Brochure - European Jazz Conference 2022

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Co-organised by SeptemberSofia 202222-25Bulgaria

PROGRAMME OUTLINE Thursday 22 September 2022 12:00 Registration for EJN members opens - Toplocentrala FOR EJN MEMBERS ONLY 14:30 Welcome of EJN members & celebration of EJN Awards - Hall 1 15:15 Working groups on progressing EJN activities - various halls 17:30 Formal EJN General Assembly - Hall 1 OPEN TO ALL 23:00 FRINGE - OZONE skybar & lounge - Oratniza - Desy & The Visual Madmen Friday 23 September 2022 09:30 Registration opens - National Palace of Culture (NDK) entrance A4 10:30 Official Opening and welcome speeches - NDK Hall 3 11:00 Keynote speech : Alicja Gescinska - NDK Hall 3 12:00 Stand with Ukraine Concert: Dmytro Avksentiev & Dennis Adu duo NDK Hall 3 13:00 Lunch - NDK marble foyer 14:30 Discussion groups on the conference theme - NDK various halls 16:45 SHOWCASES - Bodurov Trio - Sofia Live Club - Vasil Hajigrudev Sextet - DNK 17:45 Free time / Networking 2

19:00 Dinner - NDK marble foyer 21:30 SHOWCASES - Dimitar Liolev Quartet - Sofia Live Club - Via Mavis - DNK - JP3 - Sofia Live Club 23:30 FRINGE - OZONE skybar & lounge - Tryplet - The essential FUNK Trombone Saturday 24 September 2022 09:30 Registration opens - National Palace of Culture (NDK) entrance A4 10:45 Panel debate Does music make people & society better? - NDK Hall 3 11:45 Bulgarian presentation: Musicology of the Bulgarian traditions - NDK Hall 3 12:30 Group photo - NDK Hall 3 13:00 Lunch - NDK marble foyer 15:00 Final plenary and presentation from EJC2023 hosts - NDK Hall 3 16:15 SHOWCASES - Beleva & Hajigrudev - DNK - Zhivko Vasilev quintet - Sofia Live Club 17:15 Free time / Networking 19:00 Dinner - NDK marble foyer 21:30 SHOWCASES - Gueorgui Kournazov NEW GENERATION Quintet - DNK - 3uP - Sofia Live Club - Jazzanitza - DNK 23:30 FRINGE - OZONE skybar & lounge - Noise Lunguistix - Ruth Koleva Sunday 25 September 2022 10:00 Cultural tours & activities - meeting point Grand Hotel Millenium lobby 3

The Europe Jazz Network (EJN) started in 1987 with a small group of promoters in Western Europe. Since then it has attracted members from 34 countries, in Europe and beyond. There are regions in Europe where this network is not as strong as it could be and that is one reason why we are in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The EJN has a lot to discover in South-Eastern Europe, and vice versa, and we chose the title Breaking New Ground as we are trying to involve all European countries in EJN - building bridges, establishing collaborations, with those countries and organisations that are not part of the EJN family - yet.

Breaking New Ground


Today more than ever, in a time when a devastating conflict appears again in the very same region of Europe that will be hosting us, we need the experience of cultural exchange and collaboration to understand, respect and come closer to one another. Strong cultural bonds enrich our societies and we are keen to develop and maintain these at all times.

This network has transformed since its beginnings - when it was primarily looking for ways to set up concert tours throughout Europe - into an important voice demonstrating how music and society are intertwined. In this period of profound world-wide change, EJN has been breaking new ground by developing strategies to make our environment more sustainable, to enable gender balance and a wide representation of different communities in our sector, to emphasise social inclusion and to involve young audiences in our projects. In Sofia, we will focus the Conference discussions on the themes of transition, innovation, sustainability, leadership, entrepreneurship and fair practices in music, and we will seek answers that will help us to move forward in these areas.


This network began with a small group of dedicated people who had a vision. It has repeatedly broken new ground geographically, and in terms of content and personnel. In more recent years, it has also grown into a network involving a lot of young people, women and men, energising its membership and making its activities relevant and dynamic.

to share this journey with us in Sofia at the European Jazz

The American jazz pianist Mal Waldron made a challenging record in 1983 called Breaking New Ground, where his trio took a U-turn playing only cover songs from pop artists (including Michael Jackson’s Beat It) and the work of some classical composers. It delivers a powerful message on the need to open up new horizons - one that we want to bring with us to this year’s conference. Similarly, in Sofia we will be experiencing new sounds from the South-Eastern region of Europe, where a strong music tradition meets new sonic frontiers and encourages dialogue between musical Welanguages.inviteyou

Thursday 22 September 2022 At Toplocentrala 12:00-19:30 Registration desk for EJN members is open - Toplocentrala lobby - FOR EJN MEMBERS ONLY14:30-15:15 Welcome of EJN members & celebration of EJN Awards - Hall 1 15:15-16:45 Five parallel working groups on progressing EJN activities 1. National Organisations / Jazz Panorama - Hall 1 2. Take the Green Train / Green Pilot Tours - Hall 2 3. Gender Balance / #Womentothefore - Hall 3 4. Octopus streaming project - Hall 4 5. Strength in Numbers 3 research project - Hall 5 16:45-17:15 Coffee break 17:30-19:30 FORMAL EJN GENERAL ASSEMBLY - Hall 1 - OPEN TO ALL23:00-01:00 FRINGE - OZONE skybar & lounge (Grand Hotel Millenium) . Oratniza . Desy & The Visual Madmen 6 detailed programme

. Kornelia Vossebein (Stadtgarten, DE)



#1 - LEADERSHIP | Cultural operators working in jazz & improvised music - Hall 3.1 Leadership is a buzzword in the arts, and the jazz community is no exception. In a climate of rapid change and necessary diversification – on and off stage - what are the barriers to entry and to succession, to mobility, and what does a modern cultural operator need to continue the career and the legacy of an organisation?

