Press — jazzahead!


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Press Releases

  • jazzahead | 06.09.2023

    Starting today you can register for jazzahead! 2024 in Bremen, Germany

    Trade fair and festival to take place in Bremen already mid-April 2024, three full days and nights from the 11th to the 13th – Registration for professional participants has begun – Showcase application ...

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    New horizons, new partners, new time periods:

    Trade fair and festival to take place in Bremen already mid-April 2024, three full days and nights from the 11th to the 13th – Registration for professional participants has begun – Showcase application period for musicians has opened – Partner Country the Netherlands

    In keeping with the motto “New Horizons” the registration for the 18th edition of jazzahead! at MESSE BREMEN has begun. It also marks the opening for the six-week showcase application period: from today until 18 October, musicians and bands can apply online on the website for one of the 40 showcase slots at the world’s biggest jazz industry gathering in Bremen, Germany.

    “Our wish is to present a cutting-edge, positively “unheard of” programme from a wide range of European countries as well as from overseas at jazzahead! 2024, of course. We are looking forward to the submissions from a host of improvising and innovative musicians and bands from all over the world”, says Artistic Advisor Götz Bühler. “This does not mean we are primarily looking for newcomers – quality and individuality are our main objectives. Already with the composition of the jury members, all of whom are “gate openers” for new and thrilling projects and concepts, we want to contribute to presenting the headliners of tomorrow at jazzahead! next year as well.”

    Naturally, the plans for presenting the Netherlands are already in full swing. In a first statement, Mark van Schaick, manager for jazz at, the organisation for the promotion of culture acting for the collecting society BumaStemra, points out the numerous creative prospects of the current partner country of jazzahead!. “Jazz from the Netherlands is a gracious and playful beast of many colours”, writes van Schaick. “For more than a century jazz’s traditional elements have been interpreted in a unique manner by Dutch musicians. (…) Jazz artists exchange generously, being receptive to music from all over the world and other art forms. Their improvisation and experimentation permeate deep into compositional practice, its output being both challenging and gripping.”

    For the first time in 2024, jazzahead! will highlight a central theme to initiate a more sustainable cultural exchange with the Global South. This aims to present some of the most interesting jazz discoveries from the African continent live at jazzahead! – at least for the next three years. “jazzahead! has always aimed to provide a live stage in Bremen for the most interesting artists and new projects from the national and international jazz world”, says Götz Bühler, who wants to build on this in his new position as Artistic Advisor for the trade fair and festival.

    “The head of jazzahead!, Sybille Kornitschky, and I consider it coherent to create an even stronger impetus for this in order to shine a light on the creative power and originality of the musicians of the Global South – and support their music in order to be heard more internationally.”

    jazzahead! 2024 is once more planned to embrace a wide range of digital services, from which participants on-site in Bremen will benefit as well as it will be bringing new opportunities and possibilities of participation for first-time visitors or those who cannot or do not wish to travel. This “all access” participation in jazzahead! will enable and support a larger number of participants, e.g. from overseas, to immerse themselves virtually in the three most beautiful jazz days of the year.

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    Head of jazzahead! Sybille Kornitschky

    jazzahead! Artistic Advisor Götz Bühler


  • jazzahead | 03.05.2023

    jazzahead! 2023 a resounding success!

    The 17th edition of jazzahead! at MESSE BREMEN came to an end at the weekend with a ceremony officially marking the handover to next year’s partner country. For three ...

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    Next year’s partner country is the Netherlands | jazzahead! 2024 will take place from 11 to 14 April.

    The 17th edition of jazzahead! at MESSE BREMEN came to an end at the weekend with a ceremony officially marking the handover to next year’s partner country. For three days and nights, Bremen once again became the world metropolis of jazz. Germany, as this year’s partner country provided many concert highlights, especially via the programme of Commissioned Works. The total number of registered trade participants was around 2,800, an increase from last year. A total of 428 musicians played in the festival programme of 36 showcase concerts plus the big CLUBNIGHT at venues right across the city on the Friday evening. (That total increases further if one also includes the musicians involved at the German Jazz Prize which was awarded on the first evening of jazzahead!). The concerts at the 30 CLUBNIGHT venues on the Friday evening attracted a total of around 5,500 visitors.

