EJN Staff Exchange Programme

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Previous Participant: Martyna Markowska

From: Katowice Miasto Ogrodów (Poland)
To: NovaraJazz (Italy)
02 June - 07 June 2021

The staff exchange between Katowice JazzArt Festival and NovaraJazz was long expected after the last year of postponement 90% of the events. Collaboration between these two festivals was planned for long and in the end two bands and two curators could meet in Novara. The festival was one of the first cultural events that could be successfully organised in Italy after months of lockdown.

Luckily it worked on international level without obstacles. Polish duo Llovage has rehearsed with Italian duo O-Jana for 5 days and the final concert went beyond expectations with long ovation after the performance. that gives a lot of hopes and ideas for the future collaborations of both bands not only within jazz scene, but also in the electronic music world and large size festivals. During my stay I got to know the team, cultural activities of the director going also far beyond the music itself (creative writing on golf?! -How interdisciplinary that can be and also - manageable at the same time..?). Spending time with co-curator Enrico Bettinello and artists in residence, however, was the core part of my stay.

O-Jana concert on Sunday night 6th June was also my final moment of the staff exchange. I was impressed by the media coverage of the festival and collaboration with press without having an actual press office. The atmosphere, hospitality and kindness of the people creating this event works in this way much better than some some of the very formal structures, from what I experienced in Novara. I wish for more collaborations in the future that cover arts and jazz as we did in the past with the Byram-Berne exhibition in 2018.

Seeing the venues and knowing more about the artistic preferences gave me a lot of inspiration. With Corrado Beldi, artistic director, we discussed more ideas and need to work together on visual part of the project, especially on the anniversary edition in a couple of years. NovaraJazz would have my everlasting support and the staff exchange was very useful and heartwarming experience for me, especially when the physical visits and discussions are so needed after long time of isolation.