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22. - 25. June 2023

Das ist das JazzBaltica-Programm!

Portrait Nils Landgren, 23.06.21

From June 23 to 26, 2022, JazzBaltica in Timmendorfer Strand will once again be a long weekend full of jazz right by the sea. On the festival grounds in and around the Maritim Seehotel, international stars will celebrate jazz music in all its facets together with young talents. 

This year's line-up includes renowned artists such as Wolfgang Haffner, Max Herre, Omar Sosa, Marialy Pacheco, China Moses, Jakob Manz, Aki Takase, Pablo Held, Diego Piñera and bands like Enders Room, Dirty Loops, XXXX, Jazzbaby!, Freedom Tree and the NDR Bigband.
A highlight of this summer will be the performance of Tropicalismo legend Gilberto Gil, who will celebrate his 80th birthday musically on the JazzBaltica stage with family and friends. A special musical experience will be the appearance of actor Christian Brückner, who will join the wild jazz orchestra in the family concert to tell the adventure stories of the wolf cub Mowgli from "The Jungle Book."

"Finally, we have another JazzBaltica weekend with five stages, with more than 30 concerts, sessions and talks. I can't wait to welcome the musical guests and the audience to Timmendorfer Strand!" Nils Landgren, artistic director of JazzBaltica

The festival area

Directly on the beach, artists perform in the series @the beach. A few steps away is the rotunda of the Trinkkurhalle, which becomes the JazzCafé. An open-air stage adjoins the building and offers a podium to musicians from the region as well as up-and-coming talents. Around and adjacent to the promenade is the beach park, which offers space for picnics and walks under tall trees. The JazzClub, where the festival artists gather in the late evening for relaxed sessions, is located in the 73Bar at the Maritim Seehotel Timmendorfer Strand. The hotel is also home to the Maritim MainStage - the festival's main stage. 

WarmUp, upptakt & avslut

The JazzBaltica kick-off events on Thursday and Friday invite you to get in the mood for the festival weekend. 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 10.30 p.m. the upptakt follows with the young pianist Ilja Ruf, who himself played in the big band of the Ostseegymnasium, together with his trio in the JazzClub.

At the sessions on Friday and Saturday at late hours and at the avslut on late Sunday evening, the band Freedom Tree will be on stage. The trio has its center of life in Stockholm - but roots in Norway, Brazil and Mozambique. They kick things off with acoustic "world jazz rock" and invite the other festival musicians to join in. 

Concerts on the Maritim MainStage 

Wolfgang Haffner's Dreamband will open JazzBaltica on June 23. The gifted drummer has invited friends and companions from the USA, Sweden and Germany to bring his musical dreams to the stage. Jazz greats such as Nils Landgren, trumpeter Randy Brecker, saxophonist Bill Evans, vibraphonist Christopher Dell, bassist Tim Lefebvre and young pianist Simon Oslender (JB S) will be on hand.

The festival program begins with a "child prodigy." As cliché-laden and strained as this description may be, it definitely applies to Jakob Manz. The musician, who was born in Bad Urach in 2001, received percussion lessons at the age of five, three years later he took up the recorder, and since 2011 the saxophone has supplemented the palette of his musical skills. In keeping with this versatility, he has gathered together excellent young musicians in his The Jakob Manz Project, with whom he invents a unique sound of jazz, funk and soul that constantly takes on new colors through mutual inspiration and creative interplay (JB 1).

WebMax is the joint project of Italian-German jazz pianist Roberto Di Gioia and German rapper and singer-songwriter Max Herre. The music of the two artists is a cosmic-soulful-transcendental declaration of love to the jazz of the early 1970s, sounding as authentic as if it were an original sound from a smoke-filled jazz cellar of the time (JB 1).

Chord breaks, tricky rhythms and top-heavy improvisations meet hit-ready arrangements and intoxicating earworm melodies - this is the exciting sound of the Swedish band Dirty Loops. With their sensual music, singer and keyboardist Jonah Nilsson, bassist Henrik Linder and drummer Aron Mellergårdh will get the hall dancing and boiling at DanceNight (JB 2).

Saturday begins with the concert of the Icelandic trio DJÄSS, whose music oscillates between cheerful and wistful moods. They are based on traditional Icelandic music, which combines with diverse aspects of modern jazz to create unique and gripping improvisations. The music of Karl Olgeirsson (piano), Kristinn Snær Agnarsson (drums) and Jón Rafnsson (bass) uses imaginative motifs to create a trance state that leads listeners down intricate and fascinating sound paths (JB 3).

When Cuban piano greats Omar Sosa and Marialy Pacheco improvise together at two pianos, it becomes a furious dance in which sparks fly: fingers fly over the keys, creating floating notes, competing phrases and entwining melodies. Their sensual playing creates a unique melange of Latin music, Afro-Cuban sounds, jazz, classical and world music - a dialogue that could hardly be more beautiful (JB 3). 

The Swedish double bass player Anders Jormin is not only an outstanding jazz musician, but also a very successful composer. In his program "Poems for Orchestra," he and Japanese koto player Karin Nakagawa, Swedish singer Lena Willemark and the NDR Bigband masterfully and artfully interweave contemporary jazz with Swedish folklore and Japanese sounds (JB 4). 

She is the voice of contemporary jazz: China Moses. The daughter of jazz legend Dee Dee Bridgewater has mastered all Afro-American musical styles with ease and virtuosity. In her concert with the band The Vibe Tribe, the world-class singer presents a grooving and sparkling kaleidoscope in which jazz, soul, rhythm & blues, blues and pop merge into an eclectic whole (JB 4).

Enders Room, the band of saxophonist Johannes Enders has been running a musical laboratory for years, taking diverse stylistic paths that venture far outside the aesthetics of jazz music to create a hypnotic universe of sound with acoustic and electronic elements (JB 5).

XXXX, that's Michael Wollny (piano), Emile Parisien (saxophone), Tim Lefebvre (bass) and Christian Lillinger (drums). Four musicians who want to break the genre boundaries spectacularly. With synthesizer and a Fender Rhodes piano in their sound, the quartet ignites an experimental sonic frenzy of retrofuturistic space sounds, avant-garde krautrock, post-rock, jazz borrowings, noise fragments and glitches - an explosive mixture that lustily explores the previously unknown (JB 5)!

The Jungle Book is a classic of world literature. Most people associate the book with the Disney film adaptation and the dancing bear Baloo, who likes to try coziness. On Sunday morning, Christian Brückner and the wild Jazz Orchestra Berlin will prove that it can be done quite differently. For the well-known dubbing artist, it is important that the project is as far away from the cartoon version as possible: "Disney people had a completely different idea of what we wanted to achieve. They wanted global feelings, global images and global music. We are a small, lively group and we also want to have a liveliness on the ground" (JB 6).

Aki Takase is the "grande dame" of the avant-garde. The Osaka-born pianist is a brilliant artist who plays with tradition and free jazz with virtuosity and skill, raising both to a higher level in a synthesis. Her music is full of contrasts and at the same time displays an inexplicable harmonic unity, bowing to the heritage of jazz and then moving it into the 21st century with unprecedented creativity (JB 7).

Cologne pianist Pablo Held is one of the most acclaimed musicians of the younger German jazz scene. His long-running trio is, according to John Scofield, "one of the finest groups in music today." His current project is Pablo Held's Buoyancy Band. In this quartet he brings together some of the most influential voices on the European jazz scene: trumpeter Percy Pursglove from Birmigham, organist Kit Downes from London and Sean Carpio from Dublin on drums. The band performs as a compact collective that harmoniously blends the expressivity of jazz with the sonic culture of European classical music and elements of other genres (JB 8).

He is one of the most internationally famous Brazilians and a musical legend - the singer and musician Gilberto Gil. He recorded almost 60 albums, sold over four million records, and was also his country's first black minister of culture. In the 1960s, he invented a whole new genre of music, tropicalismo, a fusion of bossa nova and samba with influences from jazz, rock, pop, reggae and African music. Now Gilberto Gil is celebrating his 80th birthday with a JazzBaltica concert on June 26. Together with his family and friends, he will be on stage celebrating the power of his music (JB 9).

Concerts @the beach 

Put your feet in the sand under the night sky and listen to exquisite jazz sounds at the same time - that's possible at the concerts @the beach. 

Friday evening JazzBaby! will be on stage, a band consisting of singer Stefanie Boltz and pianist Christian Wegschneider, complemented by saxophonist and clarinettist Christoph Pepe Auer. The formation follows its intuition in songwriting and describes its own music as a combination of blues, chamber music and chanson - and jazz as a unifying element.

On Saturday evening Nils Landgren himself, together with guitarist Johan Norberg @the beach can be experienced. They have known each other for over 40 years and make music together in the most diverse lineups - the duo Chapter Two is their oldest joint project, which nevertheless celebrates a premiere: "We have played for royalty and governments, but on a beach in Timmendorf we have never made music together!"

Concerts at JazzCafé

At the JazzCafé, both talents who have already celebrated their first successes and established artists perform exciting programs.

The Cologne trumpeter Maik Krahl has been establishing himself more and more on the prestigious jazz stages with his quartet for a few years now. Characteristic is his soft trumpet sound, which characterizes the sound of the band in virtuoso improvisations as well as in sound experiments with electronic effects. The quartet opens the stage at JazzCafé on Saturday at noon.

The Ramuel Tafenau Quartet, which performs in the afternoon, is from Estonia. The eponymous drummer is the son of saxophonist Raivo Tafenau, who was an integral part of the JazzBaltica Ensemble for many years. Musically, however, he does not rely on this heritage - with his band he plays his own compositions, which are as technically demanding as they are expressive.

Danish trombonist Lis Wessberg was last a guest at JazzBaltica in 2019 with Marylin Mazur's Shamania. This year she can be experienced in quartet formation with her own pieces. For her, the most important components of her music are "a good melody and a warm, full sound," which she demonstrates with her arrangements and her trombone, which sometimes resembles the human voice.

Young pianist Sophia Oster closes Saturday evening at JazzCafé. She first began classical piano lessons as a seven-year-old and found her way more and more to jazz as a teenager. Meanwhile, she also sings and lets her classical training and passion for jazz flow together in her compositions and improvisations. On the stage of the JazzCafé she performs in a quartet formation. 

Birgitta Flick was the winner of the IB.SH JazzAward in 2012 with her band "Flickstick". Since then, the saxophonist has been a regular JazzBaltica guest and has made a name for herself internationally as a musician and composer. This year she can be experienced in both roles with her quartet Sunday noon.

Estonian singer Liisi Koikson is best known in her homeland from numerous musical productions and also feels at home in many different styles from singer-songwriter to energetic pop songs to traditional Estonian songs. At JazzBaltica, she can be heard Sunday afternoon with a quartet that includes up-and-coming Estonian pianist Joel Remmel.

In the Janno Trump New Clarity Ensemble, the jazz trio of the namesake bassist meets a classical string quartet in the last concert at JazzCafé. With this musical project, Janno Trump wants to combine fresh Nordic aesthetics with a delicate chamber music sound in order to search for commonalities between jazz improvisation and classical music. According to his own statement, the music is inspired, among other things, by the beauty of Estonian nature.

Concerts on the OpenAir Stage

New discoveries and up-and-coming talents, often from the region, present themselves on the OpenAir stage. 

The nine-member band Leo in the lioncage does not limit itself to one genre. From funk to soul to Latin and reggae, they compose their own songs together - the band started with cover songs, which increasingly gave way to their own pieces. Since 2016, the music students from Lübeck, Hamburg and Kiel have been making music together, opening the OpenAir stage on Friday evening with a summer fiesta.

