With the showcases over, those who weren't leaving at an uncivilized time the following morning headed off to the North Sea Club for the DJ&WM after-party. But whether folks headed back to the hotel for a couple hours' sleep before an early flight, or had the next day in Amsterdam to go on a planned boat trip, the real work of DJ&WM 2012 was done. Meetings were had, seminars were attended, new connections made, existing ones reinforced and plenty of music was heardall in a relaxed and largely informal context. The future of DJ&WM may be in jeopardy, with the closing down of Music Export Netherlands, but hopefully feedback provided from the attendees will make it clear that events like these are absolutely essential, if The Netherlands is to maintain a commitment to seeing its cultural contributions to the world exported beyond its own borders .
It's events like this that help introduce so many fine artists and collectives to the world at large, and if this were to be the last Dutch Jazz & World Meeting, while presenters from around the world will, of course, keep tabs on the scene and continue to bring Dutch artists to their events, they'll absolutely be working at a disadvantage, as this two-day/three-night event serves an important role in ensuring many artists, who might not be heard otherwiseespecially in a time when filtering up through the volume of new music being made each and every month is making it next to impossible to keep trackget a proper opportunity for exposure to an international audience that can truly help move their careers forward.
There's no doubt that the reason behind why most presenters, journalists and other industry folks do what they do is out of passion for the music; but that said, they still need events like this to help them connect with what's going on in the world, and if that's to be the ultimate measure of DJ&WM's successhow many of the artists are actually booked or written aboutthen there's no doubt that this much-improved Dutch Jazz & World Meeting will turn out to be an unqualified success.Photo Credits
All Photos: John Kelman