Master-Jam Jazz Fest 2013
Press Announcement, Program, Finalists List

«Master-Jam Fest» will bring together more than 40 jazz improvisers
from 16 countries in June 5-8, 2013, in Odessa (Ukraine)

For the first time of the world jazz festivals’ practice more than 40 bright improvisers from 16 countries will meet and unite in star music bands to determine the improviser in the drive atmosphere. Also premieres, exhibitions, workshops, and music surprises will be during Festival days.




MJF is the first in the practice of the world jazz community annual year-round Festival-contest which uses global communication capabilities of the Internet.


MJF is the International Festival-contest. the first season was attended by 271 talented improvisers from 41 countries of the world!


MJF is the conceptually new project. It is based on the principle of jam session. This is both a serious professional skills competition and festival.




The international composition of the organizing committee and jury is consisted of prominent jazz musicians, journalists and connoisseurs of jazz. The chairman of the organizing committee is the well-known Russian TV host Yelena Khanga. The Jury President is legendary Anatoly Kroll.


The specificity of this project is that not the bands or ensembles are invited to participation, but individual performers. «This festival is the first, who draws attention to the most important quality of a jazz musician. It’s the ability to improvise», — said the Jury president, the People’s Artist of Russia, Anatoly Kroll.


Qualifying round — is completely interactive and takes place in the Internet space. Registration for participation in the Festival-contest is absolutely free of charge for musicians. Members of the jury and the audience get acquainted with the participants on the project website.


In parallel with the jury polling, which determines the finalists, Internet-audience polling takes place online for the People’s Choice Award. Anyone of online participants can get this prize, even if he/she did not become a finalist. More than 270 jazz improvisers from 41 countries have already taken part at the Master-Jam Online Preselection. Professionals and jazz lovers from more than 140 countries follow the development of this project at the official website


The final part goes live in «jazz» cities of the world. All the expenses associated with travel and accommodation of those participants, who passed to the final round, are covered by the festival organisers. The first final of Master-Jam Jazz Fest will be held in Odessa from 5th to 8th June 2013 in Odessa Academic Russian Theatre (Ukraine). MJF Final days will be accompanied by TV and Internet broadcasts.


Each day of the contest the young and famous musicians from 16 countries will have the opportunity to compete on an equal footing in jazz improvisation skills. Among them there are the well-known American saxophonist, nominated for Grammy Jay Rodriguez, and one of the greatest guitarists in the history of rock, blues and jazz music Melvin Taylor, and even a 9-year-old jazz prodigy from Indonesia Joey Alexander, who played in front of «jazz icon» Herbie Hancock. More information about each of the finalists of the project at


At the Final days of the competition, each of the 43 improvisers will show his improvisational and ensemble opportunities in a variety of jazz styles — Swing and Bebop (June 5), Ballad, Jazz-rock and Funk (June 6), Latin jazz and Fusion (7 June).
Each competitive day unfamiliar musicians able to create spontaneously will be brought together in ensembles by drawing lots. The new day of competition is a new style of jazz ensemble and new compositions of all the contestants.
The Contest program of each of three days for each of ensembles includes three themes. Two of them are from the list of recommended jazz standards most often accepted during jam sessions, the third is a composition at contestants’ discretion in the style of the contest day.


In June 8  the Festival Gala concert will be held. It will be the simultaneous performance of all the Master-Jam stars in the consolidated Big band under conduction of Anatoly Kroll, winners in each category («instrument») awarding and the Grand Prix awarding. Also on June 8 it will be the premiere of a member of the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, legendary jazz percussionist Vladimir Tarasov, who will be for the first time to play at the Master-Jam Fest Gala in a duet with the legendary Odessa pianist — Sergei Terent’ev. All contest days and the Gala will start at 18:00 (6 PM).


And it will be another gift for Odessa during the Festival. It will be the presentation of the exhibition «The Sixties» by Vladimir Tarasov (artist, percussionist, composer, conductor) in Odessa Museum of Contemporary Art in June 4 at 5 PM (Belinsky 5 str.).


