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Nazaretov Kim Avedikovich (24.08.1936 – 18.07.1993, Rostov-on-Don) was an administrator of the jazz orchestra, pianist, arranger, composer, pedagogue. Honoured Art Worker of RSFSR (1985), first professor of variety and jazz music in the country (1989), who played an exceptional role in jazz establishment in South Russia.

One of the founders and creators of variety and jazz education in USSR, first head of the variety and jazz music department in Rostov College of Art (1974-1985), first head of the variety and jazz music department in S.V. Rakhmaninov Rostov State Conservatory (1982-1993).

Member of Coordinating Committee of variety education under the Central Scientific Methodical Cabinet on educational institutions of culture and art (1984-1993). Founder of the Municipal Jazz Orchestra (1963-1993). Laureate of international and native jazz festivals. Head of jury at international and native jazz contests. Author of methodical studies and tutorials on acoustic piano and orchestra class for variety and jazz departments of musical colleges and institutes of higher education. Teacher who educated many laureates of international and native contests and festivals working in Russia, European countries and America.

A little incomprehensible for today’s generation name “Kim”, in 1936 it was quite widespread and stood for Communist International of Youth. And so it happened that this good Soviet name got tightly bound with “bad”bourgeois word jazz.

Kim went through all appropriate stages of complete musical education (school – college – institute of higher education), and at all stages he was accompanied by his love to alien art. College teacher, graduate of Moscow Conservatory ( professor L.N. Oborin’s class) M.I. Kats did not accept any jazz and saw Kim as a brilliant classic pianist. But theoretician G. M. Barsegyan treated his student’s harmonic esercizi quite loyally and even allowed him to play modulations with jazz harmonies.

In 1956 Kim Nazaretov graduated the college with honours and went to Kharkov Conservatory. In Kharkov Kim established his first orchestra “Friendship”. The repertoire was derived from Willis Conover’s programs “Jazz hour” and trophy films such as “Serenade of Sunny Valley” and “George from Dinky –Jazz”.

Since October 1960 Kim Nazaretov started cooperating with Kharkov Theater of Young Spactator: first as an orchestra conductor, then he was appointed head of musical department. For three years he composed music to eight performances. Graduation from the conservatory coincided with the contest among pianists-graduates of conservatories of the Ukraine, Moldavia and Byelorussia. Kim participated and took the I place.

In August 1963 the Nazaretovs family moved to Rostov. Kim worked in Rostov College of Arts and gave concerts in Philharmonic. But jazz still “captured” him. And his dream about establishment of jazz orchestra in Rostov suddenly appeared to be absolutely realizable. As close as in September with the help of a friend – saxophonist Vladimir Popov – the first membership was formed, which a month and a half later showed a small program at “Russia” cinema to Oleg Loundstrem’s orchestra that had come on tour to Don Capital. That got it started. In summer 1964 the orchestra started performing in October Revolution park in the dance pavilion “Melody”, and lived quite a long life under this name. The band did not have a “permanent residence”, they were wondering around various Houses of Culture, but it did not prevent them from creating new programs and performing them regularly in the downtown.

At the same time Kim Nazaretov worked at the theaters (the following music to performances has survived: “Warsaw melody”, “Theft of onions”, “Twenty years later”, “A Kind man from Sichuan”). In early 70s two events astounded jazzmen in Russia. In 1971 legendary Duke Ellington came to the country together with his unique orchestra of soloists, and a year later – an orchestra under the administration of trumpeter and composer Ted Jones and drummer Mel Louis. “Live” performance of idols certainly stirred up creative potential of Kim Nazaretov’s Rostov jazz orchestra. The musicians started seeking their own sound, their individual style of performance. The repertoire enriched and broadened itself. Then came 1974, a momentous year for the history of our country’s  jazz: variety and jazz departments (VJD) were established in musical colleges of twenty Russian cities by the resolution of the Ministry for Culture of RSFSR. Almost in all colleges there was VJD under acoustic piano and wind instrument departments. In Don capital it became independent immediately, that is why it is officially considered to be “the first in USSR”. It was opened by Director of Russian College of Arts A. I. Bezdomniy, pianist K. A. Nazaretov and trombonist V. G. Koutov (later – creative director of K. Nazaretov Rostov Jazz Orchestra).

