jazzahead 2019 :: Norway as guest country partner
Author: Gerd Harthus




At the press conference for this year's Jazzhahead, Uli Beckerhof, one of the two artistic directors of the jazzahead, and Sybille Kornitschky, project manager of Messe Bremen, presented the extensive program, distilled from around 750 applications. They were assisted by Aslaug Nygård, who represents Norway as cultural attaché from Berlin, and Øyvind Skjerven Larsen, the representative of the Norwegian Jazzforum. Norway's culture is currently in demand in Europe, for example as a guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair in autumn. Ketil Björnstad, Norwegian author and pianist and other authors come to readings during the Jazzahead, for example in the Weserburg in Bremen.

As a prelude concert on April 13 at the "Theater am Goetheplatz", the Norwegian tenor saxophonist and opera singer Håkon Kornstad and his trio will be heard, blending classic arias and jazz improvisation together in a breathtaking way. Mari Boine, the Samian singer describes her music as Funky Folk and also has no fear of contact, as far as jazz is concerned. The next day, an extraordinary concert by Uli Beckerhoff and Arild Anderson follows in the Kulturkirche St. Stephani under the title "Together again".

The Norwegian Night on Thursday, April 25, will show the full range of Norwegian jazz, which, according to Beckerhoff, is characterized by its openness to other types of music. Frode Haltli's Avant Folk and his highly complex music with challenging improvisations is a fascinating example of the successful combination of folk and jazz. Haltli's virtuoso accordion playing and the Hardanger fiddle characterize the sound, while the Karl Seglem Septet adds these instruments to the saxophone and goat horn. The young savages are called Hedvig Mollestad Trio and play heavy metal jazz or skadedyr (German pests), which combines elements of the impro and experimental rock and pop music with jazz. And if you like it very hard, you can visit the final concert of the free jazz group Large Unit of the Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen Love on Sunday.

The gala concert on Friday, the 26th of April in the bell, will be performed this year by trumpeter Mathias Eick & Trail of Souls feat. Solveigh Slettahjell. Trail of Souls hides the blues band In the Country by Knut Reisersrud, a mainstream affiliation of Norwegian stars.On Saturday at the Overseas Night high-profile groups from Canada, Australia and Brazil are to be heard. At the same time the Clubnight is running with 34 concerts all over Bremen: The free open air concert by Beady Belle from Norway at the Domshof as well as many providers with good food to the music, including the Markthalle Eight, the Permanent Representation, the Schnoor Eleven or the new Local for your sake. In the Bremenhalle of the airport one should be able to dine to the music of American bands like the Sheores or the Grammy nominated Nicole Zuraitis. Even for people who prefer jazz, there is swing, jazz-rock, funk, punk and rap with groups like the Botticelli Baby, the Lehman Brothers from France and the Polish guitarist Wojtek Justyna.

Under the title "Improvisation & Jazz for Children", three interactive projects for children took place on Thursday. The organizers were overwhelmed by the lively interest: all 450 seats have already been taken. The people of Bremen do not need to worry about the future of jazz.

More informations about the jazzahead program and other events you find under: