Chick Corea headlines the Tbilisi Jazz Festival with his latest trio
The 16-time Grammy-winning pianist Chick Corea brings his latest project to Georgia for the 15th annual Tbilisi Jazz Festival. Armando Anthony Corea, better known in the jazz world as “Chick,” is one of the most exciting artists around today. After replacing Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’s band, Corea became immersed in the electric jazz-fusion movement before going on to work on a variety of solo and group projects.
Corea’s exciting career has taken him from the jazz avant-gardes to the fusion crossovers from Latin jazz. He has even contributed to contemporary classical music, and has most certainly earned his title as one of the all-time greats.
The 71-year-old jazz master shows no signs of slowing down. With four albums released in 2012 alone from a variety of different projects plus a world tour, Chick Corea’s artistry and innovation are stronger than ever.
The 2012 Tbilisi Jazz Festival runs for five days, beginning on November 20. The Chick Corea Trio headlines the closing festivities. Traditionally held in October, the festival has been pushed back to November due to the upcoming elections.
Aside from the famous Massachusetts-born pianist, the trio will also feature bassist Christian McBride, one of the most talented musicians of his generation, who has performed with artists such as Sting and Pat Metheny, and drummer extraordinaire Brian Blade whose collaborators have included Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.
While Chick Corea is famous for his fusion, experimental jazz and classical pieces, fans can expect an authentic acoustic performance of bebop jazz from the talented trio in November at the Tbilisi Concert Hall – a dynamic and interactive performance that should not be missed by jazz lovers.
Georgia has been building a reputation for its jazz scene, boasting not only the famous Black Sea Festival in Batumi, but also the excellent Tbilisi Jazz Festival, launched in 1978.
The jazz scene in Georgia is unique in its popularity with the 20-35 year-old demographic, rather than the older crowd you’ll see elsewhere in Europe. Branch-offs such as fusion, electric jazz and funk groups act as a stepping-stone for younger audiences to get into more serious, acoustic forms of jazz.
At first, the jazz festival in Tbilisi occurred only sporadically, due to the difficulties encountered during the Soviet era, with only two festivals held in 1986 and 1989. It was only in the year 2000 that Eastern Promotions began to stage the festival annually, and since then it has attracted the best-known names in the jazz world, such as Herbie Hancock and James Brown. This year’s lineup includes the Grammy-winning artist Dee Dee Bridgewater, New York icon Jack DeJohnette and Swedish funk trombone player Nils Landgren.
Although the Tbilisi Jazz Festival has a distinct international flavor, it remains uniquely Georgian. The festival is subsidized by Tbilisi City Hall and the Ministry of Culture, and includes local artists as well as the big-name stars. In addition to concerts, some of the musicians participating in the festival will give master classes.
The Chick Corea Trio will be making the rounds in the European scene with concerts all around the continent, appearing at the London Jazz Festival only a few days before their tour comes to Tbilisi. Jazz lovers in Georgia can expect to see high quality, classic performances from some of the world’s biggest and best musicians.
By Jennifer Walker