April is upon us – Jazz Appreciation Month – and we are in the midst of preparations for events in Montenegro. Creative celebration of jazz — that is what we strive for when dealing with this unique art form born in the twentieth century. Our efforts stem from the original idea of the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington DC. This famous institution founded Jazz Appreciation Month in the U.S. some ten years ago and thus gave to everybody a template for celebrating jazz all over the world. Encountering this conception during her visit to the U.S. inspired Maja Popovic to inaugurate JAM in Montenegro.
This year our JAM in Montenegro celebrates its fifth anniversary, and expands: Podgorica, Cetinje, Tivat, Kotor, Niksic and Pljevlja are the places where various jazz programs will be held open to all lovers of music. Thanks to our partner, the U.S. Embassy in Podgorica, we will have support from the very heartland of jazz. Eli Yamin, pianist and composer and educator, will come from New York City, along with his colleagues Ari Roland (contrabass), LaFrae Sci (drums) and Zaid Nasser (saxophone). He and his jazz quartet will have a seven-day workshop plus concerts in several cities in Montenegro. They will also collaborate with the Vasa Pavic Art School of Music and Ballet in Podgorica, as well as work with instrumentalists, vocalists, and choirs!
This year’s JAM will also promote the music of Baltazar, a young Montenegrin jazz ensemble. The members of this band – guitarist Filip Gavranovic, pianist Ivan Marovic, drummer Blazo Tatar, clarinetist/saxophonist Stefan Pavicevic, and contrabassist Nebojsa Miletic – are creating and playing wonderful music and this will be a great opportunity for them to showcase it.
Well-known journalist Virgil Mihaiu from Romania will also join us in April, lecturing on “Jazz at the Beginning of the 21st Century – Between Universal Lanague and Ehtno-Cultural Identities” and reporting on our JAM celebration. Vid Juraj from Croatia will talk about the relationship between jazz and literature in a lecutre titled “Jazzology”.
Movie cycles, art exhibitions and impromptu music-making are inseparable parts of JAM in its mission to promote better udnerstanding of jazz art.
Besides the US Embassy in Podgorica, partners who helped us realize JAM 2011 are Cultural and Informational Center Budo Tomovic in Podgorica, American Corners in Podgorica and Pljevlja, Porto Montenegro in Tivat, T-com, Podgoricka Banka Societe Generale, the Royal Theater Zetski Dom in Cetinje, Cultural Center Zahumlje in Niksic, the Montanaro Jazz Club of Podgorica, the Evergreen Club of Kotor, Karver Bookstore of Podgorica and Digital Printing Center of Podgorica. We are thankful for their interest and support in promoting jazz culture.
Join us – take your part in celebrating JAM 2011 in Montenegro and experience jazz!