Visegrad Jazz Orchestra 2024/2025

Project ID: #22410380
Project title: Visegrad Jazz Orchestra 2024/2025
IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD: 20/05/2024–31/08/2025

Focus area/objective:
Culture and Common Identity,Creating/presenting common audiovisual, literary, and other contemporary art products tonew audiences

Short description of the project:
The project provides a platform for international artists to collaborate with the Visegrad Jazz Orchestra, featuring a stellar lineup of renowned musicians. It also includes a composition competition for composers under 35 to create new works for large jazz ensemble.

Applicant – NanosymphonyPartner 1 – JAZZFESTBRNOPartner 2 – Modern Art OrchestraPartner 3 – Jakub Stankiewicz KSQ MUSIC
Názov organizácieNANOSYMPHONY, o.z.
AdresaSilvánová 23B, Pezinok, 90201, Slovakia
Štatutárny zástupcaRoman Pták
Identifikačné číslo organizácie35605782
Web stránka
Názov organizácieJAZZFESTBRNO, o.p.s.
AdresaKoláčkova 675/21, Brno, 62100, Czechia
Štatutárny zástupcaVilem Spilka
Identifikačné číslo organizácie27028194
Web stránka
Adresa1125 Budapest, Susogó utca 2/A II/9., Hungary
Štatutárny zástupcaKornél Fekete-Kovács
Identifikačné číslo organizácieHU14773101
Web stránka
Modern Art Orchestra
Názov organizácieJakub Stankiewicz KSQ MUSIC
Adresaal. Lipowa 21/6, Wrocław, 53-124, Poland
Štatutárny zástupcaJakub Stankiewicz
Identifikačné číslo organizácie07007639
Web stránka
Jakub Stankiewicz KSQ MUSIC


2.1 What is the main issue that your project would like to focus on? What is the current situation that you wish to change?

The project aims to promote cooperation among leading jazz artists from the Visegrad Four (V4) countries through a large jazz orchestra. Theproject’s ambition is to actively involve the upcoming generation of composers, especially those creating original compositions for this kind ofensemble, in order to preserve the cultural heritage of each V4 nation. While jazz musicians from the V4 countries already maintain relatively activebilateral contacts, these interactions mainly revolve around smaller musical ensembles. Our project offers a broader platform for presentingcompositions designed for larger jazz ensembles, created by young and talented artists from the V4 region. It also includes instrumental performancesfeaturing artists from all V4 countries. We acknowledge that there are currently no state-sponsored jazz orchestras or orchestras affiliated with publicinstitutions at the national level, as is the case in many other European countries. It is crucial to emphasize the significant gap at the national level withinthe V4 countries. State funding support for jazz orchestras or orchestras associated with public institutions is inadequate in the V4 countries. Incomparison to many other European countries where such support is commonplace, the jazz scene in the V4 countries often encounters constraintsand challenges that hinder its development.

2.2 What should be done to address this issue/problem? How does your project contribute to the solution?

Ideally, we envision the establishment of large jazz orchestras in each V4 country, similar to state-owned ensembles or those affiliated with publicinstitutions, like classical symphony orchestras. These orchestras would provide jazz composers and performers with national recognition and supportequivalent to that of classical musicians. Additionally, they could facilitate international collaborations, repertoire exchanges, and host soloists, thusenriching the jazz culture in the V4 countries. While realizing this vision may not be immediately feasible, our project represents a significant steptowards improving the current situation. Our platform not only offers a global stage for composers’ works but also encourages collaboration amongV4 jazz performers. The Visegrad Jazz Orchestra comprises accomplished artists who lead their own projects and also provides opportunities foryoung composers under 35 years old. We emphasize the importance of cultural diversity within the V4 nations. Young composers are encouraged toarrange or compose pieces inspired by their nation’s folk music traditions, tailored for the Visegrad Jazz Orchestra. This allows emerging talents tocontribute to the orchestra’s repertoire while showcasing the unique cultural heritage of the V4 countries through jazz music.

