Sofia to host the European Jazz Conference in 2020



We are very happy to announce that the 7th European Jazz Conference will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, between 10 and 13 September 2020. The event will enable over 350 music professionals to discover a beautiful capital in the South-East of Europe with a vibrant jazz and creative music scene.

The Conference will be co-organised by Europe Jazz Network (EJN), A to Z Foundation- the EJN member that runs the A to JazZ Festival in the Bulgarian capital, and the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, that will also host the event in its beautiful venue. It will be supported by the Sofia Municipality, the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture and the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, that is funding EJN through its network strand for the period 2017-2021.

The city of Sofia will host in September 2020 approximately 350 delegates working in the jazz sector from all over Europe and beyond in order to share knowledge and discuss common projects, collaborations and joint actions. The Conference will also be a great occasion to present music projects from the dynamic Bulgarian jazz scene to an international audience of artistic directors, venue and label managers and booking agents through the very first Bulgarian jazz showcase to be organised within the Conference.

An EJN delegation visited Sofia in the month of May 2019, and had the opportunity to meet with the Bulgarian Minister of Culture, Mr. Boil Banov, and representatives from the Sofia Municipality, the National Palace of Culture, the European Commission Office in Bulgaria and A to Z Foundation, who all confirmed their interest in organising and supporting the event.

Boil Banov, The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, commented: “The hosting of the European Jazz Conference is of great importance for the development of the Bulgarian culture, jazz scene and musicians. I appreciate the hard work of the organisers and the event will have the full support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria.”

Peter Dimitrov, Director of A to Z Foundation: “I am really proud that after the long years of hard work of our team to develop and popularise jazz music in Bulgaria and the efforts we’ve made to become ambassadors of the Bulgarian jazz worldwide, A to Z Foundation has the opportunity to be selected and host this significant event in Sofia. I believe it will give many opportunities to all our colleagues from Europe and beyond to discover the local jazz scene and our beautiful city, and to meet potential partners from this region.”

Borislav Velkov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Palace of Culture: “It’s a great honour for us to be selected as host for the prestigious European Jazz Conference 2020. The National Palace of Culture is a wonderful place where all of the events, part of the programme, can be held. That’s because of our cultural and congress centre which offers diverse and inspiring opportunities to create a quality cultural product with a significant contribution to the development of the jazz music industry in Europe.”

Giambattista Tofoni, EJN General Manager: “With the choice of Sofia as a host city for the European Jazz Conference in 2020, the EJN Board of Directors expressed the willingness to continue to present to our members and to other participants the music scenes from lesser-known countries in Europe. In Sofia we have found a very lively city and a state-of-the-art venue to host the event, with a wide-range of partners and institutions committed to supporting it. We really look forward to being there next year, and to bring to the city our leading event for jazz professionals in Europe and beyond”

About the European Jazz Conference
The European Jazz Conference is a leading annual gathering of professionals from the jazz sector in Europe, in particular of promoters, cultural managers, agents and national/regional support organisations. What has been the General Assembly of the Europe Jazz Network, from 2014 has been expanded and is now open as well to any music professional under the name of European Jazz Conference.

The European Jazz Conference is composed of inspiring keynote speeches, high-level discussion groups and workshops, networking sessions for professionals of the creative music sector, cultural visits and in the evenings a showcase festival of the best artists from the host country, Bulgaria for 2020.

The European Jazz Conference is a unique event, the only one of its kind in Europe, centred on building long-lasting relationships, developing new projects and artistic collaborations, sharing expertise and getting up to date with the newest management and programming trends. Moreover, the Conference is about learning about music scenes and best practices from all around the world, including countries beyond Europe.

Previous editions of the European Jazz Conference were hosted in Lisbon, Portugal (2018), Ljubljana, Slovenia (2017), Wroclaw, Poland (2016); Budapest, Hungary (2015) and Helsinki, Finland (2014).

The 6th European Jazz Conference is taking place this year in Novara, Italy, between 12 and 15 September 2019. Form more information about this please check:

About National Palace of Culture
The National Palace of Culture - Congress Centre Sofia (NPC) is one of the largest multi-purpose venues in Southeastern Europe. Opened in 1981, NPC is designed to host a wide range of events as international congresses, official meetings, conferences, international conventions, summits, exhibitions, festivals, concerts and other cultural events.The Palace houses a rich variety of the most distinguished Bulgarian collections of visual arts which are integrated in the conceptual architecture and design of NPC.

Nowadays, The Palace seeks to give new dynamics to its environment by establishing diverse contemporary art spaces that are meant to shape Sofia’s cultural life. NPC is the Bulgaria’s most recognised concert venue for national and international touring artists. The Palace has 12 halls including National Book Center, Azaryan Theatre, DNK - Space for Contemporary Dance and Performance, Peroto Literature Club, Lumiere Lidl Cinema and Club 1.

Some of the biggest festivals and events in Bulgaria are produced by the National Palace of Culture such as Cinemania festival, New Year’s Music Festival, the Art Galleries Assembly.

National Palace of Culture’s website:

About A to Z Foundation
A to Z Foundation is a cultural organisation, established in 2010, focused on the development of the Bulgarian jazz scene.

A to Z Foundation is the organiser of the International A to JazZ Festival - the most significant open-air music event in Sofia, Bulgaria, spreading the jazz spirit in the city and transforming it into a music capital for three days every year. It’s usually held in the first weekend of July, on a huge meadow in South Park II, in the center of Sofia. In the A to JazZ programme you can enjoy world famous musicians as well as European and Bulgarian jazz and beyond projects.

For its three days, the festival welcomes more than 25.000 people. Representing the overwhelming free spirit of jazz music, the festival park is a whole 360 free admission experience for music lovers of all ages. The festival programme includes 12 concerts, kids programme in the daytime, jam sessions after the concerts, and the boutique conference A to JazZ TALKS.

Since 2011 A to JazZ has welcomed on its stage names like Robert Glasper, Christian McBride, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Roy Hargrove, Kurt Elling, Richard Bona, Michel Camilo, Dianne Reeves, Jose James, Dirty Loops, Lalah Hathaway, Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles and many more.

A to JazZ Festival’s website:

Photo: EJN Staff in Sofia in May 2019 with Boil Banov, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, Peter Dimitrov, Director of A to Z Foundation and Borislav Velkov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Palace of Culture