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 stream from silent green’s Underground Hall and one set as a live stream from Roulette in New York.
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 by livestream 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, alternating from the festival’s partner location in New York, the famous Roulette in Brooklyn (a prominent production and concert venue for jazz and experimental music) and the Underground Hall of silent green in Berlin.
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.
The original plan was that the concert tandems of Jazzfest Berlin – New York could be experienced by the audience present at silent green in two parts: a live concert and a multi-channel audio-visual live transmission from Roulette in New York.
Due to the new nationwide Covid-19 regulations, it will not be possible for audiences to attend the concert at the venues. But all planned projects will take place and will be broadcast on the radio and made available for live streaming online: ARTE Concert and Berliner Festspiele on Demand.