It’s a sunny morning, but rather cold. Last night’s dense fog has almost completely lifted. I’m walking down Zmaj Jovina Street and, passing by the tables and chairs set in front of cafes and pastry shops, I’m wondering whether it is possible that the guests who have chosen to have a cup of coffee or tea in the open air, in the street ambience, aren’t cold. I’m not cold either, but I’m certainly not warm.
Nobody’s strolling, everybody is rushing somewhere. I’m rushing, too; in a hurry to give a public announcement of the upcoming Novi Sad Jazz Festival in the Saturday afternoon programme “Saturdays with You” of Radio Novi Sad. The title of the show is old, the building is the same, the studio is another one, however, the environment is familiar, as are some faces, while some are new.
I can still feel the atmosphere from the workshop we presented last night within the introductory programme of the Festival.
El Sistema – few words, but they mean a lot. It is a project that includes children whose childhood is not rich in material things, they lack even the things that are modest, basic. Such childhood is neither peaceful, nor cosy, indeed. El Sistema includes children who grow richer spiritually through music and, thus, experience the world and themselves in it in a different way, who are becoming creative, which gives them some feeling of security, and an opportunity to recognise their our abilities and talents.
The morning is sunny, the city is waking up. The fog has lifted, disappeared somewhere for the short time I spent announcing the programme of the Novi Sad Jazz Festival. Adam and Fedor, Milena, Zsolt and Vukašin are packing their suitcases and notes; they are travelling to Dortmund. In several days, they and the musicians from Dortmund and Rostov-on-Don will be in Novi Sad, they will be playing at the Novi Sad Jazz Festival, with the desire to achieve a goal, to win the title of the European Capital of Culture for Novi Sad, to make it the capital of youth … to make it the Capital of Culture, European, our…
It is five to noon.
I’m in Liberty Square. I remember one night, or maybe it was a dawn. I can still hear the cheerful voices coming from Theatre Square. The Jam Session, the beautiful crowd, the smiling people, the joy on the podium, the joy around it. I’m meeting those who have just arrived in Novi Sad and are going to the Serbian National Theatre, towards the place of the event and the place of the gathering.
During the Novi Sad Jazz Festival no one is or can be alone, even if they come to the main concert programme alone. The voices of the youth, everywhere, good rhythm, a feeling that is shared by all of those in the theatre, in the lobby during breaks, or in front of the main gate of the Theatre, are so good and so powerful, so strong.
It’s almost noon. A woman whose face is wrapped in a scarf is feeding pigeons on the square.
There is a sound of the guitar and cajon, and a voice, coming from some corner. It’s not jazz, it’s a good old rock tune, but this same song has its jazz cover, as well.
The poster of the Novi Sad Jazz Festival dominates from the place reserved for event announcements. I paused. Other people stopped too, one after another. I was reading the information from the poster, just like everyone else who came closer to see what it was about. I overheard the question: When do the concerts at the Theatre start? The answer came: At eight, don’t you know that? And a woman’s voice said: I do, but I can’t see it written anywhere. Male: At 8 pm, I’m telling you, everyone knows that.
Yes, the main concert programme in the Serbian National Theatre begins at 8 in the evening.
The 17th Festival is ahead of us!
This year we will have the pleasure to enjoy the charms of vocal jazz. The Novi Sad Jazz Festival will, for the first time, host guests from Turkey, the Selen Gülün Trio, the Italian Carla Marcotulli – Miona Deler duo and, as a continuation of the several-years long cooperation, Norbert Gottschalk and Dian Partiwi with the East West European Jazz Orchestra from our twin city of Dortmund, the Portuguese singer Maria Joao in a duo with pianist Mario Laghina, Sandra Klemm with her new project, and brilliant Kevin Mahogany for the end.
To my personal satisfaction, we will see and hear a performance of one of today‘s leading saxophonists, Mark Turner, with his quartet, Joey Calderazzo, a first-class pianist with a solo concert, the RTS Big Band with our national and international legend Dusko Goykovich, and afore mentioned Kevin Mahogany with Tony Lakatos.
Enjoy the magic of live music and welcome to the 17th Novi Sad Jazz Festival!