Latvian Music News





REBEL RIOT is a four-piece hard 'n' heavy rock band from Riga, Latvia. Playing since 2007 they have worked themselves up to a great live reputation with their 70's and 80's inspired hard rock. This May they are embarking on a 14 concert tour around Central Europe.

Like their previous European tour in 2017, this time they will be joined again by heavy rockers MADRED from Finland to share the stages in Lithuania, Poland, Germany, The Netherlands, Czech Republic and back home in Riga, Latvia at club 'DEPO' on May 18. 

REBEL RIOT's live shows will consist mostly of songs of their latest album 'The Good, The Bad and The Heavy' which was released in 2016 via 'Thunderforge Records' and was nominated as one of the best Latvian rock or metal recordings at local music awards 'Zelta Mikrofons 2017'.

Through out the years the band has had temporary band member changes. Now with Kristine Lokmane back at her drum throne REBEL RIOT are continuing to perform with the original line-up and are preparing to return back to studio work soon after the European tour.

03.05. Kaunas (LT) – 'Lemmy'
04.05. Warsaw (PL) – 'Metalcave'
06.05. Leeuwarden (NL) - 'The Morgue'
07.05. Groningen (NL) – TBA
08.05. Geleen (NL) - 'Café De Meister'
09.05. Berlin (DE) – 'Blackland'
10.05. Leipzig (DE) – 'Stö'
11.05. Erlangen (DE) - 'New Force'
12.05. Pisek (CZ) - 'Pub Papirak'
14.05. Prague (CZ) - 'Balada Bar'
15.05. Krasnik (PL) – 'Piaskowa'
16.05. Krakow (PL) - 'Pod Zemia'
17.05. Gdansk (PL) - 'Paszcza Lwa'
18.05. Riga (LV) - 'Depo'

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International Jazz Day will be celebrated in Latvia for the 6th time

We should stick to the traditions we like a lot. The organizers of the UNESCO-acknowledged International Jazz Day absolutely agree to this statement and keep on organizing the celebration for the sixth year in a row to make it happen in Latvia as well. In spite of the fact that the Jazz day itself happens on April 30th, in Latvia it will be celebrated from April 29th to May 2nd with a pre-party on April 18th.

According to what has already become a tradition, the first concert will be held in collaboration with A/S "Pasažieru vilciens" in a train. This time the selected train will go from Riga to Jelgava at 15:17 and from Jelgava to Riga at 16:29. You don’t need to buy the tickets for the concert, the concert is included in the ride with an ordinary train ticket. The trip will be made way more exciting by Evilena Protektore on vocals, Svens Vilsons on guitar and Artūrs Sebris on drums, playing, singing and telling the stories about jaz, hopefully joined by some other musicians as well.

Jazz Day in Latvia will for the first time be opened by a thematic photo exhibition of Arthur Dimenshtein “Jazz Faces” on April 29th at 20:00 in a musical bar-restaurant “Trompete” on Peldu street in the Old Riga. The same evening will feature a jam session with Edgars Rugājs trio. Dimenshtein has been doing photography for the last 20 years, and during the last 7 has captured Latvian jazz musicians as well. The artist is using a black and white film, which is yet better corresponding to the jazz world aesthetics. The exhibition will be open until the end of June.

The Jazz day always focuses on education, so on April 30th at 18:00 we’ll be invited to a concert at the Latvian Academy of Music — united big band of the aforementioned Academy and a Riga Dome Cathedral School with an Italian guitar player Francesco Guaiana soloing. The united big band features the best students of jazz departments of both educational institutions, and it’s lead by a saxophonist, flutist and composer Dāvis Jurka. Francesco Guaiana is an internationally acknowledged Italian guitar player, who has lived in the US for many years, actively playing and teaching at a prestigious Berklee college in Boston, but has returned to his homeland Italy and became one of the most sought-after guitar teachers in the country. The tickets cost 5 euros, and they can be bought by the entrance.

