The Ponta Lopud Jazz Festival brings a unique opportunity to enjoy performances by world-renowned jazz giants.
As announced, the Ponta Lopud Jazz Festival, the only festival of its kind in southern Dalmatia, will take place at two distinct locations on Lopud island: at the Rector’s Palace, which is being used for the first time since its renovation, and in the beautiful garden of the Grand Hotel. Each evening, concerts followed by jam sessions will be held in the garden, and all performances are free of charge.
On the first festival night, on Thursday, August 31, Grammy-winning saxophonist David Sanchez, together with his long-time collaborators Luis Perdomo (piano) and Ricky Rodriguez (bass), will perform a compact adaptation of a contemporary Pan-African music ensemble rooted in Afro-Puerto Rican music, with an Afro-Caribbean perspective. Sanchez will also invite his fellow artist from the festival and former band member, Antonio Sanchez, to join him as a special guest on drums. Following the David Sanchez Group concert, the audience will be treated to a jam session by Japanese pianist BIGYUKI, vocalist and looping artist Thana Alexa, and Australian bassist Lex Sadler. The next evening, the spotlight will be taken by the Obradović & Tixier Duo, consisting of French pianist David Tixier and Croatian drummer Lada Obradović. The duo creates a contemporary and elegant sound, blending acoustic and electronic instruments, resulting in an impressive performance intertwining David’s refined harmonies and lyrical drama with Lada’s polyrhythms. Like the first night, the concert will be followed by a jam session. Closing the Ponta Lopud Jazz Festival, the last evening features a concert by four-time Grammy winner Antonio Sanchez and his band Bad Hombre. One of the most influential and versatile jazz artists in the world, alongside Thana Alexa, BIGYUKI, and Lex Sadler, will perform live the album “SHIFT (Bad Hombre Vol 2),” released in the summer of 2022. The album comprises compositions from the repertoire of international musicians and songwriters highly esteemed by Sanchez. These artists entrusted their songs to him for reinterpretation, resulting in a unique “shift” through his own arrangements. After the concert by Antonio Sanchez & Bad Hombre, a jam session and closing party will follow, also in the Grand Hotel garden.
From August 31 to September 2, Lopud will become a meeting place for interaction, refinement of musical skills, and the exchange of ideas between world-class jazz musicians and young professionals. The role of a master will be taken by Joe Lovano, a renowned saxophonist and Grammy winner. Participants can also look forward to lectures by drummer Antonio Sanchez, a Grammy recipient himself, as well as by Thana Alexa, a Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, composer, and arranger, who is also Artistic Director of the Ponta Lopud Jazz Festival. In addition, lectures will be given by Japanese pianist BIGYUKI, Australian bassist Lex Sadler, Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sanchez, bassist Ricky Rodriguez, Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo, Croatian drummer Lada Obradović, and French pianist David Tixier.
The following fourteen young professionals from Croatia and other countries will attend the masterclasses and lectures: Haddis Alemayehu, masenqo – Ethiopian lute (Ethiopia), Mirsad Dalipi, drums (Kosovo), Aldo Foško, piano and saxophone (Croatia), Maja Grgić, vocals (Croatia), Milena Jančurić, flute (Serbia), Lana Janjanin, piano and vocals (Croatia), Jošt Lampret, bass (Slovenia), Stevan Milijanović, piano (Serbia), Rastko Obradović, saxophone (Serbia), Borna Pehar, piano (Croatia), Žiga Smrdel, drums (Slovenia), Ajda Stina Turek, vocals (Slovenia), Lidija Strika, bass (Croatia), and Angelica Zacchigna, vocals (Italy and Croatia).
Tickets for festival concerts and boat transfers are free of charge. The seating is not numbered. Tickets can be obtained through the Ulaznice.hr system at the link: ulaznice.hr/r/Ponta-Lopud-Jazz-festival. During the festival (August 31 – September 2, 2023), festival visitors are offered additional boat transportation to Lopud by Argosy boat. The timetable and all additional information can be found at https://jazz.pontalopud.hr/en/program-2023/ .