Festival Jazz International Rotterdam (FJIR), Festival Jazz International Nijmegen (FJIN) and partner Music Meeting Festival have announced the complete programme for the corona-proof festivals, taking place from 29 October to 1 November 2020. Connections between the jazz cities of Rotterdam and Nijmegen, and links with other European jazz cities, form a common thread running through the festival programmes. This year also sees the first exchange with the Stadtgarten jazz podium in Cologne and a guest curatorship for drummer Jimmi Hueting in Rotterdam.  

This year Festival Jazz International Rotterdam celebrates it twentieth anniversary and Festival Jazz International Nijmegen its fifth anniversary. Both festivals collectively aim to provide solid foundations for exciting jazz programmes, and they play an increasingly important role in nurturing talent and promoting exchanges between musicians. We make creative connections between local jazz scenes visible and zoom in on inspiring collaborations. 

Exchange with Stadtgarten in Cologne

This year the Festivals Jazz International Rotterdam & Nijmegen are collaborating with the celebrated Stadtgarten in Cologne. Through a number of short residencies, young musicians from Rotterdam, Nijmegen and Cologne will learn about each other’s styles, scenes and professional networks. This first edition sees the arrival in the Netherlands of the trumpet player Pablo Giw with a duo project, and also cellist Elisabeth Coudoux, who is performing solo. 

Music Meeting Festival programme partner

A number of bands that were scheduled to appear at the cancelled Music Meeting Festival will now perform at one or both jazz festivals. The ‘encounter’ between the Netherlands-based Cuban pianist Ramón Valleand guitaristReinier Baas, in which Valle challenges Cuban stereotypes and Baas demonstrates his adventurous streak, features on the programmes in Rotterdam and Nijmegen. So too does the experimental and genre-free Berlin duo Witch ‘n Monk,performing in Nijmegen with viola player and winner of the Boy Edgar Prize Oene van Geeland in Rotterdam with guitaristJorrit Westerhof, leading light on the Rotterdam ‘impro’ scene. Also performing is Adédéjì Septet, a band specially assembled by the Nigerian guitaristAdedeji Adetayoand including the young Rotterdam trumpet player Peter Somuah.

Taking the stage in Nijmegen are Tijn Wybenga & AM.OK, the contemporary jazz orchestrafrom Amsterdam that includes a host of young talents and is headed by composer Tijn Wybenga; and Tolyqyn, aversatile and highly talented trio fromBerlin, which effortlessly moves between jazz, griot music, delta blues and rock.

Curated by (in Rotterdam only)

Jazz International Rotterdam works closely with the musicians in compiling the festival programme. For the 2020 event it has invited drummer Jimmi Hueting as guest curator. He has selected Cologne musicians Pablo Giw & Rebekka Salomea, who combine experimental trumpet and voice; Bonsai Panda, raw from Rotterdam, with what the quintet describes as ‘short term memory music’; and Fuensanta Méndez, the Mexican singer and double bassist who unites her love of poetry and contemporary jazz in her songs. Jimmi is also presenting Jo Goes Hunting XL, a transformation of his indie band Jo Goes Hunting into a ten-man jazz group that will also travel to Nijmegen.

Festival specials

Two new collaborations currently under preparation in Rotterdam will premiere at both festivals: Enkuentrobrings together the Curaçao pianist Randal Corsenand the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, the flagship of Rotterdam jazz. ThePack Project, an annual talent showcase, this year spotlights the dynamic saxophone player Alba Gil Aceytuno.

Also on the programme

Tini Thomsen MaxSax, the high-energy band headed by baritone sax player Tini Thomsen, who revs up jazz more than anybody, is performing in Rotterdam and Nijmegen. On stage in Rotterdam are No Man’s Land: Kika Sprangers & Pynarello, an exciting dialogue between a jazz quartet and a rebellious string ensemble, and Koška Čias, the experimental group formed around the Rotterdam-based Lithuanian pianist Agota Tamelyte,with Stefan Lievestroon pedal steel. Appearing in Nijmegen are the Ingen Navn Trio, impro jazz with versatile young sax player Inga Rothammelat the helm, and cellistElisabeth Coudoux, who plays a solo improvisation set.

Corona- measures

In line with safety protocols for concert venues and the current regulations issued by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), we will provide both musicians and staff with a safe working environment and ensure that audiences can enjoy live music in a safe way.