jazzahead! 2018 showcase programme announced

40 bands from 18 countries will perform on the jazzahead! stages in April in Bremen – the programme offers an impressive selection of various styles and formations.

The showcase programme of the 2018 jazzahead! in Bremen, Germany has been decided: of the 609 applicants from 49 countries, the juries chose 40 acts which will perform on stage at the international jazz trade fair of Messe Bremen from 19 – 22 April. 

Poland will be at the centre of jazzahead! 2018 including also on the trade fair’s opening night which is traditionally dedicated to the partner country: on 19 April at the Polish Night, eight Polish acts will represent the contemporary jazz scene. “In the past 60 years a very independent jazz tradition has developed in Poland with strong improvisors right up to the youngest generation of promising new performers,” says jury member Peter Schulze from jazzahead!’s artistic directors team. Genre boundaries and styles merge and are redefined – an exciting mix which is also reflected in the choice of acts at jazzahead!. The programme features internationally known jazz greats such as the Marcin Wasilewski Trio and the Atom String Quartet as well as representatives of the youngest generation whose names will be new to the international audience of professionals. Karolina Juzwa, also a jury member, is especially pleased with the participation of Kamil Piotrowicz, Kuba Więcek and the High Definition Quartet which particularly represent the driving force of the current jazz scene and deserve an international breakthrough. “We have two female leaders – Monika Borzym, whom jury members praised for her vocal skills and professionalism as well as Joanna Duda in her very original and stylistically experimental project, who represents the avant-garde side of our scene.” Power of the Horns, an energetic free jazz band with well-known Polish musicians, will also feature on the programme. “I’m sure they will blow the audience away!” continues Juzwa. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the main partner of the jazzahead! in the realisation of the partner country programme, assessed the choice of acts as follows, “We are delighted with the choices for the Polish Night. The jury chose a variety of musicians which reflects the richness of the Polish jazz scene very well.”

The second day of the jazzahead! focuses on the European Jazz Meeting in which 16 bands from eleven countries will perform on the afternoon and evening of the 20 April. This module had the most entries and the jury had to choose from 335 hopeful acts – 17.5% more than the previous year. This was not an easy choice as Peter Schulze confirmed: “This year the many high quality applicants also included surprisingly many large acts – not only big bands but also even symphony orchestras. The Beats & Pieces Big Band from the UK stand for a strong British presence this year. A wide range of styles is represented from elegiac melodic jazz from Iceland (Einar Scheving Quartet) and robust improvisations from Belgium (HERMIA/DARRIFOURCQ/CECCALDI) and Finland (Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri) to driving groove jazz from Switzerland (Aly Keïta – Jan Galega Brönnimann – Lucas Niggli).” 

German Jazz Expo is the motto under which the third jazzahead! showcase day kicks off with eight bands from Germany. A total of 119 German bands applied in the selection procedure. Uli Beckerhoff from the jazzahead! artistic directors team and jury member said: “The jury chose an impressive mix of international stars and experimental younger groups which bring a wide range of styles with them.” Representatives of the up and coming scene include multi-award-winning saxophonist Anna-Lena Schnabel and Max Andrzejewski´s HÜTTE. Markus Stockhausen with QUADRIVIUM and Paul Heller/Jasper van’t Hof Group are amongst the stars of the international jazz scene. “This selection is sure to convince professional visitors as well as jazz lovers of the high international quality of German jazz,” says jazzahead! project manager Sybille Kornitschky. The line-up also includes special projects such as the trio of Shinya Fukumori trio, a Japanese musician who lives in Munich and combines Japanese sounds with European jazz aesthetic and the band Quiet Fire which also includes a harpist.

The Overseas Night on the evening of the 21 April will conclude the jazzahead! showcase festival with eight bands from five non-European countries. The jury’s selection reflects the applications which were received with a strong focus on South as well as North America. “With Aca Seca and Freedoms Trio, we chose two bands from South America which impressed us with their exuberant love of playing and stunning instrumental skills. Jazzmeia Horn and Justin Kauflin, meanwhile, represent the American jazz tradition in a magnificent way,” said Uli Beckerhoff. Caribbean sounds during the Overseas Night are promised by the Gregory Privat Trio from Martinique.. The act which has the longest journey to Bremen is the Australian Mn’ JAM experiment with their expressive singer which will bring their latest multimedia performance of vocals, turntables, live loops and special effects to the stage.

Reduced prices for professional participants up to 12 January 2018 
It is possible to participate in jazzahead! as professional participant, exhibitor or co-exhibitor. Until 12 January 2018, registrations as professional participant are possible for the special promotional price of €165 for all days .The registration includes admittance to the trade fair and showcase concerts. More information is available on the website www.jazzahead.de . Visitor tickets for the showcase concerts do not include the trade fair admittance. In recent years these concerts have been sold out and the organisers recommend that concert goers buy tickets in advance. Visitor tickets for the short concerts of the Polish Night, German Jazz Expo, Overseas Night and European Jazz Meeting are available in advance either individually, for whole days or all days from Nordwest Ticket via our online shop, advance ticket outlets or on: +49 (0)421 / 36 36 36.Tickets are also available from the Glocke ticket service +49 (0)421 / 33 66 99, the WESER-KURIER Pressehaus, all regional newspaper publishers or online on the jazzahead! website and weser-kurier.de/ticket.

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.

Atom String Quartet
High Definition Quartet
Joanna Duda Trio
Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet
Kuba Więcek Trio
Marcin Wasilewski Trio
Monika Borzym
Piotr Damasiewicz/Power Of The Horns

Adam Bałdych & Helge Lien Trio (NO)
Aly Keïta - Jan Galega Brönnimann - Lucas Niggli (CH)
Beats & Pieces Big Band (GB)
Einar Scheving Quartet (IS)
Emilia Mårtensson (GB)
Hermine Deurloo Quartet (NL)
Horse Orchestra (DK)
Joonas Haarvisto Trio (FI)
Kirke Karja Quartet (EE)
Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri (FI)
Philip Clemo ‘Dream Maps’ (GB)
Sokratis Sinopoulos Quartet (GR)
The KutiMangoes (DK)

Anna-Lena Schnabel Quartett
Daniel Erdmann's Velvet Revolution
Fearless Trio 
Markus Stockhausen's QUADRIVIUM
Max Andrzejewski´s HÜTTE
Paul Heller / Jasper van’t Hof Group
Shinya Fukumori Trio
Quiet Fire

Aca Seca Trio (AR)
Freedoms Trio (BR)
Gabriel Grossi Quintet (BR)
Gregory Privat Trio (MQ)
Jazzmeia Horn (US)
Justin Kauflin (US)
Mn’ JAM experiment (AU)
Petros Klampanis Group (US)