Each year, Criss Cross Europe brings together 6 promising young jazz musicians from 6 European countries. During a residency period in one of the partner countries these musicians work together under the guidance of an artistic coach. This year, that coach is Berlin-based American drummer Jim Black, one of the most influential voices in contemporary jazz. The residency in Tallinn from 4 to 8 October 2020 is concluded by a concert tour that takes the band to prominent venues and festivals in the 6 partner countries: Estonia, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Coach Jim Black, who came to the forefront of the new generation of jazz innovators in projects like Human Feel, Tim Berne's Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin's trio, Pachora, and Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio, is internationally acknowledged for his virtuosic but highly personal approach to contemporary jazz. Black picked out an intriguing selection of musicians for ‘his’ Criss Cross Europe band.
The extraordinary cross-cultural experiment is composed by Dutch singer Sanne Rambags, Belgian violinist and trumpet player Ananta Roosens, Estonian saxophonist Aleksander Paal, Irish guitarist Chris Guilfoyle, Luxembourgish drummer Michel Meis and Scottish bass player David Bowden. Each band member brings her or his own expertise, tradition and musical ideas into the game and is open to explore these personal assets in new, international territory.
In Luxembourg, the Criss Cross Europe project is featured in a double-bill with Jim Black's own trio Melez, led by vocalist/composer Cansu Tanrıkulu, with Black on drums and Elias Stemeseder on piano. Their music is carved out of improvised sessions and sculpted into compositional figures by Tanrıkulu. Her chameleon-like vocals fuse with a “no holds barred” approach to melody and text based improvisations, making her unique as a story-teller. Drummer Jim Black is well-known for his limitless musical vocabulary and inventive craftsmanship, helping guide this trio to the apexes they so often achieve. Pianist/keyboardist Elias Stemeseder’s skilful playing, exceptional aesthetic, and confidence shapes and colours the trio in a way only he could create.