Press — jazzahead!


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For more information, please contact Frank Schümann.

Press Releases

  • jazzahead! | 03.05.2022

    Next year‘s partner country is…Germany!

    jazzahead! 2022, held under the motto „Together Again“, has come to a successful close. Following on from Canada this year, next year‘s partner country is already in place: it will ...

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    jazzahead 2022! has come to a successful close - Some innovations this year, and more to come next year - The Deutscher Jazzpreis/ German Jazz Prize will be the focal point of the Friday evening.

    jazzahead! 2022, held under the motto „Together Again“, has come to a successful close. Following on from Canada this year, next year‘s partner country is already in place: it will be Germany, which means that the host country will combine two roles. „The principle of having a partner country is to place a country in the international spotlight which, in our opinion, deserves to be there. In Germany‘s case this is something which is long overdue,“ says Sybille Kornitschky who runs jazzahead! for MESSE BREMEN. jazzahead! 2023 will take place from Thursday 27 April to Sunday 30 April. The baton was passed at an event on Sunday morning in the big Circus Tent on Bremen‘s Bürgerweide.  

    Kornitschky, her team, and artistic directors Ulrich Beckerhoff and Peter Schulze are well aware that this choice will  „mark a departure from established practice, and also entail changes in the schedule,“ Kornitschky continued. The principle of having showcases with four programming strands will remain, but next year there will be co-productions involving Germany and four other countries, in order to emphasise, as ever, the international nature of the music. The four include three of Germany‘s neighbours: France, Austria and the Netherlands (France already having been the main partner country), plus the USA. Four German musicians with strong connections in these countries are building their own formations for this purpose – „the bands should each consist of between four and eight people; beyond that, there are no further stipulations,“ Kornitschky explains: „It’s not about shining a light on ensembles that are already well-known, but rather about bringing something new into being!“ 

    Another new feature of the next jazzahead! is that the German Jazz Prize ceremony, which has just been held in Bremen for the first time, will not take place before the opening as it did this year, but on the Friday of jazzahead!, i.e. the second day. “This means it will be even more centrally placed within the jazzahead! schedule, which is going to give this prize even more international profile,“ says Kornitschky. There are also plans for the 2023 conference programme – the path we have taken this year of increasingly taking up technical innovations will bw pursued further. „Among other things, we have opened a window on Artificial Intelligence,“ says Kornitschky, „and we want to go further in this direction.“

    Kornitschky of jazzahead! considers jazzahead! 2022 with partner country Canada, an event which was able to take place „live“ for the first time in three years as a result of the pandemic, a complete success. In total, there were over 2,700 participants from 55 nations present – exhibitors, musicians and trade visitors. Once again, the high musical quality of the concerts – almost 100 of them – during the weekend of the fair was praised by all. The circus tent, which was set up for the first time this year on the Bürgerweide, provided not only two very well attended concert evenings but also a splendid festival vibe. „I noticed that the average age of the participants at this year’s jazzahead! has fallen significantly – and that really gives hope for the future,“ said London jazz journalist Sebastian Scotney.

    Ina Keßler, CEO of Initiative Musik, the organisation responsible for the German Jazz Prize, spoke at the event when the baton was handed over from Canada to Germany. She expressed the thoughts  that many others have been having in  recent days: „As the pandemic has shown us, changes can happen at any time: the Russian war against Ukraine has left everyone worried and speechless. Nevertheless, we firmly believe that music builds bridges between different worlds, between people and countries, political opinions and mentalities, and our common cultural and historical heritage. Ultimately, we are all human beings and should respect each other. For this reason, we are positive as we consider the future. We are looking forward to showing both up-and-coming new artists and established major figures from Germany to the whole world.“

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    thematic areas. One of them was the question of how artificial intelligence will open up new possibilities for the music industry of the future – our picture shows Dr. Stephan Baumann (German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence DFKI). On the right in the picture: Jay Ahern (Director of Music Industry Relations, Cyanite)

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  • jazzahead! | 05.04.2022

    Looking into the Future

    The jazzahead! Trade Fair, taking place from Thursday 28 April to Sunday 1 May at the MESSE BREMEN site, is looking to the future. Participants will see new paths and initiatives being ...

