A to JazZ 2018 – a dazzling lineup of rising stars and celebrated artists

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“We want to raise children and young people in a better audio and emotional environment, and to help traditional jazz lovers make their dreams come true. We are inspired, because jazz is the music of the moment, of improvisation, of the free spirit,” say the A to Jazz team on the festival’s official website. The festival kicks off tonight, and will continue until 8 July.

For the 8th year running, the biggest meadow in Southern Park in Sofia will be the venue of an event bringing together jazz fans from near and far. The festival opens with a concert by singer, songwriter, producer and DJ Lalah Hathaway, daughter of renowned soul singer Donny Hathaway. The recipient of 5 Grammy awards (the first one in 2014), Lalah Hathaway will present her new album “honestly”.

As usual the concerts by the youngest musicians from Bulgaria will be from 6 PM – a tradition enabling them to take part in this prestigious forum and share the same stage with the world’s top names in jazz. This year it will be the young band Soleil, led by Milena Tsanova, that will be making their debut on stage tonight, 6 July.

The festival programme features established Bulgarian musicians - Lilly Ilieva and The Minimum Quartet, Glo Bal Kan, Militsa Gladnishka & Mihail Yossifov Sextet.

Petar Dimitrov, director of the festival says Bulgaria is one of the first countries where audiences will be able to see Jazzmeia Horn perform. A rising star in the world of jazz, she has already made a name for herself, winning the 2015 Thelonius Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition and 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, she is also 2018 Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy nominee. Her concert is on 7 July.

The last festival concert is by another outstanding musician Cory Henry (from the Hammond Organ) & The Funk Apostles.

For the first time the festival has an accompanying programme- A to JazZ Talks – for professional discussions and workshops. The idea is for Bulgarian musicians to be able to meet and exchange ideas with world experts in the field, as well as with representatives of international festivals from all over the world.

English version: Milena Daynova

Photos: atojazz.bg

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