jazzahead! 2017 – Report by Caroline Bond

4 days at Jazzahead

As a relative novice – jazz networker, I went along to the jazz trade fair with some apprehension.  I understood that jazzahead was an important networking opportunity for jazz musicians, promoters and broadcasters.  What could I offer as a board member of Jazz from Scotland.

I met the Scottish contingent at Edinburgh Airport’s duty free, where we bought our stand’s happy hour supply of Scottishness.  The majority of the Scottish team booked into the Prizotel, Bremen, which is positioned a hop, skip and a jump from the Exhibition Centre.  We met up with Kim Macari, who left London at some ungodly hour, arriving from Stansted in time to head to the city centre for a group meeting and an Italian meal.  We discussed the plans for the day ahead – setting up the stand, meetings and attending jazz showcases and then retired for a night cap where we met and chatted with UK agents/promoters.

On Thursday morning after a breakfast briefing we headed off to register and set up the Jazz for Scotland stand.  We had a small blank canvas to convert into a Scottish Jazz meeting point.  Heather our board member and Jill from Glasgow Jazz festival co-ordinated to create our tartan clad stand ready for the public opening at 3pm.  

From Thursday at 3pm to Saturday at 8pm we manned our stand daily and met with international musicians, promoters, broadcasters and agents obtaining details of those interested in looking for Scottish musicians and jazz gigs in Scotland

  • what was happening in the Scottish Jazz scene   
  • Scottish musicians available for International jazz festivals

We documented each and every enquiry at our stand so hopefully all opportunities will be made available/passed on to musicians/promoters/agents via our website.

As for feeling like a novice my enthusiasm for the Scottish Jazz scene was delivered to those I spoke with and hopefully my networking contribution will bear results.

Our Whisky Happy Hour was very popular and in exchange for a business card and chat we supplied a shot of whisky and piece of shortbread.  Scottish hospitality was received well and this is evidenced by the time-lapse film, now on our website.  I am also thrilled to report that my filming of the venue also featured on our website, was acknowledged as “fantastic” by Seb Scotney, from London Jazz news.

One of my other tasks was to gather information from national stands.  Our website will shortly detail my findings including a comprehensive list of all European jazz festivals with the relevant websites and contact details.

In summary it is clear that there are many opportunities for jazz musicians, I spoke with members of  Trio Elf and went along to their showcase gig, I was not disappointed, “very sweet and lovely”!!

From the perspective of the musicians, Joe and Brodie, the concert opportunities to develop their music across the UK and Europe seemed endless.  They were both excited to have been involved at Jazzahead.  

Caroline Bond, 02/05/2017