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    jazzahead! trade fair from Thursday 28 April, to Sunday 1 May explores the new directions

    The jazzahead! Trade Fair, taking place from Thursday 28 April to Sunday 1 May at the MESSE BREMEN site, is looking to the future. Participants will see new paths and initiatives being taken in this area. „We want to explore the topics which are important for our scene,“ says Sybille Kornitschky, who runs jazzahead! for MESSE BREMEN.

    In order further to strengthen the viability of the industry in the future, technological innovations in the field of music and from the world of artificial intelligence are being brought more sharply into focus this year. In addition to sustainability topics and questions of marketing via social media marketing – more and more important –  the professional programme of jazzahead! this year therefore also includes panels which will deal with technological innovations in the music industry. „Industry players from marginal areas in music are being deliberately included more through this,“ Kornitschky confirms.

    One representative of these new paths is the visionary composer/pianist Ralf Schmid, who combines instrumental virtuosity with innovative methods of electronic sound generation –  he plays two pianos simultaneously by using special data gloves. His keynote address can be attended on Friday 29 April. The title: „Soulful technology –  exploring tech tools that will shape the music playgrounds of the future“.

    Similarly forward-looking is the panel „How AI unlocks new opportunities for music“, which is on the programme for Saturday 30 April. Dr Stephan Baumann from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) will talk about how emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence will impact the music ecosystem of the future. 

    Other key speakers include Wim Wabbes, Karolina Juzwa, Øyvind Larsen and Scott Morrison, who will talk about best practices and methodologies to create viable sustainability strategies for clubs and festivals; Brazil-based expert Jacques Figueras, who will offer presentations and workshops on how clubs and festivals can build and how they can perfect their social media and online marketing; and Alexander Warnke from PRO Agency GmbH, who will explain in his talk „International neighbouring rights collection“ how rights holders can make concrete use of their performing rights.

    Together with the German Association of Independent Musicians and Music Companies (VUT), a „TikTok Deep Dive“ with Andreas Hänisch will be organised; the Deutsche Jazzunion is also hosting a panel „Crisis as a chance –  Live jazz performance in times of global transformation“. Topic-specific and target-group-specific matchmaking sessions will also play a role at the trade fair once again.

    More information on the professional programme is available at

    The deadline for on-site registration is 12 April, online-only registration is possible until 21 April. On-site registrations are possible for trade participants, but with an additional charge.

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    Further information for editorial offices:
    Frank Schümann, Telephone +49 (0)4 21 / 35 05 – 453
    E-mail:; Homepage:


  • jazzahead! | 30.03.2022

    jazzahead! Festival: the joy of being there for an abundance of music!

    Lots of music and plenty of variety: those are  some of the things which this year’s jazzahead! at MESSE BREMEN has to offer. At last, after a two-year hiatus, ...

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    From 14 April to 1 May, jazzahead!’s sphere has expanded with – among other things – a large circus tent venue.

    Lots of music and plenty of variety: those are  some of the things which this year’s jazzahead! at MESSE BREMEN has to offer. At last, after a two-year hiatus, the festival is back. From 14 April to 1 May there will be over 100 concerts on the site of the Messe, and also in several locations in Bremen’s city centre. Partner country Canada is naturally at the centre of all this. In jazzahead!’s 16th year as a trade fair (and its 11th as a festival), the event is a powerful and attractive draw. Not only has there been the addition of a circus tent as an extra performance venue, there will also be the presentation of the German Jazz Awards on 27 April at the Metropol Theater Bremen.

    Among the appealing events at jazzahead! are, as ever, the showcase concerts from 28 to 30 April, which – there was considerable doubt but it is now confirmed – can also be experienced live by audiences from the region. There have also been some changes and innovations for this year. For example, although the bands will still be presented within the familiar programming formats (Canadian Night on Thursday, European Jazz Meeting on Friday, German Jazz Expo and Overseas Night on Saturday), there will always be two bands across the four stages playing at the same time – so the audience will have choices to make. There will be both a daytime and an evening programme, starting at 2pm and running into the night. Combined tickets are available for this, and these also include access to the programme of events taking place in the circus tent.

    The festival opens with Canadian Night on Thursday evening. „This programme offers a wonderful snapshot of the many different disciplines and voices which our country has to offer,“ says Rainbow Robert, speaker of the Jazz Festival Canada and a jury member of the Canadian programme. She says the decision process was anything but simple: „Canada is an incredibly large country with an inspiring and diverse jazz community – there are so many extremely talented and dedicated artists.“ Performers will include classically trained trombonist Audrey Ochoa, Montreal’s François Bourassa Quartet, which has been established for decades now, as well a performance from the duo of Marianne Trudel and John Hollenbeck.

