Koktebel Jazz Festival

Koktebel Jazz Festival
Photo: koktebel.info
The Koktebel Jazz Festival, also known as Jazz Koktebel, is the largest open air music festival in Ukraine and one of the country’s most significant jazz events. It attracts about 20,000 jazz lovers every year.

Koktebel is a settlement in South-Eastern Crimea, best known for its literary associations with famous Russian poets of the Silver Age, such as Maximilian Voloshin, Marina Tsvetaeva, Osip Mandelshtam, and Andrei Bely. The Koktebel Jazz Festival was founded in 2003 as an attempt to revive Koktebel’s reputation as the cultural center of the region. Originally held in August, the festival was moved to the second half of September (the so-called velvet season in Crimea) in 2006.

In 2014, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation, and the organizers decided to relocate the festival to Odessa Oblast (province) and move it back to August. They didn’t rename it though because the Koktebel Jazz Festival had become very popular by that time and they felt that re-branding was unnecessary. Due to Odessa’s warm climate and location by the sea, the festival remained just as popular after relocation.

The Koktebel Jazz Festival is focused on classic jazz, nu jazz, and world music. It offers an exciting line-up of Ukrainian and international performers. Over the years, the festival has welcomed many renowned musicians, including Nino Katamadze, De-Phazz, Stanley Clarke, Us3, Billy Cobham, Deborah Brown, The Cinematic Orchestra, Eric Serra, Al Foster Quartet, Oi Va Voi, Courtney Pine, and others. The Koktebel Jazz Festival also features up-and-coming musicians, helping some of them get their big break.

There are several stages at the festival: the Nu Jazz Stage, the Open Stage, the Jazz and Sea Stage, the Campfire Stage, and the Special Stage. Alongside jazz concerts and jam sessions, Jazz Koktebel features the ARTISHOCK program. ARTISHOCK is an art festival that encompasses all kinds and genres of contemporary art, from visual arts to literature and independent cinema. Its program includes film screenings, lectures, open interviews and discussions, exhibitions and art performances, and more. All events have free admission.

Koktebel Jazz Festival

Photo: Valentina Bezdushna



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