Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren is the new artistic director of the venerable Berlin jazz festival, which is embed in the festival round dance of the “Berliner Feststpiele GmbH”. 2008 the famous jazz fest celebrates it’s 44th edition. Since 1964 Berlin had this great event. Under the name “Berliner Jazztage” the German journalist and author Joachim-Ernst Behrendt started this major festival. Soon the “Berliner Jazztage” belongs to one of the most influential top jazz festivals in the world.
With Nils Landgren another musician is responsible for the programming of this year’s edition and for the next three years. The engagement of musicians leading the Berlin jazz festival has tradition, Albert Mangelsdorff and George Gruntz did it in the past and made their marks for a while. Nils Landgren already arranged one in Berlin in 2001 very successfully. It spotlighted the Scandinavian music scene even before the >>Cool Sound of the North<< became a hype worldwide. For the next he overtakes the sceptre from German journalist Peter Schulze, who leads the festival the last five years. Together with the team around Joachim Sartorius, who is the director of the “Berliner Festspiele GmbH” Nils Landgren will initiate fine and exciting units.
Next week the festival starts from November 5 till November 9, 25 groups are performing at the “Haus der Berliner Festspiele”, the concert hall of the “UdK” and in the clubs “Quasimodo” and “A-Trane”. Also the cinema “Delphi” has its part: located above the “Quasimodo” they present jazz documentaries on the big screen here. Since a few years the festival shows also movies about the world of jazz, it is an element in the festival’s programm, a fine tradition. The “Delphi” is presenting three exceptional films after another at the opening day, Wednesday, November 5. You can watch two movies about two icons of jazz, one pays homage to the master of percussion, Chico Hamilton, who is already 87 years old but still creative, the other documentary bring up the life and times of the great jazz singer Anita O’Day, who passed away in 2006. The third movie is the classic jazz portrait from the “Golden Era”, a real jewel of the genre: “Jazz On A Summer’s Day” from 1958 documents an essence of an intellectual America. At the Newport Jazz Festival there was a special athmosphere end of the 50ties. Director Bert Stern found expressive pictures and present us cool jazz of the finest.
For this year Nils Landgren decided to create a programme with no special main focus. He likes to reflect the contemporary jazz of the world and therefore he engaged a representative cross-section from stars to newcomers. Bassist Avishai Cohen from Israel with his sparkling trio for instance, US jazz masters like Herbie Hancock, David Sanborn, Ronnie Cuber, Roswell Rudd, Maceo Parker or Bennie Maupin and European greats like Peter Brötzmann or Bobo Stenson till musicians only specialist know about the spectrum stretches. “Wild Birds & Peacedrums” is a Swedish duo that only uses drums and vocals. The young married couple produce music between Indie-Pop and Jazz following the paths of John Lennon & Yoko Ono and the group Lamb, who released a masterpiece of the Avantgarde-Folk-Jazz in 1970: “A Sign of Change”. The appearance of the “Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra” could have been another highlight: the 20 members of this orchestra founded in Berlin collect young musicians from Germany, France, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Japan, Thailand, South Corea and the Czech Republic. They already were engaged by stars of pop music like German singer & songwriter Herbert Grönemeyer, who wanted to have the “Andromeda-Sound” for his live concerts.
The radio stations of the ARD are media partner. They will broadcast single concerts live, others they will record and broadcast it later. Be curious and pleased about a varied, shimmering festival, which let Berlin celebrate jazz over five days next week. For 2009 Nils Landgren announced, that the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records will be focused on the occasion of their 70th anniversary of existence. Their founders Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff originally came from Berlin, they had to leave Germany in 1937. They immigrated to New York and found this highly, historically important label in 1939.
More informations about the total programm schedule, ticket reservations etc. you will find under:
Website Jazzfest Berlin