The countdown to jazzahead! 2023 is under way!

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This year’s program for jazzahead! is now in place. Once again the worlds largest jazz tradeshow and showcase festival will take place in the German city of Bremen from the 27th of April through to the 30th. Last years event, the first after the return for a 2 year semi-hiatus due to the pandemic, drew over 2077 profession industry participants from 55 countries to the Bremen Messe where the event is held. This year, according to the management is set to exceed these numbers.

The showcase festival will present 32 artists and bands that have been selected from no fewer than 576 applications. The showcase festival will consist of eight showcase concerts at the German Jazz Expo, the eight concerts of the Overseas Showcases, plus the European Showcases which consist of 16 concerts. “I believe that we have once again put together a program which is not just really exciting but also shows huge variety,” says Sybille Kornitschky, who runs the jazzahead! trade fair. In addition this year will also see four “Commissioned Works”, collaborative bands brought into being by invitation.

New for this year, the Clubnight will be held on on Friday 28 April, when, for one night, one ticket will give admission to no fewer than 30 clubs. The ticket also provides visitors with access to the 36 showcase concerts that will take place at the MESSE BREMEN site . The German Jazz Prize concert is on the Thursday evening 27 April and a special evening of words and music with German film and stage star Sebastian Koch will be on Saturday 29 April.

Sebastian Koch | Photo by Mathias Bothor

The Clubnight is expected to be the focus of a lot of attention again this year and as mentioned above, takes place under the motto: “1 night, 1 ticket, 30 clubs”. The all-in-one ticket also includes public transport in the network of the Verkehrsverbund Bremen Niedersachsen (VBN), so people’s transport needs will be taken care of. The one ticket will grant admission to all 30 locations. The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a concert to set the evening’s program in motion on Bremen’s Marktplatz. After that, the Croatian-Slovenian female indie pop/ singer-songwriter duo “freekind” will be performing in KLUB DIALOG on the banks of the Weser. The Caribbean-born singer Sera Kalo will present her project eXante, a mix of R’n’B, hip-hop and soul.

The jazzahead! CLUBNIGHT 2023 has a particular bias in terms of its content: it will extend into different areas on the borders of jazz, and put down markers in almost all genres of music – in the pop and electronica area (such as in IRGENDWO, Villa Sponte or KITO) as well as in the direction of world music (among others in Lagerhaus, Focke-Museum or the Kulturkirche St. Stephani). Fans of R’n’B, hip-hop and soul should head for the Bremer Theater or Kränholm) and techno devotees will want to note that the trio LBT will be appearing in the vaulted hall of the Ratskeller winery. And those who like to hear jazz in combination with folk or rock should make a note that violinist/ singer Susanne Lundeng will be in the ACHAT Hotel. She has her roots in Norwegian folk music. At the Metropol Theatre, this year’s offering is a stage with a program of Finnish acts, throughout the evening and deep into the night. There are other evenings with a focus on specific countries, for example a wide-ranging program at “Tower” with their Québec evening, and a selection of Danish bands at Lila Eule.

HFK Jazzclub, the MIB, the Zentrale (joining in for the first time!) and the Sendesaal Bremen and the bremer kriminal theatre – where there will be no shortage of groove – will be offering a more “classical” program, whereas the program’s at both etage° and Canova definitely come with an unmistakable invitation to dance; swing bands will be performing throughout the evening.

Jason Miles | Photo by David Spagnolo

According to Sybille Kornitschky, who runs jazzahead! for MESSE BREMEN, the bremer shakespeare company will also play a major role this year, with performances by the Paschulke dance orchestra from the Ruhr area, among others. This group draws on very different styles and cultures and is committed to inclusion. “This is something very close to our hearts at jazzahead!” says Kornitschky. There is also a special program at the Weserburg: here, among others, the pianist Jason Miles will be performing. He worked with Miles Davis, Marcus Miller and Luther Vandross and is widely considered to have been one of the pioneers of synthesizer programming.

The main meeting point for people from the German scene will probably be the late night show at the Römer, where a duo project led by Hamburg drummer Silvan Strauß will be offering nocturnal grooves. Like Neustadt, the district looks like the place to be for the night owls – there will also be parties at Theater Bremen CLUB, IRGENDWO and neusi’s.

Other highlights of the festival include the German Jazz Prize concert on the evening of 27 April, and the reading with Sebastian Koch (in German) on Saturday evening, 29 April (both at the Metropol Theatre) and the 36 showcase concerts on the trade fair site. These have all been listed in detail in previous press releases.

A special guest at this year’s jazzahead! is internationally renowned actor Sebastian Koch. Now based in Berlin, Koch will perform Arthur Schnitzler’s “Traumnovelle” (Dream Story) as an evening of words and music together with the Hubert Nuss Quartett. Cologne composer/pianist Hubert Nuss and his band playing jazz will provide the perfect backdrop for Koch’s speaking voice and acting with their jazz sounds. The actor himself describes Schnitzler’s “Traumnovelle” as a “highly musical text, written almost like a fugue.” In addition to Koch and Nuss, Bastian Stein (trumpet), Robert Landfermann (bass) and Fabian Arens (drums) will be performing. Sebastian Koch had his breakthrough in 2006 with the huge success of the Oscar-winning feature film “The Lives of Others”. Since then, he has appeared in films such as “Effi Briest” and “Werk ohne Autor” (Never Look Away) and the TV series “Der Seewolf” (Sea Wolf).

Tickets for all events are available from Nordwest Ticket at the advance booking offices or by calling +49 (0)421 – 36 36 36, or via their own webshop. Tickets are also available from the ticket service in the Glocke (+49 (0)421 – 33 66 99), in the press building of the Weser Kurier, in all regional newspaper offices or online at

Last modified: March 3, 2023