And in June 9 at 12:00 one of the participants of the Master-Jam 2013, the leading American saxophonist, flutist and clarinetist, twice nominated for Grammy in the category of «the best jazz solo», Hernan Jay Rodriguez (USA) will make the workshop with all musicians and jazz lovers (Great Hall of the Odessa College of Art and Culture named aft. K. Dankevich (Dvoryanska 32 str). The enter and participation at the workshop is free.


After the Gala concert in June 8 at 10 PM the main festival After party will be held at the new Concert-hall «Odessa» (Gagarin plateau, 5).
After each day of the festival there also will be held «open jam sessions» at 10 PM: June 5 — at the night club «Park Residence» (French Boulevard, 85); June 6 — at the Italian restaurant «Fratelli» (Greek Street, 17 ); June 7 — at the «Arcadia Plaza» (Posmitnogo 1 str, Arcadia district).





Participants of the MASTER-JAM FEST Live Final 2013 in Odessa (Ukraine):





:: Alexis Bosch — one of the most authoritative representatives of the jazz movement in Cuba;
:: Roksana Smirnova (Ukraine) — the pianist and composer, the participant of many festivals in Ukraine, Russia, Europe and the USA’
:: Joey Alexander — 9-year-old wunderkind from Indonesia, who played for renowned Herbie Hancock;
:: Alexey Petukhov — Ukrainian jazz pianist, composer and conductor;
:: Alexey Bogolyubov (Ukraine) — jazz pianist and composer, who masterly combines Ukrainian ethnic traditions with Jazz (also as the member of the well-known Katya Chilly Group).



— BASS —

:: Ran Levi  (Israel) — the extraordinary performer on the bass guitar, composer, pedagogist, who subtly uses colorful folk motives in his jazz compositions;
:: Ruben Ramos Medina — the Panamanian bass guitarist with remarkable memorable sound and real groove performing;
:: Valeriy Burymchenko  (Ukraine) — the very experienced bass-guitarist, who has been playing in various Odessa jazz projects since 80’s of the previous century;
:: Ilya Alabuzhev (Austria) — bass and double-bass player, composer. Experienced flexible musician with sense of ensemble. He had an experience of playing with the best musicians from many countries;
:: Vitaly Phesenko (Ukraine) — the talented double-bass player, composer, arranger, the member of various experimental projects (classical, jazz, ethno-fusion).




:: Ignat Kravtsov — the Russian jazz drummer and composer, he was entered to the list of Vladimir Feyertag jazz encyclopedia;
:: Stanislav Zilberman — the one of leading Israeli drummers performing in jazz, Latin music and fusion;
:: Yissi Garcia — the young Cuban drummer, she has already become a cult figure in jazz environment in Cuba, temperamentally performing funk, Latin, jazz and electronic music;
:: Sandy Winarta — the Indonesian jazz drummer, hardbop influence сan be heard in his playing, as well as a jazz approach to the performance of traditional Indonesian and Balinese music, he played together with the legendary Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra, and others;
:: Nacho Megina Martinez  — the Spanish jazz drummer, it is biased to rhythms of flamenco, Latin and even Indian rhythms, equally as the classics.




:: Hernan Jay Rodriguez (USA) — the American saxophonist, flutist and clarinetist with Colombian origins, one of foundators and members of the well-known New York’s «Groove Collective», has been nominated twice for a Grammy in the best jazz solo category. He palyed with many famous performers, such as Celia Cruz, Gil Evans band, Chucho Valdes, the Mingus Big Band, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Stevie Wonder, Joan Osborne, Debbie Harry (Blondie), Parliment Funkedelic, Irakere, Wynton Marsalis, Cab Calloway, Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Tupac Shakur, Little Louie Vega, Prince, Gangstar, Dj Premiere, George Porter Jr. He has performings on the stage with James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Erykah Badu, The Roots, BB King and others. Some of the achievements of Jay Rodriguez have recently entered to the «Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz» (authors: Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler);
:: Alain Oyono — the Cameroonian saxophonist, who has absorbed the power of African traditional sounds. He played with famous Richard Bona, as well as many African and Caribbean stars;
:: Alexey Leon Reyes — the Russian saxophonist, soloist of the State Cinematography Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra of the New Opera Theatre in Moscow, and others;
:: Oleg Velikanov (Russia) — the saxophonist of the legendary Kim Nazaretov Orchestra (Rostov-on-Don), the lecturer;
:: Oleg Subbotin (Ukraine) — the permanent soloist of Odessa jazz orchestra, the pedagogist.




