June 22nd, Nordic Jazz Now in the Lutheran Church Of The Reformation, 7:30 and 9:30 pm
Anyone who follows my blog and my wanderings around the music scene here in Rochester and elsewhere (such as my former home, Chicago), or looks at my collection of CDs and LPs knows that I have a wide and somewhat eclectic set of ears when it comes to music, including jazz. One of the things I love about the XRIJF is that it is nine days offering many opportunities to explore jazz and other music from the rest of the world and discoveries music and musicians that I wouldn't have found otherwise. Goran Kajfeš Subtropic Arkestra's mix of jazz and world music influences offers just that. Like some other picks that I've made and will make, this will not be your "cup o' tea", but if you're willing to try something different, check them out.
Goran Kajfeš is one of Sweden's top jazz trumpeters and a sought after session player, touring musician and producer. Kajfeš has performed with Robyn, José Gonzales, Mando Diao, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lester Bowie and The Soundrack of our Lives to name a few. Of Croation heritage, Kajfeš grew up in Sweden in a family full of musicians and artists. He started off his solo career in 2001 and has since been acclaimed as a talented musician on the Scandinavian scene. A trumpeter, Kajfeš now leads the Subtropic Arkestra, which usually consists of seven musicians including Per "Rusktrask" Johansson on baritone sax and flute, Jonas Kullhammar (oh, yeah, Kulhammar can't stay away from the XRIJF it seems and we love him here) on tenor sax and flute, Jesper Nordenström on organ, Andreas Söderström on guitar, Johan Berthling on bass, and Johan Holmegard on drums. In 2011, Kajfeš was awarded the Nordic Music Prize for his most recent album X/Y, where the jury said the following:
A very distinctive voice unexpectedly united the jury, everybody instantly recognized the love that has gone into the playing and, also, the packaging. It's an ambitious and warm fusion of sonic elements, from jazz with both African and Eastern influences to electronica....This double album really does something that is quite rare: it communicates the pure joy of music.
For a taste of the Goran Kajfeš and the Subtropic Arkestra, here they are live doing Sand Boogie off the X/Y CD, at the Nefertiti in Gothenburg, Sweden from last year:
And here they are doing Dinner with Inner in another from last year, along with some impromptu interpretive dance by a young audience member: