Why we need platforms more than ever.
What a strange time it’s been. I still remember the surreal feeling of our last Jazz Connective meeting in London and Birmingham, when the world was shutting down right in front of our eyes. Three months seem like three years, so much have changed since then.
We are all thinking how the world is going to look like in the future and how it is going to influence our lives. Whether musicians are going to play again for the public, whether they will be able to travel, whether our business is going to survive. The conflicting feelings of the need to get out and resume the normal life and the fear of health consequences have rooted themselves in our minds for good. Musicians are scattered in their homes, often feeling isolated and abandoned. The already existing disparities in different countries resulting from varied social and political policies and financing inequalities are growing. It all makes it even more difficult for artists to get on their feet and resume their careers.
The world is slowly getting back to its tracks. Every country at its own pace, but the shy signs of spring are starting to appear here and there. The world will come around, but not the same. The question is whether we are going to be ready for that. We as promoters, we as the public and we as the musicians. Music business is now at the point of rethinking itself. The consequences of the current crisis will further increase the already high competitiveness and inequalities of the sector. Thus, there is an even bigger need now to introduce competences, awareness and knowledge to the working life of artists. Under the new sanitary regimes, the venues all over Europe are changing their way of functioning, artistic mobility as we know it is being redefined and the public is even more difficult to reach. Most of the artists are now in the limbo with some prospects of carrying on their activity, but still unsure how and when. They are going to face even more challenges and they are more vulnerable to exploitation.
The reason why we have started Intl Jazz Platform 8 years ago was to provide artists from Poland and abroad with inspiring working conditions, unrelated to their formal education and thus free from institutionalization, standardization and hierarchies. We wanted to enable young musicians to develop their improvisational skills putting emphasis on creativity, openness to different understanding of music, respect for diversity and freedom of expression. We have also realized the importance of equipping musicians with the right skills and knowledge to move around the music market.
Now we feel an even bigger need to keep going and provide young artists with an environment in which they can learn from each other, exchange ideas, gain knowledge about the sector, express their concerns and hopes. Where they can feel the sense of belonging and where they can be understood and inspired. It’s even more important now that they increase their entrepreneurial skills, learn from their peers from different countries, establish international contacts and prepare themselves to face challenges that are awaiting them. It’s time to analyze their previous experiences, revise their approach to music activity and build strategies for their careers. But they cannot do it alone.
For the last 8 years 40 musicians every year have come to Lodz and worked with amazing faculty members who inspired them, played with them and shared their experiences. Sidsel Endresen, Ole Morten Vagan, Maciej Obara, Gard Nilssen, Tom Arthurs, Dominik Wania, John Escreet, Kit Downes, Thomas Stronen, Marius Neset, Jim Black, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and many more have served as an invaluable source of knowledge for young artists who were often at the beginning of their careers. They have been their musical partners always seeking an individual approach to students, entering the scheme with an open mind and a readiness to constantly redefine their own understanding of music and improvisation.
This summer, against all odds, we are organizing the Platform again. With the venues and borders being re-opened, we do hope we will be able to be there for the young artists in August. With an amazing faculty team (Eirik Hegdal on sax, Susana Santos Silva on trumpet, Aaron Parks on piano, Mats Eilertsen on bass and Jim Black on drums) and with European professionals we will be there to discuss, support, analyze, listen and simply enjoy the music. Creativity, understood as the ability to adapt, integrate and seek one's own artistic identity, has always been at the heart of what we do. That’s why with our Eureopan partners we are already preparing for the new reality. It’s gonna be ok. Stay tuned.
Intl Jazz Platform
August 10 - 13, Klub Wytwórnia Łódź
Last year INTL Jazz Platform hosted the Polish edition of Jazz Connective project. It enabled them to create a space in Poland for professionals and artists where they can discuss the important issues of our sector.
This initiative definitely needs a sequel to go on and develop the knowledge exchange platform. It is then with great pleasure that INTL Jazz Platform will again extend its programme and invite professionals from different European countries as part of the Jazz Connective network. Panel discussions, seminars and special business workshops will take place on Aug 10 - 13 and will be opened to Inlt Jazz Platform participants to attend.
