Rigas Ritmi Festival is the most popular improvisation, jazz and world music event in Latvia. During the first week of July, the festival’s stages are located in different parts of Riga and feature concerts by world-renowned artists and young talent. The next will be the 20th festival.
In 2020, Cuban jazz talent Roberto Fonseca, an outstanding Cuban jazz talent who are not alien to the world of urban music and hip-hop, will showcase his artistic splendor. In Riga, Fonseca will be presenting the program of his latest album, “Yesun”, released in late 2019. The multicultural four-continent world music supergroup Bokanté, guided by legendary fusion and funk band “Snarky Puppy” guitarists, several Grammy-winning artists Michael League, Chris McQueen and Bob Lanzetti will also arrive in Latvia.
Legendary American producer Quincy Jones will send a great present for anniversary festival – an American singer Clark Beckham who will definetely break the hearts of the ladies at this year’s festival, but Liselotte Östblom, a charismatic Swedish jazz singer and winner of Riga Jazz Stage 2019 contest, will be rushing the hearts of men.
A special event of the Jubilee Festival will be the unique collaboration of the fantastic voice owner, American jazz singer Shenel Johns with Latvian musicians, performing a re-arranged and translated into English language Latvian Maestro Raimonds Pauls song program, joining the master himself. The main concerts of the festival will take place in VEF Culture Palace. Internationally known Latvian jazz-funk celebrities Very Cool People will also perform at the festival, as well as young guitar talents Gints Smukais and Rihards Libietis.
To date, 600 artists from around the world have performed at the Rigas Ritmi Festival, and it has already attracted 180,000 people, thus gaining the status of a national cultural event. Formerly held once a year in the first week of July each year, the festival has expanded to include the Art of Riga Jazz series.
Rigas Ritmi is a music festival in the very center of the Baltics that has already featured special artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Diane Reeves, Take 6, Richard Bona, BBC Big Band, Patti Austin, Freddy Cole, The Yellowjackets, Victor Wooten, Buika, Jojo Mayer, Medeski Martin & Wood, Robert Glasper, Diane Schuur, Adam Ben Ezra, Jon Cleary, Jamison Ross, Judith Hill, Paloma Pradal, Jonah Nilsson, as well as top Latvian musicians and young talent from around the world.
The idea of an international contemporary jazz and improvisation music festival in Riga was born in 2001 and was inspired by the legendary Latvian jazz musician and producer Maris Briezkalns, who is still the artistic director of the festival. One of the main goals of the festival is to educate the audience as well as young musicians, so the concerts are accompanied by jam sessions and master classes. In these world-renowned musicians share their knowledge and experience with emerging talent, which is perhaps a turning point for many young musicians.