Two jazz musicians from Novi Sad, drummer Lav Kovač and bass guitarist Marko Čurčić, returned from Dudelange a few days ago, where the first residence of the international project ‘JazzXchange’ was held.
The goal of the project is the emergence of new musical works, as well as jazz orchestras that bring together musicians from different cultural, historical, social and political backgrounds. The two musicians, as the representatives of Novi Sad, are part of the orchestra formed by the famous Serbian pianist Bojan Zulfikarpašić, after the invitation of the Regional Cultural Centre from Dudelange, by selecting two musicians from each capital of culture 2022, commune Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), Novi Sad (Serbia) and Kaunas (Lithuania).
‘It was actually very interesting. Although we did not personally know musicians from other countries, we have had many mutual friends since Lav Kovač and I studied in the Netherlands and played in Europe. I think we were also very lucky since the team was really nice. When it comes to making music itself, the answer is similar. We all have more or less the same backgrounds. In the musical sense, we all communicate in the same language, so there were really no major difficulties in the work’, said Marko Čurčić about the newly founded orchestra, while Lav Kovač pointed out what is his strongest impression from this residence:
It is a chance to travel, meet new people with different cultures and brandish sound swords, breaking down prejudice and frameworks of our distinctly different aesthetics and experience in making music.’
Kovač stressed how such projects are an important opportunity for artists.
‘For me, every such well-organised and supported opportunity for the process of making music is precious, unfortunately, these opportunities become smaller and smaller, and they are always subject to a thousand and one compromises with the organiser, the employer, the system. This was not the case here, at the Opderschmalz Cultural Centre in Dudelange, we were given an open door to a state-of-the-art concert hall for a week to experiment, get to know each other and work on cultural content that is important for our development and in some indirect form, the societies of which we are part,’ said Kovač.
In 2022, residences will take place just before the annual jazz festival in these three cities. The main ensemble will practice the selected compositions with the group of local students, while the compositions will be presented at concerts during the festival, such as ‘Like a Jazz Machine’, a jazz festival that is traditionally being held in Dudelange for nine years, ‘Kaunas Jazz’, a festival that has been popular for 29 years, as well as the most famous jazz festival in Novi Sad, with the 22-year tradition – the Novi Sad Jazz Festival.
In addition to Lav Kovač and Marko Čurčić, keyboard player Jérôme Klein and bass player Boris Schmidt, as well as jazz singer Veronika ChiChi and saxophonist Kestutis Vaiginis from Kaunas.
The initiator and organiser of the project is the Regional Cultural Centre from Dudelange and the city of Dudelange, while the partners in the project are Esch 2022, Kaunas 2022, Vsl JJJAZZZ, the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ and Cultural Centre of Novi Sad.
Photo: Marc Lazzarini