Summer is festival season. After a lot of work and long time preparing, it’s always great to hear lots of music and meet everyone, old friends and new faces.
For me, this season typically starts with the Langnau Jazz Nights. The highlights of the most successful edition in the festival’s history were the crew of teachers under the direction of Thana Alexa, the concerts by the legend Kenny Barron in a trio and Richard Bona in a duo, as well as the performance by newcomer Sélène Saint-Aimé with my wonderful trumpet colleague Hermon Mehari. It is always inspiring to share time with fellow trumpeters, this time it was Philip Dizack and Avishai Cohen.
The Jazz Festival Willisau takes place just about a month later. The program is always very diverse and offers many new discoveries. This year, many friends took to the stage. The Colin Vallon Trio, Matthias Spillmann with his band Mats-Up, Lea Maria Fries with et.nu or Dave Douglas with his New Quintet, to name just a few. It was also great to hear Tom Skinner and his Voices of Bishara as well as Meshell Ndegeocello. This festival was also a huge success, which makes me very happy.
This was followed almost immediately by the 21st edition of the Festival Of New Trumpet Music in New York. It was unbelievably great to meet so many different representatives of our community and to hear their music. Very special for me was the concert by the great film composer and trumpeter Jeff Beal, who invited his mentor Mark Isham and shooting star Keyon Harrold for a concert in a class of its own in the beautiful hall of the Fotografiska Museum in Manhattan for the opening evening of the festival.