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The 15th Jazz-Koktebel festival will take place from 24 to 27 August in Chornomorsk, near Odesa. This event has undergone many changes during its existence, having moved in 2014 from annexed Crimea to the Odesa region. Initially positioned as a jazz festival, gradually this event changed significantly and invited such far from jazz genre performers as Liapis Trubetskoy, Boris Grebenshchikov, Sergey Babkin, etc. However, there were always enough jazz musucians too: the curator of one of the scenes of the festival - Jazz and Sea - is one of the organizers of Lviv's Alfa Jazz Alexey Kogan - a man and jazz performer well-known by the Ukrainian fans.
This year's festival headliner would be the cult British sharply social formation Asian Dub Foundation, working at the junction of such musical trends as punk rock, electronics, reggae, dub, breakbeat and hip-hop. All this sounds rather mainstream, the group has enough hits, and at the same time, not without a powerful underground fleur. In Ukraine, they will perform for the first time, and this show should not be missed by the numerous Ukrainian fans of the group. Moreover, the group is not on tour now. They have some point concerts, and, as a rule, only at the festivals. For example, the next show of Asian Dub Foundation will take place on the Spanish festival Feeling 2017 in early August, and the next is a concert in Chornomorsk on August 25. So this is quite an exclusive event. Brits are very good in live performing: a powerful atmosphere, dance rhythms, which are interrupted by improvisations of top-class musicians, and, of course, fierce energy both of the band members and the music that they generate on stage.
Another British will perform on the same day, on the same stage - Red Snapper, who are frequent guests in our region (they performed in Odesa in the early 2000's, at the end of the 2000's, after a successful reunion they already played at Jazz-Koktebel, and they repeatedly performed in Kyiv). Red Snapper, gathered in London in 1993, are considered one of the pioneers of acidic jazz and, according to music journalist Jason Ankeny, the group's most interesting feature is in "the synthesis of acoustic instruments with an electronic texture." Their live performances are also always interesting, there is a funky groove and an exquisite jazz drive. Well, in the atmosphere of the sun setting, on the Black Sea beach this, definitely, will also be one of the brightest events of the festival.
Another frequent guest of Ukraine and particularly Jazz-Koktebel festival is American Karl Frierson, one of the participants of the German band De Phazz. This time Frierson will perform with Mykolaiv band guided by Volodymyr Alekseyev. This is not their first joint concert. In April 2012, they have already given a joint show in Mykolaiv, and their program is remembered by the incredible cover versions of such hits as Come Together, Only You, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, All Shook Up, On Broadway, and so on. Let's see what musicians will offer their listeners this time.
The performance of Swede Jay Jay Johanson also wouldn’t be a surprise for Ukrainians. Last time he performed in Kyiv - in early July at the festival Atlas Weekend. But at the future festival, his emotional-sad romantic vocals, which fit perfectly to the melancholy-jazz musical background, will be even more appropriate.
Jazz-Koktebel closely cooperates with the Ukrainian scene, which is clearly seen from the diversity of the Ukrainian line-up. Here are participants of the national selection for Eurovision-2017 - Vivienne Mort band, and the pioneers of Ukrainian reggae The VYO with the charismatic Miroslav Kuvaldin and queen of the Ukrainian folktronic Katya Chilly, and TNMK Jazzy (jazz format of TNMK songs which gathered rave reviews even in 2015 - year when they just presented their jazz program), and popular in Ukrainian clubs Vagonovozhatye band, which members previously played music in such notorious projects, as Me and my Friend Truck, Lyuk and DOK.
The Jazz-Koktebel festival is developing and expanding its borders. Compared with last year, where it has four scenes, now the organizers made the fifth scene, connecting it with a tent camp. Film screenings will be held there with the support of the Czech Cultural Center. And throughout all four days as part of Jazz Koktebel, festival of contemporary art Artishok will also take place on its territory. It will involve the stars of Ukrainian Contemporary art and contemporary poetry and literature as Ivan Semesyuk, Yevgeniya Chuprina and Artem Polezhaka. So we can say with certainty: the 15th Jazz-Koktebel festival won’t be boring. See you on the beaches of Chornomorsk!