From musical theatre via literature and new music to jazz - the jazzahead! Festival presents Swiss productions and top international jazz acts as part of the festival

The jazzahead! Festival is scheduled to take place from 7 to 24 April in Bremen, the full program is now announced. Under the motto schweizsuissesvizzerasvizra, the festival's main focus is on Switzerland's various cultural scenes. These are portrayed in musical theatre, dance, puppet theatre, films, exhibitions, (musical) readings and lots of concerts.

The musical highlight of the jazzahead! Festival will take place from 21 to 24 April with top acts from the international jazz scene playing in 40 showcase concerts on three stages at the trade fair centre MESSE BREMEN and Kulturzentrum Schlachthof. In parallel to this, jazzahead! will be turning the spotlight on two stars of the Swiss jazz scene at its gala concert. And, on Saturday 23 April, the clubnight will be moving through the city and transforming hotels, pubs, churches, museums and other venues into in 34 jazz clubs.

Festival about Switzerland: schweizsuissesvizzerasvizra
The two and a half week-long jazzahead! Festival kicks off on 8 April at Theater Bremen with the musical production "Novecento - Die Legende des Ozeanpianisten" (Novecento - the legend of the ocean pianist) after Alessandro Baricco. Jürg Kienberger plays piano and is one of four musicians to start the journey across the Atlantic and to the partner country of jazzahead! On the same day, the Bremische Bürgerschaft (Bremen Parliament) will open an exhibition of Swiss campaign posters from 1918 to today entitled "Stimmvolk – Volksstimme" (voting population - voice of the people), which demonstrates a particular characteristic of Switzerland: direct democracy. At cinema City 46 a whole series of Swiss films are to be shown, with and without jazz in the main role. The exhibition "Jazz Art Posters" at Museum Weserburg will be displaying posters from the Montreux Jazz Festival, designed by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and David Bowie, among others. There will also be Swiss literature, for example, in musical readings with Dagny Gioulami and guitarist Philipp Schaufelberger. The dance theatre production "Black Out" by Compagnie Philippe Saire will be playing on 9 April at Schwankhalle Bremen, which is also hosting other events on the programme. The Swiss cultural scene will be portrayed in more than 50 events. The festival promises to be "unique, unconventional, a bit wacky, and very charming!", says jazzahead! project manager Sybille Kornitschky. There will be lots of free events on offer too, such as the children's programme "Pfote mampft Quark" (paw chomps quark) on 8 April at the Stadtbibliothek or the numerous events at Institut français with its special focus on Swiss French-language productions.

The finale of the partner country programme takes place on 22 April 2016 with the gala concert at the Die Glocke concert hall. This is a highlight and must-see for many, as two internationally renowned jazz greats from Switzerland take to th stage: Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin and Andreas Schaerer’s Hildegard lernt fliegen (Hildegard learns to fly).

jazzahead! clubnight – not an evening for fanatics of definitions
On 23 April 2016 Bremen will be hosting the festival's sixth jazzahead! clubnight and transforming numerous venues into real jazz clubs - 34 venues in all this year. On clubnight, 68 bands will be playing pretty much everything stylistically associated with jazz: from modern to vintage, from guitar to big band, from rap via singer songwriter to world music, from Brazil to Turkey. At some venues, countries like Canada (Club Moments) and Denmark (Courtyard by Marriott) will be presenting their jazz scenes. The jazzahead! partner country Switzerland is also represented on clubnight, for example, by a concert presented by Montreux Jazz Festival with Plaistow at Museum Weserburg and the Yves Theiler trio at Haus im Park. Adrienne West from the USA presents her "music stories” from the world of jazz, bossa nova and blues at a new clubnight venue, the Übersee-Museum. With all this internationality, some venues are quite deliberately focusing on local artists: e.g. the Zollkantine with Hendrik Schwolow & The Delicious Big Band feat. Dwill Crooning and High Six at Altes Pumpwerk. Musical encounters between local and international artists are also included on the programme, for example, at Lür-Kropp- Hof with Marcia Bittencourt & friends or at HafenRevueTheater with the German- Brazilian trio Triangulo.

At swissôtel Bremen there is an evening-long programme by the New Yorker label Dot Time Records, whose artists are inviting to the ultimate jam session afterwards. Night owls will get their money's worth at other locations, too, for example, at "noon" in Theater Bremen, with a programme dedicated to the groove, or at the Schaulust at Güterbahnhof, where DJs will finish off the evening after the Netter Bukowski Abend band plays.

Transport to and around the jazzahead! clubnight will be provided by VBN public transport again this year. The VBN ticket is included in the jazzahead! clubnight ticket. Sporty types interested in giving a group activity a shot can book a place on one of three select musical bike tours with ADFC and Bremen bike it! at jazzahead@adfc-bremen.de. Anyone without a bike can hire one. Bike hire will be available for this occasion directly in front of exhibition hall 7 on Bürgerweide.

Showcases – 3 stages and 40 international acts in short concerts
Alongside the partner country programme and the jazzahead! clubnight, the showcase concerts at Messe Bremen form another pillar of the jazzahead! Festival. 40 of the hippest international jazz bands will be presented in four modules across three days in the jazzahead! showcase festival. The programme, which kicks off on 21 April with Swiss Night, will be characterised by musical surprises and the highest quality. Eight acts from the jazzahead! partner country promise to provide a new perspective on Switzerland and its jazz scene. "Jazz made in Germany" will be in focus in the afternoon of 22 April, with eight German bands presenting the stylistic diversity of the German scene. Uli Beckerhoff, from the jazzahead! artistic management team, summarises the programme as: "Fun, groovy and inspiring German jazz." In the evening of 22 April, eight bands will be appearing in Overseas Night, some of whom are rarely seen here and in Europe. The range spans from piano trios via the almost world music of the Amir ElSaffar Two Rivers Ensemble through to the Columbian salsa rhythms of trumpeter Maite Hontelé. The European Jazz Meeting on Saturday 23 April will present a further 16 bands of notable diversity from Europe – in line-ups ranging from duos with trombone and piano (Nils Wogram/Bojan Z) through to large formations from Trondheim in Norway and Apulia in southern Italy. "Groove against boredom, playful wit against intellectualism, tradition with a wink, freedom and sovereignty in playing with jazz standards", says Peter Schulze from the jazzahead! artistic management team, describing the European showcases.

All tickets are available now from: Nordwest Ticket (+49 (0)421/ 36 36 36), the Die Glocke ticket office (+49 (0)421 / 33 66 99), the WESER KURIER publishing house, all regional newspaper publishers, Nordwest Ticket's advance booking agencies or online at

More on the subject of partner country Switzerland and information on programme events can be found at www.jazzahead.de and www.switzerland-jazzahead.com