Sunday, August 14

Robert Glasper exudes urban sound and good vibes at the Vitoria Jazz Festival


The urban sound and the new sounds of 21st century jazz flooded the forty-fifth edition of the Vitoria Jazz Festival at the hands of the brilliant pianist, producer and composer Robert Glasper, after the merger of Theon Cross. The American pianist exuded good vibes from the start, in a continuous dialogue with a dedicated audience that enjoyed his skill in a perfect blend of electronic music, soul, rhythm and blues, hip-hop and jazz in the debut of his latest work ‘Black Radio III’.

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The respectable forgot about the heat and let himself be carried away by the hypnotic music of Robert Glasper, generating a magical aura in the sports center of the Basque capital, thanks to its urban and avant-garde style that brings a new fresh air. The Houston artist took to the Vitoria stage with DJ Jahi Sundance, Chris Dave on drums and Burniss Travis on bass. A quartet that not only mixed the different styles in a formidable way to create its own style, but also made clear their mastery of the instruments, which blended perfectly, according to Efe.

Throughout the performance Glasper made clear his mix of styles, with a predominance of hip-hop and soul, enriched with other dialects of Great Black Music, which generated a stimulating coexistence in the ears and minds of the spectators. One of the magical moments of the night was Glasper’s piano solo, demonstrating why he is one of today’s most acclaimed artists. The high point of the concert came with the appearance on stage of the rapper Kassa Overall, putting the public on its feet. The magnificent North American artist put together a wonderful coherent concert from start to finish, going through numerous styles, to return at its conclusion to the most energetic jazz, which earned him a well-deserved ovation.

Previously, the British Theon Cross demonstrated his mastery with the tuba, the instrument that projects the lowest sound, as was evident throughout the entire performance, once again putting it in the first place on the scene with an innovative character and uniting the jazz with sounds of his Jamaican roots. The Basque sports center was filled with contemporary sounds mixing the rhythms of jazz with reggae, dub, grime, dancehall, Caribbean folk and African music, with the song ‘We Go Again’ from his latest album ‘Intra-I’ . The Londoner went through some of the songs from his two albums, ‘Fyah’ and ‘Intra-I’ and made his virtuosity clear with the tuba, without stopping moving throughout the entire performance for the scenery.



One of the most applauded moments of the evening was the g-funk duet piece with guitarist Nikos Zarkias, who subsequently demonstrated his solo skills in front of the dedicated audience. It was a brilliant concert, with a continuous mixture of styles, led by Theon Cross and seconded magnificently by Chelsea Carmichal on sax, Patrick Boyle on drums and the aforementioned Nikos Zarkias on guitar. The performance culminated with the song ‘CIYA’ from their first album ‘Fyah’, with the audience standing up to applaud, loaded with hip-hop in perfect blend with jazz.

In the early hours of the afternoon, the Teatro Principal had drummer and producer Kassa Overall on its stage, who showed that he moves like no one else between avant-garde jazz, hip-hop and electronica. Those attending the Mendizorroza sports center will still be able to enjoy a final culmination, this Sunday, by the hand of Kase.O. Javier Ibarra, along with some of the most restless musicians on the Barcelona jazz scene, will put an end to a new edition of the Vitoria Jazz Festival.





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