What started as a festival and business fair concept for the Jazz musical genre, is celebrating its tenth birthday this week.
The success story of Jazzahead is becoming known around the world. It took innovative people like Bremen‘s trade chief Hans-Peter Schneider and the two artistic leaders of the Jazzahead! Uli Beckerhoff and Peter Schulze to acheive this. Beckerhoff, who is amongst the most sensitive musicians in Germany and Schulze, an experienced music editor and today the director of the Bremen venue "Sendesaal" had the courage to invent a new international music fair in 2005. However, jazzahead! also stands for the view into the future, illustrating the present global music language of jazz and their related genres.
The great merit of the jazzahead! is that this festival and business fair proved that jazz isn't just a niché in music. It is a lively, active and productive music form of our time and it is played and celebrated all over the world. There is no language barrier in Jazz as young and old can understand and communicate with it. Jazz is the associated element of the real global societies. In jazz you see this far more clearly then in the so called pop music or in classical music.
Jazzahead! has grown from its beginning, attended only by experts and musicians. Attendence and participation has steadily increased each successive year later as more musicians, labels, promoters, expert people and new listeners and fans from around the globe meet each other here to celebrate this music. The 2006 jazzahead! counted 90 exhibitors and in 2015, 700! From 800 visitors in the beginning it now boasts over 3000 attendess 3.000 from 50 different countries.
A large reason for this continuing success is that the Jazzahead! staff and crew continually create new topics and ideas every year. This group does not stand still and tan themselves in the sun of success. This attitude relates with jazz incorporating the power and energy of this musical genre.
Because of Jazzahead, musicians from Germany are being better noticed in the world. This was also a goal for Jazzahead, who wanted to open the German jazz scene for other countries. Promoters from overseas come to Bremen and they hire German bands, which they see the very first time at the showcase concerts directly to festivals and concert series in their particular country. This is very attractive for musicians, who get the opportunity to have direct contact with promoters and festival organizers at Jazzahead.
In 2001, Jazzahead established a regional club festival. This immediately increased visitor attendance. This year on Saturday, April 25 it will happen again. The variety of the programs and the quality of the participating musicians is unique not only to Germany. At least 100 groups of different styles and origins are performing in nearly 30 different venues in Bremen.
With the introducing of this "festival within a festival" also came the decision, to invite every year a different country to partner with Jazzahead.. For 2015 it will be France, one of the oldest jazz nations in Europe. French musicians are known for their humorous relationships with their own traditions, breaking taboos worth to be an important principle and to create new free spaces into the music. In more than 20 concerts France will be presented. Starting with the "French Night" on Thursday, April-23, 2015, the "Sacem Night on Friday, April-24, 2015 and the "Creole Night" on Saturday, April-25 the country offers best opportunities to discover and feel the essence of French jazz.
The jazzahead! 2015 comes under the umbrella of the State Ministry for Culture and Media, Madame Professor Monika Grütters. This is an important indicator of the growth of jazz in Germany! Also important is that the media partners of the Jazzahead, primarily the ARD channels Radio Bremen and Nordwestradio, the NDR, the "Saarländische Rundfunk" and Deutschlandradio Kultur produce broadcasts here for their archives. The bi-lingual television channel ARTE is here also producing live for their format "ARTE Concert".
Happy Birthday to the Jazzahead! team of Sybille Kornitschky, Hans-Peter Schneider, Uli Beckerhoff, Peter Schulze, Katharina Busch, Kathrin Brändle, Nina Thomann, Maleni Piyasiri and many others…
A big thank you for 10 years of exciting meetings musically and personally!
Program broschure jazzahead 2015: