DCJF CEO Sunny Sumter. “The well-being of our patrons, artists and festival production team continue to be our top priority.”
The DC Jazz Festival will announce its full lineup and more details on the citywide celebration in late spring. Mark your calendars now as the 2022 DC JazzFest will shine as DC’s summer finale over Labor Day Weekend!
For any press inquiries or requests for information, contact Lydia Liebman, DCJF publicist, at
Learn more about the DC Jazz Festival and the full range of programs by visiting

Apostolos Sideris Presents: Hane (February 2, 2022 Baruthane Productions)

‘Hane’ is the follow-up to bassist and composer Apostolos Sideris’ debut album ‘Σummation’. It signifies a different way to make and record music for the artist.

This time, Apostolos was forced, due to the reality of the past year and a half, to create an album based on his own recordings at his home studio. This process gave him the ability and freedom to overdub himself and others, each recording adding up to a multi-layered musical product.

He was able to build his music from the ground up, in a very contrapuntal way. The superimposition of various intricate rhythms and harmonies is what makes this album so special for him. In the process, he invited all members of his Σummation ensemble to participate here and there, in addition to working with a number of added special guests from different musical areas and styles.
The album starts with ‘Hidden Symmetry’, a short modern classical orchestral piece that acts as the intro to ‘Hane’. The album doesn’t waste time moving into very different directions, with ‘Up’, ‘Algorhythm’ and especially with the first single ‘In Between the Lines’, in which Apostolos is putting in effect his’ love for punchy rhythmic patterns. During those tracks, percussionist Sakir Ozan Uygan and drummer Dimitris Klonis are adding their crisp and imaginative percussive parts.

‘Love’s Song’ is possibly the most introspective piece, with it’s dark eastern melody and the beautiful playing by Andrea Romani on the ney, Fotini Kokkala on the kanun and Giannis Poulios on the violin. Compositions like ‘All the Senses Become One’ and ‘Frozen Like the Winter’ show the songwriting and vocal side of the composer’s musical universe. Lyrics in Greek were written by Mr. Sideris himself. ‘Geminal’ is a rather groovy piece on a quite intricate rhythmic pattern, with pianist Leo Genovese adding his fiery keyboard lines. It is also the only piece where Apostolos is the co-writer. Another highlight of the album is the Arabic-influenced ‘Grinding Game’ with Attab Haddad’s powerful and tasty oud adding to the flavor of the performance.

Pieces like ‘Alev’s Dance’ and ‘Work of Body’ are both based on bass and voice overdubs, with their mouth-drum parts painting their own groove. Improvisational jams like ‘Passage’ and ‘Back Beat’ show a more relaxed Apostolos, willing to let go and have some casual fun. The album notably ends with a pizzicato improvisation over a lush set of bowed basses offering a hypnotic drown, almost going back to where it started: The artist having a conversation with himself, slowly setting the rules to the musical game he set to create.

1. Hidden Symmetry (Intro)
2. Up
3. Algorhythm
4. In Between the Lines
5. Love's Song
6. Geminal
7. Kairos
8. Frozen Like
9. Baseline
10. Passage
11. Alev's Dance
12. All the Senses Become One
13. Work of Body
14. Back Beat
15. Grinding Game
16. Epilogue

Apostolos Sideris: upright and electric basses, vocals, drum programming and compositions

Sakir Ozan Uygan: percussion
Leo Genovese: keyboards
Andrea Romani: ney, flute
Giannis Poulios: violin
Dimitris Klonis: drums, electronics
Fotini Kokkala: kanun
Attab Haddad: oud
Costas Baltazanis: guitar
Sarp Maden: guitar
Tamer Temel: saxophones

New album coming soon in all streaming/download platforms

Cobalt Code Unit - SOILWORK (January 2022 PMGJazz)

Another of our authentic original live recordings and productions.
Kraj Vardarot Jazz is a PMGJazz own annual festival, and this recording was made at our first ever fest in 2020. This adventurous take on Macedonian traditional folk music is as epic as it comes and as jazz as it gets. This are young people that we love, respect and plan to release again and again in the future, since they posses the sound that we think is an essential for an aspiring Macedonian jazz label. Our own contribution to the global wealth of sonicity. A work in progress.

