Jazz it up in Koktebel

Jazz in Italian tints: Matthew Lee’s band to highlight KJP 2021 wrap-up

Jazz in Italian tints: Matthew Lee’s band to highlight KJP 2021 wrap-up

Italian pianist Matthew Lee and his band will play compositions from their new album at the festival. The songs were composed before the pandemic but actually recorded during the lockdown. It was this album that kept the musicians sane when absolutely all concerts were canceled, the pianist said at the news conference at the Koktebel Jazz Party festival.

The musician acknowledged that he loves coming to Russia and is always met with a warm and sincere welcome. 

“I would like to stress one point. People in Russia know much about Italy but the same cannot be said about Italians, I am very sorry about that. Russia is a beautiful country. On my visits to Russia I always discover a lot of new and interesting things,” Matthew confessed.

This time he was pleasantly surprised by Koktebel. 

“Such a wonderful place! Russia is normally linked with snow and cold while here it is hot and beautiful, just like in Miami,” the musician said.

He promised to please the audience with diversity. “There will be a couple of swift and upbeat compositions today but we will also perform some ballads.”

The Koktebel Jazz Party international festival is taking place in the artistic village of Koktebel on August 20-22. According to the organizing committee, in order to access the venue guests are required to provide a negative PCR test dated no earlier than August 18, 2021, test of antibodies to COVID-19 S-protein dated no earlier than May 25, 2021, or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. Performers, VIP guests, the festival’s personnel and journalists are also required to provide one of the three documents: a vaccination certificate, test of antibodies or a negative PCR test.

This year, Koktebel Jazz Party performances will be held in a new format: the shows will be filmed. The festival streams can be found on its website and social media accounts. The number of spectators will be limited.

Koktebel Jazz Party was established in 2003 and it was the idea of journalist Dmitry Kiselev. In different years, the festival was attended by jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb (US), winner of a Grammy Award for the best Latin Jazz album Gonzalo Rubalcaba (Cuba), many-time Grammy winner trumpeter Randy Brecker (US), best baritone saxophonist of the last decade Gary Smulyan (US), nu-jazz stars Club Des Belugas (Germany), and one of the most talented representatives of the modern world blues scene, guitarist Selwyn Birchwood (US).

Vladimir Putin was a guest of KJP-2017. The festival is organized by the Krasny Kvadrat (Red Square) media group.