In our multimedia stories, we highlight selected topics of the festival, explore background information and start conversations.


© Anna Niedermeier

(Un-)Learning Jazz

If improvisation in jazz epitomises intuitive playing, to what extent do musicians have to unlearn what they learnt at university in order to find their own artistic identity? Under the title “(Un-)Learning Jazz”, Jazzfest Berlin 2023’s new online magazine “Story“ looks at working methods and creative processes that seek to find a balance   between planning and spontaneity, knowledge and intuition and between individual and collective creation.


Artwork by A. R. Penck, Workshop Freie Musik, 1984

Photo: Dagmar Gebers / FMP-Publishing

Outside Traditions

Illuminating the musical contributions to the 2022 festival edition, the story “Outside Traditions” focuses on radicalism and spirituality in US and South African jazz traditions, sonic explorations in European improvised music and the diverse connections between jazz and folk music. Featuring multimedia contributions by Asher Gamedze, Olga Kozieł, Immanuel Wilkins, Matana Roberts, Julia Neupert, Cristina Marx, Peter Margasak, Ben LaMar Gay, artists from the Umlaut collective and many others. Enjoy reading and watching!

Sven-Åke Johansson

© Kestutis Pleita

Sven-Åke Johansson

With a series of original features, this story uses words, pictures, sounds and videos to present some fascinating glimpses into the life and work of the composer and artist Sven-Åke Johansson, whose dazzling artistic oeuvre, extending far beyond the boundaries of music, is one of the main themes of the 2022 Jazzfest Berlin with several concerts and a film screening.


Terrible Sounds, Film still

© Philip Rizk

Inside the Scene: Cairo

Improvised music has a long tradition in Cairo. The story highlights two artistic video works from the Jazzfest Berlin 2021 programme that refer to it in very different ways.

Johannesburgʼs skyline

© Tseliso Monaheng

Inside the Scene: Johannesburg

In the vibrant metropolis of Johannesburg, musicians find both inspiration and opportunities to present their art. The Digital Guide takes you right into the heart of it.

Jazz na Kombi – Praça Roosevelt

Jazz na Kombi – Praça Roosevelt

© Cassimano

Inside the Scene: São Paulo

São Paulo is a melting pot of cultures. This is also reflected in the city’s experimental and diverse musical scene, into which the Digital Guide provides first insights.