2018 EJN Awards Winners

During the year 2018 EJN has bestowed two awards: the 7th EJN Award for "Adventurous Programming" and the 1st EJN Award on "Music & Community"

The EJN Award For Adventurous Programming 2018 goes to Jazz Festival Ljubljana, for the first time through an open nomination process inside the EJN membership

The Europe Jazz Network (EJN) is pleased to reveal the winner of the 7th EJN Award for Adventurous Programming. The Award goes to one of the oldest jazz festivals in Europe, started in 1960 and this year at its 59th edition: Jazz Festival Ljubljana in Slovenia.
For the first time, the Award was selected through a two-phases process: first an open nomination system involving all the 120+ EJN member organisations, and secondly by a selected jury of respected music professionals in Europe that choose the winner out of the resulting  shortlist.
This new process was introduced last year in order to expand the scope of the consultation about the Award, engaging the EJN members and harnessing the great professional knowledge inside the Network. The process made the choice of the winner even more representative of what Network members considers to be some of the best practices in live music programming in Europe, a sector that is flourishing, deeply engaged in the development of new music and its promotion to audiences. In the first phase all EJN members last year were asked to nominate one live music promoter (festival, club, venue) that exemplified the values of EJN and Adventurous Programming. The nomination was not restricted to EJN members, any European live music promoter could be nominated, with the exclusion of their own festival/venue. In the second phase, out of a shortlist of 19 names, a selected jury of EJN members and external music professionals with a profound knowledge of the European jazz sector chose the final EJN Award winner.
Ljubljana Jazz festival is organised by Cankarjev dom (CD), the leading cultural centre in Slovenia, that also hosted the European Jazz Conference in September 2017. Throughout the years, the Festival established itself as one of the most cutting-edge Festivals in Europe, presenting new artists from all around the world and original productions with a special attention on the Slovenian creative music scene. The Festival for the last 7 years also partnered with the Clean Feed label, and through the “Ljubljana Jazz Series” released some of its concerts with the Portuguese label. Currently the artistic direction of the Festival is made by Bogdan Benigar, Jazz and World Music Director at Cankarjev dom, and Edin Zubcevic, also Artistic Director of Jazz Fest Sarajevo. The 59th edition of the Festival will take place this year between 27 and 30 June 2018. The EJN Award will be celebrated in Ljubljana during the Festival, and as well during the 5th European Jazz Conference taking place in Lisbon, Portugal, at Centro Cultural de Belém between 13 and 16 September 2018.
About the EJN Award for Adventurous Programming
 Each year EJN, the Europe-wide association of promoters, presenters and organisations who specialise in creative music, contemporary jazz and improvised music, awards a European promoter who exemplifies the values of EJN and skilfully succeeds to create visionary and fascinating musical programmes for the audience.
Previous winners of the EJN Award for Adventurous Programming have been: “Tampere Jazz Happening” in Finland (2017), “Manchester Jazz Festival” in the UK (2016), “Moers Festival” in Germany (2015) “Jazz em Agosto” in Portugal (2014), “Bimhuis” in the Netherlands (2013) and “12 Points Festival” in Ireland (2012).
Comment from the Award Jury 2018
 “The 2018 EJN Award for Adventurous Programming has been unanimously assigned to Jazz Festival Ljubljana for its progressive programming that embraces the whole art form with an emphasis on European jazz while exemplifying the values of EJN such as geographical diversity and gender balance. Ljubljana has one of the oldest jazz festivals in Europe, founded in 1960, and since then has been striving to provide new music to curious audiences, despite many difficulties and changing contexts. All these reasons make Jazz Festival Ljubljana the perfect choice for receiving the Award 2018”
EJN Award Jury 2018: Cristina Estrada (Mercat de Música Viva de Vic, Spain), Susanna von Canon (Artist’s management, Netherlands), Sunna Gunnlaugs (Reykjavik Jazz Festival, Iceland), Oliver Belopeta (Skopje Jazz Festival, Republic of Macedonia), Juhamatti Kauppinen (Tampere Jazz Happening, previous EJN Award winner, Finland).
Comment from Bogdan Benigar & Pedro Costa, Artistic Directors of Jazz Festival Ljubljana (2011 - 2017)
 “We're delighted to receive this Award. It's a big honour to be in a company of Bimhuis, Moers Festival, Tampere Jazz Happening and 12 Points. We always believed that our choices are futuristic and strong examples how to point out the art form which has no boundaries and it's only limited by creative thinking in making music with an important thought of how to present it live on stage”

EJN AWARD for Music & Community 2018

In addition to the EJN Award for Adventurous Programming, in 2018 EJN introduced a new Award for "Music & Community".

During the EJN General Assembly 2018 on September 13 at Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon, Portugal, the name of the first winner of EJN Music & Community Award was announced. The Award was established this year by EJN, and is dedicated to projects  tackling with success the issue of social inclusion in their communities. The EJN Board of Directors selected the award winner out of a list of projects identified during the year through the specific EJN activity on social inclusion. The winner for the first EJN Award for Music & Community, announced during this session, was Banlieues Bleues from France, for their “actions musicales” carried out during several years in the suburb of Paris.

The motivation for this selection was also presented to the audience: “The Europe Jazz Network is committed to developing musicians and audiences who engage with jazz and improvised music, and encourages and supports its members to devise and produce the highest quality work for all members of the community. In 2018, the Europe Jazz Network instigated a new Award for outstanding achievements in the area of Music & Community. It is with the greatest pleasure that the inaugural EJN Award for Music & Community is awarded to Banlieues Bleues for their ‘actions musicales’, the inventive and inspirational work they have done, and continue to do, in this area. Banlieues Bleues’ ‘actions musicales’ are the benchmark by which future recipients of this award will be measured. Congratulations!”

Xavier Lemettre and Stéphanie Touré received the award on behalf of Banlieues Bleues and addressed the audience, thanking the Board for this decision. A short video showing some examples of the projects carried out in the last years gave to all participants a sense of the important and very successful work done by the organisation using creative music as a powerful tool for bridging social and cultural divides.