Everything is set for the 31st edition of the SummerJazzCycleTour. On the last Saturday in August it is time once again to pick a cycling route through the gorgeous 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.

This edition contains a special 'Slide Route', featuring six exceptional trombonists: Ray Anderson (BassDrumBone), Conny Bauer (solo), Nils Wogram (Vertigo Trombone Quartet), Hilary Jeffery (Mullet), Sebi Tramontana (with Frank Gratkowski) and Wolter Wierbos (with Kris Defoort). In addition, VanBinsbergen Playstation features trombonist Joost Buis.

The other cycling routes have no particular thematic framework, but the 2017 programme does show some cross references. New jazz can be heard in the Sena route, featuring the NJJO led by Anton Goudsmit as its grand finale. There are some anniversaries, such as the Workshop de Lyon (50 years), BassDrumBone (40 years), Loek Dikker's Waterland ensembles (40 years) and of course 75-year-old Han Bennink is present. The ¾ centenarian can be heard in super quartet with Benjamin Herman, Peter Beets and Ruud Jacobs, as well as with the youngsters of the Dutch Impro Academy. A new generation of jazz makers is represented by Giuseppe Doronzo (AVA), Ziv Taubenfeld (Bones), Marta Warelis (Wilbert de Joode Core Trio), Goran Krmac and Alex Simu. The striking connection is that they all have a background in Groningen.

There will be a great deal of new jazz and related music this year. The Amsterdam based American saxophonist John Dikeman will perform with a legendary rhythm section: William Parker and Hamid Drake. The Utrecht clarinettist Steven Kamperman has invited the French hurdy-gurdy man Valentin Clastrier. More French music will be performed by the Workshop de Lyon, guitarist Gilles Coronado's band and Théo Ceccaldi's string trio. The young violinist Ceccaldi can also be heard in Velvet Revolution, German saxophonist Daniel Erdmann's new trio.

The unusual guitar trio The Still flies in from Berlin. London based pianist Steve Beresford will perform with saxophonist Luc Houtkamp and drummer Martin Blume. The Belgian trumpeter Bart Maris is present once again, this time as a guest with Groningen drummer Harry Arling's new trio. Vibraphone enthusiasts should check out Jim Hart (Velvet Revolution), René van Astenrode (Bert van Erk 22? 69!) and Charly Birkenhauer (Mullet).

And then there's even more. Pianist Loek Dikker playing duets with Zapp4 violinist Friedmar Hitzer. Double bassists Ernst Glerum and Wilbert de Joode perform with their trios. And there are two projects of young musicians taking the stage: Dutch Impro Academy and Anton Goudsmit with the NJJO. In the evening there's the traditional DJ battle between DJ Sem and Yeah Man, followed by the Ronald Snijders Band in order to get the crowd in the tent moving.

The SummerJazzCycleTour would not be possible without all of the volunteers. We would like to thank them at this point.