Deadline for applications is July 15.
More info here: http://letniaakademiajazzu.pl/index.php?pg=workshops
This year Summer Academy in will be held in Wytwórnia for the eighth time! Once again, the best European jazz musicians will come to Łódź and work with international faculty. This edition will be unique because of many reasons. New faculty members are joining our team – representatives of top world’s improvised jazz scene. Moreover, exciting master concerts, seminars, workshops, concerts and meetings with promoters will take place in Łódź this year.
This year’s faculty members are world renown musicians who are going to share their knowledge and experience with 50 selected students. We are especially proud that SUSANA SANTOS SILVA, who Downbeat magazine calls “one of the most exciting improvisers in the world” and AARON PARKS, American pianist and composer, considered as one of the most original pianists of his generation, will join this year’s faculty team. Moreover, EIRIK HEGDAL highly acclaimed Norwegian saxophonist and composer and MATS EILERTSEN, one of the finest and most distinct bass players on the Norwegian jazz scene and JIM BLACK, the most influential drummer of our time, will take part in the 8th edition of Intl Jazz Platform.
SUSANA SANTOS SILVA (PR)
Susana Santos Silva is a Portuguese trumpet player, improviser and composer based in Stockholm, Sweden. With a singular artistic approach that comes out of a comprehensive spectrum of influences, from classical and contemporary music to jazz and textural sound art, she is interested in stretching the possibilities of the instrument, exploring new ways of expression within music, as well as dissolving the boundaries between composition and improvisation. 'One of the most exciting improvisers in the world' (Downbeat), her music has been described as intoxicating, intense, beautiful, overwhelming, mesmerizing, innovative, bold and creative. She leads her projects Impermanence and Life and Other Transient Storms and co-leads duos with Kaja Draksler and Torbjörn Zetterberg - also in trio with Hampus Lindwall and Chris Pitsiokos (Child of Illusion) and the quartets Hearth and Here’s To Us. She has also been playing with Fire! Orchestra, Mats Gustafsson’s Nu Ensemble, Julien Deprez/Rob Mazurek’s T(ro)pic, Torbjörn Zetterberg och den Stora Frågan, Lisa Ullén’s Lost North, Hedvig Mollestad’s Ekhidna and ONJ. In 2018 she released her first solo album, All the Rivers (Clean Feed Records), recorded live at the National Pantheon in Lisbon and she is about to release her second solo album on the Belgium label Matiére Mèmoire. Much in demand she has played, among many others, with Fred Frith, Evan Parker, Joëlle Léandre, Mat Maneri, Paul Lovens and Hamid Drake.
AARON PARKS (US)
Pianist Aaron Parks released his Blue Note debut “Invisible Cinema” at the age of 25 following three Blue Note releases with trumpeter Terence Blanchard. The BBC declared it “one of the great albums of 2008.” JazzTimes hailed him as “a new visionary.” The San Jose Mercury News named his “Alive in Japan” release as their 2013 Top Jazz Album of the year. He has released two albums on ECM including a solo piano recording and a trio record featuring Billy Hart and Ben Street. Parks has performed and recorded with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dhafer Youssef, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ambrose Akinmusire, Gretchen Parlato, Kendrick Scott, and Marcus Miller among others. He is also a founding member of James Farm with Joshua Redman, Matt Penman and Eric Harland. His latest project “Aaron Parks Little Big,” hailed by PopMatters as “what jazz can be in the new century,” released their debut in late 2018; the follow-up will be released May 8, 2020.
EIRIK HEGDAL (NO)
Eirik Hegdal is a highly acclaimed saxophonist and composer, living in Trondheim, Norway. He is leading several bands: Team Hegdal (with André Roligheten, Ole Morten Vågan and Gard Nilssen) Eirik Hegdal “Musical Balloon” (with Eivind Lønning, MaOas Ståhl, Nils-Olav Johansen, Ole Morten Vågan and Jon Fält), his folk band “Følk” (with Sofia Jernberg, Unni Løvlid, Gjermund Larsen and Hans Hul-bækmo), and the trio “en en en” (with Michael Duch and Tor Haugerud) for the moment including Johan Lindström.
