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The organizing committee of the Master-Jam Festival 2013

Yelena Khanga

The Head of the Festival-Contest organising committee.

Yelena was the first soviet journalist who was invited by exchange to Boston, where the lady was working in one of the most authoritative newspaper «Christian Science Monitor». It would seem that she could stay in the USA and make not such a bad career, but following «the call of forefathers», who had come to USSR to lead communism, Khanga...came back. She appeared on the Russian television 20 years ago in programmes «About That» and later «The Domino Principle». Yelena impressed the community with her professionalism and not ordinary way of thinking at once. Jazz has been always associated with her childhood memories. Her mother, Leah Golden, infused her with love for Jazz music. Leah Golden is an authoritative jazz expert, professor in University of Chicago. It’s interesting that Leah Golden twice took part in Odessa Jazz carnival.

We asked Yelena to answer our traditional "Three questions to the organizing committee":  

You are the head of the Master-Jam Fest organizing committee. Why have you decided to support this undertaking and take part in its organization? What future do you see for this project?

— I’m not the head of the organizing committee. I’m just a person who is inspired by this project and I will help with what I can, because I think that you, youth, is a real locomotive and we are only sitting in the first class. Firstly, Master-Jam is your fest. It’s a pleasure of incomparable improvisation, when you understand your partner without any words. This feeling I can compare with the happiness I experienced, when I was invited to some issues of the programme "The View’’, and it was only the beginning of the programme, or when the programme «About that’’ was being created. How to define happiness? It’s when all your team’s efforts turned up successful. Every time when different musicians play jam session, they understand each other without words, they help each other, they complement and increase the idea, that’s what enchants an audience. It’s the same happiness. If it could be possible to extract this feeling into powder, I’m sure, all drugs and this business would disappear, because this state of euphoria can be easily got when you create great improvisation. That’s why I find the Master-Jam Fest as such an attractive idea for me.


Can this kind of project bring jazz music back into fashion, revive traditions of spontaneous jazz? Introduce into a world musical process something new, live, fresh, genuine?

— Of course. It is its mission. But I think jazz has never gone out of fashion. It’s just for the few. I don’t mean that jazz is something elitist, but pop-music requires much less soul and mental work. And jazz has always been loved by people with open souls, who have their own extraordinary mentality and way of thinking, who love improvisation, and spit when hearing the word «lip-synch», who are ready to experience something new. Jazz can be so different: Latin jazz, cool jazz, mainstream, fusion and people can be of different ages, but the main thing is your young soul. I think if nobody abroad is interested in our pop music, and it’s not about the language problem, but our domestic jazz music can perfectly be performed on the stages all over the world and it will be accepted with success.


In your opinion, why this festival-contest can be interesting for performers from all over the world?

— I guess, I haven’t seen anything like this competition yet in the world. I saw jam sessions, but in a competition form... that’s what I have never met — on the one hand. On the other hand, it’s a great occasion to go to Odessa. Because this city is a perfect combination of humor, the weather, this cheerfulness, spontaneity, that’s really where spontaneity lives! Several very spontaneous adventures happened to me in Odessa, so I think, this fest like that adventures can be only in Odessa. Master-Jam is a good reason not just to enjoy jazz, but also to meet «The Pearl of the Black Sea», I would say the pearl of the whole CIS.

Nikolay Goloshchapov

The member of the Festival-Contest organizing committee

Nikolay Goloshchapov is a well-known jazzman who won love and respect not only in Odessa, but also outside the city, for his dedication to the development of jazz music. He is a founder of the first jazz club in Odessa and also Utesov festival. He is an author, creative director and conductor of Odessa big-band. Nikolay Goloshchapov has been running mainstream and jazz department of the Odessa College of Art and Culture named after K. F. Dankevich for more than 32 years. Goloshchapov’s Big-band is a winner of Ukrainian, all-Union and international jazz festivals.

Jazz elite is proud of friendship with Nikolay Goloshchapov and he is distinguished by his reliability, kindness, ability to help quickly, highest demands to himself, his colleagues and students that is difficult to find in our days.

We asked Nikolay Goloshchapov traditional "Three questions to the organizing committee":

1. You joined the Master-Jam Fest organizing committee. Why have you decided to support this undertaking and take part in its organization? What future do you predict for this project?

There are a lots of contests now – a great many of them and this competition has its own very important feature…The fact is that modern domestic musicians, generally, have narrow specialization. If a musician plays in a symphony orchestra - usually he doesn\’t play in other orchestras, if a musician plays jazz music - he can\’t play in some other bands. It\’s not correct, because the world practice make demands to the musicians that they have to be generalist professionals. That\’s what Michael Freidlin is talking about in conditions that he made and put in the foundation of this competition. The main thing is that performers have to play rock music, jazz music, funk, Latin music and etc. equally good. That is why I collaborate with Mikhail Freidlin.

I certainly believe in success! Let\’s use every possible means to help this great undertaking, whose author is Michael Freidlin!

