12. international jazz trade fair announces program: new symposium, trending topics for the scene and Prize for German Jazz Journalism
From 27. – 30. April the jazzahead! will be held in Bremen. Key areas of the 12th edition of the international exhibition include Finland as partner country, a symposium on “Jazz and Improvisation for Children”, the export platform “German Jazz Expo” and further topics relevant to the world of jazz. The exhibition has also recorded a growth in participant numbers from Central Europe and predicts a slight increase in overall participant figures.

Exhibition with Finland as partner country
The partner country of the jazzahead! 2017 is Finland and the exhibition, which will be held from 3.00 pm, Thursday, 27. April to 12.00, Sunday, 30. April 2017 in the Messe Bremen exhibition centre, will therefore focus on Finnish jazz. The showcase festival integrated in the exhibition starts on 27. April with the Finnish Night in which eight bands will showcase current jazz from the Nordic partner country. Program highlights include, amongst others, Aki Rissanen, whose new album Amorandom has just won the Emma Award as best Finnish jazz album, the Kari Ikonen Trio and Dalindèo.

The invitation for Finland to be the partner country of the jazzahead! 2017 and, with this, in the spotlight of the international jazz scene, has also come at a special time as the country is celebrating 100 years independence this year. And, for at least fifty years, this has also stood for the country’s independent and vibrant jazz scene. In the Partner Country Lounge and the Finnish umbrella stand at the exhibition, visitors will be able to find out more about Finnish jazz. In the Food Garden with sauna in front of Kulturzentrum Schlachthof, meanwhile, guests can sample Finnish street food as well as award winning gin. Later on in the showcase festival, the jazzahead! has exchanged programme modules: for the first time, the European Jazz Meeting will be held on the Friday and will introduce 16 European bands. On Saturday during the day, eight bands from Germany selected by the jury will give performances followed, in the evening, by eight bands from abroad during the Overseas Night.

Increase in visitor numbers from Central Europe and expanded specialist program with symposium
The exhibition has recorded more visitors from the countries Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Baltic states. “Until now, the Central European countries were hardly represented at the jazzahead! With view to the active jazz scene in these countries with many festivals and a wide audience, this prompted us to arrange a joint stand for these Central European countries for the first time which has so far been very well received. To build bridges to these regions of Europe and promote exchange is becoming increasingly important for many protagonists of the jazz business,” says Sybille Kornitschky, project manager of the jazzahead!. The organisers are expecting an overall increase in participant figures in 2017: a total of 1,000 exhibiting companies and 3,000 professional participants are expected.

The exhibition also offers numerous new features in the expanded specialist programme: with the Symposium on Improvisation and Jazz for Children on Thursday, 27. April 2017 from 10.00 am – 5.00 pm, for the first time the status and mediation of jazz for young children in Germany will be examined and discussed. “On Thursday, even before the trade fair officially opens, we will focus more on the fundamental topics relating to jazz and will take the time to examine these in the long term,” says the Project Manager Sybille Kornitschky about the specialist orientation which the jazzahead! will be taking. Registration for the symposium is not included in the trade fair registration and must be made separately. Information on the registration is available on www.jazzahead.de/symposium.
The symposium complements the specialist program of the trade fair which in 2017, once again, picks up on the topic of digitalisation: which digital instruments should artists, managers and others involved in the jazz scene be familiar with, which fundraising platforms are important and which sales channels are worth knowing? On the Saturday morning, a joint information event of the Goethe Institute, Initiative Musik GmbH and the Musikfonds e.V. will be held especially for musicians from Germany which will examine funding possibilities for German musicians abroad.

German Jazz Expo as platform for German jazz and again with Prize for German Jazz Journalism
The German Jazz Expo, as platform for German jazz and as an export platform, is a central element of the trade fair. This features not only the eight showcase concerts which will this year be held on the Saturday afternoon, 29. April, but also the umbrella stand German Market at which musicians, their representatives and other people involved in German jazz are registered. A further element in the promotion of “Jazz made in Germany” at the jazzahead! is the Prize for German Jazz Journalism. “It aims to promote qualified reporting on jazz in the German media,” says Ulrich Beckerhoff from the jazzahead! artistic management team about the prize which is being awarded for the fourth time. “Jazz will only be able to gain a wider audience if it is suitably reported on!” continued Beckerhoff. The award which comes with €5,000, is again being supported by the Dr. E. A. Langner Foundation in Hamburg. The prize winner will be announced during an award ceremony on Saturday, 29. April 2017 at 6.45 pm.

Registration for exhibition and stands
The exhibition hall is getting full but there are still a few available stand areas. Stand reservations including entry in the printed participant Guide must be made by 17. March 2017. Co-exhibitor and professional participant registrations can still be made online after this date until 12. April 2017. After this date, it is only possible to make reservations on site at the exhibition registration. All information on taking part in the jazzahead! 2017 is available on: www.jazzahead.de.

Live from the jazzahead! – broadcasts, extracts and streaming
Radio Bremen will again record all the jazzahead! showcase concerts and provide ARD radio stations and, Europe-wide, the European Broadcasting Union with the audio recordings. Professional video recordings will also be made, some of which will be streamed live on ARTE Concert and will also be available the following day online in the jazzahead! media centre. Furthermore, numerous audio transmissions will also be broadcast from the Radio Bremen /ARD live studio, for example on Nordwestradio and Deutschlandradio Kultur.

jazzahead! – part of the Bundestag’s rock, pop & jazz promotional project
In a meeting held in November 2016, the German Bundestag agreed to promote German rock, pop and jazz music by developing already existing relevant structural projects and this also included the early securing of funds for the jazzahead! 2018. “We are very pleased about the decision of the Bundestag’s budget committee to provide funding for the jazzahead!, also in 2018, and are exceptionally thankful for this and, with this, also confidence shown in our work. With the continuation of the project funding, we can secure and further develop the event’s artistic and content-related quality,” said project manager Sybille Kornitschky
jazzahead! 2016

Photo 1: jazzahead! is the branch meeting of the international jazz scene © Jan Rathke / Messe Bremen

jazzahead! 2016

Photo 2: Finland is jazzahead!‘s partner country in 2017 and introduces its jazz scene in Bremen © Jan Rathke / Messe Bremen

jazzahead! 2016

Photo 3: jazzahead! presents, in addition to the trade fair, 40 showcase concerts, eight of them within the German Jazz Expo © Jan Rathke / Messe Bremen


Press Release 5: "Focus on Finland and Jazz for children" (pdf)


The background article “Jazz in Germany” by journalist Ralf Dombrowski. The article is free for publishing when the author’s name is mentioned.