The second edition of the Academy wrapped on Sunday night. The daily sounds of practicing are still resonating in the hallways of the Centre Musical Sylvia Waddilove. The ten talented young participants are on the way back to their individual musical destinies, enriched, and even transformed, by the incredible array of exchanges they have experienced.
Yumi, Amiyna, Alina. Pedro, Héctor, Sebastian. Krisztián, Yakir, Vuyo, A Bu. A new generation of virtuosos who came from the four corners of the world to hone their craft and improve their artistry under the detailed tutelage of six mentors, professors who were consistently touched and touching throughout the entire process: musical director Yaron Herman, Joe Sanders, Ziv Ravitz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Nils Petter Molvær and Al Jarreau. We enjoyed monumental lessons on music and the transmission of knowledge.
The particularly unusual aspect of this year’s Academy will be remembered as the unique construction of the concert. Each of the ten participants came with two compositions. The mentors kept up the pressure to the very end, not only providing a prestigious assistance with their pieces but also pushing the young talents take on the role of leader regarding their own creations. The result, when coupled with the attentive and generous back-up band, was absolutely sublime.
Al Jarreau, a charismatic instructor, was truly moved the day after the big evening. He underscored the caring ambiance, and his surprise in realizing to what extent these young artists, beyond their talents, were able to express, and enjoy, their cultural and musical differences in an intense living-learning experience. Every night the jam sessions were scenes of total artistic liberty–a space where the spirit of community, rather than competition, reigned supreme.
This second Montreux Jazz Academy was also a reunion of sorts, representing a brotherhood with its roots in the Festival this past summer. Three of the mentors presided over the juries of the guitar, piano, and voice competitions whose top finishers earned spots in the Academy. For that reason, unlike last year, the mentors already had an idea of some of the talents of those they had selected. In taking the project to a higher level, the Academy has provided a promising glimpse of the next generation of international jazz artists–and the future is bright!
Sign-up for the 2016 Montreux Jazz Academy Competition, for the 50th edition of the Festival ! For more information, stay tuned and visit www.mjaf.ch