You could have almost missed it during the broadcast of the German Jazz Award (Deutscher Jazzpreis) 2021 ceremony last thursday: the LOFT is the winner in the category Club of the Year.
„Almost missed“, because in an almost 4 hour livestreamed show, our category was ticked off in 45 seconds, not to mention the absence of any kind of laudation: „One became puzzled when already very early and very briefly the Cologne Loft was awarded as „Best Jazz Club“. A sensible new category, but dramaturgically wasted.“ Oliver Hochkeppel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 4th of June 2021 (see articel, german only)
Compared to the 30 other categories, the Club of the Year was not determined by the 25-member expert jury, but by the probably most-expert-jury of all expert-juries: the more than 1,300 members of the German Jazz Union (at least those who participated in the voting). So we are particularly happy to recieve this award, a special thank you to the members who voted for us, and to all who voted at all.
We also thank the German Jazz Union, the Initiative Musik and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the entire team of the German Jazz Prize and everyone else who made this award possible.
Last but not least, we would like to thank all those who have supported the LOFT over the past 31 years, the musicians, the loyal audience, the Kulturamt Köln (Cultural Office of the City of Cologne), the Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft NRW (Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia), the Deutschlandfunk and the patient neighbors in our house and our neighborhood Cologne-Ehrenfeld.
Without them, this award would not have been possible.
We congratulate all the award winners and all those previously nominated, especially our colleagues, who were also nominated in the category Club of the Year: the Donau115 in Berlin and the Jazzclub Unterfahrt in Munich – the latter also on the special prize (Sonderpreis) awarded by the 25-member jury of experts.
The fact that the vibrant Cologne scene was represented in such large numbers in the nominations is pleasing, although not surprising given this strong scene. Among the award winners from Cologne, besides the Radio Production of the Year (Bill Laurence & WDR BigBand), Brass Instruments (Markus Stockhausen) and the Club of the Year (LOFT) is Cologne pianist Florian Ross with his Composition of the Year (Streamwalk).
On Wednesday, 1st of September 2021 you can experience Florian Ross live at the LOFT, a rare opportunity this year for a laureate-plays-in-laureate concert ;-): as part of the first Cologne Jazzweek he will be heard in a piano duo with the outstanding Lucas Leidinger, the second part of this concert, which is dedicated to the great pianist and teacher John Taylor, will be performed by the trio Airelle Besson · Sebastian Sternal · Jonas Burgwinkel – a closer study of the concerts planned as part of the Cologne Jazzweek at the LOFT as well as the entire program of the Cologne Jazzweek is highly recommended!