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BMW Welt Jazz Award 2022. Six pianists and their international ensembles to compete for “Key Position”.

In 2022, the BMW Welt Jazz Award will enter its 13th season. Following the theme “Key Position”, selected outstanding jazz ensembles will perform in six evening concerts from March to April in the unique atmosphere of BMW Welt’s Double Cone. The events will feature musicians from Germany, Sweden, Israel, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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Munich. In 2022, the BMW Welt Jazz Award will enter its 13th season. Following the theme “Key Position”, selected outstanding jazz ensembles will perform in six evening concerts from March to April in the unique atmosphere of BMW Welt’s Double Cone. The events will feature musicians from Germany, Sweden, Israel, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. With a prize money totalling 15,000 Euro, the BMW Welt Jazz Award will be awarded to the winner of the final on July 9, 2022, at the auditorium of BMW Welt.

Following the series of six evening concerts, an expert jury will select two ensembles to perform at the final concert. In addition to prize money of 10,000 Euro, the winning ensemble will receive a trophy specially designed by BMW Design. The runner up will be awarded 5,000 Euro. In addition, the audience’s overall favourite scoring highest average across all concerts will receive a prize money of 1,000 Euro.

Dieter Reiter, Mayor of the city of Munich: “This spring, jazz fans can look forward to piano keys ablaze at BMW Welt on Tuesday evenings, as this year’s edition of the BMW Welt Jazz Award is dedicated to an instrument that is as popular in the jazz world as it is versatile – the piano. The impressive series of concerts is not only testament to the extraordinary and vibrant scene that is contemporary jazz music, it also gives all of us the opportunity to enjoy great musical moments free of charge. I would like to thank the BMW Group for this continued long-term as well as sustainable cultural commitment.”

“After two years of deprivation, we are all longing for the exciting experience that is a sold-out concert or festival. During these exceptionally hard times for artists, the BMW Welt Jazz Award functions as an important sign in pointing the way to normality. The award offers talented artists, together with their respective ensembles, the opportunity to show their skills in playing the piano. We are excited to welcome ensembles from the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Israel, Sweden and Germany,” said Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Director of Human Resources and Labour Relations.

Evening concerts of the BMW Welt Jazz Award 2022
March 8, 2022        Julia Hülsmann Trio
March 22, 2022      Jacob Karlzon Trio
April 5, 2022           Anat Fort Trio
April 12, 2022         Giovanni Guidi Quintet
April 19, 2022         Marco Mezquida Trio
April 26, 2022         Ashley Henry Quartet

The concerts in the Double Cone of BMW Welt are offered free of charge; however, seating is limited and cannot be guaranteed. Doors open at 6.00 pm, the concerts start at 7.00 pm. BMW Welt follows the latest rules regarding social distancing and hygiene that apply to events.

The final concert featuring the two shortlisted finalists will be at the auditorium of BMW Welt on July 9, 2022 at 7.00 pm. Tickets will be available as of March 8, 2022, at München Ticket.

This year‘s events will again be hosted by Hannah Weiss, winner of the BMW Welt Young Artist Jazz Award 2019. Raised in Basel and Zurich, she was surrounded by music of all genres from a very young age. Since her graduation in jazz singing at Munich’s Academy of Music in 2018, Hannah Weiss’ career has steadily been gaining momentum with performances in various ensembles and concert projects.

The jury, headed by Oliver Hochkeppel (journalist for music and cultural affairs, Süddeutsche Zeitung), consists of Heike Lies (Musicologist, Music and Music Theatre Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the state capital Munich ), Christiane Böhnke-Geisse (Director of schwere reiter Musik), Roland Spiegel (Editor and jazz expert at German broadcasting station Bayerischer Rundfunk BR‑KLASSIK) and Andreas Kolb (Editor-in-chief of and nmz – neue musikzeitung). 

Artists and ensembles
March 8, 2022: Julia Hülsmann Trio
Berlin-based pianist Julia Hülsmann is one of the select German musicians “who give fresh impetus to the world of European jazz”, said the jury of SWR Jazz Award as early as 2016. Hülsmann first made her mark with lyrical interpretations for the label ACT in collaboration with prominent vocalists such as Rebekka Bakken, Anna Lauvergnac and Roger Cicero. Since moving to ECM in 2008, she has to date released seven albums, all featuring her inimitable, delicate and completely pared-down performances on the piano interpreting her own compositions. At the heart of each project is her trio with bassist Marc Muellbauer and drummer Heinrich Köbberling, which has performed in this constellation for 20 years. This year, the current awardee of the German Jazz Prize and her trio will be on stage at the BMW Welt Jazz Award.

