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Black Sea boils again

By Diana Dundua
Wednesday, July 21
4 days of non-stop entertainment and fun came to an end when the 4th Black Sea Jazz Festival in Batumi said goodbye to its fans till next year.

July 15 to 18 were the most delightful days in one of the cutest Black Sea resorts in Georgia. The mix of jazz and African rhythms made people dance till midnight.

14-year-old Georgian virtuoso pianist Beka Gochiashvili and his band opened the 4th Black Sea Jazz Festival and was followed by the world class performers including the Brand New Heavies, Giorgi Mikadze Jazz Trio, AstroGeorgia, the Roy Hargrove Quintet and the Mike Stern Band with special guest Randy Brecker featuring Dave Weckl & Chris Minh Doky.

“It is a huge honour for me to play on the same stage on which world class jazz musicians perform,” Beka Gochiashvili, the youngest performer at the festival, told journalists before his concert on July 15.

The festival was closed by South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer and singer Hugh Masekela & Band. His 2-hour concert made fans dance non-stop to African rhythms. “I attend the Black Sea Jazz Festivals annually but I must say Hugh Masekela and his band blew the audience away. This is one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended,” Dato Gozalishvili told The Messenger on July 18.

During all 4 days of the festival after parties and jam sessions were held at festival partner Batumi Sheraton’s swimming pool where the festival participants improvised.

“In the name of Bank of Georgia (general sponsor of Batumi Black Sea Jazz Festival) and its product American Express Card I want to express immense gratitude to festival organiser Eastern Promotions for giving Georgians the chance to listen to the most tasty music and attend concerts where jazz gurus give unforgettable performances,” Bank of Georgia American Express Card Corporate Communications and PR Manager Sophie Balavadze said at the press conference on Saturday, adding that the Bank would welcome the chance to continue this tradition and support similar events in the future.

The 4th Black Sea Jazz Festival was supported by the Georgian Ministry of Culture and the Adjaran Ministry of Culture. Bank of Georgia American Express Card was its general sponsor, Geocell was among its other sponsors and The Messenger was one of its numerous media partners.