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“ОКеshkin Jazz” - Improvisation for the benefits of children

On the International Day of Children Jazz in Kiev, UNICEF and Dom MK organized children's jazz festival 

KYIV, 1-2 June 2013 - On the occasion of International Children's Day, Jazz producer Center Jazz in Kiev, Dom Master Klass Education and Culture supported by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) organized the 4th International children's jazz festival “Okeshkin Jazz”.

UNICEF Ukraine / 2013

Festival “Okeshkin Jazz” gave a wonderful opportunity for families to spend time together, listen to good music and gather with interesting people. Throughout two festival days young musicians aged 6-14 years old, jazz-bands and a little bluesman performed at the open public theatre. Young performers were supported by famous Ukrainian bands: Olexander Murenko`s trio “Fusion Band” opened the festival and band “Alibi” performed during the 2nd day of the festival . The host of “Okeshkin Jazz” was Oleksiy Kogan, a well-known journalist and art director of Jazz in Kiev. 

Oleksiy Kogan: “4th festival “Okeshkin Jazz” gives us an incredible opportunity to discover the future of the Ukrainian music, and not only Ukrainian. Every time I come to this festival I realize the meaning of somebody`s phrase: “Children are not like adults, but they are like we, adults, should be.”

Soloist of the band “Alibi” Anna Zavalska: “The taste for good music should be shaped from childhood! Considering my own experience, we can confirm that there is no bigger incentive for self-development and education than admiring somebody's talent, your peer in particular! Thus, existence of children's jazz festivals is the greatest contribution to the future of the young musicians', whom we always support with pleasure.”

UNICEF Ukraine / 2013

Music unites everybody: children from many different background including, vulnerable children - orphans, refugees and children with disabilities. All these children have equal rights to develop their personalities and talents and to be educated. Jazz festival “Okeshkin Jazz” has introduced the beauty of music to children who probably have heard jazz for the first time in their life.

Yukie Mokuo, Representative of UNICEF in Ukraine: “Jazz is a great example for children, as in jazz each musician improvises in his/her own way and at the same time everybody is playing in one band creating an amazing musical dialogue. It is similar to children as every child has a right to express herself / himself individually while being in harmony with society and other children.”

In jazz in particular there are a plenty of musicians with disabilities. One of them was Michel Petrucciani, world known jazz performer, who was literally carried on arms. Not just because he was a genius pianist, but also because he almost couldn't walk due to an appalling illness. Michel found his strength for life in jazz, granting joy to others. Now music therapy for children with disabilities is widely known.

Within the festival's program little guests together with their parents participated in handcraft master classes, which were prepared and held by the organizer of the festival Dom Master Klass Education and Culture. In particular, they created handmade musical instruments using different materials. The youngest guests form age of 2 years enjoyed interesting interactive games and pottery workshops.

Tetyana Zhmendyak and Illya Boondarenko, young violinists, participants of the festival: “Okeshkin Jazz” is the chance for us to meet new musicians, to play on one stage once again with Nataliya Lebedeva's trio, whom we admire very much and, besides that, to listen to the funny jokes of Oleksiy Kogan, the host of the festival. And, for sure, it is an ocean of emotions and excellent mood!”

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) cooperates on a global level with the most famous musicians of various music styles. They are UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors: Lenny Kravitz, Shakira,  winner of Grammy Award, violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov, African jazz singer Angelique Kidjo, Chinese pianist Lang Lang, Finnish jazzman Iiro Rantala and many others. 

Festival “Okeshkin Jazz” is another step towards strengthening the Ukrainian jazz community. It is an opportunity to popularize and develop jazz culture in our country.



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