Jazz is first and foremost the music of freedom. The development of jazz culture in Ukraine and its entry onto the big stages go hand in hand with Ukrainians becoming freer - inside as individuals and outside as a nation.

Along with general freedom increases the level of education. Ukrainian jazz is evolving, growing wiser and more professional, leaning more to the philharmonic side. It has already expanded from only the entertainment category to international competitions and representation of the country on the international level.

Ukrainian jazz musicians today perform on the same level with their European colleagues, showing how they can convey their unique experience into the language of music. Thanks to the cooperation with foreign musicians and the opportunity to “sound” around the world, we see the stylistic and genre boundaries of jazz expanding.

The evolution of the genre is also influenced by the growth of the jazz community in Ukraine. Ten major jazz festivals take place in the country each year. There are a growing number of jazz clubs and organisations that support the work of jazz musicians as well as national awards that promote their professionalism. Ukraine has specialised media with a wide range of readers that cover jazz life in the country and radio stations that offer listeners top-lists of Ukrainian and international jazz compositions.

Ukrainian jazz is being popularised in the country and is becoming music accessible to every interested listener, which is confirmed by the increasing number of visitors to jazz concerts and festivals, as well as the number of performances themselves across the country.

Music is a vital necessity for Ukrainians. This is especially evident now - even as the war continues people go out into the ruined streets to play. Play to keep life going.

Compiled by Tetyana Fiks, Kyiv Bouquet Stage festival in cooperation with the Ukrainian Institute