EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC


Blue Sky Messengers - European Mongolian Youth Jazz Orchestra
Blue Sky Messengers at Yeruu Lodge in Selenge. Photo: Rentsendorj Bazarsukh
Blue Sky Messengers live at Darkhan. Photo: Rentsendorj Bazarsukh)
Blue Sky Messengers live at Philharmonic Hall in Ulaanbaatar. Photo: Rentsendorj Bazarsukh
Blue Sky Messengers live at Philharmonic Hall in Ulaanbaatar. Photo: Rentsendorj Bazarsukh
Blue Sky Messengers live at Fat Jazz Club Ulaanbaatar. Photo: Rentsendorj Bazarsukh

The Blue Sky Messengers is a European Mongolian Youth Jazz Orchestra established by EUNIC Mongolia in cooperation with European and Mongolian partners. It brought together young aspiring musicians from five different countries. Working closely with local and European partners, the big band worked on arrangements which they performed in a series of remarkable concerts in Mongolia, shaking up the Mongolian jazz scene.

An international orchestra

The orchestra was made up of students, recent graduates, and teachers from universities and music conservatories in Alborg, Paris, Munich, Klagenfurt, and Ulaanbaatar. It took place in Mongolia from the end of August to the beginning of September 2023. The band rehearsed for one week at the Yeruu Lodge in the Selenge Province in the north of Mongolia and then gave concerts at the Youth Theater in Darkhan, Mongolia’s second largest city, and at the Beatles Square, the Philharmonic Hall, and the Fat Cat Jazz Club in Ulaanbaatar. Prior to traveling to Mongolia, participating students and teachers collaborated online to create a unique repertoire representing each participating country and Mongolia as the host country. Each country was artistically represented by at least one composition or arrangement from its culture.

We just finished our first concert and I have to say I really enjoyed the energy. I think we did a really good job. The people were nice, the music was nice, the solos were just killing and I think it was one of the best concerts I ever had.

Gytis Girdauskas Student in Aalborg, Trombone

This year I graduated as a jazz singer from the Mongolian Conservatory. Afterward, as part of the Blue Sky Messengers project, I was able to get to know jazz musicians from 5 countries, sing together, and gain a lot of experience. This project was a great experience for me and the other young jazz musicians.

Enkhjargal Baatartsogt Recent Graduate from Ulaanbaatar, Vocals

New cultural exchange in the mongolian music scene

The music scene in Mongolia, especially the very young jazz scene, is very vibrant and yet still quite isolated. Although there are more and more initiatives for cultural exchange with Europe, they are rather sporadic. The formation of the Blue Sky Messengers has counteracted this. In particular, the joint selection and discussion of the repertoire, as well as the intensive rehearsal phase and concerts in Mongolia, have strengthened the cooperation and enabled an exchange, which has contributed to a long-term networking of the two musical worlds.

I‘m really glad that I‘m part of this amazing project here in Mongolia. It‘s so nice for me because I‘m really into big band music and here I have the chance to be with amazing people from all over Europe and of course Mongolia.

Michael Taschler Student in Klagenfurt, Trombone

It’s been an amazing pleasure to be part of this project and I‘ve met so many great people. I just feel super grateful to be included in this project and to have the immense pleasure and honour of participating in this music.

Abdelbari Abdulhakim Fannush Student in Paris, Tenor Saxophone

Watch the video here to get a glimpse of this project! A full documentary will be shared in the future.

  • Capacity building
  • Co-creation
  • Education
  • Music
  • People-to-people
  • Workshop
  • Cluster Fund

Co-funded by the European Union Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.