The Batumi Backyard Stories is a grassroots cultural initiative that brings together local artists and citizens to explore and co-create the hidden histories that exist within any given neighborhood in the city. Interdisciplinary artist teams interview the families who live within a neighborhood courtyard block, discovering their cultural legacies and creating a customized art installation and performance event in their neighborhood courtyard. The public art installations pay homage to what the neighborhoods’ families wish to call attention to within everyday life, and they, along with Batumi’s local residents and plentiful international tourists, are invited to attend these celebratory opening events.

Batumi Backyard Stories

Batumi backyard stories
Batumi backyard stories
Batumi backyard stories

12 interdisciplinary artists from various Georgian regions selected trough the special call worked together with the 4 international artists from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the USA. These artists worked closely with each other and the neighborhood residents to learn what the local families believe are their most precious cultural legacies – their histories, personal stories, daily practices and customs. Each courtyard was then transformed into a temporary gallery and stage; events such as concerts, plays, poetry/prose readings, feasts, dances, etc. celebrated the unique stories that exist within that specific local community.
One of the most important elements of the project is an educational one that helps build the local cultural infrastructure: a critical dimension that included portfolio presentations of all the participants and master-class/lectures by the international artists on the ways that art and life can merge within socially engaged art and community art practices. These international knowledge exchanges between all the artist participants and subsequent network building is an essential component of the project, which is intended to be an annual event providing opportunities for refining and expanding cultural production in the region.

batumi georgia
batumi backyard stories

The Black Sea Jazz is an international jazz festival held annually, traditionally in July, in Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, which, along with Tbilisi Jazz Festival, is one of the country’s main jazz events.

The festival was founded in 2007. The subsequent editions broadened the scope of the festival to include R&B, soul, disco, funk, and hip-hop and hosted both Georgian and international performers as diverse as George Clinton, Snoop Dogg, Lisa Stansfield, and The Prodigy. The 10th edition, held from 15 to 24 July 2016, was the largest one in the history of the Black Sea Jazz Festival.

This year, the Black Sea Jazz Festival is hosting the following artists:

JAMIROQUAI

Founded in 1992 by front man Jay Kay, the pioneers of “future funk” have taken the world by storm, establishing themselves as one of the most successful acts on the planet. Jamiroquai have consistently proved themselves as one of the globe’s most revered and unifying musical innovators of our time.

With over seven albums reaching the UK Top 10 (and three reaching #1), the Grammy Award winning, Brits-nominated band have sold over 26m albums worldwide and hold the Guinness Book of World Records record for best-selling funk album of all time.

DELASOUL

De La Soul is an American hip hop trio formed in 1987 on Long Island, New York. The group is best known for their eclectic sampling, quirky lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the jazz rap and alternative hip hop subgenres. The members are Posdnuos, Dave and Maseo. The three formed the group in high school and caught the attention of producer Prince Paul with a demo tape of the song “Plug Tunin’”. With its playful wordplay, innovative sampling, and witty skits, the band’s debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, has been called “a hip hop masterpiece.”

In early 2015, they announced plans to release a Kickstarter-funded upcoming 9th studio album And the Anonymous Nobody in September 2015; it was released on August 26, 2016. The album tracks are said to be the result of multiple improvised jam sessions. The album also features guest appearances from artists such as Damon Albarn, Little Dragon, David Byrne and 2 Chainz.

JOSS STONE

At 28, Joss Stone has been in music half her life. She signed to a major label at 15, and released her debut album, The Soul Sessions, aged 16. She has sold over 14 million albums worldwide, won Grammys and Brits, with her success paving the way for a new generation of British female soul artists. With ‘Water For Your Soul’, set for release on July 31st, Joss has made an album that will surely win her legions of new fans as well as beguiling existing followers the world over.

‘Water For Your Soul’ is the fruits of her travels in sound, demonstrating how the teen soul prodigy has blossomed into an artist of style and substance. It is an album that pulses with the liquid groove of reggae, dazzles with the mix and match sonic adventure of hip hop, shimmers with the exotic sounds of world music and delivers the emotional belt of R’n’B. “It’s really a combination of all the things I like,” explains Joss.

Black Sea Jazz Festival 2016, artists:

MACY GRAY

MILES ELECTRIC BAND

NIK WEST

Black Sea Jazz Festival

QUINCY JONES

MS. LAURYN HILL

THE PRODIGY