In 1974 part of the orchestra (or, to be more precise – “third” membership) “moved” to the Concert Hall of Russian College of Arts, and on its basis a students and teachers’ band was created, that as fast as in May 1976 first went to a jazz festival in Kuybyshev (now – Samara).

In 1977 RCA orchestra received an invitation to the tenth anniversary of Yuriy Kozyrev’s “Moskvorechye” studio (now – Moscow College of Improvised Music). This first trip of Rostov big band to Moscow became the first meeting with Vladimir Feiertag.

In 1978 VJD of RCA got its fifth admission and already had about 60 people. The question arouse about the second, in fact, student orchestra, administration of which Kim Avedikovich entrusted to Mikhail Radinskiy.

In 1982 Rector of Rostov State Musical Pedagogic Institute (RSMPI) Anatoliy Ivanovich Kousyakov (honoured Art Worker of Russia, professor of composition) offered Kim Avedikovich to open first in the country variety jazz faculty in the institute of higher education. And soon student jazz orchestra appeared which K. Nazaretov entrusted Yuriy Kinus to administrate, today’s chief conductor and creative director of Kim Nazaretov municipal jazz orchestra.

In 1983 Rostov big band of Kim Nazaretov together with creative team of filmmakers from “Vladikavkaz - telefilm” studio undertook a big concert tour around Russia and North Caucasus that came to an end in Moscow State Variety Theater. Major part of repertoire consisted of variety and jazz music by Mourad Kazhlayev, that was performed by Rostovites and became part of the film “Mourad Kazhlayev – rhythms and years” and record “Only you”.

In April 1984 Kim Avedikovich held I Don festival of the country’s big bands where, apart from bands, leading figures of native jazz came: A.M. Kotlyarovskiy, V.E. Terletskiy, Yu.S. Saulskiy, V.N. Lyudvikovskiy, G.A. Garanyan.

In May the tenth anniversary of jazz education was celebrated in the country, and it gave rise to  Moscow show-contest VJD. Kim Avedikovich went to this contest as a juryman. The 1st place was divided between RCA under/adm. of Mikhail Radinskiy and Gnesinykh Moscow College under/adm. of Anatoliy Kroll. The same year Kim Nazaretov became member of Coordinating Committee of Variety Education under the Central Scientific Methodical Cabinet on educational institutions of culture and art.

IX Moscow Festival of Jazz Music was held in 1985 in Moscow. The performance of K Nazaretov’s big band was recorded. On the 17th of May K.A. Nazaretov was awarded the title “Honoured Worker of Arts of RSFSR” by the General Committee of RSFSR Supreme Soviet for merits in the sphere of music art.

1986 was the fiftieth anniversary of Maestro and the thirtieth anniversary of his creative activity. The Great  Hall of Rostov Regional Philharmonic  was full. It is absolutely impossible to convey, or even partially retell everything about that grandiose celebration. I can mention only one present of native jazz veteran A. Kotlyarevskiy. He presented to Kim Avedikovich a big chased medal with an inscription: :To the most charming person, great musician, connoisseur of jazz, fighter for swing, creator of big band”. It expressed everything.

