Latvian Radio Big Band
The Latvian Radio Big Band was founded in 1966 with Ringolds Ore as its first bandleader and conductor. From 1968 to 1991 the band was led by Alnis Zaķis, while in later years this task was entrusted to Raimonds Pauls and Gunārs Rozenbergs. Aleksandrs Smirnovs, Vitālijs Dolgovs and others have also worked with the band.
The Latvian Radio Big Band ceased to exist in 1996, but it was reestablished in 2012 thanks to the efforts of Māris Briežkalns, Kārlis Vanags and Raimonds Pauls. In its first concert, the renewed band accompanied the Italian jazz diva Roberta Gambarini and Kurt Elling, one of the world’s most renowned jazz vocalists. In recent years the band has also collaborated with many other well-known jazz musicians, including Richard Bona, Ruthie Foster, China Moses, James Morrison, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Randy Brecker, and New York Voices.
The Radio Big Band’s sound can be appreciated in several recordings. A very special project is the Latvian Jazz Suite. The compositions for jazz orchestra were written and arranged by the Latvian Radio Big Band’s own musicians Kārlis Vanags, Māris Jēkabsons and Viktors Ritovs as well as by Matīss Čudars, Rūdolfs Macats and Krists Auznieks.
Anete Ašmane © LMIC, 2018