Jazz North was represented at The European Jazz Conference 2018 earlier this month by Creative Directors Nigel Slee and Steve Mead. The conference ended on Sunday 16 September marking a record in attendances: 348 registered delegates from 40 countries in Europe and beyond (including USA, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia).
For four consecutive days, professionals from the music sector including promoters, festival directors, artists and label managers, representatives from national/regional support organisations, booking agents, researchers and journalists met in the beautiful Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB) in Lisbon to network and discuss some of the most important issues concerning our common work in the jazz and creative music field.
The theme of this year’s conference was ON THE EDGE. This was developed in a number of sessions covering the links between geography and artists’ creativity in the keynote speech by Maria João, an insight into the relations between Portuguese jazz and the wider European context in a panel debate with musicians, promoters, researchers and label managers, the role of music and technology as tools for investigating the universe and some inner truths about ourselves in the keynote speech by Kelly Snook, and a panel debate on the future of the music industry following some strong technological innovations in the coming years. A number of discussion and working groups also covered more practical issues for those who work in the music industry, such as the need to expand it in other markets beyond Europe, new marketing trends and opportunities through digital tools, audience development and music strategies for cities’ development and some updates in the researches being undertaken in the field of jazz.
Jan Ole Otnæs, Managing Director from Nasjonal jazzscene – Victoria (Norway) was unanimously elected as new President, succeeding Ros Rigby, who in the last four years with her strong commitment and energy has deeply contributed to the growing and strengthening of EJN as one of the key cultural networks in Europe. For these reasons Ros Rigby has been appointed by the new EJN Board as honorary member of EJN.
The European Jazz Conference was co-organised by Europe Jazz Network (EJN), Associação Sons da Lusofonia and the Centre Cultural de Belém, with the support of the Municipality of Lisbon, Lisbon Tourist Association, Visit Portugal, Meetings in Portugal and of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, that is supporting EJN through its network strand for the period 2017-2021