. MODERATOR: Mark van Schaick (inJazz/Buma Cultuur, NL)

Friday 23 September 2022

detailed programme

Registration desk is open - NDK entrance A4


Official opening and welcome speeches - NDK Hall 3

KEYNOTE SPEECH: “At Home in Music” by Alicja Gescinska (philosopher & writer, PL/BE) - NDK Hall 3


Stand with Ukraine: concert by Dennis Adu (UA) and Dmytro Avksentiev (UA) duo, introduction by Mariana Bondarenko (Ukrainian Institute, UA) - NDK Hall 3

Does music make humanity and society better? Over time, philosophers have considered this question with a great deal of scepticism. Plato warned that music can bring about dangerous changes in society. Centuries later, Adorno pointed to the damaging power of jazz, which he thought would turn us into acquiescent citizens. Alicja Gescinska is convinced that music is more uplifting than it is pernicious. It can play an important part in our personal and moral development. This is something we often lose sight of these days.

14:30-16:30 Five parallel discussion groups on the conference theme


The collaboration between electronic musician Koloah (Dmytro Avksentiev) and trumpet player Dennis Adu was born in 2020 for Am I Jazz? festival, thanks to Olga Bekenstein. For all the time of work, artists did not even see each other and only exchanged messages on Telegram. Everything came out very intuitively, and the emotion that was fixed hit so subtly and right to the point, to the heart. Despite the short time before the festival, their collaboration exists today, and artists are working together on upcoming projects.

At National Palace of Culture (NDK) Masters of ceremony: Maria Rylander (Knutpunkt, SE) & Fernando Sousa (Casa da Musica, PT)

13:00-14:00 Lunch - NDK marble foyer

. Janine Irons (Tomorrow’s Warriors, UK)


Within the jazz promotion community (festivals, clubs, concert halls, etc) there are many different operating models and many different ways to optimise audience numbers and finances. This session will explore what models currently exist, and will share information about new ways of doing business and being entrepreneurial, including innovative collaborations between promoters (artists exchange, block booking, mutual production of merchandise, green touring, etc), partnership models with sponsors and neighbouring sectors (shared experien ces), subscription models for audiences and the distribution of hybrid content.


There are many global concerns, such as sustainability, that we all need to consider when building careers and programmes in the jazz ecosystem. How do we factor these into our lives so that we can continue to work, while also minimising our carbon footprint, reducing waste and using new technologies or ideas to suit our situation. Is there anything that we can learn from other sectors and artforms?

. Jan Pauly (VI.BE, BE)

. MODERATOR: Margaux Demeersseman (Centre National de la Musique, FR)

#3 - FAIR PRACTICE POLICY - Hall 3 lobby

. Karolina Juzwa (International Jazz Platform, Footprints project, PL)

. Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey (cultural organiser, IT)

Could we strive for a common charter, where we as concert organisers together with all other members of the music ecosystem- musicians, bookers, managers, labels,… work towards a sustainable relationship? One with clear views and with respect for one another, in accordance with the values we all cherish? Musicians are our heroes, without them there would be no music at our venues and festivals, nor would there be a Europe Jazz Network or the European Jazz Conference. And yet what has been arranged for most of us - a regular salary and good working conditions - is not always available for those we invite to perform on our stages. Although financial conditions for musicians vary from country to country, most musicians only receive fees for performance, not necessarily for preparation, and in jazz, rarely for travel. The pandemic has highlighted that the income for performing musicians is precarious. How can we help the musicians in our community to be better protected and the beneficia ries of fair practices?

. MODERATOR: Davide Grosso (International Music Council, IT)


detailed programme

. Matthew Herbert, with a video “provocation” (artist, UK)

19:00-21:00 Dinner - NDK marble foyer

. Agnete Seerup (JazzDanmark, DK)

. The essential FUNK Trombone

. MODERATOR: Maria Pia de Vito (artist & artistic director, IT)

Bodurov Trio - Sofia Live club

Considering the fact Bulgaria is a leading country in Europe for women in prominent management positions (many corporations have women CEOs and there is no gender imbalance in remunerations), the session will present the path that leads to this situation, aiming to understand how this can work in other societies as well, and will compare it with the situation in the music/creative sectors in other European regions.

. Murat Sezgi (Bozcaada Jazz Festival, TR)

. Daniela Neumayer (International Jazzfestival Saalfelden, AT)

. MODERATOR: Virgo Sillamaa (European Music Export Exchange, EE)

. Mihaela Georgieva (leadership mentor, BG)



17:45-19:00 Free time / Networking

Dimitar Liolev Quartet: RHODOPOLOGY - Sofia Live club

. Vasil Hajigrudev Sextet - DNK


. JP3 - Sofia Live club


. Via Mavis - DNK


#5 - GENDER BALANCE | Different situations in the former east and west of Europe - Hall for 40 people

FRINGE - OZONE skybar & lounge(Grand Hotel Millenium)

. Tryplet

. Alin Vaida (FAPTE/Jazz in the Park, RO)

detailed programme



Registration desk is open - NDK entrance A4

EJN is continuously discussing and advocating about the power of music to improve society. Many members undertake to programme and support musicians who specialise in the creation of work that promotes social inclusion across many of the marginalised sectors of society like refugees and cultural minorities, woman and gender minorities, children and young people, the elderly, and others. There are an increasing number of musicians and program mers who are very experienced in this important area of work, and this session will discuss the joys and challenges of creating work for and with non-professio nal participants and non-mainstream audiences.

Saturday 24 September 2022

- NDK Hall 3

. Moderator: Susanna von Canon (artists’ management, NL)


BULGARIAN PRESENTATION: Musicology of the Bulgarian Traditions, with Borislav Petrov (BG) - NDK Hall 3

Masters of ceremony: Marieke Meischke (So What's Next? Festival, NL) & Jean-Yves Cavin (Cully Jazz Festival, CH)


. Petter Frost Fadnes (artist & researcher, NO)

12:30-12:45 Group photo - NDK Hall 3

. Maria Pia de Vito (artist & artistic director, IT)

. Alicja Gescinska (philosopher & writer, PL/BE)

At National Palace of Culture (NDK)

detailed programme

PANEL DEBATE: “Does music make people & society better?”


A journey through the richness of Bulgarian musical folklore and its mixing with jazz music, which led to the appearance of folk-jazz on the music scene in Bulgaria in the last 50 years. The history of its development, the different geographical areas that give the great diversity of this music, as well as the most characteristic features of this music, such as the phenomenon of "Uneven rhythms"... We will also take a look at the various performing and creative interpretations and perspectives of folklore and the blending of its elements into non-folk music genres, such as jazz, pop, rock, electronic music and others. A story by Borislav Petrov, accompanied by live music from different parts of Bulgaria.

FRINGE- OZONE skybar & lounge (Grand Hotel Millenium)

detailed programme


. 3uP - Sofia Live club

. Noise Lunguistix



17:15-19:00 Free time / Networking

. Ruth Koleva Sunday 25 September 2022

19:00-21:00 Dinner - NDK marble foyer


. Zhivko Vasilev quintet - Sofia Live club

. Jazzanitza - DNK


Wrap-up by May Ngo (independent writer, AU) and presentation of the European Jazz Conference 2023 - NDK Hall 3



Beleva & Hajigrudev - DNK

10:00-13:00 Cultural tours & activities - meeting point Grand Hotel Millenium lobby


Gueorgui Kournazov NEW GENERATION Quintet- DNK

Lunch - NDK marble foyer

The guided tours of the European Jazz Conference 2022 will take place on Sunday, 19 September 2022

Cultural tours

Start: Duration:10:302 hours

All tours start from the Grand Hotel Millennium lobby.

PLEASE NOTE: The tours have limited capacity, so please make sure to book your tour at the registration desk during your registrations. Tours will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis.


Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital and largest city. It has by far the most dynamic cultural life in the country and offers a large variety of activities. The tour covers most of the main things to see in Sofia. St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, The National Theatre, Bulgarian Presidency and many more. It will also immerse you into the city’s rich roman heritage. Sofia Sight Seeing Tour is a great way to learn more about the Bulgarian capital.

Option 1: Guided Sofia Sightseeing Tour

Start: Duration:10:003 hours

Option 2: Guided Communist Tour

Find out what it was like on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain by joining our Communist tour. A 45-year-long period compressed in about 3 hours, including factors that led to it and its aftermath. Our main goal is to present this controversial period of history in an objective and informative way. The tour includes the main landmarks of communist history in the city of Sofia: former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party, secret police investigation facility, destroyed mausoleum, monument of the Soviet army, National Palace of Culture, among others. During the 3-hour-long walking tour you will learn about the theory of communism, what Marxism-Leninism is, the history of communism in Bulgaria, the pros and cons of the period and the relation between the communist government and religion, industry, economy, culture and everyday life of the people.


Keynote speech on Friday 23/09, at 11h00 Alicja Gescinska (PL/BE)


© Achtergrond_8

InNetherlands.2011shepublished her critically acclaimed book De verovering van de vrijheid (The Conquest of Liberty), which was nominated for several book prizes, and awarded the Prize for the best non-fiction book of 2011. In 2016 she published her first novel, which won the Debut Prize in Belgium. For the Flemish public broadcaster, she made a philosophical television programme of nineteen episodes in which she visited and talked with intellectuals and artists around the world. In 2018 she published a philosophical essay on the social significance and moral meaning of music. It was shortlisted for the Socrates Cup Prize, which awards the best philosophy book in Belgium and the Netherlands.

In 2019 Gescinska was named one of 40 European Young Leaders by the thinktank Friends of Europe. That year she also published an essay on the social and political responsibility of intellectuals. It won the Liberales Book Prize, an award for the best book in political philosophy. It was also nominated, together with her essay on music, for the Hypatia-prize 2018-2019: a biyearly award for the best book by a female philosopher. In 2022, she received the title of Knight of the Order of King Leopold by the Belgian Royal House.

Alicja Gescinska is a Polish-Belgian philosopher, novelist and poet. As an academic, her main areas of expertise are political theory, continental philosophy, and the history of ideas. Apart from her academic work, Gescinska is also one of the leading public intellectuals in Belgium and the



She has been director of the jazz section of the Ravello Festival 2016/18, and from 2019 she is Artistic Director of the Bergamo Jazz Festival. She also directed the festival Double Sky, Certosa di Padula (August

Maria Pia de Vito is a singer, composer, lyricist and artistic director of various festivals. Her research around singing and voice embraces various fields of action: free jazz and electronics, baroque music, the “songform” with no limitation of genre, the personal re-elaboration of Neapolitan music and culture through the practice of improvisation and the encounter with different cultures and music practices. Since the 80’s she is active on the jazz scene, steadily collaborating with musicians such as John Taylor, Ralph Towner, Ivan Lins, Guinga, Huw Warren, Enrico Rava, Rita Marcotulli, Norma Winstone, and performing with prominent musicians such as Joe Zawinul, Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Miroslav Vitous, Uri Caine, Enrico Pieranunzi, Monica Salmaso, Maria Joao and many others. She recorded for ECM the acclaimed project “Il Pergolese”, an improvisational approach to the Opera of Giovanbattista Pergolesi.


