Jazz it up in Koktebel
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Ivan Farmakovsky: There's a festive atmosphere at the Koktebel Jazz Party

Ivan Farmakovsky: There's a festive atmosphere at the Koktebel Jazz Party

— How do you like the atmosphere, equipment and the organization at the Koktebel Jazz Party, and how easy was it for you to agree to perform at the festival?

Ivan Farmakovsky: It's impossible not to like the atmosphere of this festival, because as soon as you get here you instantly feel the festive atmosphere. Unfortunately, yesterday we were able to see only the last few minutes of Valery Ponomaryov's performance. But judging by the audience reaction and the atmosphere on stage, the festival is a success. I'm not familiar with today's programme, but I hope it will be even better.

— What do you think of the festival line-up? How is it different from previous festivals and how positive is it?

Ivan Farmakovsky: This is an immensely positive moment as, unfortunately, the global trend today in the world is that a jazz festival has a mixed line-up, with 50 percent jazz and 50 percent some other styles of music. Several years ago, I attended the Montreux Jazz Festival, possibly the world's best known jazz festival. Fifteen to twenty percent of performers played jazz, the rest was art rock, blues, rock'n'roll and so on.

What is happening here is drastically different from this current trend. I have met a great number of world-class jazz musicians here, and I am very appreciative that I myself have been able to invite New York-based brilliant and renowned jazz performers.

— Speaking of the musicians you've brought here, could you please introduce them? Maybe they could share their impressions?

Ivan Farmakovsky: I am very proud that I have met these people, have had the opportunity to work with them and maybe even get closer to them on a spiritual level. It is a great pleasure to play with them on stage. I would like to introduce you to a brilliant jazz tenor saxophonist, Ralph Bowen; drummer Donald Edwards, with whom I have collaborated for several years and have even played on a record; amazing double bass player Kenny Davis, who has worked with a huge number of musicians.

— Was it difficult to come here? What were you expecting?

Donald Edwards: I did not know what to expect as I had never visited this part of your country before. I heard it is beautiful here, and it's true. Now I know what to expect if I visit this place once again.

Ralph Bowen: I agree with Donald. I had no idea what to expect either, I had never been to Crimea, although I visited different parts of Russia with Ivan and Donald. We had a walk this morning and I was impressed by the beauty of the sea, the small shops selling various beautiful small things. I bought some and I'll take them home with me and give them to my family.

Kenny Davis: What they show us on TV is different, and when Ivan asked me about the trip I asked him, "Are you sure?" But upon arriving here, despite the fact that I haven't had the opportunity to see very much, we passed by the sea and the mountains, and it was so relaxing. I am glad and proud to be here.

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