Rothko and jazz combine for US premiere

Take note – story published 9 years and 1 month ago

Fans of jazz and modern art are in for a double treat in Washington DC on Wednesday with a premiere of a new work by a renowned Latvian jazz quartet inspired by an even more renowned Latvia-born painter. 

The Māris Briežkalns Quintet has arranged 10 musical themes composed by well-known Latvian composers to create a new audiovisual project: Rothko in Jazz, based on the work of Mark Rothko (1903-1970), who was born near Daugavpils.

The project is part of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union cultural program and will be premiered on 29 April in Washington, USA.

The project was developed in several stages, starting with new musical themes composed by 10 renowned Latvian composers – Lolita Ritmanis, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Arturs Maskats, Rihards Dubra, Pēteris Vasks, Jēkabs Jančevskis, Vilnis Šmīdbergs, Jēkabs Nīmanis, Georgs Pelēcis and Raimonds Pauls – which were then arranged by artists from the Māris Briežkalns Quintet.

The premiere of Rothko in Jazz will take place at 18:00 on 29 April at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, USA. The project’s CD release is scheduled for autumn 2015.

The concert will be streamed live on the Kennedy Center website.

The musical material aims to reflect the mood created in the works of Mark Rothko, which the artist himself said portrayed the status of the soul. Rothko’s last artistic stage – abstract expressionism – is the basis of this project.

Rothko’s works will be displayed with the help of video projections during the performance.

The Māris Briežkalns Quintet (MBQ) is one of the leading small acoustic mainstream groups on the Latvian jazz scene.

The project is supported by Mark Rothko's daughter and son Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko.

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