Peter Dimitrov: The A to JazZ programme is compelling, the festival is emotional and genuine

A to JazZ festival begins today


Christian Scott aTundeAdjuah and his latest album Ancestral Recall, “explosive sounds” from the band Ghost Note, “child prodigy” Jacob Collier, now all grown up... These are just some of the names on the programme of the festival and audiences are sure to love their performances. By a tradition the event takes place at the end of the first week of July, and the open-air stage has already been assembled in Southern Park-2 in Sofia. A total of 12 concerts will take place on 5, 6 and 7 July in various “shades” of the genre, and admission is free. The person who organizes this splendid jazz-fiesta is Peter Dimitrov, founder and artistic director of the festival:

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah“I am so happy, proud and excited by the fact that we are able to organize the A to JazZ for the ninth time,” he says. “Immodest as it may sound, it is a big festival, so emotional, so genuine. It has established itself as one of the leading festivals in the Balkans and enjoys a huge amount of interest among audiences in Bulgaria and abroad. We have some wonderful artists, but the grand victory this year is that a crew from Mezzo will be filming some of the concerts. For the first time a Bulgarian cultural product will be documented and shown by the biggest TV station for classical music, jazz and dance. It can be said that the country – thanks to its cultural wealth – is becoming part of prestigious international forums more and more often. We are happy to be the motor of this process.

Within the frameworks of the festival we are holding a conference A to JazZ Talks, dedicated this year to the performers and to their careers leading up to the international stage. The lecturers include Ian Patterson, a foremost All About Jazz critic and Virgo Sillamaa, representing Music Estonia, which helps young artists produce their own work, provide financing, develop joint artistic projects with musicians from other countries etc. Katherine McVicker from a leading world agency - Katherine McVicker- will share her experience as a long standing agent. Mrs. McVicker is the first agent of such stature to have included a Bulgarian project in the list of her prestigious company – Hristo Yotsov’s Jazz Cats. Ulrich Beckerhoff, artistic director of Jazzahead – arguably the world’s biggest jazz exposition, held in Germany every year – will also have a lecture. Even in the early stages, when we are making the programme selection I feel elated, I can see myself standing on the sidelines and feeling the “clash” of energies – that of the huge audience and of the enormously talented musicians on stage. The Bulgarian names are: Mitko Karamfilov with his debut project Ecology, Theodosii Spassov and his project Faith, Maggie Alexieva with the Bulgarian-French band MEY, feat Jcat, Ritmos Negros, who played at the emblematic Glastonbury Festival just a week ago, Preyah who will present her new album, we shall also be able to listen to Koka Mass Jazz, the Dimitar Bodurov trio (who is moderator of our conference), our guests from Romania JazzyBIT...

This is the second time we have invited the Big Band of the National Music Academy’s chair “Pop and jazz art” with head - renowned trumpet player Misho Yossifov. “Pop and Jazz art” is one of the most important departments in our music education and we would like to give them the motivation to keep on moving.”

The organizers are also planning a Park Yoga Breakfast – yoga exercises at 8.30 every morning (on the festival meadow), a mini festival A to JazZ Kids (concerts, dance and music lessons and games), as well as jam sessions every night at 11.


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