2.3. What added value does your project bring to the already existing practices? What is the innovative element in your proposal?

The project’s value lies in actively involving young authors through the Visegrad Jazz Orchestra Composition Competition. In this competition, aspiringcomposers under the age of 35 from the V4 countries will have the opportunity to arrange a folk music tune from their respective countries or createan original composition that incorporates specific folk music motifs from their homeland, all tailored for the Visegrad Jazz Orchestra (VJO). Thisinitiative aims to expand the rich tradition of arranging folk music and integrating folk motifs found in classical music from all four V4 countries into theworld of jazz. To kickstart this creative endeavor, the project will launch a call for submissions targeting students and young composers from V4countries, utilizing the network of jazz departments in music academies and conservatories connected through Erasmus. Additionally, public radios inall V4 countries will play a vital role in promoting this call. A distinguished jury, comprising members of the Visegrad Jazz Orchestra, will meticulouslyevaluate the submissions and select the top three compositions. These selected compositions will premiere at the orchestra’s planned concert,providing the authors a unique opportunity to witness their work come alive. In recognition of their talent, the composers will receive financial prizesand be invited to attend the orchestra’s rehearsals and performances. This invaluable experience will allow them to directly engage with the orchestraand receive feedback on their compositions.

2.4 What is the regional relevance of your proposal?

The essence of the project is most eloquently encapsulated in the words of Matúš Jakabčic: “The Visegrad Jazz Orchestra stands as a shiningtestament to artistic collaboration within the V4 (Visegrad) region. Artists from all participating countries shared common bond through their sharedpassion for jazz – a universal language that transcends nationality. This musical language enables us to engage in profound communication withoutdiminishing our individual identities. In fact, it is these shared elements that not only bind us together but also allow us to celebrate our unique culturaldiversity. It is precisely this diversity that imbues our ensemble with its captivating allureand infuses it with fresh creative energy. I dare say that in therealm of mutual understanding, jazz musicians, and artists in general, can serve as exemplary role models, setting a positive example that evenpoliticians could draw inspiration from.” Inthis context, the Visegrad Jazz Orchestra becomes more than just a musical ensemble; it becomes atestament to the power of collaboration, transcending borders and fostering unity through the universal language of jazz. This project not onlyshowcases the immense talent within the V4 countries but also demonstrates the harmonious coexistence of diversity and shared passion, ultimatelybridging the gaps between cultures and nations through the power of music.

2.5. How would you describe your organization’s experience in dealing with the proposed topic? Have you previously implementedsimilar projects?

Matúš Jakabčic, the mastermind behind this project, possesses extensive experience in leading large jazz orchestras. He has been at the helm of theCZ-SK Big Band for 18 years, a musical ensemble that has significantly influenced the jazz scene. The band’s impressive discography includes fourCDs, with a particularly remarkable live recording of a concert from Vienna’s ORF Radiokulturhaus. This performance was broadcasted to 16countries worldwide, solidifying the band’s international presence. Additionally, the band released a captivating 2-CD set entitled “Room#555” in2022. The Visegrad Jazz Orchestra was formed in 2014 during a jazz festival in Zabrze, Poland. Matúš Jakabčic was tasked with assembling anorchestra based on his own big band, aiming to bring together musicians from all V4 countries to perform his compositions. Recognizing the rich talentin the region, he expanded the repertoire to include works by other distinguished composers and arrangers, such as Kornél Fekete-Kovács, theleader of Budapest’s renowned Modern Art Orchestra, and Kristóf Bacsó, a longstanding member of the same orchestra. A significant milestone forthe orchestra was their performance in Bratislava in 2016, as part of the 7th European Summit of Regions and Cities. The Visegrad Jazz Orchestraforms a balanced ensemble, consisting of 5 members from Slovakia, 5 from Hungary, 5 from Poland, and 4 from Hungary.