Panel debate on Music & Society on Saturday 24/09, at 10h45 Moderator of the discussion group on gender balance on Friday 23/09, at 14h30

Maria Pia de Vito (IT)

Her translation work of lyrics by Chico Buarque de Hollanda from Portuguese to Neapolitan for her project “Core /Coração “, approved and praised by the author, received critic’s acclaim. In 2018 she produced for Parco della Musica records “Moresche ed altre invenzioni”, with Burnogualà large vocal ensemble, a choir that she founded and directed. Recently she released the critically acclaimed album "Dreamers", a survey on the great singer songwriters of the 60/70s, selected amongst 10 records of the year in the Top Jazz 2020 referendum by Musica Jazz.

Petter Frost Fadnes is a Norwegian saxophone player, lecturer and researcher based at the University of Stavanger. Frost Fadnes’ interest is focused on improvisational thinking; methods and approaches related to performative processes. In parallel with varying degrees of transdisciplinary theory, his research tends to utilise ethnographic and reflective approaches, with the aim to contribute multiple perspectives of subjectivity to the improvisational discourse.

Petter Frost Fadnes (NO)


Panel debate on Music & Society on Saturday 24/09, at 10:45

With this in mind, Frost Fadnes has published on a wide range of performance-based topics, such as jazz collectives, cultural factories, jazz for young people, film scoring, as well as multiple perspectives on improvisation. He is Professor of Improvised Music at the Faculty of Performing Arts, and his book, Jazz on the Line – Improvisation in Practice, was published in 2020 at Routledge.

Susanna is a founder and board member of the Misha Mengelberg Foundation, dedicated to promoting the philosophy and music of Misha Mengelberg.


Susanna von Canon (NL)

Currently she is general manager of the ICP orchestra and Han Bennink. Since 2007 she is also manager of trumpet virtuoso Eric Vloeimans. In 2009 she started the Dutch Impro Academy which was a biannual course for intensive training and music making for young international musicians and the masters of improvisation from the Netherlands (also known as New Dutch Swing!) primarily held at the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague.

Susanna von Canon moved to Europe from the USA in 1979, spent seven years in the classical music management field in Germany working for conductors and soloists. In 1987 she switched to the jazz and impro world in Amsterdam and delved into that vibrant music scene. She spent 15 years as manager of the Willem Breuker Kollektief, adding the ICP to her roster in 1990. She is in charge of recordings, international tours and education.

Moderator of the panel debate on Music & Society on Saturday 24/09, at 10:45


Discussion group on Leadership on Friday 23/09, at 14h30


Janine Irons is the Chief Executive of Tomorrow’s Warriors, a pioneering talent development agency, music educator and creative producer specialising in jazz co-founded by Janine with Gary Crosby OBE in 1991. As an arts leader and consultant, Janine is a passionate advocate of excellence, authentic diversity and inclusive approaches in the design and delivery of music education and the presentation of black music. She is an experienced creative producer who also founded and ran jazz record label, Dune Records from 1997-2012 achieving two Mercury Prize nominations, alongside acting as manager/agent to several UK jazz artists. Today she is an enthusiastic mentor to women in and beyond the music



the MBE for Services to the Music Industry in HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and, in 2019, was recognised for her work in the Alternative Power 100 Music List, an honours list established by SheSaid.So, a global network of women in the music industry, as a response to Billboard’s Power 100 List with the aim to challenge conventional music industry standards. In 2020 Janine was the recipient of a Music Week Women In Music Award and inducted into the Roll of Honour that highlights individuals who are game-changers in the music industry. In 2021, Janine and Gary were recipients of the Music Producer’s Guild (MPG) Inspiration Award, in recognition of three successful decades of inspirational leadership in the music industry. Janine and Gary also accepted a special Impact Award on behalf of Tomorrow’s Warriors at the 2021 Jazz FM Awards and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Award for Community in 2022.

Janine Irons (UK)

He has remixed iconic artists including Quincy Jones, Serge Gainsbourg, and Ennio Morricone and worked closely over a number of years with musical acts as diverse as Bjork and Dizzee Rascal. He has produced other artists such as Roisin Murphy, The Invisible, Micachu and Merz and released some of these works alongside others on his own label – Accidental Records. He also set up NX records with Goldsmiths University to support the release of music from alumni

Notable collaborators have included chef Heston Blumenthal, playwrights Caryl Churchill and Duncan Macmillan, theatre director Lyndsey Turner, musician Arto Lindsay and writer Will Self but he is most known for working with sound, turning ordinary or so-called found sound into electronic music. His most celebrated work ONE PIG followed the life of a pig from birth to plate and beyond. He is relaunching an online Museum of Sound and is the creative director of the new Radiophonic Workshop for the BBC. His debut play The Hush was performed at the National Theatre, his debut opera The Crackle at the Royal Opera House and he continues to work on projects for the screen as well as the stage. His debut book called The Music was published in 2018.

Matthew Herbert is a prolific and accomplished musician, artist, producer and writer whose range of innovative works extends from numerous albums to Ivor Novello nominated film scores as well as music for the theatre, Broadway, TV, games and radio. He has performed solo, as a DJ and with various musicians including his own 18 piece big band all round the world from the Sydney Opera House, to the Hollywood Bowl and created installations, plays and opera.


Video-intro to the discussion group on Sustainability on Friday 23/09, at 14h30

Matthew Herbert (UK)


© Manuel Vazquez

Discussion group on Sustainability on Friday 23/09, at 14h30

© Silja Ylitalo

Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey (IT)



Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey is a cultural organiser with a background in economics and cultural policy. Until July this year she was the CEO of Cove Park, an international artists' residency centre in Scotland, where she introduced an ambitious line of multi-disciplinary enquiry on environmental change. Before then, she worked as Acting Head of Programme at Kettle’s Yard, the modern and contemporary art gallery of the University of BetweenCambridge.2014–18

she was Head of Production and International Projects at the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, where she co-curated the 2016 and 2018 editions. Between 2010–13 she was responsible for the curatorial programmes at Artissima, the international contemporary art fair in Turin, and previously she worked at the Fondazione Pirelli Hangar Bicocca in Milan. Between 2016–18 she was also Associate at Large of Council, a Paris-based organisation focused on societal issues, and the integration of artistic, scientific and civic forms of action and expertise. Since 2016 she has been co-directing The Serving Library, a nomadic institution that variously serves as a publishing platform, a seminar room, a collection of framed objects and an event space.

the Emprove foundation mentor team supporting women on their journey to self-discovery, confidence, empowerment and increased economic independence. As a mentor in several other projects, she guides young people in their educational and professional choices.


Discussion group on Gender Balance on Friday 23/09, at 14h30

Mihaela Georgieva (BG)

Mihaela is one of Bulgaria's leading experts in the coaching industry. She has devoted over 10 years to studying the psychology of success, neuroscience and the preconditions of healthy career choices. Mihaela is the author of content on topics such as building a thriving work environment, leadership and professional Shedevelopment.ispartof


Mihaela is a regular speaker at local conferences, podcasts and discussions on leadership, personal development and education. Featured on national media outlets. Her strategies have helped thousands of people to find the right career path, become better leaders and present themselves in a more powerful way.


He joined the International Music Council in 2013 where he is in charge of project management and communication. Currently, he is also chairman of the International Conference of NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO.

Outside the office he composes electronic music for theatre and writes about music and politics for various magazines and blogs.

Moderator of the discussion group on Fair Practices on Friday 23/09, at 14h30 Davide Grosso (IT)

Five music rights activist with an academic background in ethnomusicology, he has carried out extensive field research in Indonesia about music and society and worked in journalism and media.


Virgo Sillamaa is a music policy and ecosystem researcher, educator and consultant from Estonia, currently based in Brussels.

He is the Research Coordinator of EMEE – European Music Exporters Exchange network and a board member of the Estonian Authors’ Society. In addition, Virgo manages and consults projects, initiatives and companies, both in Estonia and in HeEurope.isconcluding his MA degree in TalTech and starting a PhD in Erasmus University Rotterdam, both focusing on music policy.

Moderator of the discussion group on Business Models on Friday 23/09, at 14h30 Virgo Sillamaa (EE)

© Sohvi Viik


Friday 23 September, 12:00 - National Palace of Culture Hall 3

Special events

Dennis Adu was born in 1987 in Saltpond (Ghana). When he was 2 years old, his family moved to Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine. He started playing the trumpet at the age of 7, and when he turned 8 was invited to join the Alexander Gebel Orchestra. Dennis participated in international festivals and competitions like “Millau en Jazz” (France), “Fel du Sher” (France), “Jazz A Vienne” (France), Alfa Jazz Fest (Ukraine) and many others. In 2007 Adu won the “Do#Dж Junior” (The Best Trumpet Player), in 2009 in the same competition he was nominated and won the categories of “Best Musician in Ukraine” and “Best Arrangement of Jazz Standard”. Since 2012 he has been leading his Quintet,

Stand with Ukraine concert: Dennis Adu & Dmytro Avksentiev duo


Dennis Adu - trumpet-fx Dmytro Avksentiev (Koloah) - synth-keys

The collaboration between electronic musician Koloah (Dmytro Avksentiev) and trumpet player Dennis Adu was born in 2020 for Am I Jazz? festival, thanks to Olga Bekenstein. For all the time of work, artists did not even see each other and only exchanged messages on Telegram. Everything came out very intuitively, and the emotion that was fixed hit so subtly and right to the point, to the heart. Despite the short time before the festival, their collaboration exists today, and artists are working together on upcoming Theprojects.Kyiv-based, temporarily displaced, producer and rave hero Koloah significantly impacted the Ukrainian electronic scene. For more than a decade, his musical path has taken him through a cross-section of underground, famous clubs and parties such as Closer, Схема, , Tresor, Berghain, and more. Producing in different genres, you may recognise him under aliases — Tropical Echobird and Voin Oruwu — but no matter under that name he is performing, his music has always spoken of unifying, raw energy. In 2020, he founded the label Salon Imaginalis, a platform for realising non-genre music.

Bulgarian Presentation: Musicology of the Bulgarian traditions


Zhivko Vassilev – kaval

Hristina Beleva – gadulka

Dimitar Lyolev – saxophone

A journey through the richness of Bulgarian musical folklore and its mixing with jazz music, which led to the appearance of folk-jazz on the music scene in Bulgaria in the last 50 years. The history of its development, the different geographical areas that give the great diversity of this music, as well as the most characteristic features of this music, such as the phenomenon of "Uneven rhythms"... We will also take a look at the various performing and creative interpretations and perspectives of folklore and the blending of elements of it into non-folk music genres, such as jazz, pop, rock, electronic music and others. A story by Borislav Petrov, accompanied by live music from different parts of Bulgaria.

Special events

Skiller – beatbox

Diana Vassileva – vocal

Angel Demirev – guitar

Borislav Petrov – host / drums

Saturday 24 September, 11:45 - National Palace of Culture Hall 3

Borislav Iliev – guitar

Dimitar Bodurov – piano

Mihail Ivanov – bass

Asya Pincheva – vocal

Bodurov Trio is a modern, dynamic jazz group, founded by Bulgarian pianist and composer Dimitar Bodurov in 2001. Since then the band has released 5 albums for Norwegian and Dutch labels as well as Bodurov’s own OPTOMUSIC label. Bodurov’s fascination with Bulgarian folklore evolved in a unique and distinctive style characterised by connecting folklore elements with contemporary jazz. In 2022 the trio will release their upcoming recording "Senkya panda”.


Jens Dueppe - drums


Mihail Ivanov - bass


Friday 23 September, 16:45 - Sofia Live Club

Dimitar Bodurov - piano & compositions

Bodurov Trio


Arnau Garrofe - tenor sax

Dimitar Liolev - alto sax

Borislav Petrov - drums

Vladislav Michev - trombone

Rossen Zahariev - trumpet


Vasil Hajigrudev sextet

This sextet is composed of brilliant Bulgarian musicians. All of them are well respected for their musicality and unique sound and approach. Each of them have very different musical preferences but work well together. Vasil Hajigrudev got them together to perform his music. A new band, within weeks of releasing their first album and already highly anticipated within the Bulgarian musical community.

Friday 23 September, 17:15 - DNK

Vasil Hajigrudev - double bass



Borislav Petrov - drums

Boris Taslev - double bass


Rhodopology – a musical “conversation” with Dimitar Liolev (saxophone), Antoni Donchev (piano), Boris Taslev (bass) and Borislav Petrov (percussion). The album was composed and soon after recorded as a presentation of the intricate traditional folk music of the Rhodope mountains and was combined with the vast jazz music knowledge of that musical ensemble. The musicians from the quartet are friends and like-minded on the fact that the musical conversation flows with ease. All four of us feel the connection with our national tradition, and its counterpoint and connection with jazz music.

Dimitar Liolev Quartet / Rhodopology


Dimitar Liolev - saxophone Antoni Donchev - piano

Friday 23 September, 21:30 - Sofia Live Club

Friends since the Music High School in Sofia, in 2018 the three members of Via Mavis decide to reunite despite the fact that all three are based in different European cities. The solution is obvious: alternating the meeting point between hometown Sofia and the cities Paris, Vienna and Rotterdam. The original tunes of the trio are a combination of various influences such as traditional and modern jazz, subgenres of electronic music and their common background - classical music and Bulgarian folklore. What makes the trio rather unusual is the use of the MalletKAT: it provides a versatile palette of sounds, provoking new explorations and presenting a new “read” of the classical piano-like trio.

Via Mavis


Friday 23 September, 22:00 - DNK

Contacts: martin.o.ha


Viktor Benev - malletKAT / electronics Evden Dimitrov - bass Martin Hafizi - drums



“Change The Way '' is the fourth studio album by Jivko Petrov Trio – JP3. The 12 songs of the album are extremely clear and focused and Jivko Petrov has followed his priority in music – the melody to be the centre of the album. The tracks lead to different emotions – from the aristocratism of the title track Change The Way and One More, through the inner conflict in Berlin, through the urge to dance in It’s A Thrill, to the complete calmness, even meditative feelings in Now I See and Spinning Wheels. The most important emotion, however, is the joy from the music. So enjoy listening!


Jivko Petrov - piano

Dimitar Karamfilov - double bass Dimitar Semov - drums

Friday 23 September, 22:30 - Sofia Live Club



Vasil Hajigrudev - double bass Hristina Beleva - gadulka

Gadulka player Hristina Beleva and double bassist Vasil Hajigrudev create original compositions especially for each other. Traditional Bulgarian folklore, improvisations in a "cinematic feel". A year after their well accepted EP the band is in the process of producing another album.


Saturday 24 September, 16:15 - DNK

Hristina Beleva & Vasil Hajigrudev




Zhivko Vasilev - kaval Dimitar Gorchakov - piano Mihail Ivanov - double bass Viktor Traykov - cello Martin Hafizi - drums


Zhivko Vasilev Quintet is a project created in 2020. Some of the most prominent musicians in Bulgaria and Europe recordеd the original music of Zhivko Vasilev. Later, in 2021, this album was released under the name “Places“. Zhivko Vasilev’s music blends ancient traditions of the Balkans with classical and modern, jazz arrangements and improvisation.The album immediately went into the TOP 10 list for the second quarter of 2021, according to the choice of the panellist of “Balkan Chart”. Many positive reviews about the album were published in some of the most renowned jazz magazines, such as “All About Jazz”, “Jazz in Europe”, “MixedWorldMusic”.

Zhivko Vasilev Quintet

Saturday 24 September, 16:45 - Sofia Live Club



Saturday 24 September, 21:30 - DNK

Gueorgui Kornazov - trombone Gueorgui Stoykov - trumpet Dimitar Blagoev - guitar Daniele Febo - double bass Kristian Jelev - drums

Gueorgui Kornazov is bulgarian jazz trombonist & composer based in Paris. On the occasion of his 50th anniversary, Gueorgui Kornazov has created several new projects with new music and young musicians he has never played with before. One of these projects is the “NEW GENERATION” quintet featuring the talented Gueorgui Stoykov on trumpet, the virtuoso guitarist Dimitar Blagoev, the energetic Daniele Febo on double bass and the authentic Kristian Jelev on drums. Gueorgui specialy wrote and arranged music for this band and created it in Sofia last November. This quintet is a beautiful mixture between young wild energy, maturity and wisdom.

Gueorgui Kornazov “New Generation” quintet



The band 3uP was created by Antoni Donchev in March 2017 on a special occasion - The International Festival of Contemporary Piano Music ‘Pianissimo’. After the first highly acclaimed by the audience and critics concert, the group realises a number of performances at all the major festivals in Bulgaria – Plovdiv Jazz Fest, Jazz Fest Ruse, Jazz in Burgas Festival, Apollonia Festival of Arts etc., also Jazzy Colors Festival in Paris, France. The trio creates original music, composed by Antoni Donchev and Rossen Zahariev, which easily and skillfully handles the broad variety of forms in


22:00 - Sofia Live Club


Antoni Donchev - piano Rossen Zahariev - trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion Pavel Terziyski - voice, beatbox, electronics



Zhivko Slavchev Vasilev - kaval Mihail Ivanov Ivanov - bass


Jazzanitza translates the ancient Balkan rhythms and the improvisational legacy of Bulgarian instrumental folk giants, such as Ivo Papasov, to the language of current jazz. This music incorporates the naturally danceable and groovy asymmetric rhythms, prevalent in Bulgarian folk music. Jazzanitza is led by drummer, composer and ethnomusicologist Borislav Petrov. The current line-up of the band features the folk instrument “kaval”, together with saxophone, guitar, bass and drums. In the group's third album (release:June 2022) Borislav Petrov explores the interaction between folk and bebop, by writing original melodies in various odd metres over the chord structures of well-known bebop tunes.




