What's so special about the Arkhangelsk Jazz Festival?
After coming home from the 15th Jazzdays at Arkhangelsk, knowing that this should have been the last festival there, I feel a great loss. I feel that our world is poorer now.
Why this festival was so very special, why this festival had his own character and importance?
I find some answers to this question, please let me explain what I mean:
For the participating musicians, the festival gave the chance to meet, to perform together, to find new contacts and friends. And by this, russian musicians got in contact with musicians from different countries, and new possibilities for them opened. The festival laid the foundation for international musical exchange.
Beside the renowned musicians from Russia, local musicians participated at the festival as well. The festival opened the stage for them. This shows that Vladimir Resitzky not only confronted the audience with ensembles from different places, he integrated the local ensembles as well.
If you consider that the festival took place 15 times now, and how the world changed in these years, it is obvious that this festival with all its ambitions played an important role: it helped to look over fences, to cut curtains...
For the russian musicians, it was a window to contemporary jazz, and for the foreign musicians it opened the door to terra incognita.
For the audience the festival was the opportunity to listen to high-quality jazz. From Russia and from elsewhere. By this, the people developed musical knowledge and they had the unique chance to compare national and international jazz and to experience the musical development. The people in the Arkhangelsk audience were, as far as I noticed during my three visits, experts.
Already at my first visit in 1992, I was jealous, because the children in the West mostly miss musical education. Children concerts are very seldom.
And here in Arkhangelsk, this concert offered direct contact with the musicians to the children, the musicians prepared special performances for them. They were taken serious, if I can say it this way.
If a child was taken to this concerts during his childhood, it got a unique lesson: Jazz Music is an art, and it is has the same value as classical music. What a special chance for a girl or a boy!
At every festival, Journalists and Jazz-Experts were invited by Vladimir Resitsky. By their articles, radio programs etc., Arkhangelsk got an international reputation. Sailors and business men, who stayed in Arkhangelsk at the time of the festival, took the chance and came to the concerts. Their reports also spread the name of Arkhangelsk in the world, Arkhangelsk, a city which is open to the world.
We must be grateful to Vladimir Resitzky and his keen and stubborn work. He made our world richer. And we are grateful to the city of Arkhangelsk and all institutions which contributed to the festival, all sponsors who helped to let it happen!
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