World Jazz Conference 2023

On the 18th of August, Amersfoort, a city in the Netherlands, reverberated with the entrancing rhythms of jazz and intellectual discourse as it played host to the World Jazz Conference during the prestigious Amersfoort World Jazz Festival. This annual gathering, a celebration of jazz’s global essence, brought together luminaries, professionals, and aficionados from around the world to exchange not only ideas and experiences but also the very essence of music itself.

The World Jazz Conference, a melting pot of innovation and tradition, drew together the masterminds steering jazz events and organizations across the globe. The conference acted as a nexus for the exchange of creative sparks and insightful dialogues, fostering a collective synergy that would resonate long after the last note faded away. The event provided a unique platform for these architects of musical experiences to bridge their perspectives, fostering a deeper understanding of the multifaceted world of jazz.

Amersfoort, nestled in the heart of the Netherlands, has become a hallowed ground for this annual convergence. The World Jazz Network’s yearly assembly at the Amersfoort World Jazz Festival is a tradition etched in time, uniting individuals who have dedicated their lives to the music they love. While the festival’s physical location remains a cornerstone, the essence of collaboration transcends borders. Many of these partners, in their roles as cultural ambassadors, have serendipitously crossed paths while representing their laureates in distant lands.

The World Jazz Conference is emblematic of the power of music to transcend boundaries and establish connections across the globe. As professionals and enthusiasts convened both physically and virtually, the conference illustrated how the universal language of jazz unites people regardless of their origins. This year, the conference unfolded on August 18th, within the inviting walls of the Observant, located at Stadhuisplein 7 in Amersfoort. The venue, steeped in history, provided the ideal backdrop for the convergence of minds and notes.

From 14:00 to 16:00, attendees were treated to a series of illuminating panels hosted by distinguished partners of the World Jazz Network. These discussions delved into crucial aspects of the jazz landscape, featuring esteemed speakers representing prestigious festivals and venues. The Sicilia Jazz Festival from Italy, Ronnie Scotts from the United Kingdom, Canary Jazz Festival from Spain, Perth International Jazz Festival from Australia, NIDA Jazz Festival from Lithuania, and more, offered insights that resonated far beyond the conference’s duration.

The conference’s atmosphere was enriched further by the presence of over 20 confirmed delegates, comprising international bookers, venue representatives, festival organizers, and influential members of the press. Notable publications like Rolling Stone India, Citizen Jazz Magazine.

In hindsight, the World Jazz Conference proved to be a resounding success. It breathed life into the city of Amersfoort, turning it into a bustling hub of creativity and inspiration. As the conference’s echoes fade into memory, they leave behind a trail of connections, ideas, and musical notes that will undoubtedly continue to reverberate across the global jazz community. The conference’s legacy is a testament to the enduring power of music to unite, inspire, and shape the cultural fabric of the world.

World Jazz Conference 2023

The World Jazz Conference, held from August 17th to 20th in Amersfoort, ran in parallel with the Amersfoort World Jazz Festival and brought together over 50 national and international professionals from the jazz industry. The event provided a platform for discussions, new initiatives, and potential collaborations within the international jazz field with a physical conference on Friday and digital interviews on Saturday. 

Official Opening

The conference kicked of on Thursday with an official opening that began with a captivating performance by the Artvark Saxophone Quartet at KAdE, the modern art museum of Amersfoort. The event then transitioned to the Observant, known as the ‘Home of Jazz,’ where a special Sicilian dinner was hosted by the World Jazz Network (WJN) partner Brass Group Foundation and the Sicilian Ministry of Culture. Following the dinner, attendees were free to immerse themselves in the concerts the Amersfoort World Jazz Festival, which also marked the initiation of the Sena Performers International Jazz Laureate Festival featuring acts like the Chi Quartet and Woodcraft.

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Conference Friday 18-08

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Friday was dedicated to the physical conference activities. The day started around 11:00 with a closed meeting where attending partners had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their respective organizations. This session was facilitated by Andre Le Roux from IKS Cultural Consulting. The work lunch after provided a platform for bilateral discussions among the WJN partners.

At 14:00, the public conference kicked off with a series of panels for the musicians performing at the Amersfoort World Jazz Festival. The first panel was all about ‘ Introducing World Jazz Network, Partners & Results.’ The discussion covered the fundamental philosophy of the World Jazz Network, the network’s active partners, and its notable achievements. The focus was on what the WJN could offer potential partners and vice versa, with emphasis on principles such as reciprocity, transparency, and trust.


Subsequently, a panel of  WJN partners delved into the topic: ‘What are festivals looking for internationally.’ This panel comprised prominent figures such as Paul Pace from Ronnie Scott’s, Fabio Lannino of Sicilia Jazz Festival, Miguel Ramirez from Canary Jazz Festival, Sylwester Ostrowski of Szczecin Jazz Festival, and Mace Francis from Perth Jazz Festival. The conversation revolved around the motivations and criteria that drive festivals to book international artists, ranging from collaborations and tourism enhancement to ticket sales. The audience had the opportunity to pose questions to the panelists.

The final panel of the day, titled ‘How International Media Can Boost Your Career,’ was led by our international media partners, including representatives from Citizen Jazz Magazine, Jazz’Halo, Rolling Stone Magazine, All About Jazz, and Népszava. This session addressed best practices and pitfalls associated with international press exposure, offering insights on how artists can effectively engage with journalists. The panelists also engaged with audience queries on how to approach the media strategically.Post-panel sessions provided ample time for attendees to network and establish connections.

Digital Conference Saturday 19-08

On Saturday, a digital conference was hosted at a studio in Amersfoort, featuring interviews with WJN partners hosted by Andre Le Roux and JazzNL board member Ellister van der Molen. This interactive format introduced WJN partners and their endeavors in the jazz realm to a broader audience.

Anita Verheggen - Foundation JazzNL

Fabio Lannino - Sicilia Jazz Festival

Sylwester Ostrowski - Szczecin Jazz Festival

Mélodine Lascombes - Citizen Jazz Magazine

Günsu Yeşilyaprak - Istanbul Jazz Festival

Lucas Santana - Endorsed Exception Talent 2022

Kung Chi Shing - West Kowloon Cultural District

Sunil Sampat - Rolling Stone Magazine India

Joe Fritz - Népszava