Mikhail Ikonnikov: I am happy to be part of such big project

Mikhail Ikonnikov: I am happy to be part of such big project

— Hello! Can you sum up your big, influential effort?

— It wasn't just my effort, there were many people involved — everyone has worked very hard. I still can't believe that it actually happened. I'm happy to have been part of this. I'm extremely grateful to Mr. Kiselev for asking me to join this ambitious project. I have tried to speak with all the musicians, both Russian, and if my language skills don't fail me, foreign. They all have praised the music here; they are already saying they can't remember any recent festival that can match this one in terms of the sound, quality and range of participants.

I won't mention any specific foreign festivals, but the musicians I talked to have also performed at various major festivals, and they say it's fantastic here, and that if they hadn't come, they would never have believed it. What does this mean? It means they will tell others, and next year, the fact that people like Tom Harrell, Valery Ponomaryov, Deborah Brown, Jeremy Pelt, Wayne Escoffery — all these people — have performed here will make it easier for us, although we have set a very high standard.

And I hope we won't have such tight schedule to prepare the next festival. If the same team is responsible for it next year, it will be easier for us. Everyone is happy but tired because most of us were not in our element.

— Do you still want to work?

— I am still very enthusiastic. Once again, I want to thank Mr. Kiselev for taking me back to jazz life. This year is turning out to be absolutely wonderful: I have a jazz program on Kultura radio, I gradually took to it, and I'm involved in such a great project as Koktebel Jazz Party. I'm not a sentimental person, but as Tom Harrell performed yesterday, to be honest, it brought tears to my eyes to realize that I had a part in bringing a great musician to Russia. This is something unforgettable, and my impressions are amazing.

Next year, I'm definitely bringing my wife and child here. My daughter will be seven months old tomorrow; it's too soon for her to come, but next year I'll bring her here so she can discover jazz.


The KoktebelJazzParty festival is a COVID-free zone. Given the difficult epidemiological situation, the terms of access to the festival may be changed, depending on the epidemiological situation in the region and the recommendations issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor).
All festival participants, guests and spectators must present at least one of the three documents listed below:

  • A negative PCR test performed not earlier than August 18, 2021
  • A certificate showing the presence of antibodies to the S-protein of COVID-19, issued not earlier than May 25, 2021
  • A COVID-19 vaccination certificate

All guests, members of the audience and media representatives must wear masks and gloves at the festival venues.