    Sybille Kornitschky, who runs jazzahead! for MESSE BREMEN spoke of her satisfaction with the way this year’s jazzahead! has gone: „The main reason to feel good about this years jazzahead! is that the participants clearly enjoyed it. Compared to last year, there was a marked change in the mood – it was almost euphoric,“ Kornitschky continued. „The feedback we have received has been sensational. Last year, people were mainly relieved that an event like this could take place at all in the aftermath of Corona. But this time, I saw happy expressions on so many faces, and to an extent that I have rarely seen before – people were showing their genuine appreciation for the concerts, and above all they said they were just happy that they could work properly again!“ It was also noticeable that many young people were taking part – many attendees were with us for the first time.”

    The CEO of MESSE BREMEN – and the inventor of jazzahead! – Hans Peter Schneider was also extremely happy with the outcome of this year’s event: „We are pleased that we were once again able to offer a very buoyant jazz industry a platform for doing business worldwide – negotiating and finding ways to match supply and demand were very much the focus in Halls 6 and 7 of MESSE BREMEN.“ A total of 51 nations were represented on the 5,000m² of floor area. A total of 1,366 main and co-exhibitors were registered – an increase of more than 100 compared with last year. The host country alone accounted for 872 participants, with France (166), the Netherlands (163), Belgium (90), UK (89), Denmark (85), Italy (77), Switzerland (76) and Spain (67) also strongly represented. The USA was also well represented with 77 participants. Some countries were represented for the first time; these include Greece (20), Romania (14) and even Chile (9).

    The jazzahead! 2023 trade fair and festival were officially opened on Thursday by trumpeter Till Brönner, one of the genuine stars of German jazz and by Bremen’s mayor Dr. Andreas Bovenschulte, among others. Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and Media of the Federal Republic of Germany, visited the event on the Saturday and gave a speech which was full of praise for what jazzahead! achieves. Uli Beckerhoff and Peter Schulze were marking their last year in their roles as joint Artistic Directors; Götz Bühler has now taken up his position as Artistic Advisor.

    Bühler comments: „For me, this jazzahead! was another notch higher in terms of both intensity and inspiration. It felt like a family occasion, but it was also demonstrably more international than ever. There were such great meetings, fabulous musicians and some wonderful music! I am looking forward to my new tasks as Artistic Advisor working alongside Sybille Kornitschky. It is an honour and a great pleasure for me to have a hand, working as a duo with Sybille, in determining the future shape of an event which is so pivotal for the worldwide jazz scene.“

    Among the highlights of this year’s jazzahead! with Germany as Partner Country were four performances involving German-born bandleaders living abroad, who had formed ensembles in the countries where they live especially for the occasion, and who gave official premiere performances at jazzahead! These bands will continue to stay together. In fact, the German-Dutch project „Tree House“ led by drummer Felix Schlarmann is already scheduled to go on tour shortly. Indeed „Tree House“ already gives a glimpse of next year’s jazzahead!, which will take place from 11 to 14 April 2024. That is because the Netherlands will be next year’s partner country. „They totally deserve this,“ says Kornitschky, „It’s no accident that our juries have been consistently choosing several Dutch acts each year for many years now.“

    The ceremonial handover to next year’s partner country took place on Saturday evening at the Kulturzentrum Schlachthof, where German Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth symbolically presented the Dutch Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dewi van de Weerd, with a sailcloth bag, in order to mark the formal launch of the preparations for next year’s big event.

    Among the important organisations involved in next years partner country programme are Buma Cultuur and the Performing Arts Fund NL. Bas Pauw (Performing Arts Fund NL) and Mark van Schaick (Buma Cultuur) comment as follows:

    “The Netherlands as main partner country during jazzahead! 2024 offers an excellent opportunity to showcase the quality and diversity of the Dutch jazz scene. The steady presence of Dutch bands in the jazzahead! showcase program has demonstrated how exciting and versatile contemporary Dutch jazz is. Being partner country in Jazzahead! 2024 offers the opportunity to show even more what is happening in jazz in the Netherlands. Buma Cultuur and the Performing Arts Fund NL are looking forward to working together with new artistic advisor Götz Bühler and his colleagues at jazzahead!, in making this a successful presentation, highlighting the importance of jazz today and the power of music crossing borders.”




