2019 will be a big year for Norwegian art in Germany.
At the stroke of midnight Sunday 22. april, a small ceremony was held to mark the end of this year’s Jazzahead and announce Norway as the partner country for 2019. The announcement follows news about Norway being the partner country at both the world’s largest book fair Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Berlin film festival Berlinale.
The Norwegian Minister of Culture, Trine Skei Grande, is excited:
– This is a unique opportunity to promote Norwegian culture. The German market is important for our international work in the culture field. The Norwegian focus at the Book Fair in Frankfurt and the Film Berlinale in Berlin, is now followed by music at Jazzahead in Bremen. Jazz is an important part of our cultural export, and will be complementary in this cultural footprint. This is a huge acknowledgement, and I am proud to know that Norwegian arts and culture are so attractive, says Skei Grande in a press release.
The world’s largest jazz conference
Every year, Jazzahead attracts more than 3000 delegates from 60 different countries to Bremen, making it the world’s largest jazz conference and showcase arena. Uli Beckerhoff from Jazzahead says Norway has had a big influence on the international jazz scene since the 1960s.
– From the generation of Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen, through Nils Petter Molvær, Jan Bang, Arve Henriksen and up to today’s young artists as Mathias Eick,Norway has played a big role in creating the distinctive style defined as Scandinavian jazz. Several of these artists have been leading internationally on their instruments. Their individuality is recognised across the globe, and their influence on following generations of artists has been substantial.
Big focus both on and off the conference
Music Norway director Kathrine Synnes Finnskog is excited about the strong presence of Norwegian art in Germany in 2019 and says this will open more doors for Norwegian artists in Germany:
– Leading up to Jazzahead, the book fair and Berlinale we will focus on creating new opportunities for the Norwegian indsutry and Germany that will give us success stories far beyond 2019.
Music Norway will together with Norsk Jazzforum proram the Norwegian focus at Jazzahead. MD at Jazzforum, Gry Bråtømyr, says Norwegian jazz has has a strong historic connection to the German market.
– It´s an honour to receive the invitation as partner-country in 2019. Jazzahead has since its beginning been very important for our international work. The Norwegian focus in Bremen next year is a great opportunity to further establish the standing of Norwegian jazz in Germany.