Usadba Jazz Festival is the biggest Russian open-air festival that has joint jazz, funk, world music, acid-jazz, lounge, jazz-rock, blues and other directions of contemporary improvised music.
The idea of the festival belongs to Maria Semushkina, the head of ArtMania Agency the leading Russian agency operating in the field of large-scale musical events. The Festival was held for the first time in May of 2004 at the territory of the Arkhangelskoe Estate, a masterpiece of Russian architecture of the 18th century situated on the outskirts of Moscow («Usadba» is the Russian for Estate). Since then the Festival has become an annual event in Arkhangelskoe. Today Usadba Jazz is one of the biggest musical events in Russia that has helped many top-ranking musicians to access a wide Russian audience.
Usadba Jazz has long gone beyond only a good music and has become a favourite pastime for the whole family, where everyone can find something to their liking. There are shows of brass-ensembles in the lanes of the Estate, children playgrounds with trampolines and animators, fairs of gifts and designer goods, and a big variety of quality gastronomy from the best restaurants. The whole festival is crowned by a grandiose firework.
In 2014 the ambitious New Orleans Jazz Festival was the part of Usadba Jazz festival. As a tribute to jazz mother city, the organizers invited Donald Harrisson, Tara Evans. Hot 8 Band and other notable New Orleans musicians as well as zydeco dancers and chefs from Louisiana to Moscow. For one day one could feel the spirit of jazz motherland just near Moscow.
In 2015 the festival was for the first time held within Moscow city limits, in the spaceous Tsaritsyno park, the residence of Catherine II. Among the artists performing at Usadba Jazz in 2015 were: Tony Allen (France), Omer Avital (Israel), Hiatus Kaiyote (Australia), Igor Butman (Russia), Jones Falily Singers (USA), Mathias Eick Quintet (Norway). View photos here.
From 2011 Usadba Jazz is also held in Saint-Petersburg and from 2013 – in Ekaterinburg, the capital of Ural region. 2014 was the first year for the Festival in Voronezh another major city of Russia. The Festival keeps growing and expands its geographic reach as well as the choice of cutting-edge music.
Among the musicians performing in Saint-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Voronezh in 2015 were Chucho Valdes’ Irakere 40 (Cuba), Nik Bartsch Ronin’s Rhythm Clan (Switzerland), Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet (USA), Ellen Oleria (Brazil), Reis Demuth Wiltgen (Luxembourg), Trio Vein (Switzerland). View photos here.
About 50 000 people yearly attend Usadba Jazz in Moscow, and up to 10 000 in each other city.