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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Musical weekend in Donetsk

Fourth “Jazz Forum” was a great success
31 January, 2013 - 10:25
Photo by Viktor KORVIK

International jazz festival held in Donetsk Philharmonic Society brought together Ukrainian, Russian, and American jazz musicians. The festival was dedicated to the famous trumpet player and jazzman from Donetsk Valerii Kolesnikov.

On the first day of the festival the audience was pleased with the performance of JFSvoices – the female band of graduates of Sergei Prokofiev Donetsk State Academy of Music.

“Valentyna Strelina has low voice prone to alternations that’s why in group singing her voice may sound like male,” said at a press conference Anatolii LOZOVSKY, co-organizer of the festival, head of the Department of Art of Popular Music at Sergei Prokofiev Donetsk State Academy of Music.

On the second day the audience can enjoy the jazz performance of dixieland, Six Hot Man, and the Volodymyr Zinkovsky trio. By the way, the latter played original compositions, in particular, they presented the theme “Valera” dedicated to Valerii Kolesnikov. The highlight of the night was the joint performance of Ray Brown Jr. with Ukrainian jazzmen – Volodymyr Zinkovsky, Anatolii Lozovsky, Volodymyr Kopot, and Artur Frolov. During the final song people in the audience sang along with Mr. Brown: “Drink morning water, drink morning water…” Ray Brown Jr. said after the concert: “I feel elated.”

“The performance was amazing! I listen to jazz since 1964. Before I myself played on the piano but after I had a finger injury I had to stop,” physicist-entrepreneur Serhii FISHCHUK shared his impressions of the concert.

“We loved it. We know all the musicians who performed here. We are very impressed by what they presented. It would be great if such festivals could be held more often,” said jazz lover Valentyna Novikova.

The festival lasted for three days. On the final third day Rodion Ivanov Trio (Kyiv), vocalist Yurii Shikhin (Moscow), and Diksilend (Donetsk) performed on the stage.

The organizers claim that the tradition of jazz festivals will continue. Philharmonic Society paid for the musicians’ performances and the musical instruments shop “Kamerton” provided quality equipment free of charge.

“Festivals are very expensive. But the important thing is to have people who would be willing to develop this type of art. It depends on many factors whether jazz would be as popular as it was in the 1960s. So far there is no such trend on a mass scale. However, jazz is quite popular in Donetsk,” noted LOZOVSKY.


Ray Brown Jr.: “I am happy to be a musician”

Son of legendary jazz musicians tells The Day about the concert in Donetsk and his family

 A year after the wedding, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Brown adopted the son of Ella’s sister and called him Ray Brown Jr. He speaks about his parents with great warmth. There are several photos left where Ray and his mother are playing the piano and where they are embracing each other. However, they never sang a duet. The song, where you can hear the voices of mother and son was made with the help of modern technology. In his childhood Ray saw the stars of world’s jazz in his parents’ home: Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, etc. “But I did not see them as stars, they were simply friends of my parents,” said Brown Jr. who came to Ukraine for the first time to participate in “Jazz Forum.”

Brown Jr. admits that at first he wanted to become a doctor and only then a musician. He came to jazz through classics, played drums and piano. He often went to concerts of his parents.

Brown Jr. is rather short-spoken but, at the same time, he is constantly joking. He is modest, but on the stage you can easily see joy from every note in his face, gestures, and movements. After the concert The Day spoke with Ray Brown Jr. about his impression of the concert in Donetsk, Ukraine, music, and his famous family.

“I felt elated. It was a great pleasure. The audience was very friendly, people warmly welcomed the performance of the musicians. That is why it was really easy and pleasant to work on the stage.”

You have a rather famous name. Has it affected your career?

“I appreciate my parents. But they were who they were and I am who I am. I have my own creative career, my own songs. I am happy to be a musician. I played on many different instruments. Sometimes I played with my father. But later I started singing and realized that I wanted to be a jazz vocalist. Then parents couldn’t stop me.”

Is it your first visit to Ukraine? Why have you chosen our country for your concert tour?

“I met a woman, her name is Natalia, and she introduced me to Volodymyr Zinkovsky. We started cooperation. Zinkovsky chose sites where we could perform. That is why I came to Donetsk for this festival. What concerns our concerts, we will, perhaps, perform in Yalta and Odesa. We currently hold negotiations for possible future concert tours to other Ukrainian cities. This festival gave us a chance to get to know Ukraine and jazz musicians here (before I knew practically nothing about your country and musicians here). By the way, I also know very little about the world’s jazz culture. I live on a small island outside the United States and it gives me the opportunity to engage solely in my own creative work.”

By Kateryna YAKOVLENKO, The Day, Donetsk