  • jazzahead | 28.04.2023

    jazzahead! 2023 is now open!

    Dear colleagues, jazzahead! 2023 started yesterday morning at MESSE BREMEN. One of the highlights of the first day of the trade fair was a major opening ceremony which was very well-attended. ...

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    Dear colleagues,

    jazzahead! 2023 started yesterday morning at MESSE BREMEN. One of the highlights of the first day of the trade fair was a major opening ceremony which was very well-attended. There was live music from, among others, two of Germany’ leading jazz musicians, trumpeter Till Brönner and bassist Dieter Ilg. The Mayor of Bremen, Andreas Bovenschulte, gave a welcome speech, underlining jazzahead!’s status as a major international event for Bremen. Heartfelt thanks and gifts were presented to Uli Beckerhoff and Peter Schulze as expressions of appreciation for their work over several years. Both men have helped to shape jazzahead! from its very early days; they are currently at the fair for the last year in which they will still be in their roles as joint Artistic Directors.

    From 27 to 30 April, the city of Bremen morphs into a vibrant jazz metropolis for the duration of the 17th jazzahead! Fair and Festival. A special highlight of the festival is the presentation of the German Jazz Prize, which took place in Bremen for the second year in succession last night at Metropol Theater Bremen.

    This year’s jazzahead! partner country is Germany. The festival offers a total of 36 showcase concerts in the exhibition halls 7.1 and 7.2 as well as in the Kulturzentrum Schlachthof. Other highlights include an evening of words and music with actor Sebastian Koch and pianist Hubert Nuss, and also the CLUBNIGHT on the Friday evening, which involves live performances in around 30 different venues.

    Tickets for all events at jazzahead! and the festival are available at advance booking offices or by calling 0421 – 36 36 36 or from Nordwest Ticket via its own webshop. Tickets are also available from the ticket service in the Glocke (0421 – 33 66 99), in the press building of the Weser-Kurier, in all regional newspaper offices or online at


    Further information for editorial offices:
    Frank Schümann, Tel. +49 421 3505 – 453


  • jazzahead | 13.04.2023

    jazzahead! 2023 | Official Opening Ceremony: Thursday 27 April at 1 p.m. / Trade fair opens at 10 a.m.

    jazzahead! Trade fair from 27 to 30 April in Halls 6 and 7 of MESSE BREMEN In a fortnight from today, the jazzahead! Trade Fair 2023, the biggest jazz industry gathering in the world, will ...

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    Trade fair: main topics + discussion forums

    jazzahead! Trade fair from 27 to 30 April in Halls 6 and 7 of MESSE BREMEN

    In a fortnight from today, the jazzahead! Trade Fair 2023, the biggest jazz industry gathering in the world, will start its 17th edition! Both the trade fair and the festival will start on Thursday, 27 April, and continue until noon on Sunday 30 April. Once again, the jazz world will come together in Halls 6 and 7 of MESSE BREMEN to network, exchange ideas and discover new bands or projects. This year, the partner country is Germany.

    The conference programme of the fair in 2023 will take three topics as its focus:

    • sustainability in the live events industry
    • diversity, inclusion and equality, both onstage and behind the scenes
    • the challenge of achieving success in the music marketplace in an increasingly digital world.

    In this context, there will be a presentation of the three-year, EU-funded „Better Live” programme, which aims to create social and environmental sustainability in the music event industry. Its mission is as follows: „For a bigger number of small events“. jazzahead! is one of eleven European project partners. This topic will culminate in a hosted discussion involving the participation of Minister of State Claudia Roth, the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media for Germany, on Saturday afternoon. Her visit to jazzahead! this year marks the year of Germany as Partner Country.

    From Thursday to Saturday there will be a number of industry-specific lectures, discussions and workshops. With regard to diversity, inclusion and equality, musicologist Dr. Harald Kisiedu, among others, will take a look at developments in jazz in his keynote address,“Diversity in Jazz: Are we there yet?“ which will be given on the Friday. He will explore the question of what the reality of the current situation is, with particular reference to the German jazz scene. In a rapidly growing digital world, whose influence on the music industry only ever increases, new challenges and opportunities arise. On the Saturday, Mark Kovic from the UK will do a fact-based presentation of digital marketing in the new music industry. This will be accompanied by a lecture and discussion on the new „live concept“, the growing importance of livestreams, the metaverse and even the role of artificial intelligence in the music sector.

