Of Poland, Kids and Stingrays – jazzahead! 2018


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On 19 April, jazzahead!, the jazz world‘s international trade fair opens in Bremen, Germany. The programme of events is now completely in place, with specific focus on partner country Poland, the German Jazz Expo, plus panel sessions on the marketing of jazz.

The Polish Jazz Scene – on Show in Bremen

Poland is at the heart of jazzahead! 2018 as partner country, starting with the official opening ceremony of jazzahead! 2018 at 5 p.m. on April 19, which also includes a short concert by the over 20-piece World Orchestra: A symphony orchestra and a jazz-ethno ensemble rolled into one, featuring rarely-heard instruments – kaval, duduk and kantele amongst others. “Music is our planet‘s only universal language," says band leader Grzech Piotrowski. His ensemble will take the audience on a brief journey – which will nonetheless be brimful of emotion, subtlety and magic.

The eight Polish Night showcases on the opening evening, across three stages, will demonstrate the sheer vitality and diversity of the current Polish scene. Well-known bands such as the Marcin Wasilewski Trio will appear alongside emerging groups such as the trio of rising star young saxophonist Kuba Wieçek. At the partner country's stand in Hall 6, with its adjacent lounge, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute extends an invitation to meet and chat with influential representatives of the Polish scene. Poland has a long jazz tradition, as will be evident from an exhibition of cover pages and images from Jazz Forum, Poland's oldest jazz magazine, which has been in print since 1965. The gala concert on 20 April at Die Glocke with Anna Maria Jopek and Leszek Możdżer and the Maciej Obara Quartet, a highlight of the programme, is being recorded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur for radio broadcast in the following weeks.

A Focus on Jazz Education in Schools

This year jazzahead! will once again have a focus on “Improvisation & Jazz for Children in Practice" with a symposium on 19 April. Using best-practice examples from Germany of how children can be successfully introduced to jazz at primary school age, the session will look at methods being used, with a discussion among experts. The programme includes insights into formats for interactive children's concerts, plus the perspective of a music education specialist on the ways to offer jazz to schools. “Our long-term goal here,“ says Sybille Kornitschky of jazzahead!, “is to anchor improvisation and jazz more firmly in everyday school life. This year's conference is therefore very practice-oriented. Participants should discover effective methods to bring this expertise into their daily work. We would also like to invite German jazz musicians to come and bring their focus to this topic, and to take an active role in the proceedings." The conference remains open for new registrations until 15 April 2018 via the jazzahead! website. The symposium is held in German.

German Jazz Expo – Raising the Profile of German Jazz

The main aim of the German Jazz Expo is to raise the international profile of jazz from Germany. In eight showcase concerts, international festival directors, bookers and media representatives have the opportunity to witness at first hand the quality of the bands on show. Each year jazzahead! invites international guests to the German Jazz Expo in Bremen.

This year an additional 50 programmers from 30 countries, including the USA, Japan and South Korea, are coming to Bremen. The German government‘s funding agency ‘Initiative Musik gGmbH‘ offers a dedicated programme to support German bands‘ international engagements.

Specialist Topics in Conference Programme with Focus on the Marketing of Music jazzahead!‘s conference programme in 2018 is aimed in particular at musicians and their marketing partners. From production to distribution, the Stingray DJAZZ panel will provide a guide through the wide range of possible uses of videos on the web, TV, apps and digital platforms. The various channels are analysed with a view to how they help distribution, and with an emphasis on practical and usable tips. With “Künstlerfotos im Diskurs" (artist photos in discussion) journalist Ralf Dombrowski, Dave Stapleton, head of Edition records and photographer Felix Broede will also concentrate on a real-world topic: good photos can be a decisive factor in creating a profile for a band and its success. The Union deutscher Jazzmusiker (UDJ) extends an invitation to a panel discussion on the structures to support for women in jazz: representatives from Germany and guests from the international jazz scene will consider how the conditions for equality in careers in jazz can be created.

jazzahead! Showcase Concerts Live-streamed

Through the new collaboration with culture channel Stingray DJAZZ, jazzahead! has enlisted a partner with international reach to distribute the showcase recordings. The showcase concerts will be streamed live on the jazzahead! website and the Stingray social media, and will be online the following day via the jazzahead! media library. Stingray DJAZZ will also offer the videos over the year on its own international channels. Radio Bremen will again be recording all of the showcases in 2018. These recordings will be made available to all ARD and EBU radio stations.

Walk-Up Registration still possible

Co-exhibitors and professional participants can still register for the fair on-site.

The project “partner country Poland” is organized in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute operating under the Culture.pl brand within the international cultural programme POLSKA 100 accompanying Poland’s centenary of regaining independence. Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the Multi-annual Programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2021.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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