A group of Russian Jazz Musicians performed in California this November as part of participating in the Open World Cultural Leadership program. Selected musicians from different parts of Russia came together into the Stockton Valley to perform, learn and exchange music with fellow students and accomplished musicians. University of Pacific and Brubeck Institute hosted the group. Guests from Russia stayed with local hosting families coordinated by Charlsa Knobloch, an Open World coordinators of many years.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /> The Open World Jazz Quartet (OWJQ) included Denis Foman, bass, Ivan Polanskiy, saxophone, Artem Yurlov, drums, and Yuliya Zolotareva, piano.
The OWJQ musicians met on the plane to USA and became a Quartet in less than two weeks performing at the Sacramento’s Red Lion Inn and Stockton’s Empire Theater.
Oksana Koval, ICEA’s media director, met with the group and attended their concerts. While discussing their performance, she found out that the Russian musicians were somewhat nervous during the performance. “It was a lot to take on,” said Yuliya Zolotareva who plays piano and sings. “We are in America and American people know jazz.” Those who heard Yuliya sing would have never guessed that.
But all the worries seemed to have disappeared during the culminating performance at Stockton’s Empire Theater when the Russian Quartet played jazz with the award-winning trumpeter Nicholas Payton. Later that evening the Russian Quartet mixed it up with the American Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet. The public loved them.
View photo album Russian Jazz in Stockton Nov 2009.