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Forget the stereotypes!
Real jazz is in Koktebel!
All Stars, or a Big Interview with all participants of the Koktebel Jazz Party 2014

All Stars, or a Big Interview with all participants of the Koktebel Jazz Party 2014

The festival has concluded and everybody has dispersed for their homes: the participants, visitors and organizers. All of them are probably now sharing their impressions from the festival with their friends and family. And we would like to share with you, our dear readers, the emotions that the festival’s participants expressed in their interviews.

Andrey Kondakov: "The guitars never went silent here; it was a place for hip people with the same ideals as in the United States in the 1970s. Koktebel preserves this spirit because, I guess, that's what the place was destined to be". Read more…

Petr Vostokov: "Everything has been great. The sound coming from the stage is really good, which is the most important thing for the musicians. The crowds have been wonderful. The food's good and the sea's warm — it's all been amazing! I think the audience liked our music, so I guess it was worth the trip". Read more…

Anton Gorbunov: "The most important thing is that people like it — that's a good sign. Despite common opinion, we Russians don't only like pop songs. Serious instrumental music also has its fans, and that's a great thing!" Read more…

Jeremy Pelt: "This is a very picturesque place, and besides, it's my first visit here. I can't say what I thought and felt about the place before I came here. To be honest, I was a bit worried, but it has turned out to be a really nice surprise for me. Glorious nature, fantastic, positive people. You could tell that people came for the music and not just to stare, even though this is a place where jazz is not the most popular style of music. And it has been a real pleasure to come here and share what's closest to my heart — jazz. The festival is a real success! It's so cool here!" Read more…

Valery Ponomaryov: "I get the impression that someone did a lot of thinking about organizing the festival, about making both the musicians and the audience happy. Usually it's made to please organizers. Koktebel Jazz Party is a world-class festival and the world will come to recognize this soon". Read more…

Vladimir Medinsky: "This is a significant event in the jazz world, not just Crimea, and so we are very pleased that in spite of political changes, the festival continues, and moreover, it is expanding and becoming more popular". Read more…

Dixieland John: "The venue seems to have become traditional. There cannot be any other venue. I can't even think of another place where such a festival could be held other than on this shore, where every person feels free, and jazz means freedom in music. So, this place is perfect". Read more…

The Break Orchestra: "The nature here is fantastic — it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. The audience was very responsive and passionate. It's just the right thing! We were very happy with our performance". Read more…

Shunya Balashova (Shoo band): "I'm enjoying everything. The fact that we were able to take part makes me very proud. First we were a bit shocked by the nudist beach, that was the only thing, but then everything became cool! My soul is filled with joy". Read more…

Anna Klesun: "I have to say, the people here are quite different from Muscovites: they are warmer and more open. The attention you get here is nice, especially when you're coming from Moscow, where people are accustomed to big names and events — it's normal there. Here it's a big event, and everyone treats it as such". Read more…

Denis Shvytov: "I often tour the country and I see how much people yearn for live music. I am not even talking about jazz and all that. People hunger for what is called professional work on stage. Jazz is actually a language of world diplomacy, so how can we quit it? No way!" Read more…

Huun-Huur-Tu: "Koktebel Jazz Party is a festival with wonderful bands. We have a certain interest in jazz itself. Yesterdays' performers and those who will play today and later during the festival, they are all top musicians". Read more…

Tom Harrell Quintet: "Usually, when you arrive at a new place you feel uncomfortable, but here at the Koktebel Jazz Party we feel very comfortable at the festival and appreciate the hospitality and all the positive energy here". Read more…

Felix Lahuti: "I won't expound on it — it's a cult venue, known to everyone. As they say, whoever has loved will understand. The organization is super. The sound is very good. Very good musicians. We're thrilled with it". Read more…

G Wilks: "When Felix said that the festival will be in Koktebel, I was glad, because this is the 20th year since my first visit here. It means a lot for me". Read more…

Ivan Farmakovsky: "As soon as you get here you instantly feel the festive atmosphere. I have met a great number of world-class jazz musicians here, and I am very appreciative that I myself have been able to invite New York-based brilliant and renowned jazz performers". Read more…

Donald Edwards (Ivan Farmakovsky Quartet): "I did not know what to expect as I had never visited this part of your country before. I heard it is beautiful here, and it's true. Now I know what to expect if I visit this place once again". Read more…

Ralph Bowen (Ivan Farmakovsky Quartet): "We had a walk this morning and I was impressed by the beauty of the sea, the small shops selling various beautiful small things. I bought some and I'll take them home with me and give them to my family". Read more…

