For the first time in the EJN history, this annual meeting had grown into a larger “European Jazz Conference” open also to non-member professionals, artistic directors and promoters from all over Europe, aiming at becoming the main European conference dedicated to presenters from jazz organisations large and small. More than 300 people attended the event, with some 150 representatives from member organizations, the other European Jazz Conference participants and performing musicians. It can therefore be considered the biggest EJN Europe Jazz Network event ever.
During the assembly Ros Rigby OBE, Performance Programme Director at The Sage, Gateshead was elected as the new President which brings a close tie for EJN to the North of England. Other EJN member organisations in the North are Jazz North and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival along with UK organisations Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Scottish Jazz Federation, Jazz Services, Jazzwise and Serious Events.
It was organised in collaboration with the Finnish Jazz Federation, together with April Jazz, Rajatsi ry / Raahe Jazz on the Beach Festival, Tampere Jazz Happening and Umo Jazz Orchestra and with the help of other committed partners such as the Sibelius Academy jazz department and Music Finland.
This event provided a great occasion to network, attend panels, share knowledge and experiences, learn from the contribution of expert speakers, from all over the world – all to the benefit of our professional activity. The rich programme of the event saw the introduction of even more dynamic and interactive formats for presenting new topics and sharing experiences: business oriented seminars, working groups with several facilitators aiming at stimulating creative synergies among the members, participation of international professionals discussing the “Beyond Europe” jazz world, among whom were Ian Patterson (All About Jazz), Paul Augustin (Penang Jazz Festival, Malaysia), Agus Setiawan (WartaJazz, Indonesia), Joanne Kee (Jazz Australia).
During the formal General Assembly, the new Board of Directors and the new President were elected and on Sunday 21st September the new Board had its first meeting.
The new Board Members and the Board Officials are:
Ros Rigby – President (Sage, Gateshead)
Piotr Turkiewicz – Vice President (Jazztopad Festival/National Forum of Music)
Bogdan Benigar – Secretary (Cankarjev dom – Ljubljana Jazz Festival)
Terese Larsson – Treasurer (Svensk Jazz)
Nadin Deventer – Member (jazzwerkruhr/jazzplayseurope)
Jan Ole Otnæs – Member (Nasjonal jazzscene – Victoria)
Katrien Van Remortel – Member (Flanders Music Centre)
Lennart Stromback – Member (Umea Jazz Festival)
Wim Wabbes – Member (Handelsbeurs Concert Hall)
Special thanks to Annamaija Saarela (Annamaija Music Company), Oliver Belopeta (Skopje Jazz Festival) and Antoine Bos (Association Jazzé Croisé) for their strong commitment to the former Board of Directors and especially in the latest demanding period for the EACEA successful application.
This was an important edition first and foremost because here we celebrated the successful outcome of our application for network funding to the EACEA Creative Europe programme. EJN was one of only 22 successful bids for network funding out of 58 applications, scoring 88/100 points for our application (the funding threshold was 77/100). This is particularly encouraging for EJN.
The 2014 EJN European Jazz Conference combined the strength of the traditions of the annual gathering together with many interesting novelties. And that was only the starting point of a 3-year period of serious commitment and growth. Next year’s European Jazz Conference will take place in Budapest from 24 to 27 September 2015.