Deutsches Jazzfestival Frankfurt

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Jazz festivals are now two a penny in Germany, nonetheless this one here is unique: the "German Jazz Festival in Frankfurt" is the world's oldest continuing event of its kind. It has been the calling card and symbol of jazz metropolis Frankfurt since 1953. A reputation that it still enjoys today. The hr radio station has made an ever-growing contribution to the Festival, since 1967 by the flanking accompaniment of a newly founded hr jazz editorial department. The hr then became the promoter of the Festival in 1984, an office which it still administers today, since 1990 with the City of Frankfurt as steady partner.

Right from its infancy the Frankfurt Festival already stamped an identity that it has cultivated to the present day. One of its particularities is to enable German musicians to stage productions remote from everyday routine and to bring them together with jazz greats from abroad (in the beginning mainly from America), namely in special Festival Projects unique to Frankfurt and lending the Festival an image of exceptional musical confrontations and concert premieres. Friendships were cemented here that were as good as unbelievable before - the black saxophonist Archie Shepp with the trumpeter aesthete Chet Baker, the German bassist Eberhard Weber met up with the American saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and the West African musician Foday Musa Suso. No other German festival produced so many cross-linking culture combinations than the one in Frankfurt. The Festival was a platform for numerous projects that helped to give Albert Mangelsdorff his reputation as "World Champion Trombonist" and Frankfurt its image as cosmopolitan metropolis.

As a subsidized Festival not run along commercial lines, Frankfurt always lives up to its demands of doing groundwork and paving the way for up and coming musicians from the region - making talent from Hessen a forum in the limelight. The Frankfurt saxophonist Christof Lauer, today one of Europe's leading saxophonists, took his first career steps at the Frankfurt Festival. And in very many cases the Frankfurt Festival has shown itself to be trailblazer and catalyst for such developments.

This event's cultural/political significance is not only that it has helped to mould the entire development of jazz in Germany for nearly half a century. It is also the only representative major event for modern jazz in Hessen and simultaneously one of the few German jazz festivals enjoying pan-regional significance. All important pan-regional media report on the Festival, it is broadcast live by hr and as recording by many other radio stations.

The Frankfurt Jazz Festival has fundamentally contributed to Frankfurt's status as "Jazz Capital of Germany". As a representative major event it ensures that Frankfurt still sets the tone in the intensified competition among jazz capitals. The musical and programme pedigree of the Frankfurt Festival is repeated testimony of the frequently voiced "future capability".

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Hessischer Rundfunk, Deutsches Jazzfestival Frankfurt
Bertramstraße 8
60320 Frankfurt am Main