Mittwoch, 11. Juni 2014

Jazz on the Rocks in Val Gardena

Climbing, base jumping, tightrope walking and jazz all in one. A unique mix offered by the Saslonch-Suite on 29 June in South Tyrol. Quite the wondrous musical experience

The South Tyrol Jazzfestival is rooted to our soil and its roots stretch out deep into the region. The Festival blazes a new trail with the ‘Saslonch Suite’, taking us to the 1000-metre tall Saslonch wall (Sassolungo or Langkofel in Italian and German) in the Dolomites of Val Gardena

Climbing, tightrope walking, base jumping and jazz meet in a stupendous blend never seen anywhere else. Mountain and music melt into a spectacle of music and nature set against a backdrop of natural sound effects and echoes. Belgian ace climbers Nicolas and Olivier Favresse, slackline runner Armin Holzer and base jumper Uli Emanuele are the daredevil artists performing on the rocky wall.
The two extreme sport athletes from South Tyrol have already made a name for themselves in the world: Armin Holzer (Sesto) has already balanced on his slackline from summit to summit. On this afternoon, he will run on the thin webbing while playing his didgeridoo. And in his own hand knit costume, to boot. Uli Emanuele (Bolzano) moved to Switzerland to glide with his wing suit around imposing mountains, such as the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. For the Saslonch-Suite he will be flying by the audience, gliding on the west-facing side of the Sassolungo. Hair-raising moments are guaranteed! Let’s not forget about musical entertainment: while these daredevils jump, climb and glide way up high, someone down below plays improvised music.

In front of the rocky wall Andreas Schaerer (voc.), Lucas Niggli (dr.) and Kalle Kalima (g.) sit and play, while Matthias Schriefl (tr.), Florian Trübsach (sax) and Cédric Favresse (sax) play from inside the rocky wall.

We are talking about top athletes here! Nicolas Favresse was brought up in Flanders, the flat land par excellence. And yet he is one of the best big wall climbers in the world and is coming to South Tyrol with his brother in…ropes, Olivier. The brothers will perform a risky endeavour for the first time ever. They will attempt to climb the 10-metre overhang of the west-facing wall of the Sassolungo. An uncertain result which is only outmatched by their even bigger ambition.
Nicolas, however, is an old hand at this sort of event. He climbs for ten months every year, his trusted ukulele always at his side. In his rucksack, rather. ‘Music sets the tune for my climbing and it frees my head of cobwebs, regardless of how hard the climbing is at the moment. It reminds me that I climb because it’s fun. At times it can be cumbersome, but I have never regretted carrying her around with me’ says Nicolas Favresse. The third Favresse brother plays sax and is a professional musician, playing in the Belgian quartet ‘Collapse’ which already visited the South Tyrol Jazzfestival back in 2012.

He is not the only known face on this year’s list: Andreas Schaerer, Kalle Kalima, Florian Trübsach and Matthias Schriefl already know their way around the province and event. Want to be musically surprised? Then listen to Matthias Schriefl. The 2011 South Tyrol Jazzfestival’s artist in residence plays the trumpet, flugelhorn, alphorn, euphonium, baritone horn and the sousaphone and composes, organises concerts and leads a dozen of musical ensembles. His ‘crazy’ ideas are just as much part of him as his originality and virtuosity, traits which have earmarked him for this extraordinary event. The same goes for vocal artist Andreas Schaerer and drummer Lucas Niggli. Finnish guitarist, Kalle Kalima, makes full use of the guitar’s technical versatility and plays classics from rock, blues and folk tradition. Florian Trübsach was a soloist in the Tölzer Choirboys, directed by Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado and Lorin Maazel, took composition classes with Hans Werner Henze and switched over to jazz after having listened to a Dizzy Gillespie concert.

The Favresse brothers and partners will be holding a talk on the night after the event to close this once in a lifetime occasion. During the talk they’ll tell us about their adventures and expeditions as climbing pros. The event finishes with a musical flourish performed by the climbers themselves and with a final concert by all musicians who, up to a few hours before, where still playing from inside the rocky walls of the Sassolungo.
A unique premiere and a once in a lifetime concert. Klaus Widman, Creative Director of the South Tyrol Jazzfestival said ‘The Sassolungo wall will bear witness to an unprecedented, exciting and spectacular mix of music, sport and natural sounds: wild heartbeats, poignant breaths and echoes”. The logistical aspect of this complex project has been entrusted to the mountain guides of Catores, headed by Adam Holzknecht.
29.06.14 Comici-Hut, Selva Val Gardena, 11 a.m.

Presentation of Favresse Brothers and Partners
29.06.14 Tubla da Nives Centre, Selva Val Gardena, 8 p.m.

Andreas Schaerer (voc)
Lucas Niggli (dr)
Kalle Kalima (g)
Matthias Schriefl (tr)
Florian Trübsach (sax)
Cédric Favresse (sax)

Nicolas Favresse – Climbing
Olivier Favresse – Climbing
Sean Villanueva – Climbing
Armin Holzer – Slackline
Uli Emanuele – Base jumping
Marco Waltenspiel – Base Jumping
Chris Espen – Base Jumping (Camera)

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