PREVIEW/INTERVIEW: Philippe Ochem / Festival Jazzdor Berlin (June 2nd-5th)

The interval crowd outside the Kulturbrauerei during Jazzdor Berlin

This year sees the ninth edition of Festival Jazzdor Berlin over four days in Berlin. The Director of the Festival Philippe Ochem spoke about his programme this year to Sebastian. Ochem also runs the main Jazzdor Festival in Strasbourg in November: 

LondonