Introducing Jazz te Gast
A festival unlike any other in the world
Magically, Jazz te Gast exists
A truly unique concept
It is like a fairytale, too good to be true, until you experience it - unforgettable
By far one of the most beautiful festivals I’ve ever been a part of – absolutely brilliant
This may well be the best Jazz festival in the Netherlands
A one-off creative explosion
Mascha van Nieuwkerk
Inspires your musicianship in a completely different way
Jazz te Gast (literally: “Jazz-guest”) is a covert, cutting-edge, curated Jazz festival in the rural North of the Netherlands.
Every other year, for two days in June, the small village of Zuidhorn fills with outstanding Jazz musicians sharing a single objective: to meet up and prepare a unique, one-off series of concerts, up close and personal, in new ad-hoc ensembles, treading uncharted musical territory, within the sheltered setting of the village.
Central to each festival edition is the “pairing” of a world class artist-in-residence with an exceptional “up and coming” Dutch musician to co-host the festival together. They team up to fill-in the festival line-up with their specific pick from the top of the arriving Dutch / European Jazz-scene. They then challenge their guests to go beyond their artistic boundaries.
At their disposal is also the power of the Noordpool Orchestra, a project jazz orchestra (including strings). These are professional musicians in their own right, available to complement ensembles or power-up arrangements.
The festival itself has a two-day setup: on day one, the musicians gather to arrange and rehearse, guided and inspired by the central “duo”. On the second day the actual festival happens in the afternoon, on the seven stages in the beautiful, shaded gardens of the village’ main street (“De Gast”). In the evening there is a grand finale as all musicians come to the main stage to perform with the Noordpool Project Orchestra featuring new compositions and arrangements, granted by the festival.
Central to the festival is the notion of Gast-vrijheid (which translates to ‘hospitality’, or, more precise: the willingness to grant freedom to guests, with open senses, hand and heart….). All artists stay in the village for two or three nights, socialize, team up, put together new ensembles, work during one day, and then deliver one-off concerts on the outdoor stages.
Access to the festival itself is free for all audiences. The atmosphere on the festival grounds is a mix of friendly adventurous leisure and concentrated listening for young and old. We expect, all in all, around 4,000 visitors during the day. Music students, schoolchildren and local talent participate in the festival fringe.
The first (pilot) edition of Jazz te Gast (2015) hosted Micheal League as AiR. The second edition hosted Dave Douglas as AiR, teamed up with the talented Dutch A-E Reinier Baas. The 2019 edition hosted Ethan Iverson and Marike van Dijk. In 2022, Miguel Zenón and Xavi Torres hosted the festival.
Jazz te Gast’ next edition is planned on 7 - 8th of June 2024.
Sample of “Greenhouse-invitees” (previous editions):
Alex Simu, Alina Engibarjan, Ben van Gelder, Bert Cools, Bobby Petrof, Bruno Calvo, Christoph Stiefel, Dodo Kis, Ella Zirina, Frank Wingold, Ivars Arutyanyan, Jamie Peet, Jasper Høiby, Jeroen Vierdag, Jonas Burgwinkel, Joris Roelofs, Joseph Dumoulin, Josephine Bode, Karl Seglem, Ketija Ringa, Marike van Dijk, Mark Schilders, Marta Warelis, Mascha van Nieuwkerk, Michael Moore, Nora Fischer, Pat Cleaver, Petros Klampanis, Petter Eldh, Phil Donkin, Reinier Baas, Ruben Samama, Shannon Barnett, Shirma Rouse, Stijn Cools, Tineke Postma, Tony Roe, Tutu Puoane