The Gere Jazz Festival is here again for the 7th consecutive year and it takes place June 8-9, 2018 at the Gere Attila Winery in Villány on the Gere Estate. There is always a new theme and this year visitors can get a taste of the Italian dolce vita feeling in the Villány vineyards. Besides the luminaries of the Hungarian Jazz scene the main attraction in 2018 is Nicola Conte a representative of the most dance oriented jazz style and he is going to premiere compositions from his latest record.
The Festival held in the southernmost vineyards of Hungary will integrate Gere wines, sophisticated culinary delights and classy jazz music into a mellifluous common chord. If you like Italian tunes, Tuscan feeling and top notch wines then make sure to be in Villány on the second weekend of June.
Gastronomy has always been a central part of the Festival and this year is not going to be any different.
The chefs of the Gere Winery’s Mandula Restaurant will provide a veritable Italian feast. The menu will include some of the most beloved classic Italian dishes in exciting presentation: Trippa alla Fiorentina with tomato puree, Parmigiano-Reggiano and pesto, pulled lamb with focaccia and ruccola, shrimp risotto with herbs, osso bucco, vegetarian lasagne, roasted fish, chicken, saltimbocca and shoulder of lamb on the BBQ served with fresh salad. The desserts will also represent the dolce vita style with the unmissable tiramisu, apricot panna cotta with cantuccini and ricotta rum baba that will surely delight guests with sweet tooth.
At this weekend the frizzante to be served is Gere Frici sparkling on ice, a perennial favourite among visitors to Gere Jazz Festivals. In the summer heat nothing could be more welcome than a refreshing white or rosé Frici which this year will also be served with Campari to provide an exciting alternative to Aperol Spritz. Fruity whites and rosés are great to quench your thirst and it is no sacrilege to have a spritzer or two either. If red is your thing even in summer heat than our recommendations are Portugieser, Athus Cuvée and Merlot, it’s an added benefit that these wines with their racier acidity are great accompaniments to dishes with tomatoes and Italian spices. Of course you can also sample top of the range wines like Kopar or Solus a sure way to get you in the right mood.
Kindly accepting the invitation of the Gere Family the culinary guest star of the Festival are going to be the Sirk Family, owners of the Michelin-starred La Subida Restaurant. Representing the best of Italian gastronomy they will provide a selection of the treats available at their Restaurant including cheese, ham and olive oil from their native Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.
To the greatest delight of fans of contemporary jazz the opening act of the Festival is the deservedly legendary Rákfogó Band.
Their reunion is also a celebration of the 75 birthday of the band’s keyboard player Béla Szakcsi Lakatos who has been playing before audiences for 60 years to worldwide acclaim. The revamped band in keeping with the experimental spirit of the original line-up will perform not only their jazz-rock evergreens but the latest compositions of Béla Szakcsi Lakatos as well.
The gig of Kéknyúl Hammond Band promises something really unique. With its distinctive line-up the Kéknyúl Band plays its individual brand of „entertaining organ-based jazz-funk-blues”. The Hammond organ is not only the leading instrument of the act but provides the bass line as well and it is accompanied by drums, guitar and an impressive percussion and wind section. The playlist is mainly made up of their own compositions with some classic covers thrown in to honour the great old men of the genre.
The opening act of the second day is the Balázs Elemér Group. This popular band was founded by Elemér Balázs in 2000 and since then it has toured with great success both in Hungary and abroad and has won numerous awards. Besides the band leader and percussionist Elemér Balázs the musicians are Flóra Kiss, Milán Szakonyi, József Balázs, Áron Komjáti, Krisztián Lakatos „Pecek” and József Czibere.
The Barabás Lőrinc Quartet’s music evokes the free spirit of the improvisatory jazz-rock style of the 1970s reinterpreted through the modern sensibilities of four young 21st century cosmopolitan musicians.
The Italian star of the Festival is Nicola Conte the inventor of the most jazz oriented dance music and also of the most dance oriented jazz music.
He is going to perform compositions from his soon to be released new record.
Having reached its seventh year the Gere Jazz Festival has deservedly taken its place among the traditional Hungarian summer festivals. It welcomes visitors with a penchant for wines, music and gastronomy. Attila Gere and his family will do their best to make this exclusive Italian themed garden party an unforgettable experience for all visitors.
Friday 8 June 2018
8.00 pm – Rákfogó Band
10.00 pm – Kéknyúl Hammond Band
Saturday 9 June 2018
6.00 pm – Balázs Elemér Group
8.00 pm – Barabás Lőrinc Quartet
10.00 pm – Nicola Conte (ITA)
Photos: Péter Wendl