Bremen — Jazzahead!, one of the biggest annual jazz festivals in Europe, attracted only few Africans.
The 12th edition of the festival took place in Bremen, Germany, from April 26 and ended with a bang on Sunday, April 30.
More than 17 000 visitors from different countries worldwide attended the festival. According to Jazzahead! project manager Sybille Kornitschky so far there has been very little participation from Africa compared to other continents. She says only some professionals from Egypt, South Africa, Kenia and Angola took part in this year's festival.
"For some years we were only concentrating on Europe and it took a while before people from other countries showed up at Jazzahead! The first ones were from Canada, the United States of America (USA), South America as well as some from Asia and Australia. We need people who will spread the word of Jazzahead! in these respective areas, such as press people, festival directors and others," says Kornitschky.
She advises Africans to start participating in the jazz festival as today it is the world's largest jazz convention. "For all professionals dealing with jazz and willing to do this on an international level, there is no better beneficial way than in becoming part of this international network at Jazzahead!" she says.
"The international jazz market functions as all other markets in terms of offers and demands. The best way to get involved in this international network is to show up with what you have to offer and with what you are looking for in terms of demands. The jazz market is never a one-way system - it works mainly because people try to cooperate, build bridges and make deals that are long lasting," adds Kornitschky.
The festival this year was a sell-out with a new participant record from 60 countries.
About 1 356 exhibiting companies and 3 169 professional participants attended.
Already on the first evening, the increased visitor number led to full concert halls at the Finnish Night. The showcase concerts on Friday and Saturday night were completely sold out and even the afternoon concerts had only few available seats. The Jazzahead! club nights were also more popular than previous years.
Jazzahead! has already announced Poland as a partner country for the 13th edition.
"After the successful focus on Finland, this honour was passed on to Poland on Sunday morning and the country will be at the centre of the international trade fair and city-wide festival in 2018," says Kornitschky, adding that this will also be the first time that Jazzahead! will have a partner country from Eastern Europe.