NEWS/ INTERVIEW: Tina Heine Announced as Director of Jazz and The City Festival in Salzburg #IWD2016

Tina Heine. Photo credit Wildbild via Altstadt Marketing Salzburg

It has just been announced that Tina Heine has been appointed for a three-year term as Artistic Director of Jazz and The City in Salzburg, and one of  the few women to be in the role of Artistic Director of a major European jazz festival. Tina was the founder and guiding spirit behind the Elbjazz Festival in Hamburg, which started in 2010 and has proved a highly successful event. THIS IS THE FIRST OF OUR PIECES TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE CONTEXT OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2016. Sebastian spoke to her by telephone, and found out more of the background:

LondonJazz News: The first thing I’d like to do is to offer congratulations. What first got you involved in running jazz events?

Tina Heine: I was the owner and manager of a bar called Hadley’s in Hamburg. About twelve years ago I decided to bring in some live music. Jazz is what I like most of all, so I started to programme it on Monday nights. In jazz clubs you get older people. I’d always wondered where the younger people were. Well, those Mondays after a while turned into the busiest nights of the week, the place was packed, with an audience you wouldn’t normally see in a jazz club. I started thinking about the challenge of how to bring a bigger audience to jazz.

LJN: And that led to the idea of a festival?

TH: If you think about bringing people to jazz, and you think Hamburg and you think big, you think of the harbour. It’s where people want to be. 2008 was when we started working on the concept. The only way to do it was with a festival. Right from the beginning, the concept was of a two-day festival with between fifty and seventy concerts in ten venues, and for people to travel between them by boat.

LJN: And now right up to date – how did the Salzburg appointment happen?

TH: They approached me. The director and guiding spirit of the festival Gerhard Eder had died very suddenly of a heart attack last September. Very sad. And so Inga Horny, the founder of  “Jazz and The City” got in touch with me a few weeks ago.

LJN: Tell us more about Jazz and The City and Salzburg

TH: It is four days of free-admission events in different venues all over the city. The festival has big variety, and wants an open-minded approach to the programming. They are certainly not just interested in importing big headliners.

The festival is produced by Salzburg’s Altstadt Marketing. It has been going for about fifteen years. It has expanded and enriched Salzburg’s cultural offering and it is truly wanted by the city. It’s such a real mixture of locations – concert venues, churches, bars.

LJN: Any locations you are really looking forward to working in?

TH: Yes I’d love to add some more of those beautiful venues, such as “Wiener Saal” and “Großer Saal” at Mozarteum Foundation, or collaborate with the University, Museums etc…I´ll try to get in touch and hope to collaborate.

LJN: When will you announce the programme?

TH: There will be a first announcements maybe in May and then hopefully the full programme by the end of July/August.

LJN: This piece is appearing in our International Women’s Day section. It is rare even now for a woman to be appointed as Artistic Director of a major jazz festival

TH: You’re right. As a festival director I haven’t personally found a role model or mentor. Even Frauenjazz in Halle is actually run by a (good) man Ulf Herden, and of course there is Ros Rigby in Gateshead. (FOR A FULL LIST FOLLOW LINK). But there are a lot of women working in jazz as bookers on communications,and doing a great job.

And even I learned in Hamburg, as the founder of the Elbjazz Festival, that when it comes down to tough negotiations and taking risks, the officials, such as the cultural office in Hamburg (Kulturbehörde) tend to rather trust the male big shots in the business rather than a creative and progressive woman with new spirit and ideas. I definitely believe that there should be more female directors and decision makers!

LINK: Jazz & The City website. 2016 Dates are October 19-23

Categories: miscellaneous

1 reply »

  1. Nice one, congrats! The festival in Halle is called “Women in Jazz” though, not Frauenjazz. Lost in translation. 🙂

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