NEXT PARTNER COUNTRY: GERMANY! – SOME INNOVATIONS THIS YEAR, OTHERS NEXT – THE AWARDING OF THE GERMAN JAZZ PRIZE WILL TAKE PLACE ON FRIDAY
The jazzahead under the motto “Together again”! 2022 is over – and after Canada, the partner country for the next edition has already been determined: It will be Germany, which will play two roles for the host country. “The principle of the partner country is to put a country more into the international focus that we think deserves it – and this is overdue in the case of Germany,” says project manager Sybille Kornitschky. The jazzahead! 2023 of MESSE BREMEN will take place from Thursday, 27th to Sunday, 30. April 2023. The relay handover took place on Sunday morning in the large circus tent on the Bürgerweide.
(c) M3B GmbH/ Jörg Sarbach
The decision-makers around Kornitschky and the artistic directors Ulrich Beckerhoff and Peter Schulze are aware that this choice would “turn something upside down and lead to changes in the process,” the project manager continues. The principle of showcases with their four program lines remains, but next year there will be co-productions with four other countries to further emphasize internationality. These are the three neighboring countries France, Austria and the Netherlands (of which France was one of the main partner country before) as well as the USA. Four musical personalities from Germany, who are well networked in the countries mentioned, build their own formations around them – “the bands should be between four and eight people big, otherwise there are no further specifications,” explains Kornitschky: “Not the well-known formations are then in the foreground, but something new is created!”
To the innovations of the next jazzahead! It also counts that the awarding of the German Jazz Prize, which was held for the first time in Bremen this year, will not take place as it is now before the opening, but on Friday, the second day. So she is getting even stronger into the jazzahead! integrated, which gives this price even more international weight, says Kornitschky. There are also plans for the 2023 conference program – here, the path taken this year to increasingly take up technical innovations is to be consistently pursued. “Among other things, we have opened a window to AI,” says Kornitschky, “we will continue on this path.”
The project manager evaluates the expired jazzahead! 2022 with the partner country Canada, which was able to take place “live” again for the first time in three years due to the pandemic, as a complete success. A total of over 2,700 participants from 55 nations were at the start – exhibitors, musicians, trade visitors. The high musical quality of the almost 100 concerts on the trade fair weekend was once again praised, and the circus tent on the Bürgerweide, which was set up for the first time this year, also ensured two very well-attended concert evenings and a magnificent festival atmosphere. “I noticed that the average age of the participants in this year’s jazzahead! has fallen significantly – and that really gives hope for the future,” said London journalist Sebastian Scotney.
And Ina Keßler, the managing director of the Music Initiative responsible for the German Jazz Prize, expressed what many have thought in recent days at the relay handover: “As the pandemic has shown us, changes can occur at any time – even the Russian war against Ukraine makes everyone worried and speechless. However, we firmly believe that music builds bridges between different worlds, between people and countries, political opinions and mentalities, cultures and our historical heritage. Ultimately, we are all human and should respect each other. For this reason, we look ahead with a positive mood. We are curious to present the emerging new artists as well as the experienced grandmasters from Germany all over the world.”
The performance of Gordon Grdinas Haram at the Metropol Theater was one of the highlights of the extensive Canadian program. The eleven-member ensemble around band leader Gordon Grdina (front) also opened the trade fair on Thursday and thrilled the audience with a sound that merged influences of various genres. (c) M3B GmbH/Jan Rathke