It is only the 5th edition but it seems as if it is already a stalwart and long-awaited force in Berlin’s live music scene: this year’s XJAZZ Festival will run from May 3rd to May 7th with 80 concerts spread all around Kreuzberg in clubs, bars, and churches. 14.000 visitors came to last year’s event so be prepared for an even more crowded area in this popular part of the city.
On the schedule for this year are once again a lot of artists merging Jazz with all kinds of different other sounds and genres which is one of the festival’s main treats and positive aspects. So what we get is everything from Jacob Collier to Rolf Kühn (and his brother Joachim), singer Natalia Mateo, the Tony Allen Quartet with his own very special tribute to Art Blakey, saxophonist and composer Birgitta Flick and her Quartet, Matthew Halsall & Dwight Trible, and my personal highlight of this year’s line-up, Jordan Rakei who recently finessed a track by Disclosure with his intoxicating vocals (check out his own “Cloak” album and you’ll see where nu soul and jazz is supposed to be going these days), and lots more.
The venues this year are Emmauskirche, Lido, Bi Nuu, Fluxbau, Prince Charles, Privatclub, Monarch, Coba Bar, Watergate, and Funkhaus Berlin. And all relevant info about participating artists and the schedule and where to get tickets can be found here: http://xjazz.net/