Featured Image Kamil Piotrowicz (Photo by Jakub Szpojda)
Just prior to Christmas jazzahead! announced the showcase program for their 2018 edition to be held in Bremen Germany from the 19th until the 22nd of April. jazzahead! is the world’s largest Jazz Trade Fair and Showcase festival and brings the international jazz industry together for four days.
The partner country for the 2018 edition of jazzahead! is Poland and will be featured on the opening day of the event. Eight Polish acts have been selected to represent the countries contemporary jazz scene. Peter Schulze (jazzahead! Co-artistic Director) said “In the past 60 years a highly independent jazz tradition has developed in Poland with strong improvisers right up to the youngest generation of promising new performers,”.
The program features internationally known jazz greats such as the Marcin Wasilewski Trio and the Atom String Quartet as well as representatives of the youngest generation less known to the international audience. Jury member, Karolina Juzwa is especially pleased with the selection of Kamil Piotrowicz, Kuba Więcek and the High Definition Quartet that, in her opinion, perfectly represent the driving force of the current Polish jazz scene and deserve international recognition.
For the European Jazz Meeting section, open to all European acts outside of Germany and the Partner country, 16 bands from eleven countries will perform showcases in the afternoon and evening of the 20th of April. Peter Schulze, co-artistic director said “Surprisingly, this year the many high quality applicants also included many large acts – not only big bands but also symphony orchestras. The Beats & Pieces Big Band from the UK are part of a strong British presence this year. A wide range of styles is represented from elegiac melodic jazz from Iceland (Einar Scheving Quartet), 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).”
The “German Jazz Expo” is the third jazzahead! showcase section and kicks off with eight bands from Germany. A total of 119 German bands applied in the selection procedure. Uli Beckerhoff one of the jazzahead! artistic directors team and jury member said: “The jury chose an impressive mix of internationally recognized acts and experimental younger groups that 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 some of 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 both South and North America. “With Aca Seca and the Freedoms Trio, we chose two bands from South America that impressed us with their exuberant love of playing and stunning instrumental skills while Jazzmeia Horn and Justin Kauflin, represent the American jazz tradition in a magnificent way,” said Uli Beckerhoff.
Caribbean sounds during the Overseas Night are represented by the Gregory Privat Trio from Martinique.. The act which has the longest journey to Bremen is the Australian Mn’ JAM experiment featuring an expressive multimedia vocal performance, turntables, live loops and special effects.
Professional participants can register at a discount up until 12 January via the jazzahead! website. Registration includes admittance to the trade fair and showcase concerts.
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 are available via the jazzahead! 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 full List of Showcase performers are listed below:
Showcasing Artists – jazzahead! 2018
Polish Night, 19th April 2018
Atom String Quartet
High Definition Quartet
Joanna Duda Trio
Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet
Kuba Więcek Trio
Marcin Wasilewski Trio
Piotr Damasiewicz/Power Of The Horns
European Jazz Meeting, 20th April 2018
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)
Shake Stew (AT)
Sokratis Sinopoulos Quartet (GR)
The KutiMangoes (DK)
German Jazz Expo, 21st April 2018
Anna-Lena Schnabel Quartet
Daniel Erdmann’s Velvet Revolution
Markus Stockhausen’s QUADRIVIUM
Max Andrzejewski’s HÜTTE
Paul Heller / Jasper van’t Hof Group
Shinya Fukumori Trio
Overseas Night, 21st April 2018
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)