March 22, 2022: Jacob Karlzon Trio
Swedish musician Jacob Karlzon counts among the outstanding jazz pianists coming out of Scandinavia in recent years. Following a long period as accompanist of vocalist Viktoria Tolstoy, Karlzon made his name on the international stage with numerous projects of his own. Combining his passion for improvisation with unexpected, rock rhythms and an open style characteristic to Scandinavian jazz, he prefers the term “alternative artist” to jazz pianist. True to his own style, Karlzon’s albums to date show influences from Ravel to hard bop, from metal to EDM, merged effortlessly by his preference for minimalist melodies. He is currently in Munich, promoting his new album “Wanderlust”, released by Warner and featuring the trio’s other members, bassist Morten Ramsbøl and drummer Rasmus Kihlberg.

April 5, 2022: Anat Fort Trio
Pianist Anat Fort ranks among the Israeli artists raised in New York that continue to put their mark on contemporary jazz. Fort has since returned to Israel, a move that in no way slowed down her international career. Since 2007, she has been publishing her albums at the Munich-based label ECM with her most recent album “Birdwatching” featuring Italian clarinetist Gianluigi Trovesi as star guest. As so many of her great jazz pianist colleagues, Fort prefers performing as part of a trio working together with bassist Gary Wand and drummer Roland Schneider. Various experiments including her most recent collaboration with tango guitarist and vocalist Shlomo Ydov notwithstanding, the trio has been her ensemble of choice for over 20 years and a constant throughout her artistic career. The resulting trust allows for unparalleled freedom of improvisation, as seen on their most recent album “Colour”, released by Sunnyside Records, and soon to be heard at BMW Welt.

April 12, 2022: Giovanni Guidi Quintet
While still a teenager, pianist Giovanni Guidi truly impressed trumpeter Enrico Rava, Italian super star of jazz, during Rava’s jazz workshops and has been his permanent accompanist ever since. In that capacity as well as increasingly with his own projects and ensembles, Guidi has since been making his name on the international stage. For his current programme “Avec le temps” he and his fellow trio members, Chicago-born bassist Joe Rehmer and Portuguese drummer João Lobo, were joined by two other prominent names of the Italian jazz world: woodwind player Francesco Bearzatti and guitarist Roberto Cecchetto. The ensemble prefers impressionist, lyrical and bluesy sounds, as seen in their homages to poet, composer and chansonnier Léo Ferré or the recently deceased trumpeter Tomasz Stańko.

April 19, 2022: Marco Mezquida Trio
Pianist Marco Mezquida is one of the most versatile and most productive representatives of the Spanish jazz world. Known from a very young age as a “prodigy”, “workaholic at the piano” and “once-in-a-century musician” in his native country, this Menorca-born artist has, at the tender age of 34, recorded over 30 albums to date. He performs solo improvisation and delivers programmes with duos, trios or orchestras. With his inspiration coming from sources as far-ranging as Ravel, Skrjabin, Bach and traditional American jazz, Mezquida’s work is best described as a pioneering, modern interpretation of Spanish folklore. This can also be seen in his work with Flamenco guitarist Chicuelo, a project that was very successful both in Germany and on the international stage, or his most recent work “Talismán”, which he recorded with cellist Martín Meléndez and drummer and percussionist Aleix Tobias.

April 26, 2022: Ashley Henry Quartet
The last of the evening concerts of this year’s BMW Welt Jazz Award will feature its youngest participant. 30-year-old London-based pianist Ashley Henry completed his studies at the Royal Academy of Music as recently as 2016. Widely known as a prodigy, Henry was offered the opportunity to perform alongside legends such as Terence Blanchard and Jean Toussaint that very same year and was invited as the youngest participant to date to play with Robert Glasper at the International Piano Trio Festival. His appointment as guest resident Musical Director at London jazz clubs “Jazz Café” and “Ronnie Scotts” and nominations for the Jazz FM Awards in two categories in addition to being named “Breakthrough Act of the Year” by Fader Magazine secured his big break in 2017. Adding to this, Ashley Henry’s acclaimed debut album “Beautiful Vinyl Hunter” further cemented his status as a multifaceted artist in 2019. At the BMW Welt Jazz Award, he will perform together with Myele Manzanza on the drums, Karl Oloniluyi-Abel on contrabass and singer Zola Marcelle.


If you have any questions, please contact:

Corporate Communications

Prof. Dr Thomas Girst
Head of BMW Group Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49 89 382 24753


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