1. Anima Australis 23:38
2. Night Water 18:45

Composed by Blagojche Tomevski

Cobalt Code Unit are:
Blagojche Tomevski - clarinet
Stefan Miladinov - guitar
Simeon Angelovski - bass guitar
Dragan Teodosiev - drums

Recorded at Kraj Vardarot Jazz Festival 2020 by Nenad Trifunovski
Mixed and produced by Vladan Drobicki
Cover by Dragan Teodosiev (photos of “Freedom Monument” in Kochani by Gligor Chemerski and Radovan Radjenovic)

Danny Fratina - Bb, in Isolation (January 2022)

Dealing with limitations of genre, performance behavior, and various modalities of forced minimalism, Bb, In Isolation, is an experiment in liminality, where conventionally presumed boundaries between sociality/isolation and composition/improvisation are put to test. The music only insists on a single unifying initial pitch class before giving space to each player to generate their own personal statement within the given parameters, albeit in overstatedly minimal terms.

The piece was performed by 12 musicians around the world, and, to emphasize the creative immediacy of improvisation, no compositional information was given to any musician in advance. The performance and recording began immediately after the sheet music was revealed. Inspired by the conditions imposed by the pandemic, and the new forms and formats of music-making it brought about, this piece explores the contingencies of isolated improvisation and social composition.

1. Allison, alto sax 00:18
2. Bardia, setar 03:17
3. Max, upright bass 02:31
4. Müge, piano 01:02
5. Yulia, flute 02:48
6. Ayşe, cello 03:58
7. Audrey, electric harp 02:18
8. Amy, percussion 01:35
9. Jake, electric guitar 00:24
10. Celia, viola 00:46
11. Mark, soprano sax 00:32
12. Sam, Bb trumpet 00:56

Allison Burik - alto sax
Bardia Hafizi - setar
Max Ridley - upright bass
Müge Hendekli - piano
Yulia Musayelyan - flute
Zeynep Ayşe Hatipoğlu - cello
Audrey Harrer - electric harp
Amy Salsgiver - percussion
Jake Hertzog - electric guitar
Celia Daggy - viola
Mark Zaleski - soprano sax
Sam Dechenne - Bb trumpet

Mixed and mastered by Can Murtezaoğlu
Artwork by İlkim Karakuş

Dusan Jevtovic - No Answer Project LIVE in Barcelona (only digital release) January 26, 2022

It is apt that the cover art of Dusan Jevtovic’s latest release portrays the members of the No Answer Project sitting near to a roadside. Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadžimanov and Asaf Sirkis face the same direction, but the road they explore reveals many interesting deviations as they travel towards their collective destination. The subtlety, skill, and searing musicianship in evidence in this release, enables the listener to accompany the trio of musicians on an exciting journey of discovery.

The album captures the performance of a Barcelona concert during May 2019. The seven compositions bear all the trademarks that has made Jevtovic’s work so distinctive over the years. Four of the compositions originally appeared on Jevtovic’s No Answer release. The live renditions of these tunes are equally compelling and are arguably even more rewarding for they capture the excitement, invention and improvisation that goes hand in hand when this type of progressive fusion is created in a live setting. The beautiful rendition of Yo Sin Mi is one of the albums standout tracks.

The three other pieces; Blues For A, Op-Sa and Nine have not been released before. Their inclusion in the set will ensure that many aficionados of Jevtovic’s work will be excited to hear this release. All three pieces are excellent and are worthy additions to Jevtovic’s catalogue of work.

Blues for A is particularly evocative, it seamlessly moves between cleanly struck guitar sections, yowling solos and disconcerting heavy sections where the extraordinary percussive drumming of Sirkis glues everything together. As might be expected when players of the calibre of the trio are involved, it moves outside parameters normally connected with the Blues. Consequently, it has several inventive passages. These reveal an adventurous air and an innovative capacity, whilst still maintaining a peripheral yet identifiable association with the Blues.

Throughout the concert, distorted guitar chords full of malevolence and power are juxtaposed with delicate sections that have an ethereal air. Sirkis skillful use of his kit is at the heart of everything and his ability to play with delicacy and with dynamic power, when necessary, propels the music with great dramatic effect. This enticing mix is superbly embellished by Hadžimanov’s sensitive use of piano, electric piano, and synth when the need arises.
Hadžimanov’s fine keyboard patterns offer a different set of colours and creates a noticeable contrast. This ensures that the music has an unpredictable and exciting edge. His flowing solo in Blues for A is simply magnificent. However, his wonderfully crafted piano interlude in the beautifully melodic Yo Sin MI is equally impressive and provides another standout piano moment during the album.

