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20. - 23. June 2019

JazzBaltica 2019: The program

31 free concerts, stages right by the sea, international jazz greats and young talents: the 29th edition of JazzBaltica will take place from 20 to 23 June 2019. For the second time the festival will take place on the grounds around the beach park in Timmendorfer Strand.

This year, Thomas Quasthoff, Nils Wülker, Jakob Bro and Palle Mikkelborg, Katja Riemann, Fred Wesley, Matthias Eick, Marilyn Mazur, Bugge Wesseltoft, Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström as well as the Orchestra Baobab from Senegal are among the guests. In addition to the concerts on the MainStage in the festival hall of the Maritim Seehotel, visitors can expect 31 free events in the open-air area around the beach park.

The festival area

Artists perform directly on the beach in the @the beach series. A few steps further is the rotunda of the Trinkkurhalle, which becomes the JazzCafé. Besides concerts, talks with festival musicians also take place here. An open-air stage adjoins the building and provides a platform for musicians from the region and young artists. Around and adjacent to the promenade is the beach park, which offers space for picnics and walks under high trees. The JazzClub, where the festival artists meet in the late evening for relaxed sessions, is located in the 73Bar of the Maritim Seehotel Timmendorfer Strand. The MainStage - the festival's main stage - can also be found in the hotel.

WarmUp, Opening, upptakt & avslut

The opening events of JazzBaltica on Thursday and Friday invite you to explore the festival grounds and its surroundings. On Thursday at 6 p.m. Nils Landgren and the Big Band of the Ostseegymnasium Timmendorfer Strand will perform the traditional WarmUp on Timmendorfer Platz. At 10 p.m. the upptakt follows, during which the Swedish Karin Hammar presents her clear, warm trombone tone to the visitors in the JazzClub.

On Friday afternoon at 4.30 p.m. all visitors, Nils Landgren and the JazzBaltica-Marching Band can welcome them on the pier. The musicians moor there with a ship and set off for a big jazz walk with all the fans - over the entire festival area to the MainStage.

The avslut closes the festival on Sunday. The self-proclaimed »Party Animals«, consisting of Nils Landgren, Arne Jansen, Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström, will perform at the JazzClub at 11 pm and celebrate a brilliant festival finale.

Concerts at the MainStage

A special concert with bass baritone Thomas Quasthoff and his trio opens JazzBaltica. In 2012 Quasthoff ended his career as an opera singer to dedicate himself to jazz. »I had achieved everything in classical music. Now jazz is my world,« he says. On his album »Nice'n'Easy« Quasthoff interprets jazz standards and gives the classics a special colouring with his deep voice. He is accompanied by good friends - the pianist Frank Chastenier, the bassist Dieter Ilg and the drummer Wolfgang Haffner (JB S).

The first official JazzBaltica concert is traditionally organized by the JazzBaltica All Star Band, which meets year after year for the festival. In 2019, the strongly staffed women's ensemble from the Baltic Sea region will be conducted by the German pianist Julia Hülsmann, who was described by ZEIT as »the lyricist of German jazz«. She composed and arranged the programme (JB 1).

The Danish guitarist Jakob Bro creates soghafte atmospheres with his playing. »He is an important part of the future of jazz,« says Nils Landgren, »a little magician whom I would like to introduce to our audience. Together with the renowned trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, Jakob Bro develops soundscapes that sometimes take on meditative-abstract, sometimes melodic-catchy forms (JB 1).

For the Dance Night the chairs will be removed from the hall. Trombonist Fred Wesley invites you to dance and serves soul and funk at its best. He is regarded as the most famous sideman in music history and stood on stage with Tina Turner and James Brown. His trombone can be heard on James Brown titles like »Say It Loud«, »Mother Popcorn« or »Licking Stick«. MainStage is shared by Fred Wesley and the New JBs, an ensemble consisting of Gary Winters, Phillip Whack, Reggie Ward, Peter Madsen, Dwayne Dolphin and Bruce Cox (JB 2).

The name of the big band Fette Hupe is program. The ensemble from Hannover plays modern jazz at the highest level, dedicates itself to exciting arrangements between rock, swing and reggae and garnished everything with charm and wit (JB 3).

The Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski was already a member of the JazzBaltica ensemble in Salzau. »He already had a very special sense for melodies back then,« recalls Nils Landgren, »but how this developed later together with his trio is simply phenomenal!« The trio with bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz and drummer Michal Miskiewicz is known for its complex rhythms.

Charlotte Greve paints pictures on the saxophone using her luminous and floating saxophone and her lyrical compositions. The Süddeutsche Zeitung calls her »new saxophone hope of the republic«. The former IB.SH JazzAward winner has left her hometown Berlin and now lives in New York. Her Lisbeth Quartet has received several awards and forms its own organism (JB 4) in a virtuoso and at the same time finely balanced way.

