The Heineken Jazzaldia aims to reflect cultural and social diversity, a remit met by a mile on its first day. Diversity of music, diversity of origin, diversity of audience and diversity of age; but, in this case, with one highly significant detail: young musicians were in the majority at the ten Jazz Band Ball opening concerts, thoroughly demonstrating that the jazz world is producing a promising generational change-over.
Youngsters were also in the majority among those who gathered on the sand of the Zurriola to dance to the salsa of Rubén Blades, seconded by the extraordinary combo of Roberto Delgado, with a brilliant wind section. In the audience, a joyful combination of European and Latin Americans, the latter delighted with one of their great idols.
Young, very young, at 18, is the French guitarist Tom Ibarra, already capable of heading a high-carat quintet, and yet another guitarist, Julian Lage, somewhat more veteran and with his own ideas at the front of his trio. The British threesome GoGo Penguin is a fine exponent of this generational change-over in the jazz world: they know the essences and they transform them. Another very different trio is Too Many Zooz, irreverent in form and music, based on a fiery rhythm.
Deserving of a separate mention is Endangered Blood, a powerful quartet made up of Jim Black, Chris Speed, Oscar Noriega and Trevor Dunn. And the Trizak trio, with members Hasier Oleaga, Jon Piris and Julen Izarra, proving that Basque jazz is now at a moment of maturity.
This time the Jazz Band Ball fest didn’t stop at the Zurriola and the Kursaal. It made its way to Alderdi Eder, with huge public following, and to the Nauticool, setting of beautiful sunsets. And the San Telmo Museum had its aperitif in the shape of a fabulous concert with two trombone players showing excellent form, Conrad Herwig and Carlos Martín, preceded by an interesting talk given by Patri Gioalde, professor at Musikene, on Duke Ellington.
A resounding success of a night, musical diversity, fantastic weather, brilliant people. Almost 50,000 of them.