:: Roberto Garcia  — the world-class Cuban trumpeter, he shared the stage with famous Chucho Valdes and others;
:: Andrey Zyl (Belarus) — the jazz trumpeter, sideman, improviser, arranger, winner of the Kim Nazaretov International Competition, the best trumpeter-improviser of the Jazz Fontana International Competition, he played with such renowned musicians as Al Jarreau, Kevin Mahogany, Yvonne Sanchez, Igor Butman, Valery Sheritsa, Adam Teratsuyan and many others;
:: Gerhard Ornig — the Austrian trumpeter, composer, arranger, member of projects by Anton Pivovarov «Point of Departure», Graz Composers Orchestra, Julia Maier Jazz Orchester, HGM Jazz Orchestra Zagreb and others;
:: Myroslav Pyatnikov (Ukraine) — the talented trumpeter, which is well-known and appreciated by Ukrainian jazz circles, he palyed together with Ashley Slater, Stoyan Yankulov and many others;
:: Dominik Fuss — the Austrian jazz trumpeter from Vienna, multi-faceted in his musical direction (all kinds of jazz (from the 20’s to contemporary), Balkan music, funk, orchestral music).




:: Odei Al-Magut (The Netherlands) — the talented and charismatic trombonist, an alumnus of the well-known jazz school named after Kim Nazaretov (Rostov-on-Don, Russia), he played together with musicians such as Nils Landgren, John Clayton, Robin Eubanks, Alex Sipiagin, Gene Jackson, Jerry Bergonzi, Dennis Rowland, Ali Jackson, New Centropezn Jazz Quartet;
:: Vitaliy Vladimirov — the Russian trombonist, composer, arranger, conductor, he took part at the experiments in the formation of the modern musical space of chamber theater, participated in concert tours and studio sessions of the Russian, European and American musicians (George Garanyan, Askhat Saifullin, Sergey Pron’, Igor Parashchuk, Roy Young, Peter Brettsmann, Richie Cole, Vitaly Imirelli, Jesse Jones, Julia Nixon, Denise Hernandez, Nicole Henry Melton Mustafa, Stanley Jordan, Kevin Mahogany, Charles Cook, Ron Holloway, Mihai Cohen);
:: Moran Baron — the trombone and bass player from Israel, he played together with Bobby Sanabria, Salsa Picante, Charlie Percip Big Band, Joe Deninzon and the band Stratusphirious, Alex Sckolnik, Smalls Big Band and Jason Linder, Matt Miller Big Band and many others;
:: Sergey Dolzhenkov (Russia) — the bright trombonist from St. Petersburg, a member of the «Intellectual resources of Russia» program, he was awarded as the Best in his nomination at this program, he co-works together with leading musicians in Russia and abroad;
:: Evgeniy Handishko (Ukraine) — the trombonist, which is appreciated by Ukrainian jazz circles, he takes participation in different experimental projects, is opened to new experiences and collaborations, the permanent soloist of Odessa Big band.




:: Melvin Taylor, (USA) — one of the guitarists recognized as the greatest in the history of rock, blues and jazz music. He performed in front of thousands fans all over the world. The admirers of his music in Argentina, Canada, China, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, and, certainly, the USA always enjoyed his virtuosic guitar-playing style and breathtaking solos;
:: Meir Ben Michael — the Israeli guitarist with Moroccan origins, he combines the Moroccan music with the B-Pop in his music works, he played with famous George Benson, released an album, to the record of which another Master-Jam finalist, saxophonist Hernan Jay Rodriguez was attended;
:: George Stavroulakis — the Greek guitarist considers himself an electric guitar «enthusiast» with experience in various contemporary genres, including post-bop, contemporary jazz, jazz/fusion, funk and rock;
:: Maxim Shibin — the Russian guitarist, was born in Germany, he is a permanent member of the organ trio by Vladimir Nesterenko, Orchestra by Peter Vostokov, Alina Rostotskaya projects and co-works with Alexei Kuznetsov, Vladimir Danilin, and others;
:: Vitaliy Tkachuk — the jazz guitarist, which is reputable in the Ukrainian jazz environment, he studied in Berlin and India, has collaborated and performed with jazz famous performers such as Chanda Rule, Ray Brown Jr., Ashley Slater, Louis Austin, Vladimir Chekasin, pop performers, he is interested the Indian classical music, plays on the bansuri (Indian bamboo flute).