»As clear as a Fjordbach, as lyrical as Ibsen, as grandiose as a Björnstierne Björnson and as rhythmic as an old, reliable fishing boat in the North Sea« - this is how Nils Landgren describes the sound of jazz trumpeter Mathias Eick. With his quintet, the Norwegian presents fresh Scandinavian jazz and energetic, rhythmic compositions (JB 4).

Danish percussionist Marilyn Mazur's play resembles a dance performance. She moves forcefully and completely naturally to the rhythm. With her purely female jazz ensemble Shamania and the Norwegian dancer Tine Erica Aspaas, she develops an energetic pull at the highest musical level - and with infectious joy (JB 5)!

Nils Wülker plays jazz not only for jazz fans - this is the conclusion of the NDR Kulturjournal. In fact, the Hamburg-born musician experimented with the soft, straight-lined trumpet tone and warm melodic line in recent years with influences of soul, hip-hop and pop. He not only worked with Dave Grusin, Heine Totland and Silje Nergard, but also with chanson singer Ute Lemper, modern composer Craig Armstrong, pop singer Max Mutzke and rapper Samy Deluxe. But jazz always has the upper hand. »He is not only a gifted trumpeter and musician, he is also a mountaineer, which has certainly helped him in his musical career. In addition, he is a heartwarming person,« says Nils Landgren about Wülker, who led the JazzBaltica Ensemble in 2011 (JB 5).

The »Carnival of the Animals« by Camille Saint-Saëns has rarely been told as humorously and suggestively as by Roger Willemsen. His text version serves as the basis for the family concert and makes both children and their parents smile. Spokeswoman Katja Riemann recites the rhymes with acting passion and describes, for example, how insects pose as fossils for their petrifaction: »The snail has first been crawling around, but still licking her lips. And as soon as she's grabbed by ambition, she shows herself stark naked and screams: I'm ready as a pin-up for eternity! My house, that serves me only as a fetish, the main thing remains, I am aesthetic!« Riemann is accompanied by a top-class band under the direction of Wolf Kerschek, who also arranged the music (JB 6).

Rymden consists of the former members of the legendary Esbjörn Svensson trio Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström. Together with the award-winning Norwegian pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, whose career began with the JazzBaltica ensemble, they form, according to Nils Landgren, a »new, grandiose super trio« with a fresh, progressive sound, characterized by atmospheric melodies, dramatic rhythms and highest virtuosity (JB 7).

Chanson meets Tango and Jazz - this is how the music of the trio Mare Nostrum can be described. When the Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, the accordionist Richard Galliano, who grew up in southern France, and the Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren meet, melodies emerge that passionately explore cultural boundaries. »For me, Jan, Richard and Paolo embody music in its purest form. Three artists with the world as their forum meet at JazzBaltica and conjure up a musical wonder - pure harmony,« says Nils Landgren (JB 8).

KUU! These are the guitarists Kalle Kalima and Frank Möbus and the drummer Christian Lillinger, who have each distinguished themselves through their own ensembles. The trio is intensively garnished by the punk energy of the Serbian front woman Jelena Kuljić. She is singer and ensemble member of the Münchner Kammerspiele, she whispers and screams and gives the haunting lyrics of the album »Lampedusa Lullaby« a special voice, partly with electronic alienation. The result is a sound between funk, punk and jazz, with a strong experimental touch (JB 8).

The musicians of the Senegalese Orchestra Baobab have been playing together for 49 years. The style of the African cult formation is nourished by influences from Chet Parker and James Brown as well as Cuban rhythms, reggae and funk. In combination with the Kiel guitarist Arne Jansen and his trio this results in a cross-cultural Afro-Salsa Night with specially developed songs. »My band and I have found the collaboration with the Orchestra Baobab to be one of the most moving and spiritual experiences in the world. It's more than just music, it's a lifestyle and heartfelt communication with the audience,« says Arne Jansen (JB 9).

Concerts on the OpenAir stage

New discoveries and young talents, often from the region, are presented on the OpenAir stage. On Friday evening, the band Funkhaus will bring funk to the beach park - including powerful brass parts, rock voices and driving beats.

Saturday opens with the Hamburg trio MMO - the abbreviation stands for the surnames of the band members Béla Meinberg, Jan-Phillip Meyer and Tilman Oberbeck. This jazz trio will be followed in the afternoon by contemporary jazz from the Schleswig-Holstein quartet Cubolumos. In the evening, the Salt Peanuts, the big band of the Lübeck universities, return to the Baltic Sea beach. The Salt Peanuts are among the best ensembles from Northern Germany and move stylistically between Swing, Latin, Funk and Afro-Cuban.

