Visual ImproCamp

Jazzfest ImproCamp

30 October to 3 November 2023

Coming generations are at the centre of the action in Jazzfest Berlin 2023 even before the concert programme begins: in the autumn holidays the Jazzfest ImproCamp offers 30 children aged between nine and twelve invited through a number of social institutions a holistic, transdisciplinary introduction to the art of improvisation. For five days they will dance, paint and make music in a playful and intuitive way. The children will also get to look behind the scenes and meet festival musicians in talks and workshops.

In co-operation with the Jazzpilot*innen of the Deutsche Jazzunion and supervised by an experienced team of educators and artists made up of Jakob Fraisse, Jan Darius Monazahian and Ulrike Schwarz together with workshop leaders including the director and musician Nelly Thea Köster, the painter, dancer and choreographer Camilo Milton and the musician and singer Tobias Christl, the participating children will be able to immerse themselves in the rich world of improvisation – ranging from experiments with sounds and their own voices through dance to acting and painting.  

In addition to the workshops, this year’s Jazzfest Berlin will also include “daily specials” that allow the children to look behind the scenes of the festival. These will include attending soundchecks by the pianists Aki Takase and Alexander von Schlippenbach and the violist and composer Nancy Mounir followed by conversations with the artists. The children will also meet musicians of their own age from the girls’ choir of the Berlin Sing-Akademie and the choirboys of the Staats- und Domchor Berlin, who are also going to be spending Monday to Thursday of the week of the festival rehearsing all day at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and the University of the Arts for the opening concert “Apparitions”.

A group of children are sitting on a staircase holding a red flower in their hands.

© Berliner Festspiele

As a final highlight, the children’s holiday groups from exploratoriumberlin and the teenyMusik treff have also been invited to the Haus der Berliner Festspiele on Friday 3 November. They will join participants in the Jazzfest ImproCamp in a brief showing for the other groups and their guests including parents and friends of what they have tried out and learned during the week. The crowning finale will then be a collective impro session led by Jazzfest artist and percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love and vocalist Juliana Venter.

Free from any pressure to achieve results and requiring no previous musical experience, the Jazzfest ImproCamp facilitates new encounters and establishes a creative environment where children can develop their talents and try out new things.

The Jazzfest ImproCamp will be followed by journalists.

ImproCamp – Talk

Nadin Deventer, the Artistic Director of Jazzfest Berlin, talks to the director and musician Nelly Thea Köster and Jakob Fraisse, the Head of the German Jazz Union’s Department of Education & Research, about how the Jazzfest ImproCamp was conceived, about its challenges and the question of what those taking part can learn from the children.


Conception and Project Development

Nadin DeventerArtistic Director
Jana KlimmekProduction

Ulrike SchwarzPedagogical Advisor
Jakob FraisseHead of Education & Research Deutsche Jazzunion
Jan Darius MonazahianStudent Assistant Deutsche Jazzunion

Workshop  Direction

Nelly Thea KösterDirector, Musician
Tobias ChristlMusician, Singer

Camilo MiltonPainter, Dancer, Choreographer

Tobias Christl

© Dovile Sermokas

Nelly Thea Koester

© Caroline Schreer

Camilo Milton

© Jeng Mercado

The Jazzfest Berlin ImproCamp is a cooperation project between the Jazzpilot*innen of the Deutsche Jazzunion and Jazzfest Berlin

Many thanks to