For 50 years, Jazzfest Berlin has brought together traditional jazz musicians, but this year the festival begins its fifth decade with a new perception, highlighting the changes in the music and the future of jazz. Over four days (November 5th to November 8th) the festival will present musicians — from 30 different nations — who reflect, according to new artistic director Richard Williams in an interview with KultuRradio, jazz’s continued forward motion, the fact that there’s room in the spirit of the music for valuable, risky, and exciting ingredients like innovation and creativity.
Examples of this idea include musicians like Charles Lloyd and bands like the Louis Moholo-Moholo Quintet — who show through their music, from Williams’s perception, evolution, innovation, and advancement — and Dylan Howe’s Subterraneans, who grab audiences by adding new elements to the atmosphere of their shows (like films) and come to Jazzfest Berlin this time around to present a performance based on David Bowie’s work. These artists and 15 others represent the variety and quality which this new Jazzfest Berlin hopes to promote.
The program is available on the festival’s official site and will include talks from leading musicians such as German pianist Julia Kadel and French saxophonist Alexander Hawkins, in addition to the scheduled performances. As with previous iterations of the festival, audiences will have the chance to get to know the artists and share their own opinions about art and music and the role of each in society.
Jazzfest Berlin will take place in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Akademie der Künste, and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Berlin, with affordable rates starting at € 15; special discounts may apply for students.