|Ulli Beckerhoff introducing the Orchestre National de Jazz
Jazzahead 2015, Thursday
[NB: WE’LL HAVE A BEST-OF-THE-SHOWCASES REPORT TO FOLLOW]
Jazzahead just grows and grows. In its ten years of existence has become a unique and pre-eminent annual magnet for the entire worldwide jazz community and industry. The achievement is mainly attributable to the team led by Ulli Beckerhoff, Peter Schulze and Sybille Kornitschky. With typical modesty Beckerhoff refused to take any of the credit, when we interviewed him in 2011, but his genial spirit and influence are everywhere. He has set a brilliant tone.
People from festivals and venues are there because all the agents are there, and vice versa. Labels are there because the agents, festivals and venues are there. And artists are there because…you get the drift. This year it moved to bigger halls. The pace of formal and informal networking is ferocious. For some people, it is the late night/ early morning hang which provides the major allure. There are also events, announcements, awards, connections, re-connections – and a major concert, club showcase programme.
Apart from the numbers of delegates, the scale and the quality of the event has had an impact on the local community, who have definitely twigged that there is a festival going on in their midst that they are very welcome to buy tickets for. The gala concert at the 1,400-seater Glocke concert hall was sold out, as were most of the showcases.
The only negatives I have found are 1) that Expo Guide, a bunch of completely shameless con artists from a district of Mexico City improbably called Morales (sic), who claim to have a trade directory, spam the entire mailing list of attendees. 2) the WiFi in the venue this year got frequently overloaded.
|German Jazz Journalist of the year
L-R Ralf Dombrowski, Peter Schulze, Wolf Kampmann
Just a few of the thousands of things going on:
– The Europe Jazz Network Award for adventurous programming went to the Moers Festival and its Director Reiner Michalke.
– Our wonderful contributor Ralf Dombrowski, of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the most recent winner of the two-yearly award for jazz journalism in Germany in 2013, this year gave the “laudatio” for the 2015 winner Wolf Kampmann. The award was presented by Peter Schulze (photo above).
|Panel discussion: Is my “exception culturelle” good for jazz?
L-R:John Cumming, Francesco Martinelli, Sebastian Scotney, Vincent Cotro. (Moderator Alex Dutilh out of shot)
Photo credit: Nigel Slee
– I was privileged to be invited to sit on a panel as part of the French programme, chaired with unmatchable urbanity by France-Musique radio presenter Alex Dutilh.
– Alyn Shipton chaired a meeting under the aegis of the Europe Jazz Network, planning a major publication, a comprehensive multi-author history of European jazz.
– With the magazine’s publisher Christine Stephan, we also launched a new column in the German magazine Jazzthetik about the London scene which now appear regularly. (PHOTO)