Recently finished 32nd Belgrade Jazz Festival (October 26-30, Belgrade Youth Center and Sava Center) recorded the attendance of over 17000 spectators (9200 sold tickets), most of whom were young people. As it was the case in the last few years, top selection brought to Belgrade some of the best and most talented contemporary jazz artists, more precisely 120 musicians from 16 countries, who performed on 20 concerts. It has been a while since a large number of people from Belgrade demonstrated how much they appreciate outstanding music festivals and particularly world jazz!
The festival already has international credibility – aside from notable presence of relevant international media and not just jazz publications, we are particularly proud that a number of concert agents, managers and record executives from different parts of the world attended the festival, which testifies to the fact that BJF is accepted as a significant part of the world’s music community and concert market. The total of 100 accredited reporters, out of which 30 from international media (from USA to Russia, the presence of several most renowned jazz critics was also noted) covered the festival, whereby the festival had 32 media sponsors from the country.
The preparations for the festival started last year and the first concerts were confirmed in February. The campaign lasted six months (starting from April 1), exceeding the record for published announcements and interviews. It is fairly certain that last year’s book containing 350 pages of articles about Belgrade Jazz Festival will be surpassed.
All concert reviews were positive – after many years, two days of program in Sava Center consisting of four concerts, attracted the biggest crowds, yet the general quality of all performances and good attendence of small performances makes evident the high position that the festival currently maintains. Everybody can agree – none of the artists who performed was not randomly invited to Belgrade Jazz Festival and that is why all performances will be remembered. Regardless of whether we talking about chopped up Latino rhytms of Alfredo Rodriguez or subtle notes of Vlada Maričić and trumpet player Brian Lynch, unforgetable seductive trio of Avishai Cohen or Antonio Serrano’s harmonica, fantastic free jazz ventures by Jack DeJohnette or meaningful improvisations by Dave Holland and all-star ensamble Aziza, Vincent Peirani’s passion or Gianluca Petrella’s mystic energy, lyrical charm of Portuguese big band Orchestra Jazz De Matosinhos – all of them amazed the audience and entered the history of Belgrade Jazz Festival with their memorable musical creations and eventful atmosphere. The night program also had its share of big stars, such as magnificantly emotional Tord Gustavsen, dynamic David Helbock and melancholic, yet endlessly playfull Sao Paulo Underground, as well as all others who performed in this time slot – they became new heroes!
Memory simply can not store all these impressions, which seem already to invite more sensations that will arrive in 2017 with 33rd Belgrade Jazz Festival.
With this year’s edition of Belgrade Jazz Festival, as an event with particular significance for the City of Belgrade and the member of European Jazz Association, the festival definitely entered the list of artistically relevant, renowned European mid-sized festivals. Many bigger European cities can not boast with such homegrown cultural brand, while the task of our loyal audience is to continue to support it, the same way it was doing it all these years with unparallel confidence. This is the reason why the festival is always dedicated to maintaining of unbreakable bond between musicians and audience, as well as celebrating music as an art form. And that is the only winning formula we have – the fact that such great unity of world music community is demostrated every year in Belgrade is the biggest reward for all of us.
Planet Jazz has been conquered!