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What do you know of March?

What do you know of March? End of winter and temperatures dropping below zero? Time to memorize about melting snowfall, slush, icy roads? Yes and no, folks. For those have turned into jazz quite recently, or jazz fans with vast biographies March is the time for Igor Butman’s Triumph of Jazz International Festival between 16th and 18th, this year.

Well, you may be knowing his story. Just an ordinary guy from St.Pete, who when started had only a saxophone behind the belt, and now playing hockey with Vladimir Putin, on a par with Russian oligarchs like Mikhail Fridman. Once told a joke that had mentioned the fact he is from St.Pete as well in Mr Putin’s presence. And giggled that no reaction from Vladimir followed.
Being a member of Yedinaya Rossiya political party strengthens Russian-American cultural ties. Brings his jazz orchestra to the US, staffs houses to sold out, listens to accusations that bringing jazz to America is the same as bringing snow to Syberia.

During 18 seasons of annual Triumph of Jazz Igor revolts the situation vice versa. Every year in March he invites renowned US jazzmen to the Russian capital and makes domestic jazz fans as if have travelled overseas.

Headliner to this year’s Triumph of Jazz is trumpeter Roy Hardgrove, twice Grammy laureate in 1997 and 2002. Roy is very diverse in his jazz viewings. He records almost everything apart of jazz mainstream, from gospel, funk, soul to hip-hop. He really played with Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock, and is coming to Moscow with a quintet.

Another headliner is Bob James Trio. Bob James is a legendary pianist, stood at the roots of jazz fusion and crossover jazz. He is four times Grammy laureate, if it comes to titles.

Three festival days each have their own headliner. So, add to the list Brit’s soul vocalist Tony Momrelle and you would have the whole set of foreign participants. Tony is one of the current lead vocalists of the band Incognito.

Russian participants are naturally presented by Igor Butman Moscow Jazz Orchestra. The venue to the festival could not but had been chosen better, it is Svetlanovsky Hall of Moscow International House of Music on Kosmodamianskaya Emb.

Adults’ Triumph of Jazz is preceded by Kids’ analogue festival on March 14th at the same venue.

Tickets to the festival are available on https://www.jazztriumph.ru/

Even if Igor Butman is the most energetic and famous Russian jazz sax player and producer, there are more elephants supporting the bearing turtle of Russia jazz. On March 23th Oleg Kireev, the nation’s artist of Russian Bashkortostan, celebrates his 55th anniversary by setting a concert in Tsentral House of Artists in Krymsky Val.

Oleg by coincidence is a sax player and producer too, makes friends with Rustam Khamitov and acts as his cultural adviser. But is less famous because there are people who want to sleep normally, not as Igor Butman with his 4–5 hours.

Based in Moscow, born in Ufa, Oleg is a person of Universe. He is mostly influential in ethno jazz. In 1986 created an ethno jazz ensemble Orlan. Later moved to Poland, launched jazz club Ogrudek there, got educated further in the USA, returned to Moscow and continued doing what he usually does. Was an artistic director to Soyuz Kompozitorov jazz club in Bryusov Lane. Picked up next artistic directorship in Akademichesky Jazz Club in Donskaya Str. Tours all around the world, including New York clubs Iridium, Smalls, Smoke.

Between 2011 and 2013 together with his team organized festival Classical and Jazzy in Tsaritsino Park. At various periods brought to Russia Joshua Redman, Victor Bailey, Al Foster and countless number of other American jazzmen. In 2007 with his world music album Mandala was nominated for Grammy, though did not win.

Tickets to Oleg Kireev 55th jubilee are available at https://www.cha.ru/concerts/events/1758

Darya Bielecka