Programme – Sunday, 6 November
On the final day of the festival, visitors are invited to sign up for a morning stroll around the neighbourhood of the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, witnessing improvised international encounters of musicians from the festival line-up in intimate sets at the hairdresser’s, in a gallery, in a book store and at local meeting places – a cherished pre-pandemic tradition we are glad to have back.
In the afternoon, Armenia’s Gurdjieff Ensemble makes the interior of Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church resonate with a mixture of bracing beauty and devastating sorrow. The group led by pianist Levon Eskenian is devoted to performing transcriptions of ancient folk songs collected by G. I. Gurdjieff and Komitas on period instruments. Later on Sunday, the doors of the Haus der Berliner Festspiele open for the final chapter of this year’s salute to the great Sven-Åke Johansson with a performance of his new quintet presenting his “opus magnum for small ensembles” entitled “Stumps”.
The main stage performances in the evening celebrate three Berlin debuts. The closing night starts with the highly acclaimed Borderlands Trio taking listeners on an improvised soundwalk through mysterious landscapes. The group is followed by a quartet led by Chicago cornetist, composer and vocalist Ben LaMar Gay, a modern day griot giving a performance based on his unique album “Open Arms to Open Us”.
During an intermission of approximately 75 minutes on the main stage, the audience has the opportunity to join one of two concerts in the other Festspielhaus spaces. In the Kassenhalle, American guitarist Jeff Parker, a member of Tortoise and the Chicago Underground Quartet, celebrates his Jazzfest Berlin debut playing music from his gorgeous solo album “Forfolks”, while Quartabê, the polyglot quartet from São Paulo featuring the agile Cologne-based drummer Mariá Portugal, makes its physical Jazzfest Berlin debut after a remote video contribution in 2021 with a mesmerising, uplifting set in the Seitenbühne. Last but certainly not least, for the grande finale of this year’s festival, Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra is taking over the main stage at Festspielhaus, giving their local debut as a hard hitting, soulful big band that doubles as a who is who of cutting-edge Scandinavian jazz today.
Outside of the Festspielhaus, A-Trane hosts the annual European cooperation project Melting Pot, a quintet featuring five of Europe’s best young improvisers from five different cities – including Berlin based Greek vibraphonist Evi Filippou – finding common ground in real-time.