History of the festival - Nisville Jazz Festival
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History of the festival

Nishville Jazz Festival – A brand of artistic music


The International Nisville Jazz Festival is the most visited jazz festival in Southeast Europe, since its establishment in 1995. From the begining, Nisville Jazz Festival consistently defend the European values of multiculturalism and patiently tend the sophisticated musical taste of individuals.
Confirmation of this, among other things, was publication in the European Union newsletter, New Europe Magazine (Brussels), as well as in the prestigious British Guardian from 2016, where Nisville is listed in the Top 10 Jazz Festivals in Europe!


In 2019, Nišville celebrated a significant jubilee under the slogan of the FESTIVAL FESTIVAL – its 25th anniversary, and in addition to a very high quality musical program on 12 stages, the traditional Nišville Jazz Theater Festival was held with 16
international theater performances and the Nišville Film Festival Movie Summit, has featured over 100 films of international and domestic production with music and documentary on several locations in the Niš Fortress, as well as in the city center of Niš.

In the rich accompanying program (free enterence), the festival has in recent years also introduced applied art through an internationally established art colony – Art To Go Jazzy, Jazz Ballet, book promotions and jazz-themed magazines – Nišville Book
Session, comic book exhibitions and comic book workshops – Stripes, photo exhibitions, various tribunes, performances (Nishville Body Art, Nishville Oldtimers Fest), etc.

Nisville 2019 has lasted 11 days, from 1th of August to 11th of August. It brought together over 1,000 performers from around the world in over 20 scenes, with around 300 different programs being performed. Number of visitors is approximately 200,000!

The Nisville Jazz Festival has been the Public City Manifestation of Nis since 2005. In the 2010, by the decision of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, has been a Manifestation of National Importance.

Nishville also won statue Best of Serbia in 2011 selected by the Ministry of Trade and Services, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and received the “Project of the Future” award in the 2010 Serbian Business Journalists Club and Center for SMEs.

The Tourist Organization of Serbia includes Nišville in its official fair offer throughout Europe, and many local and foreign tourist organizations and agencies invite jazz lovers to visit Serbia and the mythical city of Niš in August, because of this unique festival in our region. Logically, the 2015 Nisville Jazz Festival also receives the prestigious Tourist Flower Award for the best tourist and
cultural event in Serbia. This year Nishville was also named the best festival in Serbia under the patronage of “TOP SERBIAN BRANDS 2018”.

From the beginning, the concept of the festival, except for the more traditional forms of jazz, was based primarily on a fusion of this direction with ethno traditions from different parts of the world, and in particular the Balkans. The most famous jazz
magazine in the world, American “Downbeat”, in a comprehensive presentation of the festival in 2008, rated Nishville as a festival that at the same time promotes jazz as a direction created on the American continent, the musical tradition of the Balkans, and
especially the combination of the two styles, thus Nishville contributed greatly to the presentation of Balkan music as a new world trend.

The main program of the festival is held in the open space of the Plateau of Nis Fortress, on two stages – Earth & Sky stage, and many quality domestic and foreign performers perform on stages where the enterence is free for the visitors: River, Open,
Air, Hip Hop, Midnight Jazzdance, Movie , Jazz For Kids, Welcome, Youth, Jazz Museum stage, Kristina stage, etc.

An important segment of the festival is the Nisville Jazz Workshop, established in 2007. The first year of the jazz workshop was held by the guitar legend guitarist Larry Coryell, and in 2008 lectures was given by Dusko Gojkovic, as well as one of the best
drummers in the world, Billy Cobhan. Since 2009, almost all major festival participants have participated as lecturers in the concept of free jazz workshops for almost all instruments used in this music genre. The educational importance of Nišville workshops, which, as a rule, inspire young talented musicians, so it is not surprising that young jazz bands are born every year in Niš and throughout Serbia, which have a chance to perform in a relatively short period of time.

Also, in 2017, Nisville Jazz Festival introduced the new program the “Nišville Serbian Showcase”, which promotes young jazz bands here, and their performances are accompanied and juried by an eminent lineup of jazz impressionists, promoters, journalists and directors of jazz festivals from around the world (America, Russia, China, Lithuania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Croatia, Germany, Albania, BiH, Montenegro, etc.). Among other things, Nisville helps young bands perform at festivals around the world and present the jazz scene here.

Every year Nišville also organizes free concerts of festival participants in different cities of Serbia and the region, including Dimitrovgrad, Paracin, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica, Aleksinac, Prokuplje, Vranje, Pirot, Leskovac, Zajecar, Arandjelovac,
etc.). The festival also hosted live shows in the capitals of neighboring countries (“Nishville in Sofia” at the National Palace of Culture and “Nishville in Skopje” in the Universal Hall), etc.

Among others, Nishville has performers like: Solomon Burke, Tom Harrell, All Di Meola, Monty Alexander, Brian Blade, Richard Galliano, Benny Golson, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, John Patitucci, Candy Dulfer, Roy Hargrove, Sly & Robbie , Mingus Dinasty, The Cookers, Tania Maria, Billy Cobham, The Rosenberg Trio, The Original Blues Brothers Band, Ron Carter, Dr Donald Byrd, Ginger Baker, Dusko Gojkovic, Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Incognito, De Phazz, Jazzanova, Joss Stone, Bob Geldof, Maceo Parker, Alpha Blondy, Omar Hakim, Inner Circle, Gipsy Kings, Christian Scott, Chris Potter, Stanley Jordan, Seun Kuti, Lenny White, Bill Evans, Nouvell Vague, September, Bisera Veletanlic, Vasil Hadzimanov, Vlatko Stefanovski, Rambo Amadeus, The
Brand New Heavies, Gilles Peterson & Jose James, David Murrey, Al Foster, Sun Ra Arkestra, etc.