Borislav Petkov Petrov - drums / compositions

Dimitar Kostadinov Liolev - alto saxophone Borislav Dimitrov Iliev - guitar

Saturday 24 September, 22:30 - DNK


Hristiyan Georgiev - kaval, vocals, melodica, keys Georgi “Horhe” Marinov - didgeridoos, gayda Stefan Tzekov - drums Ivan “Popa” Gospodinov - vocals Diyana Vassileva - vocals Asya Pincheva - vocals

Thursday 22 September, 23:00 - OZONE skybar & lounge



Oratnitza are six young Bulgarian musicians who share a love for both folklore and contemporary genres, ranging from clubby bass music to jazz. They hence call their unique sound “ETHNOBASS”. Ever since their birth Oratnitza has been driven by their curiosity to find out what lies beyond the musical status quo.

© Mihaylovquez



Desislava Andonova - vocals

Bojidar Vasilev - trombone, synths/programing Vassil Voutev - drums

Dimitar Gorchakov - piano George Donchev - double bass


Thursday 22 September, 24.00 - OZONE skybar & lounge


Contacts: desihi

Desy and The Visual Madmen

JLate 2018 Desy gathered a group of particular musicians she wanted to work with for developing and recording her musical ideas for her first solo album (released end of 2019). Later on they chose 'Desy & The Visual Madmen" name for the band.


Ateshghan Yuseinov - guitar Alexander Deyanov aka SkilleR - beatboxing Radoslav Slavchev Riverman - bass

Tryplet is a band of virtuosic musicians who work creatively and openly with jazz at a very high level. With very long experiences starting from the Bulgarian wedding to the big world stages, these musicians present a music that is open in all directions. Improvising and at the same time very groovy, they always provide something new and unexpected at the concerts. One very dynamic and imaginaire journey for the audience




Friday 23 September, 23:30 - OZONE skybar & lounge

Velislav Stoyanov - trombone, band leader Ivan Jordanov - saxophone Aleksander Vasev - keyboard Dimitar Blagoev - guitar Daniele Febbo - bass guitar Viktor Viktorov - drums

Strong individuals, with different creative pursuits, the band members unite from their love of classical funk, with its open improvisational form and show us how it should sound - syncopated rhythms, dense bass, razor-sharp guitar, rhythm with a slightly oriental flavour, and of course a trombone, that sounds more arrogant than ever. During its creation, the band managed to conquer the scenes of the biggest festivals in Bulgaria, captured millions of Chinese hearts within the 13th International Festival of Youth Arts in Beijing and the 9th edition of Qintai Music Festival, and in March 2021 released their first album. At the beginning of 2022 they started to work on their second album.

Friday 23 September, 24:30 - OZONE skybar & lounge


The essential FUNK trombone




Noise Linguistix explores the space of the duo setting. Acoustic and electronic chamber sound blended tastefully, speaking the language of modern jazz and various other musical dialects. Their debut album 'Scattered Vibrations' (2021, Optomusic) features some prominent members of the Bulgarian jazz scene on a few tunes. The duo very often appears live accompanied by a special guest.



Mihail Ivanov Ivanov - double bass Alexander Sergeev Logozarov - guitar

Saturday 24 September, 23:00 - OZONE skybar & lounge

Noise Linguistix

Saturday 24 September, 24:30 - OZONE skybar & lounge


41 Eastern Europe, Bulgaria underwent extreme financial collapse and so Ruth’s father, who is an Olympian and twice World weightlifting champion left for the Far East to seek new opportunities. Early in her career, she showcased her unique style through gigs at local venues and did a brief stint at the Hollywood Pop Academy. Her debut album RUTH scooped the top prize at the Bulgarian Radio Awards in 2014 and sold thousands of copies in Japan, with hit-making producer Mark Ronson declaring it “amazing”.

Bulevard“Vitosha” Bulevard“Bulgaria” 42 National Palace of Culture entrance A4 - registration desk Toplocentrala - EJN General Assembly - Thursday 22/09 National Palace of Culture (NDK) Sofia Live Club - showcases DNK club - showcases OZONE skybar & lounge (Grand Hotel Millenium rooftop) - Fringe programme Grand Hotel Millenium6432157

Bulevard “Bulgaria” Bulevard“PenchoSlaveykov”Bulevard“Vitosha” Bulevard“Vitosha” Bulevard“Bulgaria” 1 2 345 6 7 43

A to Z foundation


A to JazZ Festival is a remarkable part of the cultural life of Sofia. Its mission is to spread and promote jazz and improvised music among young people. Founded in 2011, the festival traditionally marks the beginning of summer, presenting the best of jazz and beyond artists in the beautiful South park of Sofia city. Every year A to JazZ welcomes over 40.000 people, where great performers such as Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Jacob Collier, Robert Glasper, Christian Scott, Kenny Garrett, Bokanté, Cory Henry, Lalah Hathaway, Kurt Elling, Richard Bona, Michel Camilo, Dianne Reeves, José James, Dirty Loops, Nick West, Jazzmeia Horn, Ghost-Note and many others have played on its

The program of the festival likewise includes jam sessions, art-market of Bulgarian handicrafts, accessories, books and works of art, children’s educational program A to JazZ Kids, professional mini conference A to JazZ Talks, workshops, sports events and musical yoga.

