PREVIEW/ FACT-CHECK: 40th North Sea Jazz Festival (10-12 July 2015)

The Nile Stage at the 2006 North Sea Jazz Festival

The Director of the North Sea Jazz Festival Jan Willem Luyken was in London yesterday and Sebastian took the opportunity to do some rapid-fire questioning and to check a few facts. This article contains the list of acts so far announced. More programme details will be out later:

– When was the first North Sea Jazz Festival?

1976. In The Hague. On the bill were Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz. For this 40th edition (July 10-12) at least two artists who played in the first festival are already confirmed – Randy Weston and Han Bennink – and there may be more

– When did it move from The Hague to its current site at the Ahoy Centre in Rotterdam and how was the move?

2006. Ticket sales in the early years in Rotterdam were slow, and while there is still nostalgia for the old venue, the festival does now tend to sell out. It is the biggest indoor music festival in the world.

2006 was also the first festival when the current director Jan Willem Luyken took over the reins, having previously been director of marketing and Communication.

Who is Jan Willem Luyken?

Originally from Utrecht, he studied history and journalism at University, and still occasionally plays drums. He is a lifelong jazz fan, an enthusiasm transmitted by his father who took him as a teenager to North Sea Jazz Festival

– What are the audience figures for North Sea Jazz?

23,000 is the capacity each day. So over three days it is just short of 70,000 visitors.

– How big is the biggest space? And the smallest?

The Nile Stage takes 12,500 people. There is a 100-seater space.

– When does it go on until each day ?

2am for the Friday and Saturday, midnight on Sunday.

– And the transport to Ahoy to and from town?

Luyken: “The city is really helpful. The public transport system – notably the Metro – stays open to ferry people back to the city centre.

– When is this year’s programme being made public?

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga were announced before Christmas

In the first raft of the programme announced last week are:

Friday July 10th: Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Cassandra Wilson, Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock, Alabama Shakes, The Stanley Clarke Band, Benjamin Clementine, Anouar Brahem Quartet, Jef Neve

Saturday July 11th: John Legend, Paolo Nutini, Chaka Khan, Lee Konitz Quartet, Randy Weston & Billy Harper, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Ron Carter “Foursight”, Han Bennink Trio, Beth Hart, Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus

Sunday 12th: Lionel Richie, Hozier, Kurt Elling, Melody Gardot*, Hans Dulfer The 75/60 Road Tour, Laura Mvula & Metropole Orkest

There will be more in late March and the full programme will be out in April

– What else is planned around this 40th edition

The festival’s extensive video archives are being trawled for a TV special, there will also be a book tellling the festival’s history, to be published in both Dutch and English

– What are the other businesses associated with North Sea Jazz Festivsl

1) The North Sea Jazz Curacao Festival, this year from September will have its sixth edition this year

2) North Sea Jazz Club in an old industrial building the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. NSJ has a shareholding, an influence on programming, and has ceded a licence to the club to use the name.

– How is the scene in Holland?

Luyken: “The Dutch jazz climate is good.. There are good schools, a good environment. We try to give the scene a lift, to show Dutch artists to a to a big audience.”

– How do you get from London to Rotterdam?

Easy. Flight direct with CITY JET from City airport, flight time 45 minutes.


Categories: miscellaneous

2 replies »

  1. Glorified commercial Pop Festival. Number of of cheesy singers growing every year. Jazz is just a sideline at North Sea. Change the name of the festival director.

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