TALKIN 'BOUT MY GENERATION tradition and change

We are a festival with tradition, dedicated to the presentation of contemporary music - and have been for 46 years. 

Started by young people in GDR times, the event format has survived various system changes and changes of era. Today, it is supported by an association and organizational team that will soon unite four generations. This entity is located in an urban society that has not remained frozen over time, but has undergone enormous change in recent decades. Not least characterized by the influx of many young people from all over the country.

For the shaping of a common cause, this means one thing above all: people come together who have experienced different things at different times and therefore have different perspectives. Different perspectives on the past, present and future. The result is an enormous wealth of experience that makes us very rich, but at the same time also raises questions of mediation and encounter. 

The common denominator in our case is the fascination for music, and not just any music, but the unique phenomenon of 'jazz'. Unique perhaps also because it is inherent in its artistic logic that it is constantly reshaping itself: with a view to the musical tradition as well as in relation to the social environment it gains new form and at the same time strives to overcome it again. To the aforementioned multiperspectivity, then, comes an object that slips right back through one's fingers as one tries to grasp it. 

Climbing the ladder of complexity one step higher, we asked ourselves: What would be more exciting than to dedicate ourselves artistically to this intergenerational mixture precisely with the means of 'jazz'? To remember together, to analyze the present and to forecast the future? In intergenerational unanimity we came to the conclusion: nothing. And so the 46th Leipzig Jazz Days are entitled "Talkin 'bout my generation". 

In addition to renowned jazz veterans and current developments in the international jazz scene, we will hear up-and-coming bands with members who flock to the city from all directions. Millenials - on the verge of 'now really being grown up' - deal with the musical socialization by their parents' generations in West and East Germany, reflect on their family's migration biography or ask themselves what actually moves their generation between the urge for independence, flexibility and a tendency to anxiety. 

An ensemble of young musicians plays a tribute to their synthesizer hero Morton Subotnick, while you can approach the medium of the cassette in a completely new way in a 'Tape-Loop' workshop. In our series 'First Dates' musicians of different generations will be on stage together for the first time and celebrate together with the audience the joy of the risk of possible failure in the face of spontaneous engagement with each other. In order to calm the strained nerves, 'Healing Sounds' and schlager-like sounds will gently envelop us in between. 

And a final spoiler alert: as you might have guessed, it is unfortunately not so simple that dividing lines always open up only at the borders between generations (what is a 'generation' anyway?) - aspects such as geographic origin, gender orders and milieu affiliations, among others, are also important for distancing oneself from the lifeworld. Artistically and discursively, we will therefore devote ourselves to the question of the extent to which the aspect of socio-structural origin is actually at odds with generational affiliation and is associated with exclusion mechanisms in the jazz scene, both nationally and internationally.

Well-loved components such as 'Jazz for Children', the awarding of the Jazz Young Talent Prize of the City of Leipzig with the support of the Marion Ermer Foundation, the Stage Night Special as well as festival cooperations will of course still be part of the program. 


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