Jazzahead 2011: April 28 - May 1, 2011
As the final full day of Jazzahead drew to a close, many of the participants congregated at Shlachthof for Turkish Night, featuring four groups including Baba Zula, who brought the country's musical tradition into the 21st century by marrying saz and darbuka with programmed beats. But, as is often the case with these kinds of events, it was hard to make it to the performance space, as there was someone to speak to at every turn. It's the peril of a trade show of the size and scope of Jazzahead, that the sheer number of people who come together can actually become an impediment. But wandering through the Conference Center on the morning of May 1, as people packed up their boothssome nursing happily acquired hangovers, most at least dealing with three nights of very little sleep and plenty of activityit became increasingly clear just how important an event like Jazzahead has become.
Jazz may be a marginalized genre, after all, where dedicated people work long hours to spread the word in some way, shape or form, whether it's making music, facilitating the music, promoting performances or writing about it. But what emerges, after spending three days in Bremen, is the tremendous sense of community that brings everyone together. No matter where you wenteven back at the Maritim Hotel, one of two hotels used by Jazzahead for the majority of its inviteesit was impossible not to run into people one had met over the course of the weekend, people who might have been acquaintances walking into the event (if even that), but who left as friends. And though Jazzahead is now a full week in the past, communication continues, and the relationships forged and/or strengthened have already begun to shape into concrete plans that, if nothing else more accomplished (and plenty was), would make Jazzahead a smashing success.
Visit Partisans, Colin Vallon, Mathias Eick, Kari Ikonen, Mats Eilertsen and Jazzahead on the web.