The quality of the recording is excellent and the work of Acklam studios in Barcelona should be commended for ensuring that the skillful performance of each instrument can be easily discerned.

The No Answer Project’s selection from the No Answer album and their presentation of three previously unheard compositions is a thoroughly rewarding experience.

The trio’s unique blend of progressive jazz treads a road that is seldom travelled and I for one, cannot wait to experience their journey again.

1. Al Aire/ Soko Bira 05:14
2. Blues For A 07:09
3. No Answer 07:19
4. Yo Sin Mi 06:20
5. Op-Sa 07:30
6. El Oro 09:39
7. Nine 05:41

Dusan Jevtovic guitar
Vasil Hadzimanov keys
Asaf Sirkis drums

Recorded Live at Aclam Studios Barcelona 2019 by Jose Cattaneo
Mixed and mastered by Juan Pablo Alcaro, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cover photo Xavi Parce
Cover design Aleksandar Popovic
Linear notes Owen Davies

James Fernando and Matt Lagan - The Grind (January 26, 2022)

1. Willy Wonka
2. Mars
3. Face Theory Intro
4. Face Theory
5. Falling
6. The Grind
7. The Beautiful Cat
8. Yore
9. Rain

Saxophone - Matt Lagan
Piano - James Fernando
Guitar - Andrew Marzotto
Bass - Jonathan Chapman
Drums - Austin Gembora

All compositions by James Fernando and Matt Lagan
Engineered by Darren McGill
Recorded at UNION sound
Mixed and mastered by James Fernando
Cover art by Matt Lagan

Nicholas McNair & Samuel Gapp - Mirages (Habitable Records)

This is the selective record of a meeting – of two Steinway grand pianos, audio and video equipment and technicians, and the fingers of a young jazz pianist and a much older classical pianist. The notes teased out intuitively by these fingers reflect an uncommon complicity that allowed us to walk onto the platform and begin to play without having decided anything more than the position of the pianos. Of the 49 pieces we recorded in total, in 2 sessions of 4 hours each, these 12 are a taste of the sheer joy we had in playing together on instruments of such quality. Needless to say, the suggested titles came later.

"If there’s such a thing as a “best mirage,” it is the fata morgana, an exquisitely complex greatest hits package of everything light refraction can muster: dancing, diving, climbing, shapeshifting, delivering impossible (yet wholly filmable) first/second/third-eye opening phenomenological jolts. Likewise, when pianists Samuel Gapp and Nicolas McNair play the music of Mirages on two vintage Steinways, a coalescence of horizontality and vertical ascent constantly renegotiates observer and observed. The effect is all the more remarkable since Samuel and Nicolas arrive at their seamless improvisations spanning age and genre and geography, all of which shimmer in an instant(ly) shared dialect. In the liquid and languid moments, in the percussive avoirdupois, in the melodicisms and subversions of expectation, the suspension of conventional sightlines is itself the guide through this joyously elastic sense of dimension."
- Killick Hinds, December 2021

1. Question 05:43
2. Action/Reaction 05:07
3. Mimesis 06:39
4. Spontaneous 03:34
5. Interrupt 03:45
6. Mirages 03:34
7. Chiasm 08:24
8. Delusions of Grandeur 02:01
9. Rêves/Espoir 05:10
10. Vortices 04:41
11. Fieberwahn 05:10
12. Answer? 03:47 

Samuel Gapp – Piano
Nicholas McNair – Piano

Recorded on July 29 – 30, 2021 at Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa
Recorded by Sérgio Henriques, with assistant Pedro Santos
Filming by Caio Rodrigues
Mixed by André Fernandes
Mastered by Killick Hinds at H(i)nds(i)ght Studio, Athens GA, US
Cover by Samuel Gapp
Cover photography by Mafalda Carapeto
Cover writing by Laura Hinz
Recording photography by Henrique Santos
Steinway Concert Grand Pianos tuned by Manuel Patrão
Produced by Samuel Gapp and Nicholas McNair