Music & clubs

It’s jazz week!

It's been a dry couple of months for lovers of live music - including Berlin's jazz community. Jazzwoche Berlin #2 (Aug 10-16) is coming to the recue: From August 10, the festival offers a mix of outdoor, indoor and online concerts and events.

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Saxophonist Silke Elbhart and her trio will be playing A-Trane – a highlight of this year’s Jazzwoche Berlin! (Photo: Manuel Miethe)

Jazz fans rejoice. Over seven days, the city will be given over once more to the sound of jazz and improvised music. The second iteration of the concept from IG Jazz Berlin is celebrating creative forms as the scene awakens from lockdown. Opening night honours go to the intimate Waldgarten at Zukunft am Ostkreuz Mon August 10, 19:00, as the festival plays with a new format of outdoors, online and indoors – with discursive events in studios, clubs (small or large), bars and small venues. In the new podcast format “jazz.leben – voices from the scene”, Jazzwoche will not shy from the conditions under which jazz is created; discussions about gender relations in jazz or on the cultural-political consequences of the Coronavirus crisis will be made free for all and available digitally. Obviously, entrance to live experiences must be limited. Still, for those lucky enough, the highlight of the week surely goes to the Silke Elbhart Trio – chosen by the Berlin senate and the rbb, saxophonist Elbhart is the recipient of this year’s prestigious jazz prize – performing at A-Trane on Thu August 13, 20:00. As the week continues, keep an eye out for the International Improv Minifestival at Kühlspot Social Club, and Aarón Castrillo Band at Donau115 Fri August 14, 18:30, 20:00 for a chance to enjoy two of Berlin’s most interesting small venues. While open-air XJAZZ sessions at Gaswerksiedlung Sat August 15, 18:00 are the best reflection of how artists and creatives are opening up the industrial east of the city. Finally, close out the week at legendary spot b-flat with the Sebastian Wittstock Trio Sun August 16, 21:00. It’s a new format for new times, and JazzwocheBerlin # 2 is honest about the realities of the free jazz and improvisation scene in the capital – it exists not as a wholly curated festival, but rather digs into the scene as it truly exists under these exceptional circumstances.

Jazzwoche Berlin #2 Aug 10-16 various venues, full programme here.