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BMW Welt Jazz Award 2019: “Saxophone Worlds”.
15.12.2018 Press Release
The eleventh edition of the BMW Welt Jazz Award will celebrate the variety of “Saxophone Worlds”. As in previous years, jazz lovers will be invited to six Sunday matinee concerts offered free of charge from January to March 2019.
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Munich. The eleventh edition of the BMW Welt Jazz Award will celebrate the variety of “Saxophone Worlds”. As in previous years, jazz lovers will be invited to six Sunday matinee concerts offered free of charge from January to March 2019. Iconic in the jazz world, the Saxophone in many guises will take centre stage during this year’s competition. Six outstanding international ensembles showcasing the instrument will interpret this year’s theme “Saxophone Worlds” in the double-cone structure at the BMW Welt. The participating musicians come from Estonia, Germany, France, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. The final of the BMW Welt Jazz Award, which decide the winners of the prize money totalling 15,000 Euro, will be held on 4 May 2019, in the auditorium of the BMW Welt.
The saxophone, star of the BMW Welt Jazz Award 2019, was invented in 1840 by the Belgian musician Adolphe Sax. While potentially useable in a traditional symphony orchestra, the saxophone was mainly designed to shine in military bands. However it was in the 1920s that the saxophone finally got its big break, when early jazz musicians discovered its dynamic, highly variable sound. The saxophone rapidly became the most important melodic instrument of jazz music and continues to be so to this day.
In a total of six BMW Welt Jazz Award matinees the ensembles will have the opportunity to impress audiences with their interpretations of “Saxophone Worlds”. Following the final matinee in March, an expert jury will select two ensembles to perform at the final concert held in the auditorium of the BMW Welt, where the winner of the BMW Welt Jazz Award 2019 will be announced. In addition to prize money of 10,000 Euro, the winning ensemble will receive a trophy designed specially by BMW Design. The runner-up will receive 5,000 Euro. In addition, the audience’s overall favourite ensemble will receive the audience award, which includes a performance at a concert held at resort Schloss Elmau.
Dieter Reiter, Mayor of Munich, said, “I believe this year’s BMW Welt Jazz Award will be truly exciting for both longstanding fans and first-time visitors of this high-quality series of concerts, as only few instruments are as emblematic of jazz as the saxophone, with its unique and very versatile sound. In addition, together with his bigband Jazzrausch, Roman Sladek will be the first winner of the BMW Welt Young Artist Award to perform at the evening concert to be held in the double-cone as a prelude to the six matinee shows. Once again, I would like to thank BMW AG for their continued and lasting commitment to the arts, especially this outstanding series of concerts which, to top it all, is offered free of charge.”
Dr Nicolas Peter, BMW AG Management Board member, said, “The language of jazz is universal. Its crown jewel is improvisation, which makes it possible to express the entire range of human passions and emotions and transcend cultural boundaries. I am excited to see exactly how the bands will interpret the theme “Saxophone Worlds” – the BMW Welt offers the perfect acoustic conditions for jam sessions such as theirs. I would like to thank our partners of many years, especially the City of Munich, which made the BMW Welt Jazz Award possible again in 2019.”
The upcoming year will also see the fourth edition of the BMW Welt
Young Artist Jazz Award, which is offered in co-operation with the
City of Munich. Young jazz musicians and ensembles who come from
Munich or its surrounding area are eligible to apply. As previously
seen with award winners Josef Reßle, Roman Sladek and Martin Brugger,
the jury members of BMW Welt Jazz Award will decide on the level of
support granted to the applicants.
BMW Welt Jazz Award 2019
Opening concert on 17 January 2019, at 7 pm in the double-cone of the BMW Welt:
As a prelude to the Sunday matinees and for the very first time in
the history of the competition, a concert will be held on the evening
of 17 January 2019, to launch the BMW Welt Jazz Award
2019. The concert will feature the winner of the BMW Welt Young Artist
Jazz Award 2017, Roman Sladek. Admission will be free, doors will open
at 6 pm.
