Constellations: brightening international ambitions for organisations and artists 



A group of nine partner organisations from the Europe Jazz Network (EJN) are joining forces to form Constellations. Constellations is a new collaborative artist development exchange programme that reignites international ambitions of artists and partners in the wake of the pandemic. Constellations addresses creative and personal growth, along with recovery, wellbeing and environmental concerns, by enabling participants to meet new international peers and to participate in each other’s development programmes and networks.

Each partner already runs its own respected talent development programme, and has nominated one of their alumni artists to take part in Constellations. Artists and partners will visit and participate in a development programme or residency in another country, learning about local ecosystems, and joining working groups of musicians, creatives and other music professionals. All artists and partners will also partake in major jazz networking events such as jazzahead! and the Europe Jazz Conference to gain a deeper understanding of context. Crucially, Constellations maximises existing programmes and events, avoiding the need to resource new or additional infrastructure.

Constellations builds on a shared commitment to collaboration and to artists, laying foundations for a more connected and sustainable music scene across Europe. It will also provide a workable, solid, innovative model to inspire others to start their own collaborations to empower musicians to expand their horizons.

“We already know each other’s work as members of EJN – some of us for many years – and we realised the huge potential in pooling our resources, experience and expertise in artist development, using our connections to springboard our artists up to the next international level. By inviting a partner and an artist into another partner’s networks, we’ll celebrate the differences in each of our programmes, counteract the impact of the pandemic and at the same time, constellate people and ideas.” – Steve Mead, Manchester Jazz Festival, UK (partner). 

The pilot edition of Constellations runs until November 2023 and is funded by The European Union and supported by MusicAire under the Music Moves Europe programme.

Partner & development programme                  Country Artist 
JazzLab / Stepping Stone Belgium Mattias de Craene / saxophone
Jazz Finland / Nordic Jazz Comets Finland Kaisa Maensivu / double bass/voice
Association Jazzé Croisé (AJC) / Jazz Migration France Delphine Deau / piano
Stadtgarten Köln / NICA artist development  Germany Pablo Gīw / trumpet
Synthesizer Israel Ella Ronen / voice/guitar/keyboards
I-Jazz / Nuova Generazione Jazz  Italy Alessandra Bossa / keyboards/electronics
Powered by TINC / Stepping Stone
(joint with JazzLab)
Netherlands Frederike Berendsen / vocals/guitar
Norsk jazzforum / Nordic Jazz Comets Norway Kjetil Mulelid / piano
Manchester Jazz Festival (mjf) / hothouse UK Lara Jones / saxophone/electronics



The Belgian musician taking part is saxophonist Mattias De Craene. He is best known for Nordmann and MDCIII, two bands that dwell in zones where jazz, rock, electronica and tribal sounds converge. Equally notable is his lauded solo album Patterns for (A) Film (2021), a soundtrack to an imaginary film; fueled by his interest in meetings of sounds and images. De Craene will head to Norway in search of new connections and the inspiration a different scene can offer him.

Belgium welcomes Italian artist Alessandra Bossa, who is curious about the intersection of jazz, improvisation and electronica. She is looking for diversity in music, art and perspectives. Human connection is central, because for her reflection begins there. New, stimulating connections are also a goal for her, as is personal and artistic growth. During her stay, she will be completely immersed in our jazz scene.


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union and therefore the European Union cannot be held responsible for them.