On April 30th at 19:00 “VEF JAZZ CLUB” series invites for the main concert of the Jazz day at the VEF Culture palace. One of the most bright Latvian bands “Jazzatomy” will be performing there together with a Danish-American charismatic double-bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb. She has surprised the jazz world with her non-typical nowadays romantic, light and danceable style of playing, as well as a crystal-clear voice. “Jazzatomy” is a modern Latvian jazz band, which sometimes performs in a full huge line-up, and that’s always based on its founders and composers Artjooms Sarvi (pianist) and Evilena Protektore (singer). In this concert the classical jazz combo line-up will be joined by a string quartet, turntable musician or DJ, as well as a hip-hop musician who masters Chilean ethnic instrument. Last year “Jazzatomy” released a CD “Colors of Summer”, which was nominated for the Latvian National Music Record award “Golden Microphone” as the best jazz, blues or soul album of 2018. The tickets to this concert are available at "Biļešu paradīze" ticket offices or

One more concert on April 30, this time with a free entry, will be held in the Vecauces palace. A patriotically-harmonic performance of the program “Tautasdziesma” will start at 19:00 and played by the National Armed Forces orchestra big band. The new concert program was made by one of the leading Lithuanian jazz arrangers Rimantas Giedraitis, and it consists of Latvian folk songs.

On May 1st in the Kanepes Culture centre on Skolas street 15 in Riga a free workshop of a jazz double-bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb will take place, and at 20:00 it will be continued by a free jam session with a saxophonist Artūrs Sebris, pianist Artjoms Sarvi, drummer Krišjānis Bremšs and other musicians. Kristin is an active, traveling the world jazz artist and teacher, who was earlier on coordinating the vocal jazz education at the South California University, and has been a director of the jazz department in the Central Washington University. Now she resides in Copenhagen, Denmark.

And finally on May 2nd, at 19:00, at “Kinfield cafe” on Kr.Barona street 66/68 a jazz trio concert will be held, featuring a French-Tunisian saxophonist Yacine Boulares, Latvian pianist Krists Saržants and American double-bassist Rob Duguay. Boulares currently lives in New York and is an official endorser of brass instrument creator "D'Addario" and "Lebayle" mouthpieces. He isn’t limiting himself to jazz music only — for example, he has participated in the album recording of Placido Domingo!

Krists Saržants is a bright modern composer, inspired by jazz, as well as classical and cinema music. He has performed outside Latvia a lot, studied at the Latvian academy of Music and Aalborg, Denmark, last year was nominated for the Nic Gotham award for his contribution to Latvian jazz music. Born in Canada and grown up in USA, Rob Duguay now lives in New York, gives private lessons to young bassists and regularly performs together with musicians from all over the world, including Latvian artists as well. Table reservation by calling 24776096, 10 EUR for two persons; the entrance is free.

International Jazz Day became a UNESCO-acknowledged culture event in 2011. Its goal is to emphasise the importance of jazz genre and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the world. Jazz day events in Latvia are organized by “Wise Music Society”, an association that helps audience to discover new music, promising that it’s WISE or really good, and helps musicians to find some use to what they’re doing and to attract a wider audience to their art.

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Latvian festival Rigas Ritmi 2019 will celebrate 100 years of jazz in Europe

Rigas Ritmi festival is the most loved improvisation, jazz and world music happening in Latvia at the very beginning of July. The stages are located at different spots in Riga featuring concerts by both - world-famous and young musical talents. It is already 19th year of the festival and this time it will celebrate 100 years of jazz in Europe.

"This year Rigas Ritmi celebrates 100 years since jazz arrival in Europe because in 1919 for the first time here performed Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Sissle & Blake Duo and Southern Syncopated Orchestra from New Orleans," says artistic director of the festival Maris Briezkalns. "That was the beginning of jazz invasion in Europe. We are celebrating the century of jazz in Europe inviting great artists from New Orleans - Jon Cleary and Jamison Ross. They will not only perform but will hold master-classes as well. Everyone will be able to feel the aura which rules in the place where the jazz was born.”

So far on festival stages performed more than 550 artists from around the world. Rigas Ritmi is attended by more than 170 000 people thus festival has gained the status of a state-importance cultural event. Initially the festival took place once a year during the first week of every July, but in the last eight years it has expanded to additional Winter and Spring concert sessions.

Rigas Ritmi festival is a musical celebration in the very middle of Baltic States with performances of outstanding artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Diane Reeves, Take 6, Richard Bona, BBC Big Band, Patti Austin, Freddy Cole, The Yellowjackets, Victor Wooten, Buika, Jojo Mayer, Medeski Martin & Wood, Robert Glasper, Diane Schuur, Adam Ben Ezra as well as the greatest Latvian musicians and new talent from all around.