On Sunday morning, the Hanse Jazz Quintet can be experienced on a harmonious and rhythmic voyage of discovery. The young band of up-and-coming jazz musicians cultivates a forward-looking tradition. In the early afternoon the quartet Manko explores together with the guitarist Alex Rueß the boundaries between composition and improvisation and in the evening the formation Quintessence concludes the Sunday on the open air stage with modern jazz, groovy original compositions and electronic influences. The Kindermusikwerkstatt also takes place on the OpenAir stage. Children from the age of four can approach jazz here with a spirit of adventure, creativity and fun.

Concerts @the beach

Enjoy the sound of the waves under the night sky and listen to exquisite jazz sounds at the same time - that's possible at the @the beach concerts. On Friday evening, Swedish singer Lena Swanberg, known from the JazzBaltica All Star Band, and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Bingert will be on stage, creating a Brazilian atmosphere at the Baltic Sea with Bossa Nova and Samba. On Saturday the cellist Asja Valčić and the accordionist Klaus Paier interweave the genres classical music, jazz, blues, tango, musette with modern music.

Talks and music in the JazzCafé

JazzTalks take place in the JazzCafé. Presenter Peter Kleiß will ask JazzBaltica artists questions about their careers, their personal approach to music and their current programme. This year Charlotte Greve, the Emil Brandqvist Trio, Nils Wülker, Katja Riemann and Nils Landgren, Joel Lyssarides and Arne Jansen will answer his questions.

In addition to the talks, the JazzCafé will also become a concert stage for bands such as the trio around guitarist Susan Weinert, whose warm sound blends in perfectly with the flowing piano runs and the sonorous double bass tone of her colleagues. The Emil Brandqvist Trio also loves to play with timbres. Folkloristic, melancholic melodies increase to an orchestral atmosphere. Saturday evening ends with Nicole Johänntgen on her saxophone. Between New Orleans-Jazz and passionate soul she tells stories from life.

On Sunday it continues with a wild mix and the Joel Lyssarides trio. Influences from Flamenco and Americana meet romantic-classical compositions à la Scriabin and Piazzolla, mixed with oriental sounds. In the afternoon Matthieu Michel and JC Cholet will be on stage. The poet on the flugelhorn and the lively pianist from France have been forming a symbiosis for over 20 years; completely natural, intuitive and full of energy. As last act in the JazzCafé the Izabella Effenberg Trio breaks the rigid borders between jazz, classical and contemporary music. In a creative exchange the three musicians discover new sound facets of their instruments again and again.

Twice the JazzCafé becomes a cinema. On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Blue Note Records jazz label, the documentary »It Must Schwing!« (2018). The film by director Eric Friedler tells the story of the two emigrants Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff from Berlin, who founded the legendary record label Blue Note in New York and wrote milestones in modern jazz history with many albums.


The IB.SH-JazzAward is presented for the eleventh time. The prize, which is endowed with 3,000 euros, honours the work and artistic potential of young and promising German jazz musicians who perform at JazzBaltica once a year. Special attention will be given to artists from Northern Germany. Last year, jazz guitarist David Grabowski was awarded the prize. The jury's decision will be announced on 6 June. The official award ceremony will take place during the opening of JazzBaltica on Friday evening at MainStage (JB 1).

Round Midnight

With »Round Midnight«, NDR Info presents its own JazzBaltica format. NDR Info presenter Sarah Seidel invites jazz artists to the JazzClub at a late hour. In a relaxed club atmosphere, discussions will take place with live music from Karin Hammar's Fab 4. The final session will be with Nils Landgren. The format »Round Midnight« will be recorded by NDR Info and broadcast one day later, i.e. on Saturday and Sunday at 10.05 pm.


JazzBaltica would like to thank the main sponsor Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein (IB.SH), the festival hotel Maritim Seehotel Timmendorfer Strand and sponsors and partners such as Wohnungsbau GmbH Neumünster, gradwerk and Stadtwerke Lübeck GmbH. The long-standing media partners NDR Info and Deutschlandfunk are strengthening the popularity of the festival, and JazzBaltica is also continuing its cooperation with ZDF/3sat.This year, JazzBaltica is again supported by the municipality of Timmendorfer Strand-Niendorf and the Ulbrich Foundation. Special thanks go to the state of Schleswig-Holstein for their support.

Tickets for JazzBaltica

Tickets are now available at www.jazzbaltica.com, on the ticket hotline 0431-23 70 70 and at the well-known advance booking offices. The connected ticket agencies charge a 10% advance booking fee and, if applicable, a system fee. The festival ticket for the weekend is already sold out. Festival tickets for 2020 will be available from mid-November 2019.