BRAZZ Festival: Two Nights of Great Jazz on Brač Island

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by Nikolina Demark,

The best festivals, be it music, cinema, arts or something else, always come to life as a result of pure enthusiasm. A handful of people, or even a single person, can turn an initial idea into a stunning manifestation by the sheer force of good will, gifting the local community with a memorable event that just might turn into a tradition.

A fine example of this is BRAZZ, the jazz festival that’s about to take place on Brač island on August 13 and 14. After the successful trial round held last summer, BRAZZ is coming back better and richer in content to fill the streets of Supetar town with smooth, mesmerising tunes.

The festival was launched by Ana Bakulić, a Slovenian biologist who has family roots in Dalmatia. She used to come to Brač on holiday, until one day she wished for a change of scenery and moved to the island. The enchanting ambiance of Dalmatia’s biggest island inspired her to organise a cultural manifestation in the summer; a longtime fan of jazz, Bakulić managed to put together a music festival without substantial funds or institutional support. She reached out to Matija Dedić, Jure Pukl and Vasko Atanasovski, arranged for a piano to be transported from Zagreb to Brač, and got the first edition of BRAZZ to be included in the full programme of Supetar Summer Festival. Judging by the audience of 500 people and the visitors’ delighted reactions, the event was a success.

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This year, BRAZZ gets an introductory evening: on Sunday, August 13, jazz lovers and cinema enthusiasts will enjoy a music-themed movie night under the stars with a screening of ‘Miles Ahead’, a biopic about the jazz legend Miles Davis. The movie will be screened as part of the Supetar Summer Cinema, starting from 21:30.

Things are heating up the following night with a performance of the acclaimed duo Bow vs Plectrum, featuring Filip Novosel playing the tambourine and Tihomir Hojsak on a double bass. The exotic duo is known for their unconventional approach to music, fusing ethno melodies and contemporary jazz; they’ll be accompanied by 20 members of the Strings Section of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Igor Tatarević. This is the first time Bow vs Plectrum and the orchestra will be performing live together, promoting their joint album Strings Only. As such a special occasion calls for an equally special venue, the concert will be held in front of St. Peter’s church in Supetar starting from 21:00.

As Bakulić and all other supporters of BRAZZ wish for the festival to keep getting better with each passing year, a campaign was launched to raise funds to obtain a much-needed concert piano. Apart from being a worthy addition to the festival itself, the new instrument would make it easier to organise other future manifestations on the island. Can you imagine a better investment, no matter how small, than becoming part of a priceless cultural tradition in making? If you want to help, you can find more information here.

The entrance to all BRAZZ events is free, and the event announcement promises there will be as many seats as there are fish in the sea. See you in Supetar!

Photo credit: Brazz

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