The 38th Belgrade Jazz Festival was held under the slogan JAZZBEATS from October 26 to 30, 2022, managed by the Belgrade Youth Centre. The program of the oldest and most internationally renowned Serbian jazz event was marked by a high artistic level, with over 100 musicians from 5 continents delivering 16 concerts, as well as great interest from the audience and professional public. This year, the program continued to focus on the best international line-up of contemporary jazz performers, artists who push the boundaries of jazz and bring genre diversity.  

Stanislav Milojković,, audience in the Youth Center of Belgrade

Following the two difficult years marked by pandemic circumstances, the Belgrade Jazz Festival can proudly say that it was among the rare international musical events that maintained the continuity of the live program in 2020 and 2021. Consistency in organizing live concerts and guarding the artistic flame with direct contact between performers and visitors at its essence triumphed when our event's loyal audience fully returned to the venues.

The show attendance was extraordinary and extremely high, even within European frameworks: all ticket sets were sold out, over 80% percent of the total number of individual tickets were sold, and for some shows, tickets were sold out days before!

Also, the support of the artistic community has never been stronger, and the Festival team received the highest praise from all the acts, the audience, and the local and international peers who returned in large numbers to one of Europe's favorite jazz destinations. We accept the compliments with gratitude and pride, but we share them with all visitors and friends of the Belgrade Jazz Festival because they go to all those whose hearts beat to the rhythm of jazz again this year in late October, but also to our city and country to which we are dedicated cultural missionaries.

Stanislav Milojković, audience in mts Hall

The support of the partners was according to the possibilities in the conditions of global economic difficulties. Still, it is essential to note that even under those circumstances, the Belgrade Jazz Festival, as an event of special cultural interest for the City of Belgrade, maintained a high-quality level, with a strong echo all over the globe in the following weeks, as the reviews in international media come out.

Stanislav Milojković, 38. The Belgrade Jazz Festival was officially opened by jazz musician Milena Jančurić and photographer Laslo Dorman.

The focus of the 38th Belgrade Jazz Festival was orchestral jazz, with a record of three big bands in the program, presenting three different concepts: traditional big band style (Big Band RTS with Omar Sosa), modern trends in composing (ONJ - Orchester National de Jazz) and the so-called Third Stream (fusion of classical and jazz, chamber orchestra Muzikon and Schime). The RTS Big Band faced an extremely demanding program and excelled, performing one of the most impressive concerts in recent history under the leadership of the agile young conductor Filip Bulatović. ONJ showed the audience alternative solutions in contemporary orchestral jazz during a highly emotional performance. The opening act, Schime and the Muzikon chamber orchestra, had the character of "grand" openings, painting lavish music images all over the Belgrade Youth Centre Great Hall.

Stanislav Milojković, Schime and the Muzikon Chamber Orchestra
Stanislav Milojković, RTS Big Band and Omar Sosa Trio
Stanislav Milojković, Avishai Cohen Quartet

Three experienced quartets left the strongest impression, all with premiere programs. The Avishai Cohen Quartet performed the entire Naked Truth suite, Lars Danielsson's Liberetto delivered a large portion of Cloudland, and Sexmob presented their next album, The Hard Way.

New jazz heroes led two quartets: the world's best alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins and leading British jazz lady, tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia. These ensembles also represented a variety of concepts and musical interests. Cohen was the most introspective, Wilkins the most expressive. Danielson's music exploded with romance, Garcia's with energy.

Stanislav Milojković, Nubya Garcia

Steven Bernstein and Sexmob demonstrated "in-the-moment" composing and arranging, rarely seen on our jazz scenes - spanning a broad genre spectrum from New Orleans, to funk and rock, to the avant-garde.

Stanislav Milojković, Steven Bernseit – Sexmob

Novi evropski džez reprezentovali su mladi umetnici iz zemalja koje su nezaobilazne u programu manifestacije: Italije (Enrico Morello Cyclic Signs), Portugala (Luís Vicente Trio), Poljske (Dominik Vanja) i Austrije (HI5).

