The EJN Award For Adventurous Programming 2018 is celebrated at Jazz Festival Ljubljana



The celebration of the 2018 EJN Award for Adventurous Programming took place today Friday 29 June during the 59th edition of Jazz Festival Ljubljana in the Slovenian capital. During an official ceremony before the evening concert of Norwegian band Rohey, Bogdan Benigar and Pedro Costa, Artistic Directors in the last seven years of the Festival, received the Award from Europe Jazz Network (EJN) President Ros Rigby.


The Festival is the 7th festival/club receiving the prestigious Award that recognise exceptional work in programming adventurous music and emerging artists from all over Europe, with a particular attention to gender and age gaps, while maintaining highest quality in its programme.


Ros Rigby, President of Europe Jazz Network, underlined during the Ceremony how “some people think that programming a Festival is just a matter of doing some phone calls, almost an administrative work; on the contrary it is a deeply creative work, that involves a lot of listening, understanding of music and travels to discover new artists. With this Award we want to recognise the amazing work that Bogdan and Pedro have done in the last years in these regards, choosing as well to share the responsibility of building a programme, something that is not always easy but that can produce great results as we have seen in Ljubljana”.


Bogdan Benigar and Pedro Costa commented “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”


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 Festival 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).


About the EJN Award for Adventurous Programming


Each year EJN, the Europe-wide association of promoters, presenters and organisations who specialise in creative music, 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.


For the first time this year, the Award was selected through a two-phases process in order to expand the scope of the consultation about the Award, engage the EJN members and harness the great professional knowledge inside the Network. In the first phase of selection all EJN members 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. In the second phase, out of a shortlist of 19 nomination, 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.


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).


More info:


About Jazz Festival Ljubljana and Cankarjev dom

Jazz Festival Ljubljana 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, CD Jazz and World Music Director, and Edin Zubcevic, also Artistic Director of Jazz Fest Sarajevo.


The 59th Jazz Festival Ljubljana will continue until Saturday 30 June with a  dense programme of concerts, panels and exhibitions, while the 60th anniversary edition of the Festival will take place from 18 to 22 June 2019 with a special programme of events curated by John Zorn.


The EJN Award will be celebrated as well during the 5th European Jazz Conference taking place in Lisbon, Portugal, at Centro Cultural de Belém between 13 and 16 September 2018.



Jazz Festival Ljubljana website:

Cankarjev dom website:


About the Europe Jazz Network


Europe Jazz Network (EJN) was created in 1987 as a Europe-wide association of live music promoters and presenters. Currently EJN includes 133 organisations (festivals, clubs and concert venues, independent promoters and national/regional support organisations) in 35 countries. EJN's mission is to encourage, promote and support the development of creative improvised music within the European scene and to create opportunities for artists, organisers and audiences from all different countries to meet and communicate.


Europe Jazz Network’s website:

European Jazz Conference 2018 in Lisbon:


Photo ©: Nada Zgank / Cankarjev dom