Past Performance
Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents
BAC Salon: Māris Briežkalns Quintet
Rothko in Jazz
May 2, 2018

"Māris Briežkalns and his group prove that Latvian jazz is more than just alive and well--it is the embodiment of a creative energy that characterizes the human spirit." - Half Note Records

Māris Briežkalns Quintet's Rothko in Jazz is hailed by The Washington Post as “a wide-ranging musical homage to Mark Rothko’s paintings." The evening features music by ten renowned Latvian composers, each commissioned to create a piece evoking the mood of an abstract expressionist artwork by the Latvia-born visual artist. The original jazz compositions, arranged and performed by the Quintet, are accompanied by large-scale projections of Rothko's iconic paintings.

Composers: Lolita Ritmanis, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Rihards Dubra, Artūrs Maskats, Pēteris Vasks, Jēkabs Jančevskis, Vilnis Šmīdbergs, Jēkabs Nīmanis, Georgs Pelēcis, Raimonds Pauls

Māris Briežkalns, drums, band leader
Viktors Ritovs, piano
Raimonds Macats, cello, harmonica
Kristaps Lubovs, saxophone
Andris Grunte, double bass +
Ivars Ozols, sound and visual design

Rothko in Jazz is one of many events taking place throughout 2018 in honor of Latvia’s centennial year.



Rothko in Jazz is made possible courtesy of funding support by the Ministry of Culture of Latvia.

Leadership support for music programming at BAC provided by the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation and the Thompson Family Foundation.


Jazz Notes Intel: Artist Mark Rothko Treated to the Jazz Vibe


Māris Briežkalns Quintet

Artist Bio

Māris Briežkalns Quintet

Māris Briežkalns Quintet is one of the leading and most interesting small acoustic mainstream bands in the Latvian jazz scene. The Quintet has performed on several international stages: MIDEM, Pori Jazz, Rigas Ritmi Festival, Ottawa Jazz, Kaunas Jazz, Nomme Jazz, Jazz Kaar (St. Petersburg), Jazz at Castle (Prague), Ankara Jazz, Venice Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Blue Note and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (NYC).

The leader of the Quintet is Māris Briežkalns, a drummer and producer. He heads the Latvian Radio Recording Studios, the Latvian Radio Big Band, and serves as Artistic Director of the International Music Festival Rigas Ritmi and Jazz Artists Contest Riga Jazz Stage.

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Rudolfs Briezkalns/Contemporary Music Center