CREScendo music festival

CREScendo music festival was initiated in 2008 by Astrid Kuljanić, a singer originating from Rijeka and Cres, who now lives in New York where she got her master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music. In cooperation with the Croatian Musicians Union, she started organizing jazz concerts at the summer cinema in Cres and in other locations across the island which, although unusual, proved to be perfect settings for music events: the Franciscan monastery, the tower of Cres, the natural environment of Stancija Castellani at Grmožaj, the almost deserted village of Vidovići, and on one occasion the well-known Fragrant Garden on the neighbouring island of Lošinj. The duration of the festival varies from two to seven days, differing from one year to another.

The axis of the festival is Astrid Kuljanić, joined by Croatian and international world class jazz musicians such as Matija Dedić, Simone Zanchini, Kruno Levačić, Zvjezdan Ružić, Joe and Lela Kaplowitz, Žiga Golob, Darko Jurković Charlie - a virtuoso who plays two guitars simultaneously, and many others. Cres audience was also presented with experimental covers of jazz standards and Brazilian songs performed by Astrid Kuljanić (voice) and Kruno Levačić (drums), combined with the technique of electronic live looping.

Not all performers at CREScendo are jazz musicians: one of them was a Croatian singer-songwriter Tedi Spalato, and Samir Chatterjee from India performed a solo concert playing the tabla. On occasion the usual jazz instruments were joined by the sound of the meh, a local bagpiping instrument, proving that music is a universal language which knows no barriers, whether it be jazz, modern music, or traditional music.

CREScendo Music Festival is regularly accompanied by other cultural expressions, such as photo exhibitions by Francesco Moretti (Italy) or Damir Silov (Rijeka, Croatia), reviews of wool garments made by Vesna Jakić, a designer from Cres, art film screenings, and aerial silk acrobatics performed by Nives Soldičić (Rijeka, Croatia). A regular partner of the festival is Ruta, an association from Cres, which creates the imaginative scenographies.