Kenny Davis: "When Ivan asked me about the trip I asked him, "Are you sure?" But upon arriving here I can say that I am glad and proud to be here". Read more…

Evgeny Revnyuk: "This festival is fantastic. The location is spectacular: the sea coast, Crimea, Koktebel, amazing weather, mountains, optimistic and beautiful people. The crowd was very relaxed, grateful and positive. We enjoyed performing, and will take pleasure in playing here again if we are invited". Read more…

Vladimir Ivanov: "I can say that the Koktebel Jazz Party is on a world-class level". Read more…

The Brown Indian Band: "We enjoyed performing at the festival. The location is well-chosen and has a distinct atmosphere that seems to draw music out of you. We do not want to leave the place". Read more…

Victor Jones (We remember Art Blakey): "I'd like for a similar festival to be organized in New York — and not just in New York, but in the United States in general. If we have such fantastic festival there, I'll be in seventh heaven". Read more…

Stafford Hunter (We remember Art Blakey): "It's not my first time in Russia and I noticed that Russian adore music. This is very cool. I've noticed Russians adore music. The crowd was spectacular — so much energy and so many emotions! To the organizers: If you like my performance, call me! I would like to play here again". Read more…

Hayat Band: "It is not the first time we've visited Koktebel, and we enjoy being here, as always. The atmosphere here is friendly, and everything is going smoothly, just the way it should be". Read more…

Alex Hutchings: "It's a fantastic place! We've just arrived, but we cannot wait to take the stage and play. We are a relatively young band, but I hope that we will be able to bring enjoyment to our audience by playing our slightly different music. We cannot wait to take the stage". Read more…

Detlef Holler: "I'm impressed with the high level of the performers. I will be back next year if I get an invitation". Read more…

The Jamal Thomas Band: "I followed the festival's development on Facebook, then saw the pictures of the stages being built, so I knew in advance that everything would be fine. And so it was. Great organization, great people, great sea and weather. And, of course, pretty girls". Read more…

Anna Buturlina: "It's delightful. A festival on the sea shore is a magical thing. It brings to my mind the Antibes Juan. This is a great idea, and I hope it will continue to thrive in the future. I like it". Read more…

Vahagn Hayrapetyan: "This is one of the best festivals in the world. The organization is excellent — there are plenty of good music and musicians. The sound is charming, which is far from always the case at open-air festivals. And look at the venue where it is being held! This is one of the few festivals where jazz prevails. Maybe this is so because the art director is a musician himself, a great musician. For me it's an honor to be a part of it". Read more…

Zaid Nasser (Vahagn Hayrapetyan Quartet): "For me this is the event of the year. I am in such a wonderful place with a rich history and culture and I'm playing my favorite music. This means a lot to me! Yesterday I went to the jam session and had a great time — as if I was at home with my family". Read more…

Ari Roland (Vahagn Hayrapetyan Quartet): "The festival proves once again that jazz is an international language. Musicians from all over the world have gathered here. It's an honor to be here. I know that this place was visited by many great Russian writers, composers, generally outstanding people. They spent so much time in this place that seems to be a paradise for creative people. This is why it is a great pleasure and honor to be here". Read more…

Keith Balla (Vahagn Hayrapetyan Quartet): "Nature itself inclines one to music and it is very good for a musician to change the scenery. I'm also pleased to see people who came here to listen to jazz. This is simply wonderful. This is making me really happy!". Read more…

Serge Golovnya: "Everything went fine. The audience was wonderful, amazing. You can tell that more sophisticated people have come this year. No one walked away, everyone was paying close attention — it was a pleasure. Generally speaking, I have the very-very best impressions!" Read more…

Mikhail Ikonnikov: "It wasn't just my effort, there were many people involved — everyone has worked very hard. I still can't believe that it actually happened. I'm happy to have been part of this. I'm extremely grateful to Mr. Kiselev for asking me to join this ambitious project. Once again, I want to thank Mr. Kiselev for taking me back to jazz life. I'm not a sentimental person, but as Tom Harrell performed yesterday, to be honest, it brought tears to my eyes to realize that I had a part in bringing a great musician to Russia. This is something unforgettable, and my impressions are amazing. I have tried to speak with all the musicians, both Russian, and if my language skills don't fail me, foreign. They all have praised the music here; they are already saying they can't remember any recent festival that can match this one in terms of the sound, quality and range of participants". Read more…

Dmitry Kiselev: "There is an end to every fairy tale, but our festival will continue next year!" Read more…