Worldwide profile of jazzahead! continues to rise

Showcase applications increase to a new record level

764 applications were received for the 40 showcase concerts of jazzahead! 2019. This represents a 25 percent rise compared with the previous year. This increase occurred despite a significantly shorter submission deadline this year. Overseas applications increased particularly significantly, with applications from both the USA and Brazil now among the top five sources of applications, besides Germany and next year‘s partner country Norway. These statistics show that more and more jazz musicians from all over the world are opting to try to avail themselves of the career boost that a slot at jazzahead! in Bremen is widely known to offer. The profile of the trade fair itself, which will be held for the 14th time at Messe Bremen from Thursday 25 April to Sunday 28 April 2019 also continues to rise.

„jazzahead!, a trade fair focused exclusively on jazz music, is the only one of its kind in the world,“ says Sybille Kornitschky, Project Manager at Messe Bremen. „The rush by musicians and bands wanting to be involved in the short concerts shows how the profile and renown of jazzahead! have risen.“ So far, applications have been tied to a participant registration. Had there not been that limitation, then the level of interest would most likely have been much higher. And there is also a downside to the rush of applications from this year‘s total of 56 different countries, which is that the number of those who cannot be included in the final selection is unfortunately increasing. „We will therefore be revamping the application process for jazzahead! 2020. In 2019 we will be taking concrete measures to adapt to the growing offer and to increase the number of presenters and bookers at the fair,“ announces Sybille Kornitschky.

Participants and exhibiting companies from a total of around 60 countries descend on Bremen each year – in 2018 there were 3,282. Western and Northern European countries are generally very much in evidence – and after a slight hesitation in the past, the UK is now back again. Emily Saunders of JazzConnects comments: “Brexit is a huge, heartbreaking and deeply concerning issue to us all, as well as other divisions in the world. Jazz is fundamentally about interaction, communication, and connection. More than ever this is a time when we should work all together as a united force. jazzahead! is the ideal platform to meet people in person and to build working relationships,“ she says.

In the past three years, the organisers have worked hard to strengthen the level of participation from Central Europe. In 2019 jazzahead! will be able to welcome Bulgaria for the first time with its own country stand. Vesela Kondakova, Managing Director of the Bulgarian Music Association, comments on her visit to Bremen that the country has a great jazz tradition. Especially since both the musicians and the audience are getting younger and younger, they want to „create a good platform for their professional development.“

„At the present time we are also concentrating more on southern Europe, which is clearly under-represented in terms of its national scenes,“ says Sybille Kornitschky. While numerous industry participants from Spain had already registered, countries such as Greece, Portugal and Turkey were not yet represented with national stands. „We would definitely like to change that,“ says the jazzahead! Project Manager.

Individuals and organisations who are interested can book a stand at the trade fair up until the deadline of Wednesday 13 March 2019. There is also an early booking discount for professional participants available, but only until Wednesday, 16 January 2019. In the accompanying programme, the main conference topic is „Artist Management & Marketing“. Proposals for contributions to these sessions must be submitted by the end of the calendar year.

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Further information for editors:
Imke Zimmermann, Phone +49 (0)4 21 / 35 05 – 445, Fax + 49 (0)421 / 35 05 – 340
E-Mail: zimmermann@messe-bremen.de; Internet: www.messe-bremen.de

Press release

jazzahead18_EuropeanJazzMeeting(c)JensSchlenker_MesseBremen (4)

In 2018, Shake Stew from Austria was among the bands performing at the European Jazz Meeting. The specialist juries are currently selecting the participants for the showcases in 2019.
(c) MESSE BREMEN/Jens Schlenker

jazzahead! 2017

Overseas applications for showcases increased significantly, with applications from both the USA and Brazil now among the top five sources of applications.
(c) MESSE BREMEN/Jan Rathke