Launch of BMW Welt Jazz Award 2020

Young african-american jazz musician playing the saxophone on blue studio background in trendy neon light.

The twelfth edition of the BMW Welt Jazz Award will be launched on January 14 and 21, 2020 at the Double Cone of BMW Welt. A total of six free concerts given on Tuesday evenings from January to March 2020 will see international jazz ensembles interpret this year’s theme “The Melody at Night.”

The programme will include live performances by musicians from Norway, Germany, Poland, Luxemburg and Italy. Following the concerts, an expert jury will nominate two finalists to compete for the award on May 9, 2020, at the auditorium of BMW Welt.

On January 14, the Norwegian ensemble Cecilie Grundt Quintet will kick off this year’s BMW Welt Jazz Award.

Saxophonist Cecilie Grundt is one of the latest discoveries of the Norwegian jazz scene. Trained in Stavanger, Trondheim and Valencia, this 28-year-old musician founded her first band Matrjosjka in 2016, closely followed by her quintet in 2017, which she focusses most on.

Her role models include traditional iconic saxophonists such as Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and Jan Garbarek, which is why she named her debut album “Contemporary Old School” – a humoristic nod to the inspiration that informs all her pieces. Together with trumpeter Øyvind Mathisen, pianist Håvard Aufles, bassist Morten Stai and drummer Åsmund Smidt, Grundt will develop new soundscapes and melodies based on this tradition at BMW Welt Jazz Award.

For the second concert on January 21, BMW Welt will be host to Andrea Hermenau Quintet. For many years, pianist, singer, percussionist and composer Andrea Hermenau has been an integral part of Munich’s jazz scene. She performs as part of the Etna Quartet and the Fjoralba Turku Quartet, in various ensembles of Harald Rüschenbaum, at Jerker Kluge’s Deep Jazz, as part of trios or, together with saxophonist Carolyn Breuer, in their own band. For her project “Splendours of the Night” Hermenau arranged and composed pieces that for her represent the music of the night and emphasize its poetic qualities. Playing as part of a quintet alongside saxophonist Till Martin, bassist Sven Faller, drummer Bastian Jütte and the American vibraphonist Tim Collins, Hermenau creates her accomplished harmonic piano sound, her highly developed sense of rhythm, her passion for Southeastern European sounds and her reduced atmospheric vocals.

Programme of the BMW Welt Jazz Award 2020

Concerts from 7.00 pm to approximately 9.30 pm at the Double Cone of BMW Welt:
January 14, 2020         Cecilie Grundt Quintet
January 21, 2020         Andrea Hermenau Quintet
February 11, 2020       Adam Bałdych Quartet
February 18, 2020       Peter Gall Quintet
February 25, 2020       Reis/Demuth/Wiltgen
March 10, 2020           Giovanni Guidi Quintet

The concerts are offered free of charge; however, seating is limited and cannot be guaranteed. Doors open at 6.00 pm.

The final concert featuring the two shortlisted finalists will be at the auditorium of BMW Welt on May 9, 2020 at 7.00 pm. Tickets will be available as of January 14, 2020, at BMW Welt and München Ticket.

This year’s events will be hosted by Hannah Weiss, winner of the BMW Welt Young Artists Award 2019.

The distinguished panel of expert jurors, that proved successful in previous years, will be headed by Oliver Hochkeppel (journalist for music and cultural affairs, 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”.

This edition of BMW Welt Jazz Award will once again enjoy the generous support of neue Musikzeitung and the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Munich. For the first time, the Munich hotel Bayerischer Hof will be partner of BMW Welt Jazz Award and the winners of the audience award will perform at the festival “Jazz Sommer 2020” hosted by the hotel. In addition, the radio station egoFM will also join the ranks of new partners and broadcastall  concerts.


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