29 May 2019
Australian Jazz in Europe - a report on activities in the Northern Hemisphere spring
In April, over 20 members of the Australian jazz community convened in the north German town of Bremen for Jazzahead, the most important international trade fair for jazz. Our increased presence at Jazzahead was the first major activity in the new international jazz strategy - Australian Jazz in Europe - which is being realised by the AMC in partnership with SOUNDS AUSTRALIA, and with funding from the Australia Council for the Arts.
With the aim to create awareness of and opportunities for Australian jazz and improvised music, the AMC and SOUNDS AUSTRALIA hosted a brunch for international colleagues, including programmers, record labels and journalists from Asia, North America and Europe. Four speakers - Glenn Dickie (Export Music Producer, SOUNDS AUSTRALIA), Genevieve Lacey (Chair, AMC), Paul Mason (Director Music, Australia Council for the Arts) and Paul Grabowsky (jazz musician and Executive Director of the Ian Potter Centre for Performing Arts at Monash University) - outlined different areas of Australian musical and creative culture, including our impressive and diverse jazz scene, which was illustrated by a short film, especially assembled for the occasion.
Later in the day, a wider group of international colleagues joined us at the Australian stand for Glenn Dickie's famous cheese & vegemite toastie extravaganza - this has become the signature dish for his stand-hosting around the globe!
The official Jazzahead showcase featured Linda May Han Oh and her band in the famous Schlacthof venue. Currently residing in the USA, she is an amazing musician and ambassador for Australian jazz and follows in the Jazzahead-showcase footsteps of Stu Hunter's Migration, the Vampires, and the Australian Art Orchestra's 'Crossing Roper Bar'.
A professional development opportunity in the form of a 'fellowship' was offered to Sydney-based pianist and composer Zela Margossian, who networked widely and whose particular brand of jazz, fused with Armenian folk, impressed many new ears. The fellowship will be offered again for Jazzahead in 2020, applications opening late in 2019.
The next stop for the Australian Jazz in Europe strategy is the Europe Jazz Network's European Jazz Conference which will take place in Novara, Italy, between 12 - 15 September 2019. This year's EJC has the theme, 'Feed your Soul' and will be a forum for discussion about issues that preoccupy those working in jazz and improvised music, such as gender balance; cultural diversity; the environment; mobility; creating work for children and young people; social inclusion and global trends. The annual conference attracts over 300 delegates from across Europe and beyond and registrations are now open.
The AMC is the only member of the EJN in the Southern Hemisphere and has a high profile within the network, with AMC board member Martel Ollerenshaw occupying the role of Vice President. In September, she will be joined in Novara by several other Australians who are active on the scene in Europe, as well as an 'Artistic Associate', another new professional development opportunity created by the AMC. Applications for this new opportunity are now open.
> EJN: Artistic Associate - call for EOIs - deadline 5pm AEST on Monday 17 June 2019.
> Read also: 'Australian Jazz in Europe - a market development project' - a news article on Resonate (29 January 2019)
© Australian Music Centre (2019) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
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