In spring of 1987 All-Russian Contest of Variety and Jazz Vocalists was held at the initiative of K. Nazaretov (the jury included Yuriy Saulskiy, Igor Bril, Larisa Dolina, Gelena Velikanova, Kim Nazaretov). In April Kim held II Don Jazz Festival of big bands which was that time international (with bands from Germany, France, Poland participating). In December 1987 K. A. Nazaretov together with RSMPI students and graduates went as a juryman to Kalish in Poland to XIV International Contest of Jazz Pianists named after Mstislav Kosz. In Kalish Kim Avedikovich was appointed Chief Juryman for pianists. Winners of prize were Rostov dweller Igor Ukolov (graduation of 1985) and 3rd-year student Mikhail Ivanov. In 1988 the orchestra was invited on tour to Scotland to the twin-city Glasgow. The same year at the Philharmonic Kim Avedikovich started a cycle of concerts under the heading “Jazz + Jazz”. Mikhail Ivanov’s ensemble performed at the first part of the concert, guest performers – at the second part.

III Don Festival of Big Bands (April 1989) was held by Vladimir Feiertag.  The master of ceremonies’ part was inimitable, full of humour and interesting details. It seems that it was then when Kim neatly  remarked: Feiertag is Andronikov in jazz”.

That evening Nazaretov played the piano solo very often. The instrument seemed to be singing. In Duke Ellington’s favourite composition “In Soft Tones” the pianist was especially brilliant playing his amazingly beautiful sound which was called “kimlike, velvety” by the musicians.

II International Contest of Jazz Ensembles was held in September in Belgium. Of 96 participants only 10 reached the final, among them – only one band from Russia - RSMPI graduates “Rostov-trio” (brothers Ivanovs and drummer Gedeon Peysakhov) who received Grand prize.  To the point that was the birthplace of the following pun: Rostov-trio from the city of Nazaret”.

In April 1990 Kim Nazaretov in close cooperation with WMO organized Worldwide Contest of Jazz Performers.

Two schools could be called winners: Moscow and Rostov. In autumn of the same year Variety and Jazz Music department of RSMPI joined the International Association of Jazz Schools (Glasgow), which was working under the following motto: “The future of jazz is bound with the future of jazz education and International Association of Jazz Schools”.

Since 1991 Kim Avedikovich opened a monthly season ticket concert “Jazz at Noon” which Yu. G. Kinus  assisted him to hold. In January 1992 Nazaretov was for the first time awarded an academic title of professor of the variety and jazz music department. The same year on the 15th of July a municipal musical center was established, and Kim Nazaretov’s big band finally achieved a status of a professional band. It was immediately agreed that the Center would be situated in “Russia” cinema, but the tenants were in no hurry to vacate the premises. Despite all difficulties, Rostov jazz band prepared a new program “Excursion around the history of jazz” and performed it at the International Jazz-Festival in Koblenz (Germany). Maestro himself was at the piano. The performance of Rostovites received deep resonance in press, one of the articles was headed “Glenn Miller from Don”.

The year 1993 was very intense for K. Nazaretov: numerous concerts, May Festival of Big Bands in Moscow, preparation of admission to a postgraduate course and assistant course, serious rehearsal work before going to the festival in Bulgaria and on tour in Germany, entrance examinations at VJD…

On the 21st of December 1993 the municipal jazz orchestra of Kim Nazaretov finally moved officially to their own premises but …without Kim. 

“Undoubtful person” Kim Avedikovich Nazaretov was a unique combination of brilliant talents of a Big Musician and A Big Personality. Here is only one example. On the 30th of March 1993 something unforeseen had happened. Vocalist Eduard Krylov had come to the stage. Master of ceremonies had made an announcement: Eddie Rozner, song “I know nothing” (this song had been written by Henrik Vars, but it had been performed by Rozner’s orchestra). The orchestra had played the prelude and the singer had forgotten the words. Kim Avedikovich had started singing instead of him. The audience stood up! This song’s words can be regarded as Kim Nazaretov’s motto: “I live when love, and that is all!”

M. Kazhlayev “Only you” (1987).
Festival records – “Jazz-84, rec.
3. “Autumn rhythms-85”, rec.1
“Tbilisi-86”, rec.2.
“Autumn rhythms-88”, rec.1
“Jazz Orchestra of Kim Nazaretov ” (2002).
“Fair”. Municipal Jazz Orchestra of  Kim Nazaretov
1997-2003 (2003).

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