Photo: jazzbaltica.de
Jazz Baltica, commonly stylized as JazzBaltica, is an annual jazz festival held in Germany that typically runs over the last weekend of June or the first weekend on July. Since 2002, it has been conducted in conjunction with the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, a classic music festival held in Northern Germany.

The JazzBaltica festival was established in 1991 by the State Music Council of Schleswig-Holstein (Landesmusikrat Schleswig-Holstein) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science, Youth and Culture of Schleswig-Holstein.

The event was originally held at the Salzau Palace (Schloss Salzau) located near the port city of Kiel and the coast of the Baltic Sea. In 2012, it was relocated to the Evers-Werft shipyard in Niendorf, a Baltic Sea resort near the port city of Lübeck.

JaszzBaltica differs from most other jazz festivals due to its unique intimate atmosphere. All concerts are held at relatively small venues with a limited capacity. Of course, attendees have to purchase their tickets in advance in order not to miss the shows, but this approach definitely has its benefits because it gives music lovers an opportunity to see their favorite artists close-up. At JazzBaltica, musicians are unusually close to their audience both literally and figuratively.

The organizers of the festival don’t chase after big names and focus on inviting musicians from Northern Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic States, striving to provide a platform for local and regional talent. However, this doesn’t mean that JazzBaltica has never welcomed renowned musicians from other regions. Past performers at the festival include David Murray, Vince Mendoza, Django Bates, Maria Schneider, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Tim Hagans, and others. The program of JazzBaltica embraces a variety of jazz styles, from bebop to contemporary jazz.

The festival typically starts on Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday night. Some of the concerts require tickets, but there also are plenty of free day concerts by young local musicians as well as free late night concerts at the Night Stage. With its more than 13,000 visitors (as of 2016), JazzBaltica is one of Germany’s most popular jazz festival and a major music event.


Photo: Elisabeth S. Meyer-Lassahn




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