The 1st edition of the International Jazz Contest of Granada, organized by the Andalusian Record Companies Association (AEDA) and the Granada International Jazz Festival, has given the Best Jazz Band Award to the Dutch band Edwin Berg Trio & Jorg Kaaij; and the Best Andalusian Jazz Band Award to Aborigen Quartet (Seville). This contest has been established in order to favour the diffusion of the jazz in Andalusia and, at the same time, to project the image of the Andalusian music toward abroad.
It is part of the parallel activities to the Granada Jazz Festival’s programme, apart from its concert programme. Among these activities, we can also find the record’s production, as those of the Big Band record company of Granada or the CD recently published "Identity", by the saxophonist Nardy Castellini.
The diffusion of the announcement through Internet has favoured that nearly 50 jazz bands coming from all Europe have run to the contest: from Russia, Holland, Germany, Britain, Italy and France, together with a numerous participation from Spain. Upon the contest’s conditions, the awards consist of a cash prize, the performance of the winners in the Festival and the recording and publishing of a record.
ABORIGEN: This band was formed by the saxophonist and pianist Rafael Garcés, a Cuban resident in Seville, together with Pablo Zapata, Xavi Rejia, Héctor Pérez and Victor Pérez. Their purpose was to do an encounter among the Cuban music, jazz and flamenco. Nevertheless, the last recording have taken a very brilliant and contemporary sonority very close to the North American bands of Fusion.
EDWIN BERG TRIO AND JORGE KAAIJ: In 1991, the pianist Edwin Berg, after winning the Yamaha Clavinova award, is accepted in the Conservatoire of Utrecht where he studies classic music and jazz with teachers of international prestige as Bert van den Brink or Jasper van het Hof. In 1995, he meets the drummer Martijn Vink and the bass guitar player Bart Tarenskeen. Together, and in representation of Holland, they won the forth award in the international contest Jazz a Vienne (France) in 1997.
1998 is a good year for Edwin Berg who is finalist as a soloist in the Piano International Contest Martial Solal 1998 (Paris). He records the CD "Scuse me" with Deborah J. Carter Quintet and he finishes his studies of classic music and jazz with a Cum Laude.
In 1999, he records his first CD with "Edwin Berg Trio": "Debut: live!", together with the drummer Martijn Vink and the bass guitar player Bart Tarenskeen.
In 2001, he meets the Holland saxophonist Jorg Kaaij and together they form "Edwin Berg Trio & Jorg Kaaij", with Steve Altenberg as a drummer, Guss Bakker as a bass guitar player, Edwin Berg with the piano and Jorg Kaaij with the sax. In the same year, the play in the North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), one of the best names within the jazz festivals of Europe. At the beginning of the same year, he records a new CD together with the American guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and the drummer Carl Allen.
At present, Edwin Berg lives between Holland and New York. His performance in the I International Jazz Contest of Granada, together with the saxophonist Jorg Kaaij, will be the first opportunity to listen them in Spain.