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.
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.
Conference Friday 18-08
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.