I went to the Haus der Berliner Festspiele on Friday. New artistic director Richard Williams talked to the press and the public about his first edition. But before he did, pianist Julia Kadel performed three outstanding solo pieces. The young German musician who was born in Berlin, released her first Blue Note Records album “Im Vertrauen” last year. She will perform with her trio, Karl-Erik Enkelmann on bass, and Steffen Roth on drums, on Thursday, November 5th at A-Trane.
Julia has a lot to say as a solo artist as well. Her suite-like pieces on Friday night sounded like a well-rounded palette with different colors and shapes. She always came back to the center or the foundation of her pieces while she didn’t shy away from stretching out a lot. Pianist Alexander Hawkins, who ended the evening with more solo piano work, tended more towards a free approach with lots of time changes and voluptuous break-outs in his playing. Alexander plays with drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo and his quartet on the last day of the festival, November 8th.
Richard Williams is well aware that the Berlin audience can be a pretty tough one and he did mention that there might be a band or two where people’s attention could be challenged but that’s a good thing and what this music is all about in the end. He also wanted to include the vast Berlin landscape as well so he added the Splitter Orchester to the programme, a 24-piece ensemble of Berlin-based musicians playing the music of George Lewis. And there is the Diwan der Kontinente, formed by singer Cymin Samawatie and drummer Ketan Bhatti who both studied at Berlin’s Universität der Künste.
Jazzfest Berlin will run from November 5th-8th this year. More info right here:www.berlinerfestspiele.de