A group of Georgian artists will feature at an American jazz festival from February 22-25, bringing together performers and music students from around the world.
Jazz Fest 2017 will be hosted by the Jamie Aebersold Jazz Studies Program at the University of Louisville School of Music in Louisville, Kentucky.
Among artists from the United States, Brazil, Colombia and other countries will be Tbilisi State Conservatoire Rector Rezo Kiknadze and young jazz students Mikheil Japaridze and Dimitri Lekveishvili.
University of Louisville professors Craig Wagner and Michael Tracy perform with Georgian jazz student Mikheil Japaridze (R) in Georgia in 2016. Photo: Kavkaz Jazz Festival.
The Georgian musicians’ appearance will mark the first time artists from the country feature at the event.
They will perform within the International Night section on the opening day of the festival, hosted at the university’s Bird Recital Hall.
In a separate performance, Kiknadze will play alongside "guest adjudicators” Adam Gaines, Sean Parsons and Terry O’Mahoney at the Comstock Concert Hall on February 23.
In addition to the concerts, the Georgian performers will also take part in musical workshops and talks hosted within Jazz Fest 2017.
Saxophonist Dimitri Lekveishvili will be one of three Georgian artists featured at the Jazz Fest 2017 in the US next week. Photo: Dimitri Sax/Facebook.
The participation of jazz artists from Georgia in the US event has become a reality as a result of a three-way collaboration between the University of Louisville School of Music, Georgia’s Kavkaz Jazz Festival and Tbilisi State Conservatoire.
The international cooperation emerged in 2015 as a result of the success of the Kavkaz Jazz Festival, when its founder and director Helen Mechitova was consequently invited to the US university within the framework of the CEC Artslink international program of global artistic partnerships.
The partnership continued with professors of the Louisville university travelling to the Georgian festival in 2016 to offer master classes for students from the State Conservatoire and the Ilia State University.
The visiting teachers, professors Michael Tracy and Craig Wagner, represented the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Studies Program of the University of Louisville, named after the American saxophonist and leading international proponent of jazz education. Their trip to Georgia was later reported by Downbeat, an established magazine on jazz music in the US.
Kavkaz Jazz founder and director Helen Mechitova photographed with American saxophonist and jazz educator Jamey Aebersold. Photo: Kavkaz Jazz Festival.
The invitation for Georgian musicians to perform at Jazz Fest 2017 in Louisville represents the latest stage of the collaboration.
Kavkaz Jazz founder Mechitova told Rustavi 2 TV program hosts earlier today their participation in the event was seen as an opportunity to continue "building bridges” between the Georgian and American partners of the cooperation.
Kavkaz Jazz Festival was founded by Mechitova in 2010 as a regional event for young performers.
Among other objectives, the event aims to support young musical talent discover and join educational programs for career development.