Tomorrow, 30th of April, Banja Luka celebrates the World Jazz Day with an event called “Jazz Rez 000”. This will be at the same time a homage to the jazz legend Quincy Jones, whose orchestra performed a memorable concert several decades ago in Banja Luka.
The date for the World Jazz Day was established by UNESCO, and Banja Luka will join the global jazz celebration this year, as an addition to the image the city aspires to with its application for European capital of culture 2024.
The programme starts with the concerts of students of the Academy of Arts of the University of Banja Luka and several panel discussions and lectures. This is followed by the Orchestra of the Police of the Republic of Srpska, which will perform the “Banja Luka” composition written by Quincy Jones Orchestra in 1969, in a march from the Banski Dvor Cultural Centre to the old/new cult independent club “Basta Sljezove Boje”. The programme will continue with several concerts of the local jazz scene.
Quincy Jones and His Orchestra have visited Yugoslavia on their 1960 tour, performing in Ljubljana, Zagreb, Banja Luka and Belgrade. The concert in Banja Luka was held at the former Culture Home, now Banski Dvor Cultural Centre. In the first half of the concert, the lights went out, but the concert itself was not interrupted, but continued under the light of candles and petroleum lamps.
The vibrant atmosphere inspired sax player Phil Woods to write the composition he named “Banja Luka”, which was performed for the first time at the Newport Jazz Festival 1961, and found itself on the album of the same name by Quincy Jones.
The legendary musician has sent his love to Banja Luka through a video message.