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Jazz Launch Europe

A start to a great international career
for talented European jazz musicians

The background
For young jazz musicians, touring abroad is not straightforward. Concert venues sometimes hesitate to include jazz in their programme, or only go for the bigger names, leaving upcoming talents without many opportunities. The project we want to set up aims to facilitate exchanges with partners all over Europe, in order to help these musicians in their search for concerts abroad.

In Flanders, the platform JazzLab Series offers support to such upcoming talents. JazzLab Series maintains an active and qualitative network of concert venues all over Flanders and Brussels that commit to presenting Belgian jazz to a broad audience in the best possible conditions and at a fair fee. The quality label that JazzLab Series bears gives the concert venues confidence to take the leap of faith and programme a band they do not necessarily know, and likewise this convinces the audience to discover new jazz bands.

A similar platform exists in Wallonia as well, under the name of JazzTour, set up by Les Lundis d’Hortence. Every year JazzLab Series and JazzTour exchange one of their selected bands to team up with a group from across the language barrier to tour around the whole of Belgium. For instance, the Nathalie Loriers Trio (from the JazzTour selection) and SCHNTZL (from the JazzLab Series selection) have been selected to tour as a double bill through both Flemish, Brussels and Walloon venues in November.

The idea
ideaThe project we would like to set up does exactly this, but on a European scale. We are aware that there are several similar platforms and organisations all across Europe, and our aim is to bring these together. We hope to engage several partner platforms from different countries to exchange upcoming jazz bands, in order to organise international tours for them, always in a double bill with a local group, parallel to the collaboration just described between JazzLab Series and JazzTour.

Knowledge exchange is key to this project, so that we can build a more united and stronger network of jazz platforms, as a quality label for talented young jazz musicians across Europe, appealing to many concert venues and reaching a broader audience.


What are we looking for?
We plan to submit a project proposal to Creative Europe (in October) and Erasmus + for financial support. For this purpose we are looking for partner platforms who want to join us.

Concretely, we will be writing out the proposal, taking into account your feedback and input, but we are hoping to be able to include at least 5 organisations/platforms similar to JazzLab Series spread across Europe to list as potential partners.

When the proposal is acknowledged, we will coordinate the exchanges between the different partners, promote the tours that are set up for the musicians, organise evaluation meetings with the partners and facilitate the exchange of expertise.

If you are interested in this project and would like to contribute in any way with your input, or would like to be a potential partner, please let us know at We will be present at Jazzahead (Bremen) end of April this year, and are looking forward to meeting with all interested parties there to talk about this project.

More concretely
What would the practical arrangements be that we have in mind at the moment? Of course, these are debatable, and we would very much like the input and feedback of the partner platforms that are interested in participating. But this offers a starting point:

•    Each platform offers 3 to 5 bands from their own selection. The bands on offer can be considered the best of young jazz musicians of that (part of the) country and are ready for an international break-through.
•    Each platform can then select a band from one of the partners that they would like to bring to their country. Of course, both partner platforms need to be in agreement: each needs to pick one band from the other platform, so that these two bands can team up and tour as a double bill across the two countries, with always one local jazz band and one international jazz band.
•    To be clear, each season you can pick one or more bands from the partners’ selection to link to a group of your own organisation. Both partners should feel confident about the bands selected to team up, and willing to organise double bill concerts for them in their respective countries.
•    A double bill tour should consist of at least 3 concerts in each country, in qualitative venues, under good conditions and at a fair fee.
•    Each partner organises a tour (of at least 3 concerts) in their own country. The fee for the musicians is paid by the venues, and we aim to cover the transport and hotel costs for the international band with the subsidy money we hope to get, as an extra incentive to the concert venues to programme these international bands. If necessary, the touring bands can apply for travel funds in their respective home countries, which should be easier in the case of at least 3 international concerts.
•    As an important note: partner platforms only need to commit to the project once we know we have secured the subsidy. But of course, we hope you already express your interest in joining and giving us your input, so that we can write a stronger, more grounded project proposal.