Gărâna Jazz Festival
Hidden in the heart of the Western Carpathians, the small village of Garana, —also called Wolfsberg by the Bohemian colonists who have inhabited it until some 30 years ago—has developed, during the last decades, into an international artist colony—hosting, for the 18th time this year, Europe's only open-air jazz festival, a kind of contemporary Woodstock. Instead of diminishing its appeal, the capricious climate and the special location seem to increase the ambition of the participants to belong to the "chosen," if not few, ones. Throughout its relatively short history, the festival has featured an impressive lineup of high-class artists —including Eberhard Weber, Mike Stern, Jan Garbarek, Charles Lloyd, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Jordan, John Abercrombie, Miroslav Vitous, Zakir Hussain, Magnus Ostrom, Bugge Wesseltoft, Lars Danielsson, Avishay Cohen and Nils Petter Molvaer—becoming one of the most significant musical events of its kind, attended by thousands of jazz lovers who travel each summer to the mountains, ignoring the risk of rain and the chilly nights. This year's illustrious lineup rewarded the audience with four days of good music in a well thought-out balance of consistency and diversity.