    Alongside these topics, the programme for professionals has other highlights to offer, including the lecture „Jazz Piano and Brain Health“ by the JAM MUSIC LAB University on Friday, and an interview with Jason Miles on Saturday. Miles will talk about his last 50 years in the music business and his collaboration with Miles Davis. You can find out more about the professional programme and the exhibitors taking part this year on our website

    jazzahead! 2023 will open on the morning of 27 April; the official opening ceremony will take place between 1 p.m. and 2.15 p.m. and will feature two top German jazz musicians, trumpeter Till Brönner and bassist Dieter Ilg. Furthermore, Prof. Daniel Martin Feige will speak about the importance of jazz as a cultural asset. There will be some moments too when there are bound to be surprises: Romy Camerun and Marialy Pacheco will be performing special new music to accompany our farewell to the two artistic directors Uli Beckerhoff and Peter Schulze. There will also be a performance by representatives of the young German scene, Silvan Strauss Duo feat. Lisa Wulff: they will ceremoniously usher in the official arrival of the new Artistic Adviser Götz Bühler. „The opening is designed to mark the arrival of a new era for jazzahead! with a very special partner country year“, says Sybille Kornitschky, who runs jazzahead! for MESSE BREMEN.

    The theme of opening up musically is one of the central tasks for the future management duo. True to this year’s motto „Building Bridges“, jazzahead! already wants to build more bridges this year to other genres that feel connected to jazz. It is doing this, for example, with the designated „Work & Meet – Crossover“ area at the fair, where it offers an open space for exchange and networking between (jazz) fans of different genres – from funk, electronica, hip hop and soul to contemporary classical music, folk, pop and metal.

    Anyone who would still like to register as a professional participant or co-exhibitor at one of the available umbrella stands can do so until 13 April on our homepage jazzahead.tradefair. Registration at a later date is still possible on site, but there will be additional costs.

    Finally, a note of caution from us about something which we find very concerning indeed: jazzahead!’s participants are repeatedly being contacted via email by companies who purport to to offer lists of jazzahead! 2023 participants and their contact details, and asking a fee for this service. We would ask you not to respond to these requests. We have no connection whatsoever with these companies, and note that they are using the „jazzahead!“ brand name in these mailings without either our prior knowledge or our consent.

    Further information

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    Further information for editorial offices:
    Frank Schümann, Tel. +49 421 3505 – 453
    E-Mail:; Facebook Instagram Twitter


  • jazzahead | 03.03.2023

    The countdown to jazzahead! 2023 is under way!

    CLUBNIGHT will be on Friday 28 April, when, for one night, one ticket will give admission to no fewer than 30 clubs – 36 showcase concerts will take place at the MESSE BREMEN site – ...

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    This year’s programme of festival events and concerts is now in place.

    CLUBNIGHT will be on Friday 28 April, when, for one night, one ticket will give admission to no fewer than 30 clubs – 36 showcase concerts will take place at the MESSE BREMEN site – The German Jazz Prize concert is on the Thursday evening 27 April – Evening of words and music with German film and stage star Sebastian Koch on Saturday 29 April.

    The festival programme for jazzahead! has been finalised – and it’s really something to look forward to this year! The highlights include an evening of words and music with celebrated actor Sebastian Koch on Saturday, 29 April, the big CLUBNIGHT on Friday, 28 April, the German Jazz Prize concert on Thursday, 27 April, and the 36 showcase concerts spread over three days. MESSE BREMEN’s jazzahead! 2023 will take place from 27 to 30 April. This year, the festival programme will mainly run concurrently with the trade fair.

    CLUBNIGHT is expected to be the focus of a lot of attention again this year. It 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.

    CLUBNIGHT will kick off at 5 p.m. with a concert to set the evening’s programme 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 programme 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 programme 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“ programme, whereas the programmes at both etage° and Canova definitely come with an unmistakable invitation to dance; swing bands will be performing throughout the evening.

    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 programme 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 synthesiser 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

    Further information

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The accreditation for jazzahead! includes the visit of the trade fair, conferences, showcases, CLUBNIGHT and after-parties on the premises. If you still have questions, please send an e-mail to

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