    The other 32 showcase concerts, with artists from Europe, Germany and overseas, also offer music of the highest quality, such as the Andalusian saxophonist, singer/songwriter Antonio Lizana with his fusion of jazz and flamenco, or JO, the band formed by German drummer Jo Beyer or the Ofer Mizrahi Trio, which combines Western, Turkish and Indian music with jazz. Live audiences will be able to enjoy the showcases on four stages on the Messe site, and also at the Schlachthof cultural centre, adjacent to the site.

    There will also be plenty of music in the circus tent: this venue is something new in the jazzahead! experience. On Friday 29 April and Saturday 30 April, six more concerts will take place here, with bands specially invited by jazzahead! Late on Friday evening, the Portuguese band „Rite of Trio“ will perform there: they are influenced by composers like Stravinsky and Ligeti as well as rock bands like Mars Volta and the Lounge Lizards. Another highlight will be the concert by young Sicilian guitarist Matteo Mancuso. He is not only an internet guitar phenomenon, he has also received plaudits from guitar heroes like Al Di Meola and Joe Bonamassa. The flamenco jazz group Los Aurora from Spain will be there with a dancer – „we expect them to really bring the tent to the boil,“ says Sybille Kornitschky, who runs jazzahead! for Messe Bremen.

    The programme on Saturday evening is just as exciting: three bands nominated for the German Jazz Award are on the bill: Israeli singer Efrat Alony with her programme “Hollywood Isn’t Calling”, Ukrainian singer Leléka with her band, and balafon supremo Aly Keïta from the Ivory Coast whose brand of world music will have a real festival feel.

    There is fantastic variety in the CLUBNIGHT in which Canada will also be playing a major role. No fewer than 22 venues will become clubs in Bremen for the night from Saturday 30 April to Sunday 1 May.

    These include Metropol Theater Bremen which will present a Canadian evening with a series of concerts. These include the masters of improvisation on string instruments, the Josh Zubot String Quartet (from 7.30 pm), the Canadian-Haitian Vox Sambou (10.30 pm) and the large ensemble Haram (11.30 pm). Haram take pieces from the classical Arabic repertoire – from countries such as Egypt, Iraq or Sudan – and transform them with the band’s unique and fascinating sound. Partner country Canada will also play the main role at Bremen’s Schaulust: in addition to performances by (among others) Barbra Lica (7 p.m.) and the CODE Quartet (8 p.m.), the Gentiane MG Trio from Quebec will be performing from 11 p.m., standing in at short notice for The Brooks, who were unfortunately obliged to cancel.

    There will also be music from other countries on this evening. TAU has a varied programme: a Finnish evening will begin at 6 pm – first with guitarist Mikko Iivanainen, then with multi-instrumentalist Osmo Ikonen, known as the keyboardist of the rock band „Sunrise Avenue“, among others. In the „Lila Eule“ there will be a Danish evening – among others with the duo Svaneborg Kardyb (6 pm) as well as the band Bevort 3 (from 9 pm).

    Other options and possibilities for CLUBNIGHT are Kaye-Ree’s performance in Markthalle Acht. She is a German singer born in Iran, and she captivated a large TV audience in 2018 on „The Voice of Germany“ talent show. She will present her gentle “Global Soul” in three sets between 7 and 9.45 pm.  Entry is free. The Pusdorf Studios also have their own young musical colour, here the bands „Welten“ and „Jungle by night“ will perform – in cooperation with LiveKomm and the Bremen club amplifier – between 7 and 10 pm. The ACHAT Hotel will host the US-American Roni Ben-Hur Trio and the German duo Schlesinger Lackerschmid.

    The complete programme of the jazzahead! festival can be found on our homepage at jazzahead/en.

    Tickets for all events at jazzahead! and the festival are available at the advance booking offices or by phone 0421 – 36 36 36 as well as from Nordwest Ticket via their 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 jazzahead/en.

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    Further information for editorial offices:
    Frank Schümann, Telephone +49 (0)4 21 / 35 05 – 453
    E-mail:; Homepage:



If you would like to be accredited for jazzahead! send an e-mail to by April 27.
After that, please contact the press counter in Hall 4 on site.
Please mind our accreditation guidelines

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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 would like to attend other events such as the GALA CONCERT or festival opening, please contact: Frank Schümann.

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