The idea of an international contemporary jazz and improvisation music festival in Riga in 2001 was initiated by Latvian jazz musician and producer Maris Briezkalns, who currently holds the position of the festival’s artistic director. Among the cornerstones of the festival are master-classes and seminars for young musicians held by world renowned masters. Every year young people, music teachers, journalists as well as others attend these happenings. One of the festival’s main objectives is to educate, both the audience and young musicians. Besides diverse concerts the festival also features jam sessions and workshops, where world-known musicians share their knowledge and experience to new talent, serving as inspiration and is the turning point for many young musicians in their careers. On this year's festival the main acts will held the master-classes also, including the ones by Jon Cleary, Jamison Ross, Judith Hill, Paloma Pradal and Jonah Nilsson.

The main events of the festival will take place at the Riga Congress Hall including performances by the three-continent union of musicians "Freedoms Trio", the prestigious Grammy prize holder from New Orleans Jon Cleary, amazing young talent and the winner of prestigious Thelonious Monk contest Jamison Ross, stellar powervocalist Judith Hill, French Flamenco artist Paloma Pradal and the new pride of Swedish music Jonah Nilsson. Special attention requires on 19 year old piano supertalent from China - winner of this year's international young jazz artist contest "Riga Jazz Stage" A Bu also.

There will be free festival concerts available at the open-air venues "Egle” and "Origo Summer Stage" as well as jazz club “Trompete”, but everyone can enjoy great festival concerts at "VEF Jazz Club" and "OlainFarm Jazz Nights" happening at the club "Kalku varti" in the old town also.

Festival will be held from 2nd to 6th of July. More information on program and tickets can be found here.

Welcome to jazzy, groovy Riga!

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Twenty new demos recorded at “RIGaLIVE” songwriting session #4

Last week, the fourth songwriting session "RIGaLIVE" took place over three days at three recording studios in Riga, during which twenty new song demos were created.

Last Wednesday and Thursday, more than thirty musicians - producers, songwriters and performers, including Kārlis Auzāns, Māra Upmane-Holšteine ("Astro'n'out"), Aivo Oskis, Rūdolfs Macats, Ervīns Ramiņš ( “Laime Pilnīga”) and Kattie, the winner of the show “X-Factor 2018” 

Kattie comments on her experience at “RIGaLIVE: “What happened to me at Riga live exceeded all my expectations!  I participated for the first time.  And now I know for sure that I want more!  I have not seen so many professionals in one place yet!  Very pleased with the result, pleased with the workflow, pleased with new acquaintances!”

At the end of each day, eight-hour demo recordings were discussed by a panel of experts, consisting of Toomas Olljum (Made In Baltics, Sony Music, Ewert And Two Dragons), Patric Sarin (Warner Music Finland), Artis Dvarionas (Radio SWH) and Martti Vuorinen (Universal Music Finland & Baltics).

On the first day of “RIGaLIVE” there was an open discussion about “Music usage habits in Latvia”, based on the research carried out by “Latvian Performers and Producers Association” (“LaIPA”) and “Kantar TNS”. Liena Grīna, executive director of LaIPA, journalist Jānis Žilde, radio dj Artis Dvarionas, musicians Samanta Tīna and ansis, as well as Līva Pētersone-Kļaviņa, manager of the band Instrumenti, participated in the discussion. Following this discussion, the participants of RIGaLIVE had the opportunity to take part in a songwriting workshop led by Meldra Gūža, a lecturer at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Birmingham.

The songwriting camp “RIGaLIVE” takes place with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, AKKA/LAA, LaIPA, Latvijas Balzams and RedBull.

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Very Cool People, release their new album "Caution! Contains Words!"

The band's new album is a mix of funk, jazz, soul, hip-hop and rock that still sounds like "Very Cool People". There is no shortage of energy, joy of life, catchy riffs and melodies.
Their new album consists of 12 compositions, of which only one is instrumental. That also explains the ironic title of the new album "Caution! Contains Words!”.

Ten out of the album tunes were written by the band members themselves, and two are cover songs - "Let the Music Take Your Mind”, a tribute to the legendary R&B group "Kool & the Gang”, & “Going Down Slowly”, a homage to the great late music legend from New Orleans Allen Toussaint, who has inspired & influenced VCP.

