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Ukrainian musicians will perform at the European Jazz Conference


The European Jazz Conference is an annual event that brings together leading professionals from the jazz sector in Europe, in particular promoters, cultural managers, agents, and representatives of national and regional industry support organisations. This year’s European Jazz Conference will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, between 22 and 25 September. 


A Ukrainian duo of electronic musician Koloah (Dmytro Avksentiev) and trumpet player Dennis Adu will perform at the special block devoted to Ukraine on September 23, 12:00–12:45, at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, with an introduction by Mariana Bondarenko, Music Programme Manager of the Ukrainian Institute. 

The collaboration between the musicians was born in 2020 for Am I Jazz? festival, thanks to Olga Bekenstein, music curator, founder and artistic director of this festival. For all the time of preparation for EJN, artists did not even see each other and only exchanged messages on Telegram. Despite these circumstances, the collaboration still exists and is developing into new projects. 

The theme of the 2022 European Jazz Conference is BREAKING NEW GROUND and it is co-organised by the Europe Jazz Network (EJN).

The cooperation between Ukrainian Institute and EJN has started In 2022 and developed actively on different levels. From the very beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, EJN was one of the first organisations of its kind to have published a statement in support of Ukraine. In cooperation with Ukrainian Institute EJN published an interactive list of Ukrainian musicians who had to leave their country and fled to the EU, thus motivating EJN partners throughout Europe to cooperate with Ukrainian musicians.  

In April 2022, in the framework of JAZZAHEAD! in Bremen two delegations from Ukraine and EJN had a first meeting to discuss potential perspectives of mutual cooperation. Thus, in June 2022 Olga Bekenstein, was invited to attend the Sarajevo festival to meet other delegates and have a possibility of networking.  

Moreover, Ukrainian Institute initiated joining one of the biggest online EJN projects: Jazz Panorama – an interactive map which is the most comprehensive online guide on European jazz to date. Ukrainian content was published by the beginning of EJN Conference and will be presented in Sofia this year.  

The Conference will be co-organised by Europe Jazz Network (EJN) & A to Z Foundation – the EJN member that runs the A to JazZ Festival. It is supported by the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture and the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, which is funding EJN for the period 2022-2024.