Several weeks ago, I was approached by the US Embassy in Baku to engage in another great initiative- building dialogue and bringing conflicting sides together through Jazz. Called Kavkaz Jazz and taking place between May 1st and May 9th in Georgia, the project was initiated by the US Embassies in all three neighboring countries- Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. Though I believe that it was the embassy in Azerbaijan that threw the idea onto the table. While, I had to turn down the offer to cover the event directly from Georgia due to my traveling, I followed the updates of the initiative through event's own Facebook page and videos posted on YouTube.
According to the creators of the Facebook page: "the goal of the festival is to establish regular programs in order to develop jazz music and make cultural dialogues between musicians to support their future cooperation. We consider jazz to make a symbol of peace, freedom, independence and tolerance in the region of Caucasus".
You can read more about the festival here and watch some of the footage here (updated version) and here. Some of the photos available from the event can be found on the Facebook page of Ilgar Mirza, a blogger who was covering the event together with another video blogger from Azerbaijan Vugar Safarov. On this page, you can access other links related to the event.
Here is the video prepared by Vugar and posted on local online video channel ANTV.
Finding this project simply amazing, I hope there will be more of such cultural and collaborative initiatives. I would also like to say a big thank you to the organizers and well done to the participants (visit the website for a full list of participants). And I hope I am there to for the coverage of the next one :)