Kseniia Gordiash
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ANDRII POKAZ is an Odesa-born pianist, composer, teacher, and mastermind of the new jazz wave in Ukraine together with his band POKAZ TRIO. Now he is living his life by the new rules as millions of Ukrainians do.

Andrii has stayed in Ukraine since the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, still having an opportunity to go touring, and presenting his authentic approach to contemporary instrumental music.

This Thursday 19.10.2023 ANDRII POKAZ is performing in duo with SEBASTIAN STUDNITZKY at the Emmauskirche on a special show presented by XJAZZ! and will share with us his reflection on a new reality. 

When the war began the music disappeared.

Inside and outside. But when it appeared again it appeared very different, as by that time I became different.

I would never believe that I

will appear in “Rolling Stone” magazine as a cook assistant, while preparing humanitarian dinners for the armed forces of Ukraine

© Kseniia Gordiash

© Kseniia Gordiash

From the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, I went through different stages of emotional evolution:

- panic, when you feel like you need to do something urgently but have no clue what to do.

It felt like you were taught to swim by being pushed off the pier without warning.

- apathy, realizing that nothing depends on you, and nothing belongs to you.

- long way to rethink and rebuild life.

- finding myself now in a very fragile, but unbreakable state.

While living in Odesa during a blackout without electricity and connection for 96 hours

I was watching trees grow. But still, life was going on, even without electricity: I continued teaching my students in Odesa Conservatory with a head torch, took a military training course, had all-night-long conversations with friends in someone‘s kitchen during curfew or improvisational sessions on my piano at home.

Like never before in my life

I was happy to meet my friends. People who were around at that time took a very special place in my life forever.

When I got out of Ukraine for the first time since the war began

I feared noises: trains, planes, cars - everything made me look around.

© Kseniia Gordiash

© Kseniia Gordiash

Berlin catalyzed my coming back to music.

When I first came here after the war began to play a concert with my band on the Goethe Institut in Exile event, it played a game-changing role in my life. I met Sebastian Studnitzky there, with whom I was already in touch as I‘ve taken part in the “DISTANT DUO” project, which merged artists from Ukraine and XJAZZ! FESTIVAL 2022 line-up on the special series of videos. He inspired me not only with his music but with his mindset - full of energy and empathy. Somehow, I was charging from him. Shortly before my departure back to Ukraine, Sebastian suggested playing a duo gig at Transylvania Jazz Fest. I could not say NO to that. That was the moment, when the trip began.

Our duo is built fully on the improvisational concept.

We play a certain number of compositions, but they are never the same, as fulfilled with non-repeatable improvisations. There is always a moment on the performance, where we find each other emotionally and support each other‘s ideas. This is a type of understanding I need now.

For the last few years, I‘ve learned

how to let my expectations go and live here and now. Our duo project with Sebastian Studnitzky is an embodiment of my new mindset. 

© Akim Karpach

© Kseniia Gordiash