INTRODUCTION BY VLADIMIR GADJEV
It is sufficient to turn over the pages of specialized magazines in order to find out that a great number of Jazz festivals and musical feasts, including Jazz in their programs, start in the beginning of August. There are dozens of them in Europe, America and Asia, and the Bulgarian Varna Jazz is among them.
The international Jazz event in Varna entered the 21st century as a link of the big festival chain. This has already been realized in Bulgaria and awareness of it is growing in Europe. In other words, the European integration of Varna Jazz is a fact that is ahead of the ambitions of Bulgarian politicians and state institutions. It is sufficient to be acquainted (even from the magazines only) with the artistic profile of European festivals with their dynamic restructuring and the quick entrance into the until recently free niches in order to realize the actuality of the criteria, imposed and vindicated by Varna Jazz.
Unbiased view from the outside, free of the homebred criteria and complexes, and sharpened by the live contact with European festival practice, obligates us to place Varna Jazz in another, more general and precise coordinates - the European. Without boasting or trying to servile (God forbid!) we should clearly and adamantly say that Varna Jazz stands remarkably and steadily in the European coordinates. The festival's position is chiefly due to its preferences for the modern varieties of the traditional Jazz art, its self-confidence, and the active encouraging of any experiment, leading to destruction and not to strengthening of aesthetic and ethnic boundaries. In the year 2002 Europe is becoming aware that its Jazz is an autonomous territory, but remaining faithful and adaptive to the best in them. Something more - in 2002 Europe opens new reservoirs of ideas and a creative spirit. Their sources are the somewhat forgotten achievements during the different cultural epochs till the Middle Ages or the little-known wealth of the Orient in its geographic and cultural entity (from the Far East to the Balkans). These tendencies are projected, more manifestly or more weakly, in the 11-year-old history of Varna Jazz. Due to these projections, known and widely commented at various Jazz forums, the prestige, artistic influence and prospects in front of the international event in Varna go up. And they will be increasing in a complete synchronism with the European festival philosophy and artistic proposals.