Russian Jazz celebrates its 100th anniversary

2022 is an important year for the evolution of jazz music. This year, exactly 100 years ago, the very first jazz concert by Russian musicians took place on October 1, 1922. A special moment in cultural history that, especially now, is worth mentioning.

In 1921, the Russian performer, poet and dancer Valentin Parnakh discovered jazz music in Paris. He immediately became addicted to the music and decided to take it home, despite never attending a concert. After Paris and Berlin he traveled to Moscow, where he played the first jazz notes at the Theater Institute on October 1 the year after, in front of the very first sold-out jazz hall in Russia.

It was the beginning of a long and complicated history, but also one of a rich musical and cultural tradition. Moscow embraces its identity as the origins of Russian jazz; there, in the Theater Instituut, the first jazz notes ever sounded and since then the city has grown into a mecca for jazz lovers. More than ten clubs, several philharmonics and, this year for the first time, the Moscow Jazz Festival in June will take place. A brand new jazz festival that lasts no less than 7 days and covers 7 (outdoor) stages, including the Zaryadye hall next to the famous Red Square and in Gorky Park.

On October 1, under the direction of the Russian saxophonist Igor Butman, the legendary first concert by Valentin Parnakh will be reconstructed, at the time, date and place where it once took place. Afterwards, a grand big band gala is organized in the famous Bolshoi Theater. At the end of November, the Year of Russian Jazz will close with the presentation of the very first Russian Jazz Awards.

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