Theme 2018: ON THE EDGE

The theme of the European Jazz Conference 2018 in Lisbon is "ON THE EDGE".

On the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, it is fitting that we head south to a capital city on one of Europe’s most westerly shores, Lisbon, because our theme for this Conference is an invitation to explore the very concepts of periphery and discuss all that which sits on the edge and that which defines, both literally and figuratively, our own edginess.

Geographically, Europe is framed on all sides, by cultural and creative edges whose very fringes help define its core. Historically, the myriad cultural collisions evidenced across the continent are a large part of what makes Europe the diverse cultural melting pot that it is today. It’s reasonable therefore to infer that these peripheries play a large part in defining Europe as a whole. And it is this uniqueness that spurs creativity and collaborations which constantly shape new identities.

And so it goes for music. Peripheries and edges also help define the boundaries of our own creativity. We stand at an increasingly important intersection of technology and the arts, a junction where the choices artists have to create are vast and the industry itself is rapidly changing. How will we define our edges in the coming years and decades? More importantly, how can we lead and shape these new frontiers and redefine cultural value in the digital age? We don’t want to sit in the middle. We prefer the boundaries we create ourselves and, just like our geography, the often unseen vanguards of musical creativity exist only on the edge.