jazzahead! 2024 Recap

After many years, I was finally back at jazzahead! in Bremen, the largest jazz network meeting in the world. And right from the start, it was clear that this was going to be a special one. After the press conference, I headed over to the fair and immediately bumped into old and new colleagues, friends, and peers from the industry. The vibe over the next three days was incredibly open-minded, open-hearted, extremely vibrant and lively and so full of love for the music and its people. Partner country this year was The Netherlands who brought over a lot of interesting acts. I witnessed an especially fascinating showcase set by saxophonist Ben van Gelder and guitarist Reinier Baas at the adjacent Schachthof. I also saw South African guitarist Vuma Levin at Achat Hotel. He played with his Amsterdam-based sextet which was really amazing.

Xavi Torres & Vuma Levin

The showcase part included 40 bands and the annual Clubnight, spread all across the city, but with most venues in walking distance, had around 70 more concerts on 35 different stages. Too much of course to let it all soak in so I stayed mainly in the halls and venues with the showcases. Pianist Andy Milne, a former student of Oscar Peterson, played some dexterous sounds and grooves with his trio Andrew Peck (b) and Nate Winn (dr). I also saw a pretty eclectic, diverse, and multi-genre set by French trumpeter, producer, songwriter, and composer Daoud from Toulouse. His highly energetic set really had me asking for a lot more of this. An amazing pianist from Spain, Xavi Torres, wowed the audience with his brisk playing. Another one to watch out for. Another pianist from the London jazz scene, Sultan Stevenson, was also fascinating to hear. His very intense, yet at times also subtle playing and his wondrous ideas, makes him another contender for newcomer act of the year, even though he already has established a following on the British scene.

There were also some interesting panels about women in Jazz and the two directors of the North Sea Jazz Festival gave some insight on how to programme and produce one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world. And so it was only fitting that the final night at Schlachthof, DJs Simon Kupfer and John Murph had the crowd dancing all night long until the birds started chirping again outside. You can already save the date for 2025: April 24th-27th.

with John Murph

Special thanks: Arlette Hovinga, John Murph, Götz Bühler, Phillip Golub, Irene Serra, Brian Michel Bacchus, Matthias Wegner, Basak Yavuz, Armand van Wijck, Mira Choquette, Ilario Ferrari, Magdalena Eriksson, Mareks Ameriks, Nawras Altaky, Aggelos Kleitsikas, Andreas Ugorskij, Luciana Morelli, Michelle Kuypers, Andy Milne, Orphy Robinson, Oran Etkin, Rotem Sivan, Daniel Best, Matt Fripp, Kupfi, Erik Leuthäuser, Karen Kennedy, Lydia Liebman, Barney Fields, Baron Arnold, Veda Bartringer, Ragnar Berthling, Jean-François Prins, Timo Vollbrecht, John Bishop, Gail Boyd, Saúl Cabrera, Judy Niemack, Daan Herweg, Phillip Dornbusch, Bret Sjerven, Michael Feinberg, Jan Fritz, Santa Śillere, Michael Gottfried, Matti Klein, and everyone else I forgot, and Adrián.

Similar Posts