Claire Parsons/////Quintet is a collab between British singer, Claire Parsons (who is also a teacher from Luxembourg), plus guitarist Eran Har Even (Israel), drummer Niels Engel and bassist Pol Belardi (Luxembourg), and French drummer/pianist Jérôme Klein.
Photo: Eric Engel
Now in its 8th edition, this year’s “Like a Jazz Machine” takes place in Dudelange 16-19 May and should appeal to a wide range of music-lovers, especially youngsters.
“We’re trying to attract a younger audience,” said Patricia Jochheim, who works on jazz programming at opderschmelz, during Tuesday’s press conference. She added that she hopes the public “will get away from the idea that [jazz] is just for intellectuals.”
The centre’s director, John Rech, added that “Jazz has a much bigger importance with youngsters now than was the case 30 years ago.” What’s more, the Luxembourg artists--who Rech says have always been at the centre of the festival--“are on average between 20-35 years old.”
Among the 15 groups and ensembles, a total of some 70 musicians, who will play during the four-day festival are Luxembourg vibraphonist Pascal Schumacher, who during his residency programme at the centre worked on a project which will be presented on 19 May at the festival. On 17 May, the Marly Marques Quintet will release their “Sea Change” album, which they also worked on during their residency in January 2019. Rounding off residencies is Tele-Port, a new project which brings together jazz voices from Luxembourg with Russian sax player, Zhenya Strigalev, for a modern take on jazz enriched with Eastern influences.
The Marly Marques Quintet will release its new album “Sea Change” on 17 May, a culmination of its residency in Dudelange. Photo: Jeanine Unsen
According to the organisers, over the last three years the festival has either sold out or nearly sold out each year, and two years ago they saw their biggest success in terms of participation. Rech says that last year’s festival acts were “harder to sell”, given that they tended more towards the experimental, less headliners, but he nevertheless says they expect around 500 visitors per day.
Showcasing new trends
While Luxembourg artists have always been at the centre of the festival--with this year’s edition also including local pianist Arthur Possing and his quintet, guitarist David Laborier, and local British singer Claire Parsons and her quintet--this year promises new trends, whether through English hip-hop artist Soweto Kinch (video below) or the act which Jochheim says will “make you move”, Get The Blessing.
David Laborier, who has been on the Luxembourg jazz scene well over a decade, has also earned himself an outstanding repution abroad as well. Photo: Patrick Galbats
Other top names in jazz to play the festival are Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava, on his 80th birthday tour; plus French drummer Manu Katché; Laurent de Wilde, who won artist of the year 2018 in France; and Michel Edelin with his new “Echoes of Henry Cow” project, among others.
The organising team--“a dedicated but small [one]”, as Rech says--tends to work with agents who know opderschmelz’s philosophy, and it’s through these privileged relationships and word of mouth that they can sometimes discover some unique acts, even before others discover them.
Ultimately, however, as Jochheim puts it, “We remain curious, and we want our public to remain curious too.”
For the full “Like a Jazz Machine” programme, or to purchase day/festival passes, visit www.jazzmachine.lu.