David Haney from Cadence Magazine came to the Koktebel Jazz Party 2017 at the invitation of the festival's organizers. In an interview with RIA Novosti, he admitted that the decision to come was not easy.
"After I was contacted from the [Koktebel Jazz Party] festival, the first thing I did was go to the United States State Department website. And it contains a warning not to come to Crimea, but doesn't say why," David Haney said. So he decided he had better look into this and did his own research. The more research he did, the more he found that there were no events happening that he should be concerned about. There was no specific reason why he should refuse to travel.
"There is no activity in the news, so why the concern? I decided it's a political issue; it's not an artistic issue. So we were a little nervous coming, but it's just been wonderful. And I have to tell you that coming from the United States, it's like we don't get any good information about what we need to know coming here. So it was really nice to come for ourselves, to see it with our own eyes," he admitted.
The festival itself did not leave the journalist indifferent either. "I've been to a lot of festivals, all over the world. I was sort of expecting some not so good music combined with some good music. That's very common," Haney said. "I really liked Joe Lastie's New Orleans Sound. But I've enjoyed every band so far."
He also noted the "very sophisticated level of music" performed by Russian jazz musicians. He especially liked the Jazz Messengers Group with Valery Ponomaryov.
For his colleagues around the world who are afraid to visit the Koktebel Jazz Party, David Haney offered one small tip: "Come. Period."