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The EJN Award for Adventurous Programming goes to Ljubljana Jazz Festival

The Europe Jazz Network (EJN) is pleased to reveal the winner of the 7th EJN Award for Adventurous Programming. The Award goes to the oldest jazz festival in Europe, started in 1960 and this year at its 59th edition: Jazz Festival Ljubljana in Slovenia.

For the first time, the Award was selected through a two-phases process: first an open nomination system involving all the 120+ EJN member organisations, and secondly by a selected jury of respected music professionals in Europe that choose the winner out of the resulting shortlist.

This new process was introduced last year in order to expand the scope of the consultation about the Award, engaging the EJN members and harnessing the great professional knowledge inside the Network. The process made the choice of the winner even more representative of what Network members considers to be some of the best practices in live music programming in Europe, a sector that is flourishing, deeply engaged in the development of new music and its promotion to audiences. In the first phase all EJN members last year were asked to nominate one live music promoter (festival, club, venue) that exemplified the values of EJN and Adventurous Programming. The nomination was not restricted to EJN members, any European live music promoter could be nominated, with the exclusion of their own festival/venue. In the second phase, out of a shortlist of 19 names, a selected jury of EJN members and external music professionals with a profound knowledge of the European jazz sector chose the final EJN Award winner.

Ljubljana Jazz festival is organised by Cankarjev dom (CD), the leading cultural centre in Slovenia, that also hosted the European Jazz Conference in September 2017. Throughout the years, the Festival established itself as one of the most cutting-edge Festivals in Europe, presenting new artists from all around the world and original productions with a special attention on the Slovenian creative music scene. The Festival for the last 7 years also partnered with the Clean Feed label, and through the “Ljubljana Jazz Series” released some of its concerts with the Portuguese label. Currently the artistic direction of the Festival is made by Bogdan Benigar, Jazz and World Music Director at Cankarjev dom, and Edin Zubcevic, also Artistic Director of Jazz Fest Sarajevo. The 59th edition of the Festival will take place this year between 27 and 30 June 2018. The EJN Award will be celebrated in Ljubljana during the Festival, and as well during the 5th European Jazz Conference taking place in Lisbon, Portugal, at Centro Cultural de Belém between 13 and 16 September 2018.

About the EJN Award for Adventurous Programming
Each year EJN, the Europe-wide association of promoters, presenters and organisations who specialise in creative music, contemporary jazz and improvised music, awards a European promoter who exemplifies the values of EJN and skilfully succeeds to create visionary and fascinating musical programmes for the audience.

Previous winners of the EJN Award for Adventurous Programming have been: “Tampere Jazz Happening” in Finland (2017), “Manchester Jazz Festival” in the UK (2016), “Moers Festival” in Germany (2015) “Jazz em Agosto” in Portugal (2014), “Bimhuis” in the Netherlands (2013) and “12 Points Festival” in Ireland (2012).

More info: europejazz.net/ejn-award-0

Comment from the Award Jury 2018
“The 2018 EJN Award for Adventurous Programming has been unanimously assigned to Jazz Festival Ljubljana for its progressive programming that embraces the whole art form with an emphasis on European jazz while exemplifying the values of EJN such as geographical diversity and gender balance. Ljubljana has the oldest jazz Festival in Europe, founded in 1960, and since then has been striving to provide new music to curious audiences, despite many difficulties and changing contexts. All these reasons make Jazz Festival Ljubljana the perfect choice for receiving the Award 2018”

EJN Award Jury 2018: Cristina Estrada (Mercat de Música Viva de Vic, Spain), Susanna von Canon (Artist’s management, Netherlands), Sunna Gunnlaugs (Reykjavik Jazz Festival, Iceland), Oliver Belopeta (Skopje Jazz Festival, Republic of Macedonia), Juhamatti Kauppinen (Tampere Jazz Happening, previous EJN Award winner, Finland).

Comment from Bogdan Benigar & Pedro Costa, Artistic Directors of Jazz Festival Ljubljana (2011 – 2017)
“We’re delighted to receive this Award. It’s a big honour to be in a company of Bimhuis, Moers Festival, Tampere Jazz Happening and 12 Points. We always believed that our choices are futuristic and strong examples how to point out the art form which has no boundaries and it’s only limited by creative thinking in making music with an important thought of how to present it live on stage”
Bogdan Benigar & Pedro Costa, Jazz Festival Ljubljana Artistic Directors 2011 – 2017

About Cankarjev dom and Jazz Festival Ljubljana
Cankarjev dom (CD) is Slovenia`s largest cultural and congress centre. It presents, produces, co-produces, organises and provides cultural and artistic, congress and other events, state commemorations, exhibitions and festivals. Since CD is mostly a cultural centre, over two thirds of the available halls are annually reserved for culture and the arts. CD is visited by half a million people each year and annually hosts over 2000 events.

Since 1982, Cankarjev dom has been producing Jazz Festival Ljubljana (JFL), founded in 1960. Apart from affording great satisfaction, the oldest European Jazz Festival reshapes the principles as well as broadens the music horizons of its audiences who are tired of the same old commercial choices. With its exceptionality and freshness, it aims at surprising, enlightening and enthralling. As special attention is directed on exclusive projects and world or Slovenian premieres, the Festival has gained an enviable reputation and established high artistic credibility with the critics and audiences alike.

Bogdan Benigar (CD) and Pedro Costa (Clean Feed) have been the JFL artistic directors from 2011- 2017. JFL has established a long-term relation with the Clean Feed by creating the Ljubljana Jazz Series as part of the label’s releases. All recordings are made during the festival and include numerous emerging artists from Slovenia and abroad.

Jazz Festival Ljubljana website: ljubljanajazz.si/index.php/en/
Cankarjev dom website: cd-cc.si/en

(Europe Jazz Network)