Even a Pandemic Can’t Stop Jazzahead! Fair in Bremen. Project director Sebel Kornitsky on digital formats, convergence through music and the art of improvisation.
Mrs. Kornichki, Jazzheed! Celebrates its fifteenth anniversary this year. What was the basic idea behind the foundation at that time?
Sybille Kornitschky: We wanted to create a meeting place that transcends classical festivals, celebrates jazz and brings together connoisseurs and jazz fans in Bremen for the purposes of this cause.
Jazzahead exhibition will be held! And the festival associated with it mostly digitally this year. What exactly does that mean for events, and what challenges does it bring with them?
Kornichki: The decision to hold the trade fair as digitally as possible met with a positive response. Because with him about 3,500 participants from 60 countries get the security planning. Now we are grappling with many challenges. One of them is that there is a certain digital burnout that starts slowly. We are rewarded! We want to persuade digitally with a professional and usual high quality. I am sure we will succeed. We want to produce the festival program, which also includes our show parties, as symmetrically as possible in Bremen. Feedback from the bands so far makes us optimistic. It remains to be seen whether the final program, which is supposed to be at the beginning of March, can actually take place in front of the public. The important thing is: We produce anyway and are ready for any eventuality.
Jazahaid slogan! Digital text: “Near from far”. Would you like to explain the meaning of this saying in more detail?
Kornichki: The motto is to say: As usual, in April we will be in Gaza! They gather from all five continents. We will feel a sense of closeness and more intense exchange of ideas, even if we are not in the same place. And we, the global jazz community, stand together in this crisis and confront it from near and far.
Unfortunately, the host country Canada cannot be there again, but there are other businesses from Germany, Europe and elsewhere. What are you looking forward to in particular at this year’s show?
Kornichki: All 32 groups deserve to be mentioned. From Germany, I find the pianist Joanna Samer with her very sensitive and deep improvisations, the guitarist and orchestra leader Hendrika Entziane and her large band are particularly impressive. From our European group, I love the French quartet, Nefertiti, with their wonderful and lively music, as well as singer-songwriter Julia Bell from Great Britain. And I’m also really looking forward to Brazilian guitarist and singer Paddy Asad, who can also fill entire rooms on his own.
What are the plans for 2022?
Kornechki: In 2022, Canada will finally be able to play a big role and show how wonderful and diverse a country it is – in jazz and beyond.
Jazzhead! It takes place from April 29 to May 2.
February 9, 2021 // Matthias Jordan