Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Festival Review: jazzahead!, in Bremen, Germany

European innovation at the fore

Christine Jensen

Come late April, it seems that most all European jazz roads and entities lead to Bremen, Germany, the lovely western German city which has hosted the go-to jazz convention known as jazzahead! for nine years, and is poised to celebrate its 10-year success-story milestone next year. Often compared to the lost, lamented IAJE conference in the U.S., jazzahead! is a vibrant convergence of all matters jazz-mostly from the European perspective, for now-and a three-day time-place umbrella during which musicians, record labels, festival people, cultural attaches and tourist boards, reps from jazz academia, journalists and sundry other parties with links to the jazz cause and commerce, gather. And in growing numbers: 2014’s model was the biggest and best attended yet, with expansion plans in place for year 10.

Even so, although business is transacted, the networking buzz is palpable and the trade show element is energetic and central at jazzahead!, good and provocative music flows with a great and inspiring density for two days and three nights. In my second year there, after having plunged into the orderly cavalcade of half-hour showcase sets by mostly emerging and deserving-wider-recognition status artists, and having caught some 37 acts (by my loose count), I am once again awash in affirmation about the strength, inventiveness and vision of jazz from across the Atlantic.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published