Stanislav Milojković, Enrico Morello Cyclic Signs
Stanislav Milojković, Luís Vicente Trio

New European jazz was represented by young artists from standard countries in the event's program: Italy (Enrico Morello Cyclic Signs), Portugal (Luís Vicente Trio), Poland (Dominik Wania) and Austria (HI5). Altogether their music describes, in a nutshell, the opulence approach as well as the high potential of jazz on the continent the Festival wishes to support as a proud member of the Europe Jazz Network. Vicente is the most avant-garde but occasionally extraordinary lyrical. Wania balances the rich history of Polish jazz, modern pianistic performances and classics. The Italians and Austrians presented interesting music in terms of the arrangement with enough space for soloists' outings.

Stanislav Milojković, HI5

Beyond possible classification, we also saw the Lytton/Vandermark/Wooley trio performing eclectic music representing three generations of the world's avant-garde. By placing them in the early evening hours, the Festival demonstrates courage and a no-compromise approach, fully understanding that an equal opportunity should be given to music of a more conventional orientation and complicated structures because such is the profile of contemporary jazz.

Stanislav Milojković, Lytton / Vandermar / Wooley

The Serbian Showcase was again very diverse. Milena Jančurić was in modern mainstream waters, and the Power NAP Trio was more avant-garde than the others. Aleksandar Jovanović Šljuka rounded off the solo piano recital with authority. Together with the Schime ensemble, who not only performed new music but also surprised everyone by releasing an album with the Muzikon ensemble on the day of the concert, the Serbian artists at the opening of the event deeply impressed the international media, who recognized their strength and the richness of expression in the New Serbian Jazz Wave.

Stanislav Milojković, Milena Jančurić Quintet
Stanislav Milojković, Aleksandar Jovanović Shljuka
Stanislav Milojković, Power NAP Trio

Around twenty international journalists from Great Britain, the USA, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Latvia, Austria, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina covered the Festival. The Italian critic Ugo Sbisà delivered a lecture on Italian jazz in the European context at the Italian Institute of Culture. For the first time, a European jazz event representative attended the Festival as part of the Europe Jazz Network's professional exchange project; Basque Paci Berard, press attaché of the famous jazz festival in San Sebastián.  

Four professional workshops were led by Ken Vandermark, Paul Lytton, Nate Woolley, Steven Bernstein, Leila Martial and Immanuel Wilkins: the turnout of the FMU jazz department students and the "Stanković" Music School jazz department students was extraordinary, and their engagement exceptional.

Nebojša Mićković, workshop of the 38th Belgrade Jazz Festival
Nebojša Mićković, workshop of the 38th Belgrade Jazz Festival
Nebojša Mićković, workshop of the 38th Belgrade Jazz Festival at FMU
Nebojša Mićković, workshop of the 38th Belgrade Jazz Festival at FMU

A photo exhibition by László Dormán: Belgrade Jazz Festival 1971-1990: Rewind in the Belgrade Youth Centre halls presented the selection from this artist's remarkable body of work from the first two decades of the Festival, with magnificent stories about the performances of jazz greats in Belgrade

Stanislav Milojković, exhibition "Belgrade Jazz Festival - Rewind" by Lasl Dorman

Patrons of the 38th Belgrade Jazz Festival: City of Belgrade - City Authority - Secretariat for Culture; Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.

Friends of the 38th Belgrade Jazz Festival: Lukoil, SOKOJ, DPC Networks.

38. BDŽF podržali: US EmbassyFrench Institute in SerbiaItalian Institute in BelgradeAustrian Cultural ForumEmbassy of Portugal and Camões InstituteZbigniew Seifert FoundationAdam Mickiewicz Institute and Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of PolandEmbassy of IsraelCollegium HungaricumTourist Organization of SerbiaTourist Organization of BelgradeFaculty of Music"Stanković" Music School.

The Belgrade Jazz Festival is a member by invitation of the Europe Jazz Network (Europe Jazz Network).