Musicians blend jazz rhythms across the Estonian-Russian border

Narva, Estonia (AP)-Two jazz musicians performed a rare concert on the border between Estonia and Russia on Friday. There, Estonian guitarist Jaak Sooäär and Russian saxophonist Alexey Kruglov performed at a castle on the other side of the river that separates the country.

Despite the deteriorating relations between Russia and Estonia, musicians have combined rhythm as an act of friendship on International Jazz Day. Coronavirus pandemics have limited opportunities for cross-border contact.

“Since the border remained closed, I had a friend who wanted to play across the border, so I decided to do it,” Sooäär said before the concert.

For the predominantly Russian-speaking inhabitants of the Estonian border city of Narva, the concert was an opportunity to reunite with their foreign neighbors, albeit through music.

Narva’s 14th-century fortress Hermann Castle and the medieval fortress built across the river at the end of the 15th century in the current Russian town of Ivangorod show more tension between Russia and the west. There are few places in Europe.

Modern relations between the two deteriorated again when Russia added Estonia to the list of “unfriendly” countries this week after Russia expelled Russian diplomats from Estonia.

But for musicians, politics had no place in their performances.

“I don’t think about it politically at all. It’s about music. It will be better for life on earth. Celebrate International Jazz Day,” Sooäär said.

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Musicians blend jazz rhythms across the Estonian-Russian border

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