Jazz May Penza Festival is annual since 2011. It has a status of one of the most impressive cultural events of Central Russia.
The festival stages become the meeting points for jazzmen from Poland, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, USA, Ukraine, Germany, Great Britain. The list of participants includes world wide known musicians such as Benny Greb, Janek Gwizdala, Damien Schmitt, Craig Handy, Richie Cole, Rosario Giuliani, Dena DeRose, JD Walter, Dominik Bukovsky, Emanuele Cisi, David Helbock, Anthony Strong, Igor Butman, Alexey Aigi, Sergey Chipenko, Sergey Letov, Sergey Starostin, Mariam Merabova etc.
Jazz May Festival is used to be a really expected occasion which dresses the cultural landscape of the city.
Three days in the middle of May include:
free concerts on Yubilejnaya Square (more than 12 000 guests);
ticket-entrance concerts of famous Russian and foreign jazz musicians at the stages of Cinema & Concert Hall “Penza” (1600 seats), Penza State Philharmonic (750 seats) and Organ Hall (200 seats);
night jam-sessions, various club program;
open-air “festival village” with musical art-objects and activities for people of all ages;
lections on jazz history, musical theory, work shops for professional musicians, open-air cinema, exhibitions of jazz photographers etc.
Jazz May Festival is a case of productive interaction of government, local business and civil community.
Cultural and tourist product is made by a small group of enthusiasts who is interested in the regional development, an idea of free creative collaboration, is keen in jazz and other noncommercial music.
But it happens due to financial support of local business and using of state cultural infrastructure and communicative possibilities provided by local government.
The result can be reached by collaboration of all three subjects of the process only.
The festival has a rich history, collaborates with numerous national newspapers and TV-channels. In 2012 it won the prize of Best Event Awards as the best Russian project of eventual tourism. In 2014 it won a prize of the significant local magazine Smart Diamond as the most important regional event of the year. In 2016 it was presented as one of the most progressive Russian jazz festivals during the biggest European jazz forum jazzahead!.