With the announcement of the nominees for the German Jazz Award 2021, a a spotlight shines on the diversity and creativity of the German jazz scene
At the beginning of June 2021, the German Jazz Prize will be awarded for the first time by the Minister of State for Culture, Prof. Monika Grütters. On June 3, ’21, a total of 31 award winners will be announced in five main categories during a digital award ceremony (broadcasted via livestream): in 11 categories, applications could be submitted by artists, composers, labels and publishers, among others. Proposals for potential award winners in the other categories were made by an independent jury of experts, whose 25 personalities cover the entire spectrum of the jazz scene. It is made up of five people from each of the following areas: artists, labels/publishers, clubs/festivals, management/agencies, and journalists/media representatives.
The 81 nominees have now been announced, and the nomination of the LOFT in the category Club of the Year category is particularly pleasing news because this award was determined in a special process: via online voting, the more than 1,300 members of the German Jazz Union themselves decided who “their” Club of the Year should be. By concept, all clubs listed in the Jazz Guide of the Jazz Institute Darmstadt were available for selection, and each member could cast one vote. The club with the most votes is ultimately the winner.
So, the winner is already known, but for the sake of suspense, a shortlist of the three clubs with the most votes will be presented until the award ceremony on June 3, ’21. We also congratulate our colleagues from Donau115 in Berlin and Jazzclub Unterfahrt in Munich, who made it with us into this round of the last three. After the LOFT was awarded the main prize of the NRW Venue Program Award by the NRW State Music Council and the NRW Ministry of Culture and Science in January of this year, the nomination for the German Jazz Award also means a lot to us, as it is a very anonymous but also very direct way for musicians to say thank you.
In the category Brass Instruments, our board member Shannon Barnett is one of the three nominees, with Markus Stockhausen and Nils Wogram she is not only in best company, but is even now – while these lines are being written – rehearsing at the LOFT next to Nils, who has pitched his tents for this week with us (and that proverbially, with toothbrush and towel). In the category Debut Album of the Year, Mirna Bogdanović’s Confrontation and the album Timeprints by the Musina Ebobissé Quintet‘s are joined by the solo piano recording Schumann Kaleidoscope by pianist Johanna Summer, who now lives in Cologne. The album was recorded by our sound engineer Stefan Deistler with Johanna in October 2019 on our Steinway D grand piano at LOFT, and was released on ACT in April 2020. Johanna is also one of three nominees in category Piano / Keyboards alongside Aki Takase and Pablo Held (with whom she performed a piano duo livestream concert from LOFT in December 2020).
We are looking forward to the awards ceremony on June 3rd, ’21 because the field in the submission categories is evidence of a very contemporary understanding of jazz on the part of the judges, and because many of the nominees have found and continue to find a place and a hearing in our regular programming and have played at thr LOFT: Shannon Barnett, Nils Worgram, Angelika Niescier, Robert Landfermann, Elisabeth Coudoux, Eva Klesse, Christian Lillinger, Wanja Slavin, Christopher Dell, John Schröder, Johanna Summer, Ronny Graupe, Hendrika Entzian, Frans Petter Eldh, Rebekka Salomea, Max Andrezjewski, Kathrin Pechlof, Moritz Baumgärtner, Niels Klein, Christina Fuchs, Uli Kempendorf, Caroline Thon, Almuth Kühne, Florian Ross, Luise Volkmann, Igor Spallati, Lucia Cadotsch, Igor Spallati, Julia Hülsmann, Olga Amelchenko & Daniel Erdmann.
The numerous nominations of Cologne musicians by a jury of experts and the nomination of the LOFT as Club of the Year by the members of the German Jazz Union once again illustrate the importance, diversity and vitality of the Cologne jazz scene. It is supported by operating grants, scholarships and project cost subsidies from Cologne politicians, the Cultural Office of the City of Cologne and the Ministry of Culture and Science in Düsseldorf, which have been keeping an eye on the Cologne jazz scene for several years.
Special thanks go out to these institutions for this important support, without which much would not have been possible and would not be possible in the future.
Since 2015, the Cologne scene is organized in the Cologne Jazz Conference, the union for Jazz and improvised music in Cologne, and with the Cologne Jazzweek from August 28th to September 4th ’21, Cologne will finally also have a jazz festival with international appeal: a festival organized by Cologne musicians from within the scene and made possible by the specific support of Cologne’s cultural policy and the Department of Culture. A festival that brings the Cologne jazz scene to the forefront and, together with national and international soloists and bands, offers a colorful kaleidoscope of exciting and interesting concerts! jazzweek.de