Thursday, May 05, 2011

A-Z of Jazzahead

Seb Scotney on Londonjazz put up his A to Z of Jazzahead here. Here's mine.

A - AFIJMA. This is the French jazz festivals organisation and which the Vortex has just joined as a foreign associate member.
B- Belgium. Unlike much of this divided country, jazz appears to be a unifying factor. They have a great range of promoters in both the Flemish and Wallonie regions, such as Jean-Pierre Bissot from Gaume, Wim Wabbes from Vooruit in Gent etc. etc. (Also, Oliver Belopeta of Skopje)
C - Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Preannouncing its highlights, the main festival has over 1000 concerts in July. Go for it Christian.
D - Dutch Jazz. A country which has the resources and musicianship. Mouthwatering venues (e.g. Bim Huis and SJU Utrecht) and festivals (such as North Sea)
E - Europe Jazz Network. The Vortex is a member. Anke and Battista have been doing a great job in bringing us members together.
F - Festivals. Lots of them.
G- Gerry Godley. The mastermind behind the 12 Points festival in Ireland and overseeing, with Bo Gronningstaeter its expansion Europe-wide.
H - Hungary. The BMC label seems to be the driving force behind a lot of Hungarian jazz, not just a label but also a festival.
I - ILK. One of the great young labels around, driven by the ILK Collective in Denmark. The guiding light is Lotte Anker, a great saxophonist.
J - Jazz Services. Joe Paice set up the British stand with limited resources, but managed to get a presence for us after all.
K - Kelman, John. The ubiquitous and hard-working creative mastermind of
L - Luxembourg. Much of the development of the scene here is due to trumpeter Gast Waltzing, who is also label manager, promoter, professor at music conservatoire.
M - Muetzelfeldt. Karsten, a radio journalist for WDR in Cologne and Deutschlandfunk, has an encyclopedic knowledge of European jazz and can be seen all around the place.
N - Norwegian. One of the main languages of the event, along with English, German and French. This is where all is moving towards over the next few years.
O - Orotone. A leading French agency. Laurent Carrier works hard to ensure that many of the young bands get around Europe. (Also Philippe Ochem of Jazzdor Strasbourg).
P - Panisset. Jacques has overseen the development of Grenoble Jazz Festival and its move to having a name including Babel!
Q - Quenum. Thierry is a great journalist, using his knowledge effectively for Jazz Magazine in France.
R - Rui Neves. A great promoter who runs the wonderful Jazz em Agosto in Lisbon. 
S - Sendesaal. This is the former Radio Bremen studio, now a concert hall where I heard Colin Vallon and Mathias Eick. I first went there in 1992 to help Iain Ballamy record All Men Amen. Its revival is a fitting tribute to the indefatigable Peter Schulze, who also initiated Jazzahead.
T - Tallinn. This year's European Capital of Culture with a great programme of music and also the home of the Free Tallinn Trio, coming back to London in October
U - Ulli Rattay is one of the best jazz publicists around in Germany. Understands the music but is also a realist.
V - Vortex. Todd Wills managed to survive insomnia and various alcoholic potions which were being offered to ensnare him for gigs.
W - Winckelmann. Matthias is one of the great jazz producers, with Enja now 40 years old. A mentor to me.
X - Xylophone. Or rather Vibraphone. Pascal Schumacher (at the Vortex in June)
Y - Youthful. What so many of the grey beards seem to have, in order to keep going.
Z - Zomerjazzfietstour. A festival around Groningen where you cycle from gig to gig. Marcel Roelofs is one of the happiest men you could ever meet - and a demon ninepin bowler.

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