He was the aristic leader for the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra from 2002-2017, writing and arranging music for many editons of this ensemble, including great musicians as Joshua Redman, Maria Kannegaard, Pat Metheny and Dave Holland. He is a part of Martin Küchen’s “Angles 9”, Skarbø Skulekorps, Oscar Grönberg Trio, Alpaca Ensemble, Gard Nilssen’s “Supersonic Orchestra” and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra.
Hegdal is an associate professor at NTNU / jazz studies in Trondheim.
He has won a Spellemann (Norwegian Grammy) for “best jazz album” with Team Hegdal, has been writing music for Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bodø Symphonic Orchestra, Alpaca Ensemble, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, commissioned work for Vossa Jazz (2018) (“Musical Balloon”) and he was granted the Kongsberg Jazz Festival’s (Norway) own musical award, resulting in three unique concerts at the festival in 2019.
MATS EILERTSEN (NO)
Mats is a highly in-demand musician and plays in a number of different bands and constellations in Norway and internationally.
He composes for various ensembles and projects and has released 9 albums in his own name, the latest one being Mats Eilertsen “And Then Comes The Night” (ECM in 2019) and “Reveries and Revelations” (Hubro 2019).
JIM BLACK (US)
"A complete musician and wonderfully fertile composer... Black has produced a masterpiece of future jazz." -Andy Hamilton, The Wire
"Fluent in all languages." -Time Out NY "wickedly inventive... A revelation." -CMJ
Jim Black is at the forefront of a new generation of musicians bringing jazz into the 21st century. In addition to being one of the most influential drummers of our time, he is also the leader of one of the world's most forward-thinking bands, AlasNoAxis, featuring his longtime collaborators Chris Speed, Hilmar Jensson and Skúli Sverrisson. Based on the foundation of his virtuosic but highly personal approach to jazz drumming, Black's aesthetic has expanded to include Balkan rhythms, rock songcraft and laptop soundscapes. Though he is revered worldwide for his limitless technique and futuristic concepts, what many listeners treasure in most Jim Black's work is the relentless feeling of joy and invention he brings to his performances. Jim Black's smiling, kinetic, unpredictable presence has enthralled and inspired audiences worldwide for over twenty-five years.
Since the mid-90's, Black has played a major role in the incorporation of new sounds and techniques into the jazz/creative music context. As a member of the collective group Pachora (with Speed, Sverrisson, and guitarist Brad Shepik) Black was one of the leaders in the study and adaptation of Balkan music into jazz-based music. His advanced techniques abstracted the odd time signatures of the Balkans into a new polyrhythmic language equally informed by modern jazz, drum&bass and the dumbeks of the Balkans. Black has also been an innovator in the use of electronics in improvisation, bridging the gap between electro-acoustic improv and more jazz-based traditions. Today, Black's performances are just as likely to feature his laptop-based electronic textures as his drumming.
Intl Jazz Platform is an educational scheme aiming at improving instrumental and professional competences of young artists. IJP is a response to the needs of musicians from all over Europe who are looking for creative staff, creative artistic environment and who would like to gain knowledge about international music markets and develop their network of international contacts.
The IJP means sessions and seminars conducted by prominent representatives of the European jazz scene, as well as representatives of the music industry - festival directors and experts from Poland and Europe. IJP is all about free exchange of musical concepts and thoughts, about collective creation of music and peer-to-peer learning. Intl Jazz Platform is also a much needed bridge between study-time and professional life. For seven years Intl Jazz Platform has brought the most talented instrumentalists to Lodz. Thanks to this initiative, over 300 young artists from Poland and abroad have improved their skills during 28 days of workshops, which included move than 200 hours of artistic meetings, 21 jam sessions, 12 master concerts and 7 final concerts on big stage. Over the years, participants of Intl Jazz Platform have worked with such artists as Jon Falt, Sidsel Endresen, Ole Morten Vagan, Maciej Obara, Gard Nilssen, Tom Arthurs, Dominik Wania, John Escreet, Kit Downes, Thomas Stronen, Marius Neset, Jim Black, or Ingebrigt Haker Flaten.