The second edition of Jazz Across the Country 2023 ended with the words "Music is the greatest thing on this earth". This is what Antoni Donchev said during the Jazz FM traveling festival, which took place between July 28 and 30 in Burgas and Sozopol. During these three days, the radio presented to jazz fans live and on the radio air a concert with famous jazz musicians from the open-air stage "Ohlyuva" in the Sea Garden in Burgas, two conversations with a focus the jazz history of Burgas, a jam session in the landmark art club "Michel" in Sozopol and an exhibition of student jazz posters created in a joint project of the National Academy of Arts and Jazz FM radio. The hosts of all the events of the festival were its creator and author Svetoslav Nikolov - program director of Jazz FM, and Tanya Ivanova - both presenters of programs on the air of the radio.
From vision through sound, jazz abounded in Burgas and Sozopol in the last few days of July. "Thanks to "Jazz in the whole country" jazz in Burgas has multiplied" - commented from the stage the Deputy Mayor for Culture Diana Savateva. This is the second festival jazz event in the cultural life of Burgas, in which there is a lot of music all the time. That is why she described Burgas as a city of musical tolerance.
The work of the students of the National Academy of Arts accompanies the events of the festival and was described at the opening by the Rector of the Academy prof.Georgi Yankov as a "musical jam session" - with a common theme and a wealth of possibilities for expression. In order to promote the talent of the young as widely as possible Jazz FM organized the exhibition to go on the road and after the presentation in Burgas it will be a guest of the "Bansko Jazz Festival".
The start of the music programme at the Open Stage "Ohlyuva" was marked by a live broadcast of Jazz FM's club jazz show Jazztronica with performances by host Mladen Dimitrov - DJ Mr. Moon, and another member of the radio team - bassist Vladislav Mirchev. After that, the "Big Band Burgas", a symbol of a century-old musical tradition, took the stage. "Horizons is to bring pleasure to our audience and every year we upgrade. We play what the audience likes, and we try to be complete and attractive" - outlined the main thing about the ensemble conductor Anastas Kamilarov. The instrumental performances of the band were interspersed with performances of young vocalists as soloists, some of whom are studying at the National School for Music and Scenic Arts "Prof. Pancho Vladigerov".
Then the stage of "Jazz in the whole country" was for the students of vocal pedagogue Michelle Dean, who is also a teacher at the Music School in the city. "For me, jazz is love, my life." - she formulated the feeling she conveys to her pupils. The young talents shared their emotion about jazz, describing it as a burst of freedom, an opportunity to express feelings, a teacher of improvisation in life.
The last group of local participants was led by the Burgas-born and Burgas-educated brother and sister Stella and Mihail Mihailov, who are now studying at the Groningen Conservatory and have there formed the FromAroundCollective group with other Bulgarian students. Having just finished their first year, they shared their happiness, excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to play in front of the audience at home who called them for an encore. Special guest was another Burgas-born talent Krasi Zafirov.
In interviews between the performances the percussionist Asen Haidutov told about his school. Margarita Dimova-Manova, the artistic director of Jazz in Burgas, also told how the festival has radically changed the jazz scene in the city since its creation 10 years ago.
The evening ended with a tribute to the Burgas-born actor Apostol Karamitsev and the creator of the Golden Orpheus Genko Genov. The legendary vocalist Mimi Nikolova performed songs related to their legacy, accompanied by the Burgas-born pianist Samuel Eftimov.
The program of "Jazz in the whole country" included two musical talks about the jazz history and creative personalities of Burgas. They were held at the Regional Library "Peyo Yavorov" and will be broadcast later on Jazz FM. Kiril Donchev - the author of the music for 80 feature films and 40 documentaries, as well as 270 theatre productions, talked about a rich creative path marked by his love for music. He works with precision and depth: "For me it is important to find that sound or combination of sounds, that instrument or group of instruments, the type of orchestra to put in the hall or on the screen." "Take care of the sound!"-this was his advice to them as child musicians, which Antoni and Georgi Donchevi define as most important for their formation. "One sound can be a whole universe. If you give it its due, it really becomes one," said Antoni Donchev. The conversation was interspersed with musical performances by the theatre and film music created by Kiril Donchev. And the researcher and writer Rumyana Emmanuilidou spoke about his contribution to the development of Burgas, cinema and theatre.
The second day ended with a festival jam session at the Michel Art Club in Sozopol, when the participants in the program and other jazz musicians gathered on stage for impromptu performances.
The last event of the festival was another musical encounter - with vocalist Mimi Nikolova. Her artistic path brought her into contact with many personalities related to Burgas and the region - Apostol Karamitev, Genko Genov, the composer Angel Zaberski, the poet Boris Aprilov. She performed iconic songs from her repertoire, in which we find wisdom about life and answers to the most important questions. "I am very happy and glad that young people come to my concerts, congratulate me, say that they have not heard some of these songs and that all of them have made a great impression on them. For me this is the biggest reward," said the singer. She brought back the memory of the Burgas-born singer Rositsa Nikolova by performing two songs based on her lyrics. Mimi Nikolova's performances at "Jazz in the whole country" in Burgas and Sozopol, and then in Sinemorets, were followed by a team of students filming a movie about her. This is a graduation project of Vladimir Mastikov under the scientific guidance of prof. Lyudmil Hristov at NBU.
The second edition of the festival "Jazz in the whole country" took place in partnership with the Municipality of Burgas, the Cultural Center "Sea Casino" and the outdoor stage "Ohlyuva", the Regional Library "Peyo Yavorov", art club "Michel".
Photos from Jazz FM's traveling festival can be found on the Jazz FM Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as the Facebook event!