Jazz Scene in Russia: Quick Facts

Russian Federation: 17,125,200 sq. km. (one eighth of Earth’s inhabited surface), population 146.5 million


Jazz scene: documented since 1922 (first jazz concert: October 1, 1922, the unofficial Day of Russian Jazz.) Currently: over 700 full-time professional jazz musicians across the country, plus about 500 graduate and undergraduate students in jazz programs (many to pursue jazz careers.) Historical discography: over one thousand album titles between 1960 and 2017. Current album production: over 30 titles a year.
Jazz media: Radio Jazz 89.1 FM (Moscow, Samara, Arkhangelsk, Tomsk and several other cities); Radio Hermitage 90.1 FM (St. Petersburg); Jazz.Ru Magazine (Moscow, online since 1997, on paper since 2006) www.jazz.ru
Jazz clubs: over 20 across the country. Presented on the 6C17 joint Russian Stand: Igor Butman Jazz Club, Moscow (as part of IBMG); Jazz Club Esse, Moscow; Yaroslavl Jazz Centen

Jazz concert venues / regular concert series at major venues: over 25 across the country
Jazz record labels: Butman Music Records (Moscow), Bomba Piter (St. Petersburg), Fancy Music (Moscow), SoLyd Records (Moscow), ArtBeat Music (Moscow), Rainy Days Records (St. Petersburg)
Jazz educational programs: 8 graduate (most notably, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music, State Institute for Culture and Arts, Maimonides State Classical Academy in Moscow, and Rachmaninoff State Conservatory in Rostov-on-Don,) over 25 undergraduate (most notably, Moscow State Jazz College, St. Petersburg Mussorgsky Music College, Rostov College of Arts, Novosibirsk Murov Music College), over 90 jazz programs for children in specialized junior music schools in more than 40 cities across the country (most notably, Kim Nazaretov Jazz School in Rostov-on-Don)

 Jazz research: Jazz Research Center in Yaroslavl

Major jazz hubs: 


population 12,200,000 (16.8 M within the metropolitan urban area)
Jazz schools, university level: Gnessins Russian Academy of Music; Maimonides State Classical Academy; Moscow State Institute (University) of Culture (+ about 12 college-level jazz programs, state-owned and private)
Jazz clubs: over 10, featuring international and Russian acts, including

Regular jazz concert series at major concert venues:
Moscow International House of Music (1,700 / 550 / 520 seats), Tchaikovsky Hall (1,500 seats), Central House of Artists (600 seats), House of Journalists (200 seats), etc.

Average number of jazz events (concerts, club performances) over a weekend: 15 to 20, depending on the season, plus 7 to 10 annual jazz festivals, including Triumph of Jazz, Usadba Jazz, Jazz at the Hermitage Garden, Skolkovo JazzRussian Jazz Stars, and All Colors of Moscow Jazz on the International Jazz Day (April 30)

St. Petersburg
population 4,800,000. In 2018, the Global Host City of the International Jazz Day!
Jazz schools, university level: St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture
Jazz schools, college level: St. Petersburg Mussorgsky Music College etc.
Jazz clubs: over 5, featuring international and Russian acts, including

  • St. Petersburg Jazz Philharmonic Hall (jazz, swing, trad)
  • JFC Jazz Club (jazz, fusion, funk)
  • The Hat (jazz jam sessions)
  • during the summer season: Jazz Riverboat (five mid-day rides a week along the Neva River)

Regular jazz concert series at major concert venues:
State Capella, Hermitage Theater, PetroConcert, Jaani Kirik, Kochneva House etc.

