Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

17

Jazzahead! 2015

Jazzahead! 2015
Henning Bolte By

Sign in to view read count

Jazzahead! Conference
Bremen, Germany
April 23-26, 2015

Ten years ago nobody would have dared to claim that the city of Bremen, situated in the north-western part of federal Germany, would stand as the place to be for jazz professionals, but it has become a matter of fact. Bremen IS definitely the place to be. The 'free' city, with a longstanding Hanseatic merchant tradition, has accomplished just that with steady, unswerving determination and dedication. The Hanseatic League, a merchant network in Northern Europe, dates back to the 13th century and 'free' means that Bremen has succeeded to keep an autonomous state and still does so today. The 10th edition of Jazzahead! stood firm and still has a growing perspective as a music-related fair event.

Jazzahead! is

During the ten years since Jazzahead!'s 2006 start, this event has grown rapidly and developed into the biggest and broadest meeting place for all kinds of professionals in the jazz field, from Europe and also increasingly from overseas. The 10th edition brought 929 exhibiting companies and 3,010 industry attendees from 55 countries, an increase of 31%. The musical portion offered 110 concerts: 40 showcases plus 70 concerts at 27 Bremen area venues on the Club Night Saturday. This year's 16,000 concert visitors outnumbered previous years' figures by far. The concerts attracted 16,000 concert visitors, an increase here too.

Rising demand was accommodated by moving to hall 7 of the fair conglomerate, situated at the head of the Bürgerweide area, near the old slaughterhouse. It now offers one contiguous exhibition space on the same level with two big adjacent concert halls, 7.1 and 7.2 . This new location is not only more spacious in the exhibition area, but also makes it easier to move between showcase venues. As a result, the Schlachthof venue was no longer overcrowded, as it had been in recent years. It was more comfortable and delightful to attend the showcases there. Unfortunately, the great set-up and equipment offered by the new exhibition space and two concert spaces went hand in hand with acoustics that will need to be improved in the years to come.

What is this thing called Jazzahead! and what are participants doing there? First and foremost, Jazzahead! is a fair, with exhibitors from 55 countries: individual musicians/groups, music collectives, record labels, booking agencies, festivals, jazz organizations, etc.. It is the triarchy of suppliers, intermediaries, and customers/audience.

You can meet so many people there that minds are buzzing constantly, from breakfast until deep into the night. For instance, a festival director will have talks with booking agencies to learn about touring schedules at least two years ahead, exchange plans and ideas, get in contact with colleagues about joint actions, etc. Organizations like the Europe Jazz Network or the German Bundeskonferenz Jazz have their meetings here, whilst checking out musician showcases or talking with them at fair hall booths. The event enables attendants to speed-connect with people and results in creating shortcuts. There are also a lot of panels and demonstration sessions to attend, and then you have the daily showcases; the real music thread of the festival, starting with a special program realized by partner country France, a German program, a pan-European program and a program with showcases from overseas. All this is augmented by a Club Night on Saturday, which spread over 27 venues in the urban area of Bremen. So a lot of musicians and groups will be mentioned in subsequent parts, contextualized as well as possible and/or provided with links to more detailed information.

Watching the Jazzahead! event, it seems (all at the same time): highly structured and channelled, chaotic, governed by secret rules, target-oriented, planned, accidental. In fact, it's a constantly readjusted, personal/functional mixture of those elements. The viability and vitality of the event is nourished by that. Another important element is close coordination of the organization with relevant European partners and with partners abroad during the planning phase of every year's edition. It is manifested in the international juries for the showcases and an annually changing partner country. After Spain, Turkey, Israel and Denmark in previous years, this year's partner country was France. Switzerland will be the partner country next year. The partner country program lasts two weeks and spans a variety of cultural disciplines such as concerts, literature readings, film screenings, exhibitions, art projects, and lots more.

France, Partner Country

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Joe Gransden's Big Band At Cafe 290 Live Reviews
Joe Gransden's Big Band At Cafe 290
by Martin McFie
Published: December 9, 2018
Read U2 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin Live Reviews
U2 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 9, 2018
Read David Johansen at The Space at Westbury Live Reviews
David Johansen at The Space at Westbury
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: December 9, 2018
Read Joshua Bowlus Trio at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Joshua Bowlus Trio at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: December 8, 2018
Read Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's Live Reviews
Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's
by Walter Atkins
Published: December 8, 2018
Read Julian Lage Trio at Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Live Reviews
Julian Lage Trio at Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
by Doug Collette
Published: December 7, 2018
Read "Nice Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Nice Jazz Festival 2018
by Martin McFie
Published: August 1, 2018
Read "Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band At Blues Alley" Live Reviews Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band At Blues Alley
by David Hadley Ray
Published: February 14, 2018
Read "Chicago Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Chicago Jazz Festival 2018
by Patrick Burnette
Published: September 12, 2018
Read "David Byrne at Forest Hills Stadium" Live Reviews David Byrne at Forest Hills Stadium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 29, 2018
Read "Sur Ecoute at The Bronx Bar & 'Cue" Live Reviews Sur Ecoute at The Bronx Bar & 'Cue
by Barry Witherden
Published: March 1, 2018