EJC 2024 theme: Tomorrow comes Today

10th European Jazz Conference
12 - 15 September 2024 - Ghent, Belgium


The opening of the Gorillaz song ‘Tomorrow Comes Today’ includes a Latin verse from a Gregorian chant, almost unnoticeable: ‘cum vix iustus sit securus’, meaning ‘when even the righteous may hardly be safe’ (Dies irae; 1215).

The song gives this year’s Conference its title, and a hint of the theme. Ghent is the 2024 European Youth Capital, and young people will be at the centre of the 10th European Jazz Conference in Ghent, Belgium.

The gloomy initial verse of the Gorillaz song reflects the feeling that many young people have today: trapped with no future, or at least a very grim one. The younger generation inherits circumstances that they have had no role in creating, confronted with challenges beyond their control. Students are out on the streets demanding social justice and concrete actions to save our planet.

This is in contrast to the way we often think of young people as the generation of hope. In our music sector, we rely on young musicians to bring change, to break barriers and surprise us with new sounds and creative approaches. Young audiences are obviously our audiences of the future, and we look forward to young professionals entering our sector for it to become more just, inclusive and balanced.

During our Conference, these contrasting views on youth will be ever-present. We will hear from young people about their concerns on the climate crisis, and about the lack of inclusivity and generational exchange in our structures. Together, we will discuss intergenerational programming, the necessity of sustainable reforms, new ways to share our events and reach out to new audiences, and the opportunities and challenges that new technologies like AI will bring.

In line with the theme, we invite EJN members and professionals to bring younger team members with them, to take part in the discussions about the future of creative music in Europe and beyond - their future.

Join us in Ghent for the 10th anniversary of the European Jazz Conference!