The festival - one long weekend, 5 stages, 30 concerts.
"JazzBaltica means for me to meet many wonderful colleagues and to create unique musical moments together with them. Here, young talents and established names can exchange ideas and become friends. What better place to do this than the Baltic Sea with a wonderful beach and a park with hammocks in tall trees. Come on by!" Nils Landgren
Every June, JazzBaltica transforms the main hall of the Maritim Seehotel Timmendorfer Strand and the surrounding beach park into a maritime setting for jazz music right by the sea. The festival's artistic director is Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren. Over an extended weekend, both stars and up-and-coming talents perform on five stages in around 30 concerts. Here, international jazz celebrities will meet young talents from the Baltic and regional music scene. A family concert and a children's music workshop await the youngest audience.
Whether in the festival hall on the Maritim MainStage, directly on the beach @the beach, under tall trees OpenAir, in the cozy JazzCafé or late at night in the JazzClub - long-time fans of JazzBaltica appreciate the unique atmosphere of the festival concerts and sometimes travel from far away for them. But spontaneous audiences are also welcome – JazzBaltica offers the opportunity to experience numerous free concerts every year.
Part of the JazzBaltica concept is to initiate unique projects and bring musicians together. American artists such as Dave Brubeck, Max Roach, Milt Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves and Pat Metheny or European colleagues such as Albert Mangelsdorff, Wolfgang Haffner, Cæcilie Norby, Viktoria Tolstoy, Ulf Wakenius, Tomasz Stanko, Lars Danielsson and Michael Wollny are just some of the names that have already performed on the JazzBaltica stage and are always happy to return to the festival.
From the very beginning, the JazzBaltica Ensemble has been an integral part of the festival, with a changing line-up of musicians from the Baltic Sea region. From 2016 to 2019, it was replaced by the JazzBaltica All Star Band, also with a changing lineup - and consisting exclusively of female jazz musicians. On the occasion of the festival's 30th anniversary, Nils Landgren drummed up a Jazz Baltica Ensemble Special Edition in 2020 and 2021 with musicians from the two predecessor ensembles.
As the inaugural event of Ars Baltica, a network for cultural cooperation between the Baltic Sea states founded on the initiative of the state government of Schleswig-Holstein, JazzBaltica takes place for the first time in 1991. The artistic director is initially Rainer Haarmann, and the venue is Salzau Castle with its concert barn near Kiel.
In 2002, the organization of JazzBaltica passes from the Schleswig-Holstein state government to the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.
In 2012, Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren takes over as artistic director, and with that comes a change of venue: the festival moves from Salzau Castle to the coast, to the grounds of the Evers shipyard in Timmendorfer Strand-Niendorf.
Since 2018, JazzBaltica has been held on the grounds around Strandpark in the heart of Timmendorfer Strand, moving even closer to its namesake Baltic Sea.
Promotion of young talents
Since 2008, the festival has presented the IB.SH JazzAward in cooperation with the Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein. Once a year, the award, which is endowed with 3,000 euros, honors the work and artistic potential of young German jazz musicians who perform at JazzBaltica. Special consideration is given to artists and ensembles from northern Germany.