Everything is geared up for the 32nd edition of the ZomerJazzFietsTour (SummerJazzCyclingTour; ZJFT). On the last Saturday in August, it's that moment once again to pick your cycling routes in the beautiful Reitdiep valley, to the north-west of the city of Groningen. There will be 29 concerts in medieval churches and farmers' barns. As usual, some tough decisions have to be made, for the afternoon will only fit about five, maybe six concerts. Five cycling routes offer a way into the varied programme full of the latest trends in jazz and improvised music from The Netherlands and abroad.
On Friday 24 August we present an international kick-off programme, the renowned Prologue. This will feature the French cellist Vincent Courtois's trio and the Swedish/Norwegian monster band Angles 9, led by alto saxophonist Martin Küchen. This year's edition of the Prologue will take place at the Simplon rock stage on the Groningen Boterdiep.
The present-day situation in the province of Groningen, with its instability caused by gas extraction, has provided us with a musical theme for Route 1: The Low Route, where music is bubbling up with deep, low tones, produced by double basses (Niko Langenhuijsen's 2Basses 2Horns, Sequoia Bass Quartet), bass clarinets (Michael Moore & Horn Guys), contrabass clarinets (Fie Schouten & Lyrisch Laag), baritone and bass saxophones (Tini Thomsen MaxSax, Trio William Parker/Klaas Hekman/Wilbert de Joode) and tubas (Oren Marshall/Michel Godard).
Across all of the routes one can look for exceptional guitarists. Robby Alberga in De Nazaten. The guitar duo Jeroen Kimman / Mark Morse in Sleep Gunner. The British guitarist Heidi Heidelberg in Bitch 'N' Monk. Amsterdam guitar heroes Anton Goudsmit and Raphael Vanoli in Krupa & the Genes. Guitarist Ruben Machtelinckx in the Belgian Linus Duo. And then on to the American improv veteran Eugene Chadbourne or the young Dutch guitarist Marzio Scholten in Scholten Meets Glerum.
Remarkable pianists are also on the roster: Boelo Klat (Klarwerk3) and Nora Mulder (Greetje Bijma/Mary Oliver/Nora Mulder) or Michiel Braam (Penguins Too) and Alexander Hawkins (Eric Boeren/Tobias Delius/ Alexander Hawkins).
Traces of Free jazz can be heard in Angles 9, the Trio Courtois/ Erdmann/Fincker, in Omelette Plays Ornette, in Perch Hen Brock & Rain and in the Han Bennink Trio.
Fans of world music will be listening to their heart's content with De Nazaten (Surinam kaseko), Duo Tomchess/Esat Ekincioglu (Middle East), De Commotie (South-African township jive) and Bacchanalia (Columbian cumbia). Or simply beautiful music in George Dumitriu's solo programme Monk on Viola.
The ZomerJazzFietsTour is a festival where you can be sure you'll be missing most of the concerts and you have to cycle, too. This is why we have assembled routes that have cyclable distances (see 'Tools' or click on a route symbol in 'Programme'). The routes do not follow the above introduction to the festival programme, by the way. Above all, the jazz cyclist is master of his or her own route.
A ZomerJazzFietsTour weekend can only be realized with the help of the many volunteers, whom we would like to thank in advance.