32 Jazz Club. HISTORY OF THE CREATION
This December has marked three years since the establishment of 32 Jazz Club, well known for its unique atmosphere and spirit. In order to celebrate this occasion, we`ve decided to tell you the history of this place, from its cornerstone to the modern-day look.
This story starts with the creation of Vozdvizhenka Arts House Gallery of Contemporary Art, founded by the Ukrainian businessman Viktor Savkiv. Originally, the gallery was formed by merging three separate garages into a white-cube style hall, accompanied by a first-class cocktail bar, which was received its name from the house number. Since the early March of 2015, on Vozdvyzhenska Street was marked by an already well-known sign “32”, and by the shining smile of a legendary chef-bartender Yuri Melnychenko behind the bar deck.
Fun fact: the first exhibition of the gallery started with the art project called “Biryuchy”, named after the famous art platform in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine. Its first exhibition was called “Let My People Go”, after Roman Minin’s iconic work, depicting Louis Armstrong with a typical Ukrainian cossak hairstyle. It was chosen as a symbol of the exhibition of young Ukrainian artists, and as it turned out, it was no accident.
Vozdvyzhenska 32 quickly became known for its original conceptual projects and extraordinary approach to the presentation of contemporary art. Nikita Kadan, Pavlo Kerestey, Yuri Leiderman were among the most famous artists to become residents of the gallery. Famous artists, musicians and writers gathered at Vozdvizhenska gallery, while their interest in the discussion has long exceeded the physical capabilities of the bar. A year later, this fact has inspired the founder to create another cultural project – the online radio station called “Old Fashioned Radio”. As of today, the logo on the bar`s wall reminds its visitors of the original location of the first radio stream. Over time, a modern office and a professional studio on the second floor were included into the growing cultural family. The radio got its name thanks to the most popular cocktail in the bar – Old Fashioned.
Перші пробні ефіри записувались під звуки шейкерів та кавових машин. Джаз, Мистецтво, Алкоголь стали головними темами для обговорення у програмах з Олексієм Коганом, Артуром Ямпольским, Євгеном Стасіневичем, Іваном Семесюком. А у стінах бару с того часу завжди звучав джаз і блюз.
The final metamorphosis of the gallery into a professional jazz club arose as a result of a creative collaboration between two galleries, Kyiv’s Vozdvizhenka Arts House and Lviv’s Dzyga, led by its founder Markiyan Ivashchyshyn. As a result of this collaboration, Vozdvyzhenska 32 became one of the organizers of the foreknown international jazz festival JazzBez in 2017.
The rest of the picture was completed by purchasing professional sound and soundproof equipment, which was designed to suit new atmosphere of the newly created music hall. Its interior was designed by an experienced Kyiv architect, collector and art man Andriy Suprunenko. We have him to thank for the unique design of our club.
There is also a legend that the owner of the establishment sold his sports yachts in order to buy a grand piano and other instruments. Admittedly, this legend is not too far from a true story.
The official opening of the club took place on December 1, 2017, starting simultaneously with the 17th JazzBez festival in Kyiv.
This festival has established a new tradition of musicians leaving their signatures and wishes on the club`s walls after their first ever show at the club`s premises. This tradition was started by the Polish musicians Michał Martyniuk Trio, American saxophonist Mark Turner and Australians from the avant-garde jazz trio The Necks. Ever since then, on the walls of the club you can find the names and wishes of performers from all over the world, forever carved on the walls of the club.
The permanent art director, music editor and author of most of the musical podcasts on Old Fashioned Radio is Artur Yampolsky. The head of the office is Lilia Plekh. Dmytro Savkiv has been the club’s manager since December 2020.
32 Jazz Club adheres to the best traditions of classical jazz clubs, while remaining a unique cultural place on the map of Kiev, where contemporary art is in a constant dialogue with the old New York traditions. Vozdvizhenskaya 32 would forever remain Vozdvizhenka Arts House, a center of art and creative inspiration.
At the entrance to the club you will be greeted by Sonny Rollins, depicted by Dmitry Tarasenko in the form of a graffiti. The walls of the bar are decorated with an exposition of modern jazz photography – all of the artists have performed at 32 at some point of time. This exposition is constantly growing and changing. All pictures but one were taken at the club – the only exception remains to be a hidden feature for the most attentive guests.
While walking up and down the stairs do not hesitate to touch the bronze head of Louis Armostrong. There is a rumor that the aforementioned sculpture by Olexii Zolotaryov brings you luck and success. Menu covers, bartenders’ T-shirts and most of the club`s merch is decorated by Nadiya Mickiewicz’s signature sketches, drawn during the live shows at the club.
The Old Fashioned Radio office, located on the second floor, became home to a broad collection of paintings, accompanied by a hidden gem, aforementioned painting “Let My People Go” by Roman Minin.
32 Jazz Club is a creative hub that is constantly growing and evolving. In spite of the pandemic, 2020 has marked an opening of club`s own kitchen, bringing closer to the standards of the world’s best jazz establishments. The best dishes are cooked and served under the careful watch of Alexander Sidorov, Chef of the 32`s restaurant.