"A dynamic duo" - that's how Sebastian Sprotte and Lucas Kemmler describe themselves. They got to know each other at the LandesJugendJazzOrchester of Schleswig-Holstein and not only enjoy playing in their group of four, but also enjoy the "intimate moments" with their duo Groove Merchants. The two have a broad repertoire ranging from contemporary and traditional jazz to funk and soul to current charts. 

Every year, the "Jugend jazzt" competition invites young musicians to demonstrate their talent in front of a jury and an audience. The national competition, at which prize winners from the preceding state competitions compete, takes place this year in Lübeck at the end of May. The prizes awarded here include a concert on Saturday afternoon on the JazzBaltica OpenAir stage.

Sunday Morning Jazz Orchestra is the name of former members of the LandesJugendJazzOrchester, who came together in 2018 to form a classic big band and initially rehearsed every Sunday morning. They play swinging jazz standards and are conducted by Kiel trombonist Andreas Hussong. 

The band members of Jazz Vibes have made a "comfortable sound" their motto. With their unusual line-up of double bass, vibraphone and saxophone alternating with vocals, the trio gets Sunday off to a great start on the OpenAir stage with smooth jazz songs and relaxed Latin hits. 

The Nordic Jazz Kollektiv is made up of young musicians from Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, who got to know each other through support for young musicians such as school big bands and jazz workshops. Band leader Pascal Jarchow is now studying in Berlin, but is coming back to the north for this heartfelt project. The band plays a relaxed mix of modern jazz and popular standards.

The Nordsnø Ensemble finds its inspiration in Scandinavian folk songs of mystical mood, whose melodies meet creative improvisations. The eight musicians create individual soundscapes in each of their arrangements with different instrumentations that sensitively respond to the lyrics.

The children's music workshop will take place on Sunday from 12 noon at the OpenAir Stage. Children from the age of four may approach jazz here with a spirit of adventure, creativity and fun. 

IB.SH JazzAward 

The IB.SH-JazzAward will be presented for the 15th time. The prize, worth 3,000 euros, is awarded once a year in recognition of the work and artistic potential of young and promising German jazz musicians who perform at JazzBaltica. Special consideration is given to talent from northern Germany. Last year, trumpeter Christian Höhn was awarded the prize. The jury's decision will be announced on May 18, 2022. The official award ceremony will take place during the opening of JazzBaltica on Friday evening on the Maritim MainStage (JB 1).

'Round Midnight

At a late hour 'Round Midnight, NDR Kultur presenter Sarah Seidel invites guests to "Late Night Schnacks" with current JazzBaltica artists in the JazzClub on Friday and Saturday - garnished with live music.
The conversations will be recorded in a relaxed club atmosphere and broadcast on a time-delayed basis by NDR Kultur. Afterwards, Nils Landgren will perform a session with Freedom Tree.


Peter Kleiß, author and music journalist, traditionally invites musicians from the program to his "JazzTalks" at JazzBaltica. This year, the talks will take place without an audience, but will be recorded with audio and video and published on the JazzBaltica website and YouTube channel following the festival.

Thank you 

JazzBaltica would like to thank the main sponsor Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein (IB.SH), as well as supporters and partners such as Wohnungsbau GmbH Neumünster and gradwerk. The long-standing media partners NDR Kultur and Deutschlandfunk strengthen the popularity of the festival, and JazzBaltica also continues its cooperation with ZDF. 

Special thanks go to the state of Schleswig-Holstein for its support.  This year JazzBaltica is also again sponsored by the municipality of Timmendorfer Strand-Niendorf and the Ulbrich Foundation. The festival hotel is the Maritim Seehotel Timmendorfer Strand.

Tickets for JazzBaltica

Tickets are now available online and on the ticket hotline 0431-23 70 70. Festival tickets for the entire weekend are already sold out. Festival tickets for 2023 will be available from mid-November 2022.