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The sixteenth Jazz Bez festival

One of the biggest jazz events of year - the sixteenth Ukrainian-Polish jazz festival Jazz Bez was held from 2nd till 11th of December!

The sixteenth Jazz Bez was a true holiday for judges of jazz in seventeen Ukrainian and Polish culture centres.

Numerous concerts and improvisational jamsessions were held in Lviv, Kyiv, Ternopil, Uzhhorod, Luck, Rivne, Drohobych, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Severodonetsk and in Polish Przemyrzl, Lublin, Bialostok, Europian Capital of Culture-2016 – Wroclaw, Warsaw, village Nowica – birth-place of poet Bohdan Ihor Antonych.

Scores of experienced and young jazzmen from USA, Canada, Cuba, Japan, Italy, Spain, Luxemburg, Belgium,Germany, Sweden, Poland and Ukraine performed in Lviv Philharmonic.

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Jazz Bez festival was held on Levandivka micro-district second year. This time Suputnyc culture centre was changed into true jazz underground. Victoria Gardens shopping centre, exclusive partner of festival, joined to well-known in Lviv jazz locations. Here were held concert of such bands as Dzyga Jazz Quintet, project of Lviv saxophonist Ryshard Kanafosky, acoustic concerts of young musicians from «LvivJazzClub».

International research and practical conference about Ukrainian jazz on the crossroad of cultures: real state, tendency and perspective, in which took part Lviv jazzmen, students and lecturers of M.V.Lysenko Lviv state music academy. The special events of festival were work-shops given by American legend bas-player David Friesen and Polish vocalist and lecture Grzegorz Karnas.

Olga Fraze-Frazenko from OFF Laboratoty captured on video every jazz concerts and short interview with musicians.

The festival has begun with impressive performance of new common project of Ukrainian jazz drummer Ihor Gnydyn and famous Polish vocalist Grzegorz Karnas «Karnas-Gnydyn Quartet», consisting also of Lviv pianist Anastasia Lytvyniuk and Polish double-bass player Mariusz Praśniewski. Concert was extraordinary, emotional and harmonic, was remembered for special vocal and fictional language of Polish bandleader. The second band, who performed, was «Letters From København» Spanish-Sweden-Polish Quintet, who were gathered by famous Spanish drummer Carlos López. Project performed in Ukraine with Lviv pianist Jurii Seredin.

The second festival day has begun with performance of Budniak/Bakovsky INTERMEDIUM QUINTET, young virtuosos from Poland, Cuba and Ukraine. They presented jazz compositions and own arrangements to Ukrainian folk songs. Sisters in Jazz, powerful women jazz project gathered full house of jazz judges! This band consists of famous musicians from Japan, USA, Italy, Germany and Poland. Jazzwomen shown great skills and individuality as by cooperative playing as by separate jazz solos.


The third festival day was one of the most awaited for true judges of jazz. The evening has started with performance of famous double-bass player from USA and Ukraine - David Friesen & Andrew Arnautov Project. Bass player duet is quite unique phenomenon not only for JazzBez festival, as for world jazz scene too. David also played some own compositions on piano. On the second part of the concert we could listen to great performance of Skicki-Skiuk young Polish quartet, who won this year competition of famous «Jazz nad Odrą» festival. Inspite of tender age, musicians shown great skills and again proved their precedence.

NEW BRAIN TRIO & Michael Balog project played Ukrainian future jazz the first time in Suputnyc culture centre on Levandivka microdistrict. Inspite of low temperature in hall, musician could create really warm atmosphere and right feeling of true jazz underground. Concerts on Levandivka micro-district were initiated by  Julia Khomchn, manager of culture projects, who was chosen as Lviv city council deputy from this district. We hope, that from now jazz on Levandivka and other micro-districts will be an inalienable part of festival!


NEW BRAIN TRIO & Michael Balog project performed after the concert on Levandivka with new program on Lviv Philharmonic. Here was less jazz rock, but more acid jazz and improvisations from Ukrainian saxophonist  Michael Balog. At the first time in Ukraine we could listen to modern Luxembourg jazz of Pol Belardi Quartet.


The first time took held the concert of famous Wroclaw pianist Karasiewicz Power Set. Musicians combined jazz with electronic and improvisations. REDNAXELA international project was welcome surprise for jazz judges. Project was initiated by Canada jazzman of Ukrainian heritage Alex Maxymiw and presented unique program of world musician, who live and create in USA, Canada, Belgium and Germany. It`s important to emphasize Alex efforts. He is not only initiator of REDNAXELA project as also author of projects compositions.


Dzyga Jazz Quintet granddaddies of Ukrainian jazz presented their long-awaited CD-album. Initiator of CD recording, famous Ukrainian journalist Andrii Kulykov, came to tell about this occasion and together with our charming festival emcee Marta Bilska moderated the concert. Performance of Ken Vandermark-Klaus Kugel-Mark Tokar world free-jazz trio was the most powerful ending of festival.

We hope, that JazzBez festival, thanks which to Ukraine come a lot of distinguished jazzmen from around the world, our musicians create international projects, Lviv is now Ukrainian jazz city will continue his development and gather people around jazz for a rather long time!

More about festival performances you can read in the articles of Ukrainian journalist and musicologist Olexii Yudin on Zbruc.eu web-site:
• Duet of double-bass players: David Friesen and Andrew Arnautov (in Ukrainian)
• Carlos López: «Letters From København» (in Ukrainian)
• Sisters in Jazz (in Ukrainian)
• Midway of Jazz Bez 2016 (in Ukrainian)
• Expecting of JazzBez continuation (in Ukrainian)

Festival photographers: Rostyslav Pavlyk, Polina Pavlova and Kostia Smolianinov.

Exclusive partner ofJazzBez festival: VictoriaGardens shopping centre

Accommodation hospitality:Ibis Styles Hotel

We would like to express our special acknowledgement to State boarder guard service of Ukraine, thanks to which all concerts were held well-timed.

Festival were held under the patronage of Ambassador of Ukraine to PolandAndrii Deshchycia.

Project was cofinanced  byMinistry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland

Supported byPolsko – UkrainskaIzbaGospodarcza

Exclusivemediapartners:ТРК «Люкс»,радіо 24,Телеканал новин 24та ZAXID.NET


Information partner:OLD FASHIONED RADIO


Festival organizers: Dzyga artistic association (Lviv),Polish Institute in Kiev,Institute of Actual Art(Lviv),General Consulate of Poland in Lviv,Lviv City Council, TranskulturaFundacion(Ukraine), Lviv Philarmonic,Music:LX | Luxembourg Export Office,General Consulate of Poland in Lviv,Centrum Kulturalne w Przemyślu,Centrum Kultury w Lublinie, Warsztaty Kultury (Lublin),Fundacja Polski Jazz,Lutsk jazz club, Jam jazz club(Rivne),Koza artistic association(Ternopil),Shynok art-club(Ternopil), NGO Virmenska 35 (Lviv), Artistic Council «Dialogue» ,Polish Tourist Organization,  Indie Independent Cultural Centre(Kharkiv), Kharkiv Human RightsProtection Group(Kharkiv)


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Respect yourself – listen to jazz!