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Ara’s Circle Funkyfies Afro Caribbean Beats And Jazz

Ara’s Circle builds bridges between cultures. The multi-international line-up based in the Netherlands creates music as colourful as the bird, a beautiful mix between Latin American music, Jazz and Funk. Ara’s Circle music is pure joy. This has been expressed in their first album: “That’s It” which was declared in 2014 “Album of the week” at Latin Jazz Network in Canada and won "The Akademia Music Award" in the United States of America in January 2016.

Ara's Circle Tour Diary Saulkrasti Jazz Festival

December 2014: Saulkrasti Jazz Festival (Latvia) invited Ara’s Circle to join the festival.


A festival to enjoy...

19th of July: Up to Latvia to Saulkrasti Jazz Festival. Lineup: Arndt Beckmann (bandleader & percussion, backingvocals), Maria Fernandez Alvarez (vocals), Tico Pierhage (piano, Rhodes), Niels Onstenk (guitar), Dave Breidenbach (bass), Florian Sperzel (trumpet), Steven Dietvorst (tenor sax), Tuur Moens (drums) and Karlinah Beckmann. 19:55: Departure Amsterdam – Riga. 23:15: Arrival Riga Airport. Saulkrasti Jazz organized a bus shuttle. One hour later we arrived at the festival area. The festival offered us dinner. :) So nice!

20th of July – 25th of July: Saulkrasti Jazz organizers opened the festival. Saulkrasti Jazz has an exchange program between Latvian music students and young musicians connected to the Miami Beach Festival in the US. Therefore the festival organizes annually masterclasses and combos for young musicians. We were presented as the teachers of the year 2015. The festival flag was hoisted by the winner of the 2cond annually Miami Jazz Festival Contest “Miami Jazz Quartet”.

In the afternoon we started giving instrumental lessons in vocals, piano, guitar, bass, trumpet, saxophone drums and percussion. Our next days were instrumental lessons and combos. To inspire our students we formed 4 different Combos of different music styles. Jazz, Brazilian music, Cuban music, Funk and Soul. Maria formed an additional choir for singers. During the week we helped students improving their skills. We provided the combos with sheets and arrangements. In every free minute students were practising, even after classes. How nice to see young musicians working independently and
intrinsically on their instruments. :) Giving classes to these enthusiastic students was great pleasure and experience.

During a student concert at the end of the week all students (Beginners and advanced musicians) were performing together on stage making their week a success. Talented young musicians presented their skills to families, the festival and the teachers. We were impressed. After the concerts the students got their certificates. The organization invited us to close the festival.

We felt home...

On behalf of Ara’s Circle,

Arndt Beckmann

Links to photos:
Ara's Circle Show
Team out to Riga

      Five days full of musicality and inspiration…

23th of July: Beside other international artists Saulkrasti Jazz invited Ara’s Circle to perform. 14:30 sound check, 20:00 photo shoot, 22:30 show time. Caring technicians created a great sound on and off stage. We performed numbers of our record “That’s It”, new compositions and arrangements: That’s It, Son De La Loma, Yeyeoh, Mood Song, Entregate Esta Vez, Agua De Marco, Eurofunk, Pronto, Funky Manivera and Asesu. We had lots of fun. So our audience. We loved them.

For the year 2015 Saulkrasti Jazz line up is: Ilona Kudiņa Quintet (Latvia), Very Cool People Funkology (Latvia) , Ronja Burve Quartet (Latvija, Kipra, Ungārija), Miami Jazz Quartet (US), Anton Gorbunov Quartet (Russia), Funcoolio feat. Raivo Stašāns (Latvia),Freedoms Trio (Norway, Brazil, Mozambic), Mirage Jazz Orchestra & Pascal von Wroblewsky (Latvia, Germany), Ieva Kerēvica (Latvia), Aras’ Circle (Colombia, Indonesia, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium), Dāvis Jurka (Latvia), Jolanta Gulbe Paškeviča (Latvia, Sweden), Carole Bakotto (Kamerun, Germany), Shalosh (Israel), The Syndicate (Austria, France, Brazil, Ukrain, India). A crew of great technicians took care of the sound in a forest environment. A special experience for audience and musicians.

25th of July: Ara’s Circle off to Riga. The cosy old city centre was worth it to visit. During our stay in Saulkrasti a 2cond Jazz Festival was going on in Riga. Music in every corner of the city. Back to Saulkrasti we visited the main act of the festival. Joe Zawinul’s “The Syndicate” . Very energetic show. The evening was closed by stunning fireworks. Saulkrasti Jazz invited us to be part of the after party. A tradition: The team shares experiences and emotions regarding the festival in a round. Very impressive. After the ceremony the festival offered drinks and food. We had time to socialize.

26th of July: We got up at 05:30 in the morning. Oh, oh… too early. :) Students were already waiting for us to say good bye. Some little tears made the farewell a “See you soon!” During the flight thoughts were passing by. We shared experiences in Latvia.

Ara’s Circle would like to thank: The festival organisation for inviting the band to perform and trust in teaching. The students for love for music, openness, trust and assertiveness in learning. The families of students appreciating talents. The great invited acts and musicians for music and inspiration. The sound crew for accompany and a fantastic sound on and off stage The Latvian audience for openness and love for our music. The drivers for fellowship and taking care. The hotel stuff for nice, clean and cosy rooms. The food crew for taking care.