Koktebel Jazz Party turned out to be a very sustainable festival: it has survived natural disasters and a ban on issuing visas; it’s the second year in a row that it’s had to survive the pandemic, the festival’s founder Dmitry Kiselev said during a news conference on the first day of the event.
Kiselev also noted that since the establishment of the festival, hundreds of bands from all continents had performed at it.
“We are on the best festival list and have won a Ministry of Culture prize. I believe, as well as many others, that it is the best jazz festival at least in the post-Soviet space,” he said.
According to Dmitry Kiselev, this year the organizing committee kept the names of the foreign bands secret until the last minute to avoid any problems with the arrival of foreign guests.
“But those who, like us, believe that jazz is beyond politics and cultural bridges must be preserved should come and support us,” he said.
KJP Art Director Mikhail Ikonnikov talked about the performers who would make jazz fans happy. For example, in addition to the Russian performers named before, there will be Sasha’s Bloc Jazz Collective from the US and Matthew Lee from Italy.
The festival unites people and brings along the young people, concluded the festival’s Art Director Sergey Golovnya. “It is the elixir of life,” he said.
The Koktebel Jazz Party international festival is taking place in the artistic village of Koktebel on August 20-22. According to the organizing committee, in order to access the venue guests are required to provide a negative PCR test dated no earlier than August 18, 2021, test of antibodies to COVID-19 S-protein dated no earlier than May 25, 2021, or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. Performers, VIP guests, the festival’s personnel and journalists are also required to provide one of the three documents: a vaccination certificate, test of antibodies or a negative PCR test.
This year, Koktebel Jazz Party performances will be held in a new format: the shows will be filmed. The festival streams can be found on its website and social media accounts. The number of spectators will be limited.
Koktebel Jazz Party was established in 2003 and it was the idea of journalist Dmitry Kiselev. In different years, the festival was attended by jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb (US), winner of a Grammy Award for the best Latin Jazz album Gonzalo Rubalcaba (Cuba), many-time Grammy winner trumpeter Randy Brecker (US), best baritone saxophonist of the last decade Gary Smulyan (US), nu-jazz stars Club Des Belugas (Germany), and one of the most talented representatives of the modern world blues scene, guitarist Selwyn Birchwood (US).
Vladimir Putin was a guest of KJP-2017. The festival is organized by the Krasny Kvadrat (Red Square) media group.