Ukrainian institute at EJC (Europe Jazz Network Conference)

The European Jazz Conference is an annual event that brings together leading professionals from the jazz sector in Europe, in particular promoters, cultural managers, agents, and representatives of national and regional industry support organisations.

Europe Jazz Network Conference 2023

This year’s Europe Jazz Network conference, held from September 14 to 17, gathered 472 participants from 40 countries in Marseille, France. It was the most attended conference since its inception. International jazz industry experts were warmly welcomed by the Marseille Jazz de cinq continents festival in collaboration with the leading institution, the European Jazz Network (EJN). 

The conference theme, “Illuminations,” focused on educational processes in music, including creative music education, inclusivity, non-academic education, support for young musicians, and more. Important topics also included the functioning of the jazz industry in the face of climate change. 


For the second time, the Ukrainian Institute had the honor of being a participant in Europe’s key jazz event. Mariana Bondarenko, Head of the Ukrainian Institute Music Sector, stated, “Throughout the intensive three days of panel discussions, networking sessions, and showcases, we were able to:  

  • Expand our network of contacts and potential international partners. 
  • Scale up existing partnerships with colleagues from Sweden, France, Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and others. 
  • Secure support for Ukrainian music content in foreign media. 
  • Develop a participation algorithm for Ukrainian jazz venues and festivals in the Green Pilot Tours programme, facilitating foreign musician tours and studio visits by international jazz industry experts to Ukraine. 
  • Collect materials from the latest releases by leading European musicians for inclusion in Ukrainian jazz programs.” 

We extend our gratitude for the continuous support and cooperation of the Europe Jazz Network, which has enabled the Ukrainian Institute’s participation in the conference for the second consecutive time and consistently helps integrate the Ukrainian jazz scene into the European context. 

Mariana Bondarenko with EJN award laureate, artistic director of L’arme! festival Louis Rastig, Swedish artists Anna Lundqvist, Terese Lien Evenstad and music managers from Latvia and Germany.

Europe Jazz Network 2022

European Jazz Conference 2022 occurred in Sofia, Bulgaria, between 22 and 25 September. 

The theme of the 2022 European Jazz Conference was BREAKING NEW GROUND.

A Ukrainian duo of electronic musician Koloah (Dmytro Avksentiev) and trumpet player Dennis Adu performed at the special block devoted to Ukraine on September 23 at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, with an introduction by Mariana Bondarenko, Music Programme Manager of the Ukrainian Institute. 

The collaboration between the musicians was born in 2020 for Am I Jazz? festival, thanks to Olga Bekenstein, music curator, founder and artistic director of this festival. For all the time of preparation for EJN, artists did not even see each other and only exchanged messages on Telegram. Despite these circumstances, the collaboration still exists and is developing into new projects. 

Koloah (Dmytro Avksentiev) and trumpet player Dennis Adu 

About cooperation between Ukrainian Institute and EJN

The cooperation between Ukrainian Institute and EJN has started In 2022 and developed actively on different levels. From the very beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, EJN was one of the first organisations of its kind to have published a statement in support of Ukraine. In cooperation with Ukrainian Institute EJN published an interactive list of Ukrainian musicians who had to leave their country and fled to the EU, thus motivating EJN partners throughout Europe to cooperate with Ukrainian musicians.  

In April 2022, in the framework of JAZZAHEAD! in Bremen two delegations from Ukraine and EJN had a first meeting to discuss potential perspectives of mutual cooperation. Thus, in June 2022 Olga Bekenstein, was invited to attend the Sarajevo festival to meet other delegates and have a possibility of networking.  

Moreover, Ukrainian Institute initiated joining one of the biggest online EJN projects: Jazz Panorama – an interactive map which is the most comprehensive online guide on European jazz to date. Ukrainian content was published by the beginning of EJN Conference and was presented during the conference in Sofia.