ELBJAZZ has anchored up in Hamburg Port every year since 2010 – delivering the sound of great artists to the maritime stage: on the shipyard grounds of Blohm+Voss, inside the bowels of a ship, and in the discreetly sophisticated Elbphilharmonie. Over the last 10 years, the festival has had more than 29.000 visitors.
Since 2016, the festival director of Elbjazz has been Alexander Schulz who, whilst studying applied cultural studies at university, gained experience by booking acts for music clubs and festivals in Hamburg and by working as an assistant director at Hamburg’s Thalia Theater. He founded Inferno Music Publishing in 1992, and record label Jam Records in 1993, before starting the events agency Inferno Events GmbH & Co. KG, whose corporate clients include Lufthansa and Unilever, in 1998. Schulz is also Chairman of the board of the Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM).
The festival is an annual event, taking place over 2 days at the beginning of June every year. In the midst of the urban-maritime scenery of Hamburg, unique venues such as the Blohm+Voss shipyard, and the Elbphilharmonie, alongside the adjacent HafenCity, form the centrepiece of the festival.
ELBJAZZ has never defined jazz narrowly as a specific genre, but instead as a question of attitude. Stylistically, the field is wide open. A trend-setting beacon among the jazz festivals across the country, ELBJAZZ presents world stars and heritage artists.
The contemporary programme can boast of around 50 concerts with national and international acts from the field of jazz and popular related genres such as pop, soul and hiphop.
ELBJAZZ is a headliner festival, which at the same time provides the opportunity to discover new acts – and neither age, genre preferences nor musical expertise play a role when visiting. With regard to planning the programme of the festival, the main priority is to present artists who manage, in an inimitable manner, to arouse curiosity among the audience with their music.”
The Jazz workshop is represented at Elbjazz through their close cooperation with HfMT, where new repertoire is presented.
For the ELBJAZZ Festival, Jazz Workshop presents a way to find a new, European jazz sound. Cross-national collaborations are currently strongly influencing the development of music and inventing a new, urban jazz sound. Young people with different musical backgrounds are thus creating music that is novel, independent and innovative. Especially in times of national isolation and a crumbling European idea, the Jazz Workshop is an important project to promote European cohesion in a cultural way and to let it be shaped by a young generation.