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Kirke Karja Quartet

Donnerstag 9. November 2017 - 20:30

Kalle Pilli – guitar
Kirke Karja – piano
Raimond Mägi – basss
Karl-Juhan Laanesaar – drums

© Rene Jakobson
© Rene Jakobson

Kirke Karja Quartet is performing music by Kirke and also some avant-garde arrangements written by Bill Frisell and 20th century´s classical music composer Eduard Oja and Karheinz Stockhausen. Kirke Karja is a rising talent on the Estonian jazz scene (a former student of Kristjan Randalu) winning the prestigious Estonian Young Jazz Talent award in 2014. Here she helms her eponymous quartet through some mysteriously beautiful music, at times dark and uncompromising, other times introspective, but always with an intensity that is compelling. Karja’s compositions are marked by a contrast between fast-paced mood sketches and refined storytelling: Combined metre soundscapes with driving rhythms can resolve, all of the sudden, in melodically elegant and energetic solos or act as a pathway to new areas on this exciting listening journey. KKQ is experimenting a lot with different parametres: silence and noise, complex rhythm structures, polytonalities and simplicity. Throughout she is ably matched in guitarist Kalle Pilli who provides another sonic dimension to the music and a driving rhythm section in bassist Raimond Mägi and drummer Karl-Juhan Laanesaar, rounding out this quartet. In April of 2016 KKQ released their first album, premiere concerts were in Norrköping Boogaloo Club Opus Jazz Club in Budapest, Jazzkaar festival, Jazzwerkstatt in Graz and My Unique Jazz festival in Berlin. This year they were selected to perform at 12points festival.

Kalle Pilli (1992) is a guitarist who is inspired and influenced by modern jazz, groove and also pop music. He has studied rhythmic and jazz music at Georg Ots Musicschool in Tallinn, Estonia and Skurups Folkhögskola in Skurup, Sweden. He actively plays with many bands and collectives, as he can adjust to performing many genres and styles.

Karl-Juhan Laanesaar (1991) is a drummer from Estonia, who is playing alot in estonian jazz, pop and rock scene. Having worked with many musicians in different styles, bigbands and even with Vanemuise Symphony orchestra, Karl is considered one of the most versatile drummers is Estonia. He is currently studying in Estonian Music and Theatre Academy jazz department, in his first year as Master student. Last year he was also studying in the Netherlands, in ArtEZ conservatory, under supervision of 2 great drummers/teachers Rene Creemers and Etienne Nillesen. Always hard working, Karl is currently playing in bands like X-Panda, Mahavok, Alen Veziko band, Virva Immonen quintet and multitude of other sideprojects.

Kirke Karja (1989) has graduated from the bachelor programme in classical piano under Tanel Joamets and Ivari Ilja, as well as the master’s programme in jazz as a student of Kristjan Randalu at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. She studied composition with Raul Sööt and Margo Kõlar and practised free improvisation with Anto Pett. She is currently continuing her studies as a doctoral candidate at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and works as a freelance musician. Karja received the Young Jazz Talent award in 2014, issued by Jazzkaar and the Estonian Jazz Union. She has a leading position in several collectives including the nine-member group Pae Kollektiiv and the Kirke Karja Quartet among others. With these two groups she has also released albums with her original compositions in 2014 and 2016. Karja is a member the Avarus group of musicians, with the Avarus Ensemble as its main output. Besides piano, Kirke also plays various electronic instruments, participating in Lauri Kadalipp Social Jazz, the Karl Petti Band and other groups. In 2016, she performed as a soloist at the Estonian Music Days, playing new works composed by Margo Kõlar and Marianna Liik for the Estonian-made electronic organ “Varioola”. Karja also composes music and creates arrangements. She has written original works for the chamber orchestra Reaalmažoor, vocal ensemble Estonian Voices, Avarus Ensemble, the string trio Fresh and many others.