Festival’s program 2022 included John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension, Snarky Puppy, Roosevelt Collier, Alex Sipiagin and BNR Big Band, Ilhan Ersahin, Adrien Brandeis quartet, Ruth Koleva and many more.



A to Z foundation is a key music organisation in Bulgaria, established in 2011 with the major goal to popularise the jazz culture in Bulgaria and to attract new audiences to this music genre. With the years, it focussed on the development and the great success of its key event A to JazZ Festival and the establishment of the Bulgarian music scene around Europe, supporting local music export.

EJN exists to support the identity and diversity of jazz in Europe and to broaden awareness of this vital area of music as a cultural and educational force. It aims to increase the exchange of knowledge and experience between professionals of the jazz sector and to initiate and encourage the development of international exchanges, special projects and collaborations between producers and artists both within and outside of Europe.

Europe Jazz Network (EJN) is a Europe-wide association of promoters, presenters and supporting organisations who specialise in creative music, contemporary jazz and improvised music created from a distinctly European perspective. Its membership currently comprises 180 organisations (festivals, clubs and venues, independent promoters and national/regional support organisations) from 34 countries in Europe and beyond.

EJN is one of the 28 cultural networks supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union through its network support for the period 2022www.europejazz.net2024.


Europe Jazz Network



On Friday 23 Sept at National Palace of Culture, Entrance A4 (for everyone): 9:30 - 16:00


Taxis are easy and not expensive means of transportation in Sofia. As there are some unauthorised taxis still running around the city with big prices we recommend you to use the Taxi Me app, to order a taxi every time. Also as some of the taxi drivers prefer cash payments and they can tell you they do not have a POS-terminal, we recommend you to use the Taxi Me app and safely register your bank card there, so you can pay through the app.

To see how to reach Sofia city centre from the airport, including Grand Hotel Millennium and National Palace of Culture, please check the detailed practical information circulated before. You can use the metro (recommended), bus or taxi (fastest), for this last option we recommend to use the official OK TAXI booth at the airport (approx 10-12 EUR / 20-25 leva).


On Thursday 22 Sept at Toplocentrala (for EJN members only): 12:00 - 19:30

The European Jazz Conference 2022 will take place at the National Palace of Culture (NDK), on the two main days of Friday 23 and Saturday 24 Sept. The showcase programme is located in two adjacent clubs that are part of the NDK complex: Sofia Live Club and DNK. On Thursday 22 Sept the sessions for EJN members only, including the EJN General Assembly, will take place at Toplocentrala (Heating Station). The Fringe programme will take place in the evenings at OZONE skybar & lounge (Grand Hotel Millenium). All venues are walking distance between each other and from the main hotels of the city centre.

Practical info

Registration desk will be open:


Public transport

There are plenty of companies that provide a shared scooter service. If you would like to use some of the scooters on the street, just scan the barcode and download the app of the company that owns the scooter you would like to use.

Electric scooters

Sofia has a wide public transport infrastructure. The transportation is safe, clean, there is wi-fi and options to charge your devices inside. All the vehicles are equipped with special devices where you can pay contactless for your ticket with a VISA or MasterCard or a mobile phone. Only in the metro you can hear the stops announced in English, on all overground transport the stops are announced only in Bulgarian. The public transport is not running 24 hours a day. There are few night bus lines that cover most of the city area. Check timetables in the recommended apps for public transport: Moovit app or Google maps.

On Saturday 24 Sept at National Palace of Culture, Entrance A4 (for everyone): 9:30 - 13:00

Dess Georgieva - Concerts program coordinator

A to Z Foundation

Yana Stroi - Media coordinator

Francesca Cerretani - Event & Office Manager

Giambattista Tofoni - General Manager

Europe Jazz Network

Pavel Koev - Photographer


Martel Ollerenshaw (Australian Music Centre, Australia)

Elina Kostadinova - coordinator

Rusen Minchev & Gabrielle Minev - Video production

Veslina Nikolova - coordinator

Balázs Weyer - Hangvetö (Hungary)

Ivan Yotov - Production manager & Technical producer

Stefano Zucchiatti - Communication & Content Manager

Mila Georgieva - Project Director & International Relations Manager

Niya Petrova - Volunteer’s Coordinator

Showcase & Fringe selection jury

Eva Saar - Jazzkaar (Estonia)

Peter Dimitrov - Producer & Chairman of the board

Petra Dobreva - Registration and guest coordinator

Frank Bolder - LantarenVenster / North Sea Jazz Jazz Festival (Netherlands)


Peter Dimitrov (AtoZ Foundation, Bulgaria)

Mira Lazarova - Production coordinator

Anna Kastreva - Public Relations

Wim Wabbes (Handelsbeurs concert hall, Belgium)

Programme Committee 2022

Radi Tsvenatov - Sound engineer

Mila Georgieva (AtoZ Foundation, Bulgaria)

EJN exists to support the identity and diversity of jazz in Europe and to broaden awareness of this vital area of music as a cultural and educational force. It aims to increase the exchange of knowledge and experience between professionals of the jazz sector and to initiate and encourage the development of international exchanges, special projects and collaborations between producers and artists both within and outside of Europe.



EJN is one of the 28 cultural networks supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union through its network support for the period 2022 -


Supported by


Europe Jazz Network

Europe Jazz Network (EJN) is a Europe-wide association of promoters, presenters and supporting organisations who specialise in creative music, contemporary jazz and improvised music created from a distinctly European perspective. Its membership currently comprises 180 organisations (festivals, clubs and venues, independent promoters and national/regional support organisations) from 34 countries in Europe and beyond.

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