MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. The European jazz community fears competing with Russian jazz musicians, which is why it prevents them from showcasing their skills at jazz exhibitions, Igor Butman, People’s Artist of Russia and head of Moscow Jazz Orchestra, said during his interview with TASS.
"For example, we booked an exhibition stand at the Jazzahead! festival in Bremen. We handed out CDs and brochures, talked about the performers. Then we applied for the showcase part of the exhibition and were turned down by the commission, which only approved European bands. Later, we watched their performances on the Internet and saw that their skills were much weaker than ours," Butman said.
According to Butman, many European musicians have gotten used to having their interests protected. "And if we come in, with all our talent and energy, those European bands might be sidelined," the Russian jazz musician pointed out.
He added that European musicians and bands often tour Russia. "Then let’s level the playing field. Your bands can come to Russia, if ours come to Europe," he offered.
Butman noted that Russian musicians in the US do not face these sorts of problems. "There’s a similar annual event there, we participated and got signed on for a Mid-West tour as a result," he said.