Bavarian way of life Feb 18, 2015

Jazzwoche Burghausen: The town on the river Salzach becomes a Mecca for international music stars

From the Mississippi to the Salzach, from New Orleans to Burghausen: every year, the renowned Jazzwoche transforms this little town in Upper Bavaria into a Mecca for jazz enthusiasts. The picturesque old town and Europe's longest castle provide the perfect backdrop.

It is certainly true that Europe's longest castle complex is the tourism highlight of this little town on the river Salzach. But the Jazzwoche, held every spring since 1970, has no reason to hide behind the castle walls. The event in Burghausen has now developed into a festival of international significance. The long list of artists who have performed here in the past is proof of that: Dave Brubeck, Sun Ra, Dizzy Gillespie, Chris Barber and Jamie Cullum are just a small selection of the top stars who have wowed audiences in Burghausen.

The town documents its connection to the artists who perform here with its very own “Street of Fame”, modelled on the famous Walk of Fame in Hollywood. The names of the legendary jazz musicians who have already played in Burghausen are engraved on the 39 relief slabs that have so far been set into the ground. Anyone walking down the “In den Grüben” street will be strolling past a real who's who of the international jazz scene. This emphasises the importance of the Jazzwoche for the town. With its main concerts and the programme of fringe events in the old and new town areas, the festival is now one of the biggest of its kind.

Varied programme with star lineup

The 46th “Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen” will be held from 17th to 22nd March 2015. Once again, festival director Joe Viera and his team have succeeded in inviting a mixture of newcomers, contemporary jazz musicians and jazz legends. It is not only the jazz fans who will be enjoying the around two dozen acts, as the programme also encourages listeners with less experience of jazz to set off on a tour of discovery. One excellent destination: Monty Alexander & The Harlem Kingston Express, who mix jazz and reggae into their music, will play on Friday 20th March. At the dance night later on, Incognito will play a mix of jazz, electronic, soul and funk that is sure to get people onto the dance floor. Musical highlights for every taste are guaranteed!

Experience the stars of tomorrow against a historic backdrop

Jazzwoche Burghausen traditionally kicks off with the final qualifying round for the European Young Artists' Jazz Award, which is being held for the seventh time this year. The jury has whittled down the almost 70 entries from 30 countries to a group of five finalists, who will perform to win the title and the EUR 10,000 prize money on 17th March 2015 at Stadtsaal Burghausen. This is a chance to experience the stars of tomorrow while also discovering the diversity of jazz, as the competition is open and not limited to any particular style. The very next day, last year's winner, Mario Bondi, will perform at the Wackerhalle, presenting his musical programme of vocal jazz, soul and R&B.

Another highlight of the Jazzwoche 2015 will be the powerful voice of Norwegian Rebekka Bakken. Together with her big band, she will cover pieces by Tom Waits at the Wackerhalle on Saturday 21st March. Saturday will also see the German duo Heinz Sauer & Michael Wollny play at the Stadtsaal. This will be followed by the jazz night, in which eight bands will perform in various locations throughout Burghausen. On Sunday, the Hot Lips will give a morning jazz concert at the Jazzkeller. Four other bands will play at the Stadtsaal and Jazzkeller in the afternoon and evening.

You can find the full programme for the 46th Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen from 17th to 22nd March here.

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