Our eleventh annual edition of Jazz Appreciation Month – JAM 2017 – takes place under the general motto of “Jazz for All Ages”. Guided by the idea that jazz can speak to younger generations, and that adults and children can come together in both playing and listening to jazz and blues, we developed our annual April presentation of jazz by combining the spirit of play, modern sensibility, and tradition.
The Montenegrin jazz musical production of New York composer Eli Yamin’s “Message from Saturn” is the first event of JAM 2017 that contributes to our theme. The production includes lots of children and young people and adults. Under the leadership of the composer himself, the musical draws on students and teachers of Podgorica’s”Vasa Pavic” Art School of Music and Ballet. The premiere is planned for 8 April (to be repeated 9 April) in the “Budo Tomovic” Cultural-Information Center in Podgorica. “Message from Saturn” is a story about teenagers who are looking for a way to save the galaxy from certain destruction, and it turns out that the only cure is to learn to play the blues. The musical is scored for young soloists plus musical groups of children and teenagers – in the characters of constellations, asteroids, stars – with a jazz instrumental ensemble, plus string quartet.
JAM 2017 then continues its concert program with the singer Bojana Stamenov, widely known as a a representative of the Serbian ESC 2015. She is a passionate performer of jazz, soul and funk, and a performer devoted to young people, including performance at the “Bosko Buha” children’s theater in Belgrade. Accompanied by prominent musicians such saxophonist Gabor Bunford and the pianist Aleksandra Banjac, she will perform a repertoire of favorite jazz standards made famous by the likes of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Dianne Warwick, Ella Fitzgerald, Chaka Khan and others. This concert will, naturally, be in support of the theme “Women in Jazz” – following the initiative of the National Museum of American History. The very talented Bojana Stamenov and her highly esteemed musical colleagues will appear in in Podgorica at Capital Plaza on April 11 and then at Naval Heritage Collection in Porto Montenegro in Tivat on April 12..
Our JAM 2017 also provides the chance to present the international trio of Morten Ramsbøl (bass), Pippo Corvino (guitar) and Anıl Bilgen (guitar), highlighting their new album “How Far Is the Moon”. For those who find this trio to be a novelty, let us point out that it includes the Montenegrin guitarist Filip Gavranovic (alias Pippo Corvino), who found his way to jazz in Austria, where he finished his jazz education and began making music with various collaborators. All three members of this trio have contributed to its modern, balanced, chamber-jazz sound, not only as performers but also as talented composers. Their mid-April tour will include Podgorica (April 14), Kotor (April 17) and Cetinje (April 18).
As the final part of JAM 2017’s musical program, there will be the vibrant sounds of Dixieland music as performed by the Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra. Made up of eight exceptional musicians, all soloist caliber, it creates the playful atmosphere that is the spirit of traditional jazz, bound to the multicultural environment of the city where it was born – New Orleans. Recalling the very beginnings of jazz, its joy and dance, its dynamism and diversity, its mélange of musical styles from blues to gospel to ragtime to military music, the Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra evening concert in Tivat on April 29 and matinee concert in Cetinje on April 30 will joyfully commemorate UNESCO’s International Jazz Day global celebration.
In addition to JAM’s musical productions this year, once again we remain faithful to our traditional jazz film program. Working in cooperation with the American Corner in Podgorica, this year’s films will celebrate the centennial of jazz’s birth with films about Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald. Feature documentaries about such great, creative work and the life stories behind it help to illuminate entire epochs and enrich us even further.
Many thanks to all the partners who have supported this year’s JAM! They are: “Budo Tomovic” Cultural-Information Center; “Vasa Pavic” Art School for Music and Ballet; the US Embassy in Montenegro; the American Corner in Podgorica; Porto Montenegro; Crnogorska Komercialna Banka; the Montenegrin National Commission for UNESCO; the “Zetski Dom” Royal Theater; the Podgorica Tourist Organization; the Historic Capital City of Cetinje; the “Nikola Djurkovic” Cultural Center in Kotor; the “Yunus Emre” Turkish Cultural in Podgorica; and JazzDenmark.
The entire program is available here: JAM 2017 Events
Come and experience jazz – we’re waiting for you!