Trade fair records 547 entries from 55 countries, more nations than ever before - 40 bands selected from 19 countries for the showcase festival at jazzahead!
The four multinational juries, which select the showcase programme at jazzahead!, were once again spoilt for choice: a total of 547 bands from 55 countries submitted their entries for the Showcase Festival. Subsequently 40 bands from 19 countries made it through to the official jury selection for 2017. The bands play on three days and evenings on the stages at the jazzahead! trade fair, which is being held from 27-30 April 2017 in Bremen, Germany.

Showcase programme with surprises and high quality
As tradition requires, on 27th April the showcase programme kicks off with the night devoted to the jazzahead! partner country for 2017: Finland. During the Finnish Night eight bands will provide a kaleidoscope of the jazz scene from the far north. “The bands comprehensively reflect the variety of the Finnish jazz scene, which is currently enjoying a particularly exciting and powerful phase”, says someone who knows the scene like no other, Mikkomatti Aro, Artistic Director of the Pori Jazz Festival and a member of this year’s jury. “There are well-known bands as well as promising newcomers. The range stretches from Aki Rissanen’s trendy piano trio to ecstatic rock music by the guitarist Raoul Björkenheim. Several interesting trumpeters will also be there.”

While the Saturday of jazzahead! showcases has been headlined by Europe over the last few years, these concerts have now been brought forward to the Friday. During the afternoon and evening of 28th April 2017 a total of 16 bands from 12 European countries will take to the stages of the European Jazz Meeting. “The musical quality of this year’s selection is dazzling”, commented Uli Beckerhoff, Artistic Director of jazzahead! and a member of the jury, and added: “the stylistic variety of the groups and the individuality of personality of some of the musicians show that this continent is brimming over with the exuberant joy of playing.” The European programme includes “A Novel of Anomaly”, a fantastic ensemble with excellent musicians from Switzerland, Finland and Italy, full of humour and virtuosity, as well as the Ukrainian pianist Vadim Neselovskyi with his extraordinary instrumental abilities, who has created a superb career for himself in Europe and the USA within the space of only a few years.

The German Jazz Expo showcases have moved to the Saturday. This means that the afternoon of 29th April belongs to the German scene, when eight bands will be presenting Jazz made in Germany. The German jazz scene once again displayed its high international quality in the entries received for the German Jazz Expo. In addition to three different profiled piano trios (namely Julia Hülsmann, Trio Elf and the Lorenz Kellhuber Trio), experienced and yet still adventurous musicians such as the saxophonist Niels Klein with his Tubes & Wires will be able to be heard together with young, excellently trained bands like the quartet belonging to the drummer Eva Klesse.

The Overseas Night has also been moved to the Saturday of the showcase festival. On the evening of 29th April bands from outside Europe will present their view of jazz. Four of the eight bands come from the USA, a sign that a showcase at jazzahead! is also becoming increasingly attractive for American bands. This time over half of the entries came from North America. “But the number of entries from Central and South America and from Africa also rose compared with previous years, which I was personally very pleased about”, says Uli Beckerhoff. “The programme selection therefore shows a fascinating breadth of jazz, permeated with cultural musical influences from various continents.” The singer Dee Alexander from the USA is also involved and she combines in her music everything which exemplifies the traditions of jazz: a stunning voice, deep feeling for the blues and enthralling stage presence. Another act is the Leo Genovese Trio from Argentina, characterised by a wild, surprising and exuberant gift for improvisation.

The jury and organisers see increasing internationalisation
The jazzahead! organisers are delighted about the continually increasing number of countries from which showcase entries are coming. For the first time entries were also received from Argentina, Chile, Syria, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Ghana. Two of these newcomers were also able to go straight into the programme selection. The full programme can be seen on the website www.jazzahead.de and is shown in the attachment to this press release.

jazzahead! showcases: Highlight of jazzahead! Festival Programme
For many years the 40 showcase concerts at jazzahead!, which are part of the trade fair and are held at the same time as the latter, have already been the highlight for lots of visitors to the jazzahead! Festival, which is taking place from 15th to 30th April 2017 throughout Bremen. While the art and culture of this year’s partner country Finland will be the focus as of 15th April, the programme is again being consolidated from 27th to 30th April and apart from the showcases also includes numerous other concerts in Bremen: the gala concert in Die Glocke concert hall with Iiro Rantala and the German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen on Friday, 28th April as well as the jazzahead! club night taking place on Saturday, 29th April 2017.

New ticket system has proved itself, reduced rates for specialist participants available until 15.1.2017
The separation between visitors to the trade fair and concerts in the ticketing system introduced in 2016 has proved itself and will be continued in the future: tickets for the showcases no longer include a visit to the trade fair. Only professional participants, exhibitors or co-exhibitors with a corresponding registration will continue to have access to the trade fair in Hall 6.

Professional participant registrations are possible online until 12th April 2017. Registration as a professional participant at the reduced price of € 160 for every day is available until 13th January. All the visitor information on attending jazzahead! 2017 can be found at www.jazzahead.de.

Visitor tickets for the short concerts at Finnish Night, German Jazz Expo, Overseas Night and European Jazz Meeting are available on pre-sale individually, for the whole day or for every day at Nordwest Ticket via the jazzahead! webshop, in the pre-sale offices or on 0421 / 36 36 36.
In addition, the tickets can be purchased from the Ticket Service in Die Glocke (0421 / 33 66 99), WESER-KURIER Pressehaus, at all regional newspaper publishers or online at www.jazzahead.de and weser-kurier.de/ticket.

The fantastic Ensemble A Novel of Anomaly with musicians from Switzerland, Finland and Italy during European Jazz Meeting © Nicole Philipp


The jazzahead! 2017 partner country will be represented during the Finnish Night – amongst others by Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy © Stefan Bremer


The quartet of drummer Eva Klesse is one of eight acts of the German Jazz Expo at jazzahead! 2017 © Arne Reimer


Overseas Night: Leo Genovese Trio from Argentina with their wild and surprising improvisations © Eduardo Correa


Press Release