Sochi: Sochinskiy Gosudarstvenniy teatr, 1943. Item #991
 pp. 14x7,5 cm. One stain otherwise very good with the poor quality of paper expected.
The program of the jazz concert given in December of 1943, in Sochi (Krasnodar Krai) in the local State Theatre. The program includes the list of the performances and performers, the portrait of the maestro and composer Iosif Stelman and the notes for the song ‘Radost’ in which the singer is joyous about the letters written to him from the beloved one remembering their spring together (presumably of 1941).
Quite extraordinary survival - the evidence of the musical life in the South of Russia during one of the hardest years of the war. Parts of Krasnodar Krai were occupied by German Nazis in 1942, but Sochi itself was never under occupation. It became the local centre all of sudden and an important location in 1942 and 1943: because of its position behind the mountains it was easier to defend (although the Germans made several attempts to go through the mountains). Also because of the quantity of sanatoriums and hospitals Sochi became one of the main hospital towns of the southern Russia. During the War 335,000 wounded Soviet soldiers went through town’s hospitals (recorded population of which was only 50,000 in 1941).
While the Rostov region and Crimea were occupied by Germans, Sochi participated in the battle for Caucasus which was eventually won by the Soviets. In February of 1943 Germans have built the defensive line ‘Blue Line’ to defend the South of Russia they have kept under occupation since 1941. Main battles over the territories took place in the late spring and summer but it was not until the 9th of October when Krasnodar region was liberated in full.
Three month later this jazz concert took place featuring the jazz maestro Iosif Stelman, the representative of Rostov-on-Don jazz tradition. Rostov with its embankments and cafe culture was considered one of the jazz capitals of the USSR, from the 1930s to the 80s. One of the best examples of this tradition would be pianist Kim Nazaretov (1936-1993) who formed the first jazz department in USSR, in his alma-mater Rostov conservatory. The beginning of jazz in Rostov associated with Stelman himself, who formed the first musical collective in 1938, and in few years a number of bands were active in the city. Rostov was occupied twice during the war with one of the biggest filtration camps on Russian territory being located in the city area of Kamenki. By the time of the concert it was still early for Rostov inhabitants to return to their city, but after the war jazz has returned to the city on Don, with the band leaders like Golovnin and Burdin established the jazz band in the local music hall. Stelman has returned and continued performing as well. Unfortunately in the early 1950s jazz had been put under political pressure again and most of Rostov’s bands were scattered with leaders being arrested with political accusations. The later life of Stelman can not be traced.