Latvia’s jazz history is inseparable from its twentieth-century political history, with wars, occupations, and political systems all playing a crucial role. Overcoming difficulties, Latvian jazz has succeeded in developing its own individual sound, initially based on the American jazz tradition but later becoming something unique and recognizable.
Nowadays Latvian jazz has found a new level. It is no longer marginal, niche or underground, nor is it anathema to the state authorities. Jazz is a fully-fledged part of modern Latvian culture, intense and exciting. Some of our musicians still stick to the jazz tradition, adding their own voice to it, meanwhile, the others blend it with modern jazz subgenres or classical music, or instead of it choose to compose and play contemporary jazz, folk, funk, spoken word, avant-garde or adhere with the concept of free improvisation. Latvian jazz will certainly continue to develop, its versatility and originality most likely being the key to its success.
Latvian Music Information Centre in collaboration with JAZZin.lv has prepared a playlist containing compositions from each of recently released recordings by Latvian musicians. Dive in to listen to all the versatility Latvian jazz has to offer this year!