The first day of the Ponta Lopud Jazz Festival started with a roundtable discussion featuring master-in-residence Joe Lovano, mentors Thana Alexa, artistic director of the Ponta Lopud Jazz Festival, Lada Obradović, Antonio Sánchez, David Sánchez, and David Tixier.
The roundtable discussion and masterclass titled “An Intimate Music Discussion” with American saxophonist, composer, and Grammy-winning artist Joe Lovano was attended by all festival participants: Haddis Alemayehu, masinqo/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), Borna Pehar, piano (Croatia), Žiga Smrdel, drums (Slovenia), Ajda Stina Turek, vocals (Slovenia), Lidija Strika, bass (Croatia), and Angelica Zacchigna, vocals (Italy and Croatia).
In the evening, in the enchanting ambience of Lopud’s Mandrač restaurant, the opening ceremony of the first festival edition took place. Its focus lies in a shared love for music, camaraderie, knowledge and experience exchange, and specific artistic sensibility.
Tilda Grossel Bogdanović, the organizer of the Ponta Lopud Jazz Festival, addressed the media first. In her emotional speech, she emphasized her happiness in overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic and launching a project that garnered very positive reactions. She referred to the “good vibes” that followed the highly successful first three editions of the Ponta Lopud Film Festival and expressed her joy in celebrating one of the most beautiful music genres, jazz.
Thana Alexa expressed her happiness in being a part of this creative project, crediting Tilda Bogdanović Grossel’s vision and positive energy for making it a reality. She stated, “When I proposed this idea to Tilda, she embraced it wholeheartedly and without much hesitation, and for me, this is almost surreal. I am so happy to be surrounded by all these incredible artists, and I believe this is just the beginning and that this festival will generate not only a tremendous amount of creative energy but also wonderful friendships in the long run.”
Master in residence Joe Lovano also addressed the attendees, expressing, “It’s an honour and a privilege, but also a pleasure to be here at the inaugural Ponta Lopud Jazz Festival. I look forward not only to participating but also to listening to the most beautiful thing in this enchanting setting – good music.”
Four-time Grammy Award winner Antonio Sánchez remarked on the pleasure of being on Lopud, surrounded by exceptional artists, enjoying wonderful music, and participating in inspiring conversations. He said, “We’ve all travelled the world, but the beauty of Lopud is truly breathtaking, and we are incredibly honoured to have the opportunity to be here, to create, and to enjoy ourselves.”
In the evening, in the dreamlike setting of the Grand Hotel garden, the first concert by David Sánchez Group, including his long-time collaborators Luis Perdomo (piano) and Ricky Rodriguez (bass), took place. They performed a compact adaptation of contemporary pan-African ensemble music rooted in Afro-Puerto Rican music, with an Afro-Caribbean perspective. Colleague and former band member Antonio Sánchez joined them on drums as a special guest. Following the concert, Japanese pianist BIGYUKI, vocalist and looping artist Thana Alexa, and Australian bassist Lex Sadler opened and led a jam session, rounding off the first festival night in the most beautiful manner in front of an enthusiastic audience.
Today, a “duet” masterclass will be conducted by Joe Lovano and David Sánchez, followed by a masterclass and jam session led by Luis Perdomo (piano) and Ricky Rodriguez (bass).
Outside the Grand Hotel, the Obradović & Tixier Duo, led by French pianist David Tixier and Croatian drummer Lada Obradović, awaits its audience tonight. Just like on the first night, a jam session will follow the concert.
You can download your free tickets and be part of this musical spectacle by visiting the link ulaznice.hr/r/Ponta-Lopud-Jazz-festival.
Additional transfer to Lopud by the Argosy boat is organized. The boat ride takes a maximum of 60 minutes. Today and tomorrow (September 1 and 2), the Argosy boat departs from Gruž in Dubrovnik (across from the green market) at 7:00 PM, with the return journey from Lopud (in front of the Lafodia Hotel) at 00:30 AM.
The Argosy boat timetable and all additional information about the program can be found at: https://jazz.pontalopud.hr/program-2023/.