Average number of jazz events (concerts, club performances) over a weekend: 10 to 12, depending on the season; three to five annual jazz festivals, including PetroJazz, White Night Swing, and Usadba Jazz; annual forum/festival Jazz Across Borders

population 1,580,000
Jazz schools, college level: Murov Novosibirsk Music College
Main jazz employer/ newsmaker: Vladimir Tolkachov Big Band at Nosovibirsk Philharmonic
Clubs: Truba Jazz (part-time jazz programming,) Agartha Art Cafe (part-time jazz and improv / avant programming)
Regular jazz concert series at major concert venues: 
Nosovibirsk Philharmonic (Arnold Katz Hall)

population 1,115,000
Jazz schools, university level: Rostov State Rachmaninoff Conservatory
Jazz schools, college level: Rostov College of Arts
Unique Kim Nazaretov Jazz School for Children
Jazz clubs: NC Jazz Club
Two jazz festivals a year (The World of Jazz and Jazz the Rostov Way)

population 850,000
Jazz schools, college level: Krasnodar State Culture Institute
Main jazz employer/ newsmaker: Georgy Garanian Memorial Big Band at the Creative Association Premiere, which also runs the annual jazz festival, GG Jazz

population 600,000
Main jazz employer/ newsmaker: Yaroslavl City Jazz Center, which runs the biannual festival, Jazz Over Volga River, and hosts the Jazz Research Center in Yaroslavl Jazzahead! co-exibitor – open page

population 350,000
Jazz schools, college level: Arkhangelsk Music College
Jazz club: Jazzovaya Masterskaya (The Jazz Workshop)
Main jazz employer/ newsmaker: Arkhangelsk Jazz Production Center, which runs the Jazz Workshop and produces two annual festivals, Arkhangelsk Blues in May and International Jazz Days in October

Significant jazz festivals across Russia:

  • Triumph of Jazz: Moscow, St. Petersburg (Igor Butman Music Group, since 2000)  Jazzahead! co-exibitor – open page
  • Jazz at the Hermitage Garden: Moscow (JazzFest Company, since 1998)
  • Skolkovo Jazz Festival: Moscow  (Igor Butman Music Group, since 2016) Jazzahead! co-exibitor – open page
  • Sochi Jazz Festival: Sochi (Igor Butman Music Group, since 2010) Jazzahead! co-exibitor – open page
  • EverJazz International Festival: Yekaterinburg (EverJazz Club, since 2013)
  • Jazz Province: Kursk, Voronezh, Lipetsk, Tula, Belgorod, Oryol, Bryansk, Kaluga, Vladimir, and other cities in central Russia (Jazz Province Festival Direction, since 1996) jazzprovince.ru
  • Usadba Jazz group of festivals: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Voronezh, Kazan (ArtMania Production, since 2004) usadba-jazz.ru
  • JazzMay: Penza (PenzaConcert, since 2011) jazzmay.com 
  • Jazz Over Volga River: Yaroslavl (Yaroslavl Jazz Center, biannual, since 1979) Jazzahead! co-exibitor – open page
  • GG Jazz: Krasnodar (since 2011) to-premiera.com
  • Sib Jazz Fest: Novosibirsk (Novosibirsk Philharmonic, biannual, since 2010) filnsk.ru
  • International Jazz Days: Arkhangelsk (since 2011) arkhangelsk-jazz.com

Jazz research:
Jazz Research Center in Yaroslavl (since 2011): Jazzahead! co-exibitor – open page
Both national jazz history research center and extensive library, the Center is preserving, researching, making accessible, and spreading the word about the history of Jazz music in Russia. Thousands of books, records (CDs, LPs, 78s, cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes,) magazines, and movies form the Center’s library, accessible for professional visitors, researchers, and scholars. Current acquisition of several major private jazz archives from musicians, producers, jazz activists, and jazz researchers laid the foundation for an extensive collection of materials on Russian jazz history, documented as far back as 1922.
Contact: Igor Gavrilov, www.jazz.ru/research

Jazz media:

Jazz.Ru Magazine: Jazzahead! co-exibitor – open page
Online since 1997, on paper since 2006, Jazz.Ru is Russia’s only professional jazz medium, targeted on Russian jazz community, both musicians and listeners. The magazine is in Russian language. Since 1998, it is edited (and, since 2005, published) by Cyril Moshkow.
Contact: www.jazz.ru/en