1. Visegrad Jazz Composition Contest 2024

Deadline: 15th September 2024


  1. Composers up to 35 years of age (included) of Czech, Slovak, Polish or Hungarian nationality or composers who live in these four countries and who have been musically active in these countries are eligible to enter the contest (an official document with the stated nationality or a document with a permanent or temporary address will be relevant)
  2. Candidates must submit a full concert score and all parts in PDF format, along with a sound demonstration of the composition in MP3 format. The sound demonstration can be an audio output from a computer. The submitted composition must be unpublished and unknown to the public and must follow the criteria outlined below:

The composition registered in the contest must be an original and must be composed for the following instrumentation:

1. alto saxophone / soprano saxophone / clarinet (solo)
2. alto saxophone / soprano saxophone / clarinet (solo)
1. tenor saxophone / soprano saxophone (solo)
2. tenor saxophone / soprano saxophone (solo)
baritone saxophone / bass clarinet (solo)
1. trumpet / flugelhorn
2. trumpet / flugelhorn (solo)
3. trumpet / flugelhorn (solo)
4. trumpet / flugelhorn (solo)
1. trombone (solo)
2. trombone (solo)
3. trombone (solo)
bass trombone (solo)
guitar (solo)
piano (solo)
double bass (solo)
drums (solo)

The composition should have a duration between 4 and 10 minutes, including any solo sections.

The composition must be in the jazz genre and feature improvised solos.

The composition can be either an arrangement of a folk music tune or an original piece that incorporates one or more folk music motifs from the candidate’s country.


1. place: financial prize in the value of 1.000 €, the composition will be premiered by VJO

2. place: financial prize in the value of 750 €, the composition will be premiered by VJO

3. place: financial prize in the value of 500 €, the composition will be premiered by VJO

All young composers, who will participate in the competition, will have the opportunity to participate in an online consultation with members of the jury. During this consultation process, various aspects, qualities and weak places of the submitted compositions will be discussed, so the contestants will receive feedback on their work from the jury members. In addition to this,three winning compositions will receive their premieres at the orchestra’s concert October, 17th at the Czechoslovak Jazz festival in Přerov, providing the authors with a unique opportunity to witness their work come to life. In recognition of their talent, three composers of the winning compositions will receive financial prizes and will be invited to attend the orchestra’s rehearsal and performance. The participation of the winning contestants is more than welcome, accommodation and travel expenses will be provided free of charge for them.

Time capacity for rehearsals of the winning pieces, which will be performed at the concert, is approximately 3 hours. We ask the composers to take this into consideration – the compositions should not be too long or too hard to play. It has to be a jazz composition, i.e. include elements typical for this genre. We highly recommend that the composers use the great improvisation abilities of solo players of the Visegrad Jazz Orchestra.

All participating composers will be informed of the result no later than September 30th, 2024.

The present jurors will announce the top three compositions during the final concert. The jury reserves the right to award other additional prizes.T


Matúš Jakabčic (SK) – chairmanĽuboš Šrámek (SK)
Štěpánka Balcarová (CZ)Jan Jirucha (CZ)
Kornél Fekete-Kovács(HU)Kristóf Bacsó (HU)
Jakub Stankiewicz (PL)Grzegorz Nagórski (PL)

2. Visegrad Jazz Summit 2024 Přerov, CZ

Dramaturgy of the Concert:

Part 1: Opening compositions bymembers of the orchestra (3-4)

Part 2: Three winning compositions by young composers

Part 3: Evaluation of the composition competition,announcement of the winners, and presentation of the financial prize

Part 4: The final compositions by members of the orchestra (3-4)

The concert’s dramaturgy guarantees that young composers have the opportunity to showcase their compositions in the central portion of the concert. The opening and closing sections of the concert will feature works by renowned composers, ensuring a balanced program and enabling orchestra members to exhibit their virtuosity. This approach fosters a blend of both young and established musical talent throughout the concert.


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