European Jazz Conference

SAVE THE DATE of the next European Jazz Conference: 12 - 15 September 2024 in Ghent, Belgium.

With 481 delegates from 40 countries, the 9th European Jazz Conference that took place in Marseille, France, between 14 and 17 September 2023, has been the most attended event of this kind so far. During four intense days promoters, programmers, artists, agents, managers, cultural leaders, journalists and academics exchanged views and ideas on the future of the creative music sector in Europe and beyond. 

The title of the Conference this year was ILLUMINATIONS, referring to the role that music education, in all its forms, can play in addressing some key issues of contemporary society. The keynote speech by Nicole MItchell (US), renowned artist and former president of the AACM in Chicago, raised some important questions that were later discussed in six parallel discussion groups leaded by Julia Payne (UK), Matti Nives (FI), Sophie Blussé (NL), Kevin Le Gendre (UK) and Davide Grosso (IT). The plenary panel debate of the following morning continued the discussions on the theme, presenting some concrete examples and ideas on how music education and music projects can cross barriers and borders. The debate was moderated by Anna Umbima (UK) and involved Kanilya Joubran (PS/FR), Fabrizio Cassol (BE) and Raphaël Imbert (FR). Finally, the Conference wrap-up by Francesco Martinelli (IT), provided some final insights on how we are all illuminated by each other.

In addition to the conference programme, fifteen concerts, between showcases, fringe programme, special events and a gala concert, took place in the beautiful venues of the Palais du Pharo and of Théâtre La Criée:  Michel Portal & Guests (with Yazz Ahmed and Eivind Aarset), NOUT (winners of the EJN Zenith Award for emerging artists 2023), Poetic Ways (opening concert), Orchid Big Band, Naïssam Jalal & Claude Tchamitchian, Enzo Carniel & House of Echo, Papanosh, Sarāb, FUR, Ludivine Issambourg Antiloops, Yessaï Karapetian Quintet, Louise Jallu, Marion Rampal, Obradovic-Tixier Duo & Dowdelin.

The Conference was co-organised by EJN and Marseille Jazz des Cinq Continents, and was supported by the Centre National de la Musique (CNM), in partnership with Association Jazzé Croisé (AJC)​, La Sacem​ and the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, that is funding EJN through its network strand for the period 2022-2024.

Please check out here a brief presentation of the title and theme

We have also published the full programme of the Conference, check it out here.

A presentation of all concerts that took place during the Conference is available here, and of the speakers of the conference is available here.

The European Jazz Conference is a leading annual gathering of professionals from the jazz sector in Europe, in particular of promoters, cultural managers, agents and national/regional support organisations. What has been the General Assembly of the Europe Jazz Network, from 2014 has been expanded and is now open as well to any music professional under the name of European Jazz Conference.

The European Jazz Conference is composed of inspiring keynote speeches, high-level discussion groups and workshops, networking sessions for professionals of the creative music sector, cultural visits and a showcase festival of the best artists from the host country.

The European Jazz Conference is a unique event, the only one of its kind in Europe, centred on building long-lasting relationships, developing new projects and artistic collaborations, sharing expertise and getting up to date with the newest management and programming trends. Moreover, the Conference is about learning about music scenes and best practices from all around the world, including countries beyond Europe.

Previous editions of the European Jazz Conference took place in Marseille, France (2023), Sofia, Bulgaria (2022), Tallinn, Estonia (2021), Novara, Italy (2019), Lisbon, Portugal (2018), Ljubljana, Slovenia (2017), Wroclaw, Poland (2016); Budapest, Hungary (2015) and Helsinki, Finland (2014).

Check out the full brochure of the 2023 event here: