About Jazz te Gast

An intimate Jazz-Tanglewood in the North of Holland


Jazz te Gast (literally: “Jazz-guest”) is a new artistic music festival in the north of Holland.

Every other year, great music is happening in the intimacy of the houses and gardens of the small, green village of Zuidhorn. For two days in June the village fills with jazz musicians sharing a single goal: to produce a unique, one-off series of concerts, up close and personal, in ad-hoc ensembles, treading uncharted musical territory.

For each edition the festival engages an established international musician to team up with an “up and coming” Dutch musician to co-host the festival as Artists in Residence and Artist-entrepreneur. Together with the artistic board of the festival they fill in the festival line-up with the top of the young Dutch Jazz- scene and challenge their guests to go beyond their usual artistic boundaries. They also have at their disposal the power of the Noordpool Orchestra, a project jazz orchestra (including strings) consisting of professional jazz musicians from the North of Holland. The members of the orchestra are outstanding musicians in their own right, and are available to complement ensembles or power-up arrangements.

So the festival has a two-day setup: on day one, the musicians gather to arrange and rehearse, guided and inspired by the AiR. On the second day the actual festival takes place on the make-shift stages in the beautiful gardens of the village’ main street (De Gast).

Central to the concept and character of the festival is the notion of Gastvrijheid (which translates to ‘hospitality’, but means literally: ‘guest-freedom’; the willingness to grant freedom to guests: to encounter “the other” with open senses, hand and heart. This is the main artery of the festival, and it is also its unique artistic signature and merit: to invite outstanding musicians to form new ensembles, work during one day, and give one-off concerts, on eight different stages. At the end of the festival there is a grand finale as all musicians come to the main stage to perform with the Noordpool Project Orchestra.

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 5000 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 next edition on the 15th of June 2019 is hosted by Ethan Iverson as Artist in Residence and Marike van Dijk as Artist Entrepreneur.

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