:: Viktorija Pilatovic — the Lithuanian-born jazz singer from Spain, she collaborated with many outstanding musicians. Among them there is the world-renowned bass-guitarist Victor Wooten, with whom Viktoria performed her own compositions, including at the Berklee Yamaha All-Stars concert with the participation of Abraham Laboriel, Perico Sambeat and Victor Mendoza. Victoria has performed with the PCC Sympho-Jazz orchestra under conduction by the legendary John Clayton, at the Jazz Festival in Montreux (Switzerland), now she prepares her debut album, which will include both her authors compositions and unique arrangements of well-known jazz standards, combining jazz , hip-hop and soul;
:: Tamara Lukashevа (Ukraine-Germany) — the talented jazz vocalist with mesmerizing vocal and instrumental sound thinking, a graduate of the Odessa college of Arts, she continues her studying in Koln, often takes part at international experimental projects of new jazz;
:: Anna Kolchina (Russia) — the jazz vocalist with a charming velvet and truly «swing» voice in every note, the winner of different international competitions;
:: Carola Zerega — remarkable singer from South America (Ecuador), she also plays on percussion. In her performing manner Carola is devoted to the roots and traditions, delivering unrestrained delight and deep sorrow, fixed in Latin folk songs, and true jazz swing pulsation through her singing.
:: Gregory Boyd (Denmark) — singer/songwriter and electric steel pan instrumentalist. Gregory Boyd lays down the vocals, incendiary electric Steel drum work and impressive songwriting skills for his unique new sound all of which has been described as the single most important thing that has graced the steel drum instrument. Gregory Boyd «plays his own blues inspired universal sound» — that is described by Pan on the Net as, «With the genius and aloofness of Monk, blended with the soulfulness of an Al Green, coupled with the musical presence of a Jimi Hendrix, Boyd can jazz, funk and ring in the blues, and have you shaking your head as you come to the realization he cannot be pigeon-holed».




:: Wissam Arram  — percussionist, which plays on darbuka, an Arabic ethnic drum instrument. He has been playing this instrument for 26 years. In the middle of his career when he already perfectly played all kinds of Arabic music he went to Florida (USA) to take his instrument to a new direction. He learned how to play Latin rhythms and technique on Congas and Bongos and made the same with the drum set especially in funk rhythms and jazz music. He can play original «funky» rhythms on darbuka. He played with the famous saxophone player Arny Lewrans and the well-known drummer Max Roge;
:: Boris Plotnikov — the Russian harmonica player and teacher, the soloist of V.Vladimirov Big band, he plays together with various authors and performers: Andrey Kozlovskiy, Pavel Fahrtdinov, Umka (Anna Gerasimova). He founded the first and unique state class harmonica in Russia on jazz-pop department of the Sverdlovsk Music College named after P.Tchaikovsky;
:: Nelly Manukian — the only one professional improvising jazz flutist in Armenia. Her first steps as jazz flutist passed under the leadership of known American jazz pianist Armen Donelian. For many years she played in Armenian symphonic orchestra of radio and television. She participated in different musical projects and jazz festivals of Armenia. Nelly performed with many musicians such as in Bobbie Sanabria, Armen Donelian, Garner Thomas, Ric Taylor, etc. She went on tour in England, Russia.
Now Nelly cooperates with leading musicians of Armenia and with the state Jazz Band of Armenia. Being the musician improvisator, Nelly performs in various styles of jazz, jazz-rock, rock, fusion, Brazilian jazz and Latina.


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More details about all Master-Jam finalists at


Finalists have already been defined by the Jury decicson, but the Online polling for the «People’s Сhoice Prize» is held at the festival website
The contestant who will be not a finalist of the Master-Jam Fest, still might be a winner and to get this Prize.




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