First EJN Award for Music and Community assigned to Banlieues Bleues



During the EJN General Assembly 2018 on September 13 at Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon, Portugal, the name of the first winner of EJN Music & Community Award was announced. The Award was established this year by EJN, and is dedicated to projects  tackling with success the issue of social inclusion in their communities. The EJN Board of Directors selected the award winner out of a list of projects identified during the year through the specific EJN activity on social inclusion. The winner for the first EJN Award for Music & Community, announced during this session, was Banlieues Bleues from France, for their “actions musicales” carried out during several years in the suburb of Paris.

The motivation for this selection was also presented to the audience: “The Europe Jazz Network is committed to developing musicians and audiences who engage with jazz and improvised music, and encourages and supports its members to devise and produce the highest quality work for all members of the community. In 2018, the Europe Jazz Network instigated a new Award for outstanding achievements in the area of Music & Community. It is with the greatest pleasure that the inaugural EJN Award for Music & Community is awarded to Banlieues Bleues for their ‘actions musicales’, the inventive and inspirational work they have done, and continue to do, in this area. Banlieues Bleues’ ‘actions musicales’ are the benchmark by which future recipients of this award will be measured. Congratulations!”

Xavier Lemettre and Stéphanie Touré received the award on behalf of Banlieues Bleues and addressed the audience, thanking the Board for this decision. A short video showing some examples of the projects carried out in the last years gave to all participants a sense of the important and very successful work done by the organisation using creative music as a powerful tool for bridging social and cultural divides.