Two Grammy Award winning performers are heading for #Jazztown this month. They will be among 150 of the world’s biggest jazz innovators from 14 countries when the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown, the country’s oldest and longest jazz festival, takes place from June 30 to July 9, as part of the National Arts Festival.
Norwegian Grammy Award winner Petter Wettre has made his mark as one of the most important musicians on the contemporary Norwegian jazz scene and is regarded as one of the most virtuoso saxophonists in the world today. Wettre won his first Norwegian Grammy in 2000 for The Only Way to Travel and followed this up in 2007 with a second Grammy for Fountain of Youth.
Trio Corrente draws from the highest ranks of Brazil’s jazz scene and features Fabio Torres (piano), Paulo Paulelli (bass) and Edu Ribeiro (drums). The band has worked with the likes of Mike Stern and Stacey Kent and in 2014 they won their second Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album for Maura, featuring Paquito D’Rivera. Their sound boasts a funky edge as they move across a rich rhythmic terrain of bossa, samba and choro.
Also heading to Jazztown are Austrian singer, composer and trumpeter Michaela Rabitsch and guitarist Robert Pawlik and Dutch saxophonist Toon Roos. Rabitsch has been called a modern-day female Chet Baker by US magazine Jazzscene. With his intuitive, lyrical and well-balanced style, Toon Roos is considered to be one of the finest tenor and soprano saxophonists in Europe.
Completing the international line-up this year are the powerhouse tenor sax duo of Dave O’Higgins (UK) and Per Thornberg (Sweden), Americans Justin Binek (vocal), Eddie Lewis (trumpet) and Gordon Vernick (trumpet), Swiss trio of Andreas Tschopp (trombone), Fabian Favre (piano) and Fabian Egli (sax), the established French duo of Daniel Mille (accordion) and Stéphane Chausse (clarinet), Dutch master bassist Hein van de Geyn; Italy’s Vittorio Mezza and Mark Ginsburg, a formidable force in the Australian jazz scene.