Sunday matinees from 11 am to 1.30 pm in the double-cone of the BMW Welt:
27 January 2019 Maciej Obara Quartet
3 February 2019 Céline Bonacina Crystal Quartet
17 February 2019 Géraldine Laurent Quartet
24 February 2019 Matthieu Bordenave Archipel
10 March 2019 Maria Faust Machina
24 March 2019 Rudresh Mahanthappa Quintet
The matinees are offered free of charge; however, seating is limited and cannot be guaranteed. Doors open at 10.30 am.
Final concert in the auditorium of the BMW Welt at 7 pm:
4 May 2019 Final concert featuring the two shortlisted finalists
Tickets for the final concert will go on sale on 27 January 2019, at the BMW Welt and München Ticket.
As in previous years, the event will be hosted by Beate Sampson,
Editor of the jazz desk at German broadcasting station Bayerischer
The distinguished panel of expert jurors will be headed by Oliver Hochkeppel (Music and cultural affairs journalist, Süddeutsche Zeitung) and will include the following members:
Roland Spiegel, Editor and jazz expert at German broadcasting station Bayerischer Rundfunk BR‑KLASSIK
Andreas Kolb, Editor-in-chief of JazzZeitung.de and neue musikzeitung
Heike Lies, Musicologist, Music and Music Theatre Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the state capital Munich
Christiane Böhnke-Geisse, Artistic Director of the
international jazz festival “Bingen swingt”.
Artists and ensembles
27 January 2019: Maciej Obara Quartet
37-year-old Polish alto and tenor saxophonist Maciej Obara is one of
Europe’s most significant jazz musicians. After his trio won the
prestigious competition for emerging jazz bands in Bielska Zadymka in
2006, Obara took the international jazz scene by storm with his debut
album “Message from Ohayo”, published the following year. He caught
the attention of Manfred Eicher, head of the renowned label ecm, who
helped place him in Tomasz Stanko’s band. With his sixth album
“Unloved”, Obara celebrated his bandleader debut at ecm in 2017. For
the BMW Welt Jazz Award his lyrical, colourful sound and breath taking
technique will be accompanied by fellow countryman Dominik Wania on
the piano and two Norwegian musicians, bassist Ole Moretn Vagan and
drummer Gard Nilssen.
3 February 2019: Céline Bonacina Crystal Quartet
From a purely visual perspective, Céline Bonacina stands out among
her colleagues – the petite Frenchwoman plays the mighty baritone sax.
Following her classical saxophone training at the conservatories of
Belfort, Besançon and Paris, Bonacina quickly identified it as her
instrument of choice and went on to play with various Parisian big
bands from 1996. In 1998, she moved to the island of La Réunion, a
French overseas department in the Indian Ocean, where she worked as
lecturer at the conservatory for seven years. The local music
traditions of that island continue to influence Bonacina’s music to
this day, especially with regards to rhythm. After her return to
Paris, she caused a stir with her debut album “Vue d’en Haut” released
in 2005, and Bonacina subsequently won various awards and went on to
play alongside important figures of the Parisian scene as well, as
international stars including Omar Sosa, Mike Mainieri, Nils Landgren,
Nguyên Lê and Gwilym Simcock. At the BMW Welt, she will present her
current quartet with pianist Leonardo Montana, bassist Chris Jennings
and drummer Asaf Sirkis.
17 February 2019: Géraldine Laurent Quartet
As the daughter of a music and art teacher, Frenchwoman Geraldine
Laurent was not only surrounded by music from a very early age, she
also came to understand music as an integral part of an
all-encompassing aesthetic whole. Laurent began playing the piano
before turning to the alto saxophone, which she studied at the
conservatory of her home town of Niort, from 13 years of age. She made
a point of acquiring a comprehensive overview of jazz traditions,
which in turn led to her becoming a much sought-after accompanist of
artists including Antoine Hervier, Aldo Romano and singer Romeyn Adams
Nesbitt. Starting in 2005, Laurent became famous in France for her own
projects. In 2006, she won the “Django d’Or” for best emerging artist
and the “Prix Révélation” at the jazz festival at Antibes. Featured on
the title page of the New York Times in 2007, she went on to win the
“Prix Django Reinhardt” in 2008, and all of her albums have won
numerous awards. Her album “At Work” is no exception and Laurent will
be presenting it at the BMW Welt Jazz Award, together with pianist
Paul Lay, her long-time partner bassist Yoni Zelnick and drummer
24 February 2019: Matthieu Bordenave Archipel
The 35-year-old tenor saxophonist Matthieu Bordenave from southern
France first studied classical and jazz saxophone in Paris, before he
enrolled at the Munich Academy of Music for a Master's degree.
