European Jazz Conference

The 4th European Jazz Conference took place between 21 and 24 September 2017 at the Cankarjev dom cultural centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The European Jazz Conference is a leading annual gathering of professionals from the jazz sector in Europe, in particular of promoters, cultural managers, agents and national/regional support organisations. What has been the General Assembly of the Europe Jazz Network, from 2014 has been expanded and is now open as well to other professionals under the name of European Jazz Conference.

The European Jazz Conference 2017 was co-organised by Europe Jazz Network (EJN) and Cankarjev dom (CD), organiser of the Ljubljana Jazz Festival, and was supported by the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia, the city of Ljubljana, European Green Capital 2016 and UNESCO city of Literature and by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

The theme chosen for the 2017 Conference was “WHAT IF…”, dealing the with huge challenges of contemporary societies such as growing racism, xenophobia, fear of diversity and nationalisms. Cultural operators can play a role to confront these: they have a public, a community they can reach out to, can research and experiment, be at the forefront of developing and spreading new ideas. The Conference of this year wanted to explore how music professionals can tackle these issues, and how music and creativity can be ways for “looking into the unknown”.

“Jazz has to reinvent itself yet again to face new and different challenges. More digitally united and interconnected the world is becoming more divided with walls and barbed wire. The resulting pent-up energies, rage, and inequalities cannot be contained under the smooth veneer of soothing music, but must be released and expressed to allow celebration. That is the space that we – promoters, operators, writers, all the agents in the field – need to create, in order to allow jazz to be as it always has been, a place of understanding where contradictions come out in the open and are reinterpreted by current, urgent art. No better place than Ljubljana, with its past, present and future, to reflect on who we are, why we are together, and where we want to go.”  
(full text at: http://www.europejazz.net/press-release/what-if )

The European Jazz Conference is composed of inspiring keynote speeches, high-level discussion groups and workshops, networking sessions for professionals of the creative music sector, cultural visits and in the evenings a showcase festival of the best new artists from the host country, this year Slovenia.

Keynote speakers of the 2017 Conference were three outstanding musicians: Lebanese composer and oud master Rabih Abou-Khalil, Malian award-winning singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré and French/Serbian pianist and balkan jazz icon Bojan Z. They presented their views on the theme of “What if…” and their personal experiences as artists that travelled across borders and cultures and were able to merge all these different influences to create something unique.

The European Jazz Conference is a unique event, the only one of its kind in Europe, centered on building long-lasting relationships, developing new projects and artistic collaborations, sharing expertise and getting up to date with the newest management and programming trends. Moreover, the Conference is about learning about music scenes and best practices from all around the world, including countries beyond Europe.

The booklet with the detailed programme of the EJC2017 is available at: http://www.europejazz.net/sites/default/files/EJC_web_double.pdf

You can check the full report of the European Jazz Conference 2016 that took place in Wroclaw, Poland, here: /report/european-jazz-conference-general-assembly-report-2016​