Very Cool People:  Oskars Ozoliņš – trumpet;  Māris Jēkabsons – tenor sax;  Laura Rozenberga – trombone.  Kristaps Lubovs – baritone sax;  Elvijs Grafcovs - guitar;  Māris Vitkus - organ, rhodes piano;  Valters Sprūdžs - bass;  Andris Buiķis- drums, percussion.  

The record features many guest appearances: Kristīne Prauliņa - vocals, Evilena Protektore - vocals, Ralfs Eilands - vocals, Maija Sējāne - vocals, MC Edavārdi - vocals, MC ansis - vocals, Hannah Horvath - vocals, Erika Székely - vocals, Andris Kauliņš - moog & synth.

The album is produced by the leader of the band and guitarist Elvijs Grafcovs, co-produced by Valters Sprūdžs. The album is mostly recorded at "Sound Division Studio" in Riga by Ivars Ozols, additional recordings were made in other studios in Latvia and Romania. Mixed & mastered by Jānis Kalve at Labo Ierakstu Studio (Riga, Latvia), except We Should Dance mixed by Jon Evans. Design & artwork by Raitis Kalniņš.

This is bands sixth album so far. In 2009 - self-titled debut, 2012 - Cruising In The Trolley, 2015 - Funkology, 2017 - Heya Some Kind Of Fish!…, 2018 - Snowman’s Express.

In 2019 summer VCP will be on the tour around festivals in Baltic States & Germany: 18th of May “Museum Night” (Liepaja, Latvia), 25th of May “Görlitz Jazz Festival” (Görlitz, Germany), 1st of June “Gaujas Svētki” (Ādaži, Latvia), 6th of July “Bliuzo Naktys”(Varniai, Lithuania), 13th of July “Tintes Svētki” (Valmiera, Latvia), 16th of July “Saulkrasti Jazz” (Saulkrasti, Latvia), 27th of July “Positivus” (Salacgrīva, Latvia), 2nd of August Augustibluus (Haapsalu, Estonia), 3rd of August Summersound (Liepaja, Latvia), 24th of August “Siauliai Jazz” (Siauliai, Lithuania).

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Ed Rallidaepresents a new song “Masterpiece”

“This pause wasn’t wasted at all. I gave full attention to my health. Slowly and carefully I’m prepping my own musical material.” says Ed Rallidae (Edvards Grieze).

Participation in Supernova 2018 proved to be beneficial in terms of schooling, and serves as a driving force for steady development.

“With this song I wanted to present the real Ed Rallidae and what this alter-ego really stands for”. It definitely wasn’t a teenage rebel yell. This song actually is a very personal revelation – a dedication to a beautiful soul, who came into my life after a lengthy period of doubts and fears.”

“Even more, I am most delighted to collaborate with Roberts Pētersons. Without a doubt, I can say that I’ve found my producer. Yes, Roberts is a producer with a capital letter! A multi-instrumentalist and a person, whose talent cannot be disclosed with bare words in the best sense!” Ed Rallidae commenting the collaboration with singer and producer – Roberts Pētersons.

Roberts Pētersons the new collaboration: “Edvards knew the sound of this particular song in the very beginning, that’s why we tried to manifest his vision of this single as accurately as possible in order encode the unique taste of the musician. The song draws you in from the very first piano keystrokes. I’m impatiently waiting to search for new sounds and work on the next songs by Ed Rallidae!”

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Chris Noah releases a new song

Musician Chris Noah releases a new song called “Inside Out”, which is the last of the three-song set, which has been developed with the British produced Kristofer Harris.

The British producer visited Latvia in May of last year and in collaboration with the musician and companions recorded three songs. The first one published was “River”, which has been listened to more than 370 thousand times, the second one – “Fall Through” was the first single who also had a music clip. This song has gotten awareness not only from Latvian radio stations, but also from many foreign music bloggers and it got many fans in the Baltic radio tops.

Song in Spotify

The song “Inside Out” differs from the previous two, because the song has been in the making for many years – the main part of the song was written more than two years ago, but the rest was produced with Kristofer Harris in May of 2018. “Sometimes it happens like that – you develop a seemingly perfect melody for a song, but the rest of it does not come out naturally. In this case I had to wait for the right moment to get the inspiration to finish it.” Says the musician Chris Noah himself.

About the contents of the song Chris Noah says: “The song is about relationships with a person, who changes what he says, what he thinks and even denying what he said earlier. Everyone of us, at least once in our lives, meets a person like this with whom it is difficult to make plans with, because you never know what might happen tomorrow.”

Song co-author and co-producer is Chris Noah friend and musical companion Marcis Jukumsons-Jukumnieks. Also people who have been a part of the recording are guitarist Janis Kalnins, and drummer Jekabs Zemzaris.

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Apply for the songwriting camp RIGaLIVE #4, which will take place during April 2nd – 4th in Riga, Latvia.

We are announcing the beginning of application for the songwriting workshop RIGaLIVE session  number 4. For three days up to 10 teams will be working on creating new songs. Each group will consist of three members – a songwriter, a performer and a producer. Each day the teams will work for 8 hours in order to create a demo version of a new song, which will then be evaluated by a collective of experts, which will consist of representatives of both local and international professionals of the music industry. Besides the songwriting workshop, there will also be a creative masterclass on the first day.

Event order of RIGaLIVE #4:
2/04 - introduction of the participants of RIGaLIVE #4; creative masterclass;
3/04 - songwriting workshop and listening;
4/04 - songwriting workshop and listening.

 A Spotify playlist of the RIGaLIVE released songs available HERE.

The application form needs to be filled out until 5.03.2019, the accepted participants will be announced until the end of March.


Watch a video recap of the last RIGaLIVE session!

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DAGAMBA has released a new video version for their musical piece Romeo & Juliet

The classical music hooligans DAGAMBA as a special st. Valentine’s day greeting has released a new video version for the piece Romeo & Juliet. This is the second single from their upcoming album and grand concert DAGAMBA feat TCHAIKOVSKY taking place 12th of April this year in Arena Riga.

The inspirational spark for the Romeo & Juliet was taken from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poem and its love theme with the same name. Infused with DAGAMBAS original music the piece slowly evolves from lyrical radiance into energetic explosion of emotions.

The composer and DAGAMBA leader Valters Puce explains - this piece is unique, because for the first time each band member has their own solo part or as one could say their own individual interpretation for love. Music is nothing more than pure love in its core; it is love towards your own music instrument – your main tool to bring emotions alive in others as well as in ourselves. DAGAMBA enjoys doing usual things in an unusual way; therefor we want to show you that love is not only fragile, but can also be monumental and suggestive.  

The video version of Romeo and Juliet has been filmed during the recording of the new album in “Sound Division” recording studio by videographer – Karlis Kempels. The album presentation DAGAMBA feat TCHAIKOVSKY will take place at the end of the march.

As announced earlier on 12th of April the classical music hooligans DAGAMBA will have their most ambitious Live Performance in Arena Riga. Tickets are available at “Biļešu serviss”.

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“Laika Upe” releases video for the single “Listen To The Way That I Breathe”

The single  “Listen To The Way That I Breathe” is selected for the international song competition "Eurovision 2019" Pre-Selection show "Supernova 2019" semi-finals.

The director of the video is Guntis Spridzāns. The video was shoot and edited by Ivars Utināns.

The story of a video (and song) is about the loneliness, struggle and the inner demons of a musician, looking for a support from the others and a hope in general. Every upcoming performance is an emotional challenge for a musician, but the band is always there for the support.

The video was shoot in different places including “K.K. fon Stricka villa”, “Buratino theater”, “GM Pool”,” Ziemeļblāzma Castle”.

“The shooting of a video was quite challenging because you really had to get over yourself emotionally and physically. First, we had to film in a cold weather outside. After that we had to film under the water. With the lack of sleep from the previous night's gig, that really did took an energy from us” Guntis recalls.

Laika Upe is a five - piece band from Riga, Latvia. Their uniqueness and sound can be found both in their records and in their energetic live performances that no listener can ignore. Since the formation of the band in 2016, Laika Upe has released two singles. The first single “Debess Puses” was released in the summer of 2018.

The second single "Listen To The Way That I Breathe"  is selected for the international song competition "Eurovision 2019" Pre-Selection show "Supernova 2019" semi-finals. The band will perform in the second “Supernova 2019” semi-finals show that will go on air on the second of february on the channel “LTV1”. The show starts at 9.25 PM.

The song “Listen To The Way That I Breathe” can be found on the biggest music streaming services including Spotify, Google Play, iTunes.

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