Jazzfest Berlin – New York
As an intercontinental celebration of the cutting edge scenes of Berlin and New York, Jazzfest Berlin presents a two-day concert marathon from the Roulette in Brooklyn and the silent green in Berlin Wedding, made up of six tandem performances, each consisting of one set as a live concert and one set as a live stream.
Both the pandemic and the resurgent political unrest that has recently flared up again around the issue of racism have shaken the USA to the core. Since its first edition in 1964 – coinciding with the legendary visit to Berlin by Dr. Martin Luther King, who contributed a foreword to the first ever edition of Berliner Jazztage – the festival has continued to have a particularly profound relationship with jazz artists from the USA.
Since March 2020, however, touring American musicians have largely vanished from European stages due to the international travel restrictions related to Covid-19. Jazzfest Berlin – taking place against the background of what is anticipated to be a momentous US Presidential election on 3 November – remains committed to transatlantic exchange: spread over two days, Jazzfest Berlin – New York forms the centrepiece of the 57th edition of the festival.
A diverse selection of twelve groups from the two cities will be presented live in situ and by livestream to a local audience at and by both venues while simultaneously being streamed on the internet for the global online community. In this unique scenario, six brilliant, stylistically very different New York-Berlin tandems will play a form of musical ping pong. Jumping from one venue to the other, bands will be streamed via dedicated line from the festival’s partner location in New York, the famous Roulette in Brooklyn, virtually bringing them into the Betonhalle at silent green – and vice versa. In order to create a near-live concert experience in spite of the distance, a multi-channel audiovisual streaming environment has been developped especially for the underground concrete hall at silent green.
Transatlantic dialogue has also been encouraged through a series of commissions. TRAINING, the Berlin duo consisting of Max Andrzejewski and Johannes Schleiermacher, will collaborate with the American guitarist John Dieterich (Deerhoof) and the Berlin-based Turkish video artist Işıl Karataş. In another project, winner of the Berlin Jazz Prize Silke Eberhard will perform the music of the legendary American multi-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill.