5 years of jazzplayseurope
The pan-European Jazz idea was celebrated in Brussels
- Series: Jazzatlas Ruhr
jazzplayseurope is a crazy experiment: a bunch of Jazz musicians who don’t know each other at all go on a tour including several European countries. You wonder how that will sound? Well, who wouldn’t… The idea is that wild – who would have thought that it would make it to its fifth anniversary after all? Well, it did. For the anniversary, all participants met on a stage in Brussels and jammed away. Fortunately, we were also able to be a part of the audience.
Jazz is spontaneous, Jazz is flexible, isn’t it? Jazz is also rigid, stubborn, and unconvincible. Imperturbable. Mit dem Kopf durch die Wand. How much stubbornness and perseverance does it take to manoeuvre this flea circus around Europe? How many sleepless, worried nights about the outcome, the subsidies – and how many nights brimming with Jazz in some club in good ol’ Europe when the last thing to think of is sleep?
Today, Nadin Deventer, the initiator and the face of jazzwerkruhr and jazzplayseurope, can look back on 5 eventful years – this extraordinary anniversary against all odds is worth to be celebrated. Small, but nevertheless presumptuous, it started in the year before the Ruhr was the Capital of Culture: as a kind of workshop, a lab, 7 promising musicians from 5 countries developed an exciting programme in Dortmund’s very own Jazz club domicil. And the madness went on: in the autumn of 2011, 7 musicians from 7 countries played in 7 EU-countries during 1 month. The finale, the 24 hour run, took place in Wroclaw – the Polish media considered it the most important Jazz event of the year and a breathtaking event.
jazzplayseurope managed to bring all those talents together on one stage in Brussels: in the impressive cinema-cum-cultural event place Flagey, 550 people could enjoy a concert which had all participants from three years of jazzplayseurope performing in varying line-ups – the musicians are not that famous yet, but the audience nevertheless enthusiastically celebrated the common European idea. A crazy, high-flying, presumptuous idea – which didn’t fail because all of those who were included believed in it.
Goose bumps and a serious warning
This video has been filmed in Brussels and features thrilling moments of 5 years jazzplayseurope: musicians who were curious about their co-performers before embarking for the tour... Musicians speaking of "tears in the eyes" and of the fact that realising the idea "was worth each minute and each mile on the streets”… Musicians coming to the conclusion that a network "beyond borders" is necessary: "If we want to feel like Europeans we have to start with the culture."
But the video also shows the serious initiator Nadin Deventer who points out how alarming the situation is: "Half of the organisations jazzplayseurope consists of and which support us are in immediate and massive danger of losing their existence!"
Text: Peter Erik Hillenbach