Meet Our Community

Maya Dimerli Ukraine

Maya Dimerli is a writer based in Odessa, Ukraine who served as Executive Director of the Master-Jam Fest jazz competition and festival, which has organized International Jazz Day celebrations since 2015.

“Nowadays the world is facing a crisis. Mankind may overcome it only through collaboration, creativity, trust and joy.”

What does jazz music mean to you?
First of all, jazz means to me Ella Fitzgerald’s unforgettable voice, incredible improvisations, freedom of expression of the slightest shades of feelings. I was fourteen when I found a vinyl record in a music shop for the first time. I heard Ella’s name but I had never listened to her performing before. Then I bought the record. I was so impressed that I listened to it non-stop over and over again until midnight. Ella was my first encounter with jazz. So, it was an experience of real freedom and happiness of self-expression that was presented to me by someone else. Ella opened for me this fantastic door into freedom and happiness through jazz.

What does jazz mean to your community?
It is obvious for the Odessa jazz community that this outstanding genre of music is a source of cooperation and creativity in action. It supports and develops everyday life. The more jazz the better!

Why are you celebrating International Jazz Day?
Every movement that leads to understanding and mutual respect among people deserves to be supported and spread. People who play, sing and listen to jazz are pretty good company for communication and celebration.

Why is it important?
Nowadays the world is facing a crisis. Mankind may overcome it only through collaboration, creativity, trust and joy. All these things are jazz!

What would you like to see happen through this day – short term and long term?
In the short-term, I would like to see one more person who for the first time will discover and will be really into jazz music through our concert. It would be great! In the long term, I would like to see a new discipline in educational institutions, for instance, improvisational (or maybe, jazz) thinking. I believe it could help people to become more positive, intelligent, conscious, confident and respectful to each other.