Nowadays, he is regarded as one of the most outstanding voices of
European jazz with his lyrical, nuanced playing, which is immediately
recognizable throughout his numerous recordings: In addition to three
albums for the traditional label ENJA Records, highly acclaimed by
critics, he made his ECM debut in 2018 with the Shinya Fukumori Trio.
With his latest project "Archipel", which he will present at
the BMW World Jazz Award 2019, he will perform together with two
leading musicians: Florian Weber, who already reached the finals of
the first BMW World Jazz Award with his trio Minsarah and who today is
one of the most successful German jazz pianists, as well as the Swiss
bassist Patrice Moret, among others known as a member of the Colin
Vallon Trio. Jointly and throughout his very own compositions,
Matthieu Bordenave traces the poetic work of René Char, the great
French poet of the 20th century, whose idiosyncratic and difficult to
grasp work still fascinates today.
10 March 2019: Maria Faust Machina
One of the discoveries of the past festival summers is Estonian
saxophonist and composer Maria Faust. This 39-year-old musician
completed her classical training at Tallinn’s conservatory in 2001,
before concentrating on jazz and moving to Denmark. She finished her
saxophone studies in Esbjerg in 2008, but continued to study
composition at the renowned Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium in Copenhagen
until 2016. During this time, Faust made an impression with bands and
projects such as the Jazz Catastrophe Bigband, the electro-acoustic
ensemble Pistol Nr. 9 and the Maria Faust Machina, which she will
present at the BMW Welt. With its unusual orchestration – featuring
Maria Faust on the alto saxophone, Ned Ferm on the tenor saxophone ,
Ida Nørholm on the cello, Jacob Anderskov on the piano and both Nils
Bo Davidsen and Adam Pultz Melbye on the bass – the ensemble creates
astonishingly subtle sounds that transcend genres and incorporate an
enormous range of influences from traditional folklore and workers’
songs to experimental improvisation and sounds of from nature.
24 March 2019: Rudresh Mahanthappa Quintet
Numerous awards are testament to Rudresh Mahanthappa being one of the most creative and innovative jazz artists of the younger generation. As such, the most important American critics’ surveys voted him alto saxophonist of the year for four years running from 2010 to 2014. This son of South Indian immigrants grew up in the USA and was interested in jazz and saxophones from an early age. At Berklee College of Music, he met Indian saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath, who introduced him to Carnatic music. An amalgamation of complex rhythmical structures and modern jazz, Mahanthappa’s characteristic style shines through whether he accompanies David Murray, Tim Hagans and Danilo Perez, plays as part of a duo with pianist Vijay Iyer or performs in any of his own various projects and bands. At the BMW Welt Jazz Award, Mahanthappa will be revisiting his successful album “Bird Calls” together with guitarist Rez Abbasi, pianist Bobby Avey, bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Rudy Royston.
This edition of BMW Welt Jazz Award will once again enjoy the generous support of BR‑KLASSIK, nmz, resort Schloss Elmau and the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Munich.
For further questions please contact:
Prof Dr Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs
BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs
Cypselus von Frankenberg
BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs
BMW Brand, Marketing, Lifestyle
About BMW Group Cultural Engagement
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in
over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main
focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art,
classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972,
three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter
specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group's Munich headquarters.
Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim,
Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. In
2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John
Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car
Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art
Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and
London, the company also partners with
leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses
around the world. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all
its cultural activities – as this initiative is as essential for
producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations
in a successful business.
Further information: www.bmwgroup.com/cultureand www.bmwgroup.com/culture/overview
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