2. Do you think, such a project can set back jazz music into fashion, reanimate traditions of spontaneous jazz, bring something new, live, fresh, real into the world musical process?

Yes, certainly, that is what we are expecting. We expect that something will happen that will set back an interest in jazz of musicians-performers and by the general public.

I think the main weakness of present state of arts in general and music in particular is a lack of education. That’s a problem. We need more festivals, more lectures, more subscription etc. I really hope that the festival, organized by Mikhail Freidlin, will make its appreciable contribution into this important, in my view, mission. And Master-Jam Fest will cause professional development of jazz musicians.

3. In your opinion, why this festival-contest can be interesting for performers from all over the world?

Such kind of jazz project, certainly, is awesome, because any dialogue, ideas and information exchange is perfect for everyone.

Alexey Kogan

The member of the Festival-Contest organizing committee

A knight of the order «Merit for Polish Culture» (Zasluzony dla Kultury Polskiej), Alexey is a famous radio-presenter and the head of the production centre Jazz In Kiev. It is not by mistake that Alexey is known as «Ukrainian jazz colonel general»! During his youth he taught himself English to be able to read annotations on jazz records. Since then he tirelessly works on increasing jazz space in our country. In various years Alexey Kogan created radio programs on radio «Promin’», «Continent», «Nostalzhi», «Supernova» and «Radio Era FM», but up to know he’s been dreaming of «Becoming the 100% jazz radio program director and be able to broadcast as Willis Conover».

Mikhail Mitropolsky

The member of the Festival-Contest organizing committee

Jazz commentator, TV and radio presenter. Member of Moscow and International Jazz Journalists’ Association (JJA). For about 40 years he has been researching jazz music and phenomena conterminous with music. By education he is a physicist, a scientific associate of the Physics Institute of RAS. Since 1978 he has been giving lectures about history and stylistics of jazz in Moscow College of music improvisation. Since the same time he has led many concerts and jazz music festivals in different cities of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania.

Since 1989 he has been an author of broadcasts on the various Moscow radio stations: “Mayak” (“Beacon”), “Yunost” (“Youth”), “Vozrogdeniye” (“Renaissance”), “Radio 101”, “Otkrytoye radio” (Open Radio)’, radio program ‘’Solo for Jazz’’ on the radio “Nadegda” (“Hope”) and “Govorit Moskva” (“Moscow broadcasts”), since 1999 till now he has been leading a program ‘’Eternal approach’’ on the “Radio Rossii”, that breaks a strict connection between interspecific music partitions, including jazz, under the slogan ‘’search for the truth’’, also a daily heading “Mikhail Mitropolsky musical occasion”. For several years he was a creator of the weekly program “Jazz i ne tolko” (“Jazz and more”) on the TV-channel ACT and ‘’Rambler TV-network’’. His jazz-reviews was published in the magazines “Jazz.Ru”, ‘’Jazz-square’’, ‘‘Yat’’, and ‘’XXL’’, in the newspapers “Nezavisimaya” (“Independant”), “Vecherniy klub” (“Night Club”), etc. Since 1990 for 3 years he was running the publishing company DIALOG-MUSIC. He is the author and creative director of the project of Moscow International music house ‘’European jazz-XXI century’’.

In 1998 Mikhail took part in the creation of the special music project ‘’Vtoroe priblizheniye’’ (“Second approach”, leader Andrey Razin), that combines method of improvisation with profound compositional approach. Mitropolsky continues work on this project, one the several Russian ensembles, that presents not a routine but an original way of jazz and improvisation music development on the domestic and European stage. Since 2007 he has been leading a concert cycle “New Age Improvisation” in Jewish cultural center in Moscow.

Elena Shevchenko

The member of the Festival-Contest organizing committee

Art-Director of Jazz Club «Ragtime» and teacher-methodologist of the Odessa School of Arts and Culture K. F. Dankevich, Elena is organizer and host of concerts and festivals of jazz music, a member of the International Union of Journalists and author of articles on theory and history of jazz (more than 200 materials in mass media).

We asked Elena Shevchenko traditional "Three questions to the organizing committee":

1. You joined the Master-Jam Fest organizing committee. Why have you decided to support this undertaking and take part in its organization? What future do you predict for this project?

— First, I was attracted by some unexpected format of this content. It’s no secret that every contest puts some specific tasks: either of age or style, or tasks on the arranger’s work — they are various. There is some universality in this contest. Of course, there can be no one able to improvise equally convincingly and professionally within the context of such styles as Dixieland or hard bop, bebop, fusion — there are certain priorities. However, with the lapse of time, I understand that such an approach, as proposed by Mikhail Pavlovich for his contest, should be attractive, especially for the young. Universalism is exactly what is in demand. This can be interesting and curious at least. I think that all these panoramic approaches have a very good practice of coming into being, of formation. Apart from that, I was thinking that if musicians from all over the world attended this contest, it is also very interesting, because the musicians enrich their concepts and improvisational techniques of partners of different nationalities. Jazz in this sense is an international phenomenon.

2. Do you think, such a project can set back jazz music into fashion, reanimate traditions of spontaneous jazz, bring something new, live, fresh, real into the world musical process?

- Yes, I think it can. Every festival, every contest stimulates the productive imagination, and a certain interior activity. Especially because it is new, fresh, interesting, something that has not yet happened anywhere before.

3. In your opinion, why this festival-contest can be interesting for performers from all over the world?

- I'll give you one example: there was a big Ukrainian Jazz Festival attended by major figures of American jazz, and Larry Appelbaum, Senior Music Reference Librarian and jazz specialist in the Music Division at the Library of Congress, arrived. When he was asked whether he liked this festival, he replied: Yes, I like it, but there are too many Americans! He came to listen to Europeans. Americans have long been interested in what is happening in the European national jazz. There are some very bright specific features in the Polish jazz, there is the French jazz, and the Russian jazz has also its own characteristics. I'm not talking about direct ethnic influences, but the American specialist tries to find grains of specifics just in Ukraine. Of course, there are original elements, with all the impact of American trends. Moreover, the city of Odessa is also attractive for being visited, watched, for playing here …

Felix Kohriht

The member of the Festival-Contest organizing committee

Member of the Union of Journalists and the Theater Union, chairman of the Center for Contemporary Art, editor of the magazine "Odessa" (until 1996) and the anthology "Deribasovskaya - Rishelyevskaya", deputy editor (1992-1997) of the weekly "Slovo" (word), presenter of the TV program "Sobesednik" (interlocutor), correspondent of “RTN” (USA), collector. Half a century ago he became fascinated with jazz music not encouraged at all by the authorities ("Start playing jazz and you’ll become a traitor!), and after that with collecting records – and all that is Odessa journalist Felix Kohriht. Taking as an axiom the assertion of Leonid Utesov that jazz was born in Odessa, he began collecting also records with Utesov’s songs and everything relating to the concepts of “jazz” and “in Odessa”. By the way, even today Felix Kohriht is certain that Leonid Utesov is an eminent jazz figure, not only a musician but also an organizer and promoter of jazz. He donated those first records (some of which are records "on bones", that is X-ray photographs akin to the "samizdat" in the literature) to the exhibition of the future Museum of Utesov, which was supposed to open (but, alas, was never opened) in Triangular Alley, 11, in the house where Lyodya Vaysbeyn, the future Leonid Utesov, was born…

Andrey Kozyrev

The member of the Festival-Contest organizing committee

A Russian diplomat, the first Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, now the Chairman of Board of Directors in “AKB “Investtorgbank” («АКБ «Инвестторгбанк») Andrey Kozyrev would like to see Odessa as the ‘capital of jazz festivals, and Ukraine the jazz super-state”. Improvisation is considered the soul of jazz. Andrey Kozyrev as a diplomat had to improvise more than once. The improvisations turned out successful, and became not the variations, but the topics of political dialogue. Andrey Kozyrev doesn’t consider himself ‘a regular music lover’, but the constant concert listener, although takes advantage of every chance to appear in the concert hall. He enjoys good music. Rachmaninov tunes him onto a philosophic mood, and jazz music creates positive atmosphere. As Andrey Kozyrev says, it is interesting by its transience, it is wonderfully sensuous; the world of jazz and the world of passion and emotions have a lot in common. A successful improvisation fits wonderfully in relationship between men and women…

Mikhail Freidlin

Author & General Producer

Graduated from the Odessa Polytechnic Institute and postgraduate studies of the Central Economics and Mathematics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Ph.D. in Economics. In 1985 defended his PhD thesis on the specialty “Management in Complex Socio-economic Systems”. Executive Director (pro bono basis) of the Permanent Conference of Heads of Regions of the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Advisor to the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CB “Ukrgasbank”, Adviser to the First Deputy of Odessa City Mayor. Author of scientific articles and books on economic measurements and economic motivations.

Sergey Khalkov

The member of the Festival-Contest organizing committee

Executive producer of the studio "Amigos Film", Sergei was the director of the advertising agency "Arsenal", the creative director of the advertising agency ADV-MEDIA, the executive producer of the film studio "Ilya Muromets". He is seriously passionate about jazz, without missing any truly interesting event of the jazz poster. He lives now in Moscow, where he moved from Odessa, but Odessa is always near.

Anatoliy Kryzhanovskiy

The member of the Festival-Contest organizing committee

Doctor of Laws, Professor, Rector of the International Humanitarian University

«Master-Jam Festival» team

Maya Dimerley

Executive Director
Phone: +38 067 981-67-37

Marcia Gasca Hernandez

Co-producer, Cuba
Phone: +53 529-03-59

Vlad Chubarev

Project Coordinator
Phone: + 38 093 691-20-87
Skype: masterjamfest

Lyudmyla Mazur


Aleksandr Orekhovskyi


Irina Danshina

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