JAM 2018 – Women in Jazz


This year’s month-long honoring of Jazz in April – Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) 2018 – puts a focus on the creativity of women in jazz. By such a programming orientation, we want to highlight the female in jazz in the roles of composers, ensemble leaders, singers or instrumentalists. “Women in Jazz” is not only a topic, but also a selection of musical programs that we can offer the audience as a way of meeting artists as they present their specific projects, original creations and performing charisma.  All segments of the JAM 2018 program – concerts, films, lectures and workshops – involve real jazz musicians.  In the concert program, some of the selected artists will be performing for the first time in Montenegro!

Nataša Mirković Vienna, AT 2017

Nataša Mirković Vienna, AT 2017

At the beginning, the versatile Bosnian-Herzegovinian singer Nataša Mirković will perform an unusual program entitled En El Amor: Sephardic Songs of Southeast Europe, accompanied by Michel Godard, a French jazz musician playing on an instrument called the “serpent” (the forerunner of the tuba), along with the American drummer Jarrod Cagwin. This project received the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” awarded by German critics in collaboration with other European music journalists and critics. The towering talent of Nataša Mirković, supported by the skill of her distinguished colleagues, will be on display for audiences in Podgorica on April 3 (at KIC “Budo Tomovic”) and on April 4 in Tivat (Naval Heritage Collection Porto Montenegro).


This year from Germany comes Julia Hülsmann, a renowned pianist and composer, who for fifteen years has been reshaping the contemporary German jazz scene.  She will be creating her unique sound along with her two colleagues Marc Muellbauer, bassist, and Heinrich Köbberling, drummer. Her trio’s wide range of musical expression and sophisticated style was recognized by the respected ECM Records label, for whom Hülsmann has recorded six albums. The Podgorica audience will have the opportunity to hear music from her new album, Sooner And Later, on April 11 at KIC “Budo Tomovic”.

Flow Vertical poster pr

Multidisciplinary artist Jasna Jovićević comes from Serbia. She is an excellent saxophonist, composer, music animator, and pedagogue, known to musicians as a special and versatile musical personality who is always looking for new expressions. On her Montenegrin tour (Tivat, Bar and Podgorica on April 18, 19 and 20 respectively), she will present new music entitled Flow Vertical. She wrote the music for a sextet in which string and wind instruments are combined with percussion into ambient sound. The ensemble consists of: Jasna herself (saxophone, bass clarinet and percussion); Filip Krumes (violin); Rastko Popović (viola); Dejan Božić (cello); Nemanja Mihailović (bassoon); and Uroš Šećerov (percussion). Jasna Jovićević continuously creates new projects that are often related to nature, yoga, improvisation, women in music, and children. Thus, in addition to the concerts, she and her ensemble will also conduct children’s workshops called Mjuziklaža (roughly, “Musycling” as in “Music-Recycling”) on April 20 at the American Corner in Podgorica.  The workshops discuss creative recycling and use of cast-off materials for making and playing of musical instruments.

Hadar Noiberg

In the closing performance of the program, Israeli flutist and composer Hadar Noiberg will appear.  This rising star brings the warm, vibrant sounds of her New-York-based trio (bassist Eduardo Belo and drummer Amir Bar-Akiva), playing a mix of jazz improvisation, Western harmony, and rhythms from the Middle East and North Africa. Her third album, Open Fields, will be released at the end of April, and the concert at the Montenegrin National Theater on April 26 will be a kind of pre-premier for the European promotion of this album.

Turning from jazz performances to jazz films, for this year’s cycle “Jazz on Film” the selection was made by director Nemanja Bečanović.  Audiences will have the opportunity to see two feature films (Nina and Lady Sings the Blues) as well as two documentaries (The Girls in the Band and Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band). All in their own way speak about the position of female jazz musicians who, despite discrimination on many grounds, including race as well as gender, made great contributions. The films will be screened in Podgorica on April 12 and 13 (at DODEST Hall) and in Tivat (every Tuesday of the month in Porto Montenegro’s Sailing Squadron). These exceptional films were obtained for us thanks to the American Corner in Podgorica, our constant partner in the affirmation and promotion of jazz.

All lovers of jazz will be able to attend guest lectures by visiting professors and music writers on interesting topics. Virgil Mihai is jazz critics and writer, professor jazz aesthetics at Cluj University (Cluj), and a teacher; he has appeared at our JAM in previous years, and has written for our magazine.  His lecture on Today’s Role of Women in Jazz will be held at the Vasa Pavić Art School for Music and Ballet on April 5, while his talk on Jazz as Expression of Identity will be presented before students and professors at the Music Academy in Cetinje on April 10.

We proudly announce a special guest this year, the legendary John Edward Hasse, the American music curator emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC – and the man who created Jazz Appreciation Month!  He is also the founder of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.  He is an award-winning writer and lecturer and Grammy Award nominee.  He will offer his lecture on the topic Why We Need the Arts More Than Ever at the Ministry of Culture on April 20.

This year’s JAM has been supported by our numerous partners: KIC “Budo Tomovic” (Budo Tomovic Cultural Information Center), Porto Montenegro, Crnogorska komercijalna banka – CKB (Montenegrin Commercial Bank – CKB), Barski Ljetopis (Summer festival of the city of Bar), the American Corner  in Podgorica, the Academy of Music in Cetinje,  the Vasa Pavic Art School of Music and Ballet, the Hard Rock Café in Podgorica, and the Embassies Germany, Israel and the United States of America.  A program for marking International Jazz Day on April 30 has received the support of the Montenegrin National Commission for UNESCO. Thank you to all!

The detailed program of all events can be found on line at JAM 2018 Events

All JAM events are open to the public and free of charge.
Come, experience Jazz, we are waiting for you!

Maja Popović
Project Manager
Jazz Appreciation Month in Montenegro

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Baptiste Trotignon and Minino Garay in Podgorica


On 21 of June we will celebrate the Worldwide Music Day – Fête de la musique, with great Parisian piano-percussion jazz duo: Baptiste Trotignon and Minino Garay. They will be playing for the first time at the stage of the “Budo Tomovic” Cultural Information Center of Podgorica, Montenegro, thanks to the organizers and supporters: French Institute Montenegro, Cultural Center of Podgorica – KIC “Budo Tomovic”, Jazz Art, and Societe Generale Montenegro.

After a few years of touring and playing all over the world, their album is available, and it’s full of joy! Baptiste Trotignon, one of the finest French pianists, and Argentinean percussionist Minino Garay, will play their music from recent album “Chimichuri”, and celebrate worldwide event – Fete de la musique – Worldwide Music Day.

“Chimichurri: a chili-based condiment from Argentina! The art of the duet is at once so spare and so full. Two musicians being so close to each other on stage soothe my mind and body. It enables direct communication from you to me, a true, simple relationship to sound. This duet with Minino is like a point where two mirror identities meet: on one side, my European genetic heritage, which wanted to dig deep into its tribal truths in search of a form of authentic Corazon that would stray from reason and its turpitudes, also as if to go further than the self in its desire for the unknown. On the other side, the musician who plays at working-class dances in Córdoba and who wanted to cross the Atlantic 20 years ago to fully embrace the sophistication and colors of another form of music, another language to share.

The music on Chimichurri is a journey between North and South, between the sounds of wood and hides, between languid nostalgia and mad frenzy, depending on the melodies lovingly chosen together. The album has something raw about it. There’s no beating around the bush, no artifice. We just wanted to make the music tasty, in perpetual motion, never still, and of course with a bit of a kick!”  –  Baptiste Trotignon


Admission is free of charge. We are looking forward to seeing you at the KIC Budo Tomovic, and celebrate in spirit of Franco-Argentinean musicianship.

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JAM 2017 – Jazz For All Ages


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.

Eli Yamin

Eli Yamin


JAM 2017 then continues its concert program with the singer Bojana Stamenov, Bojana Stamenovwidely 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).

Trio Ramsbol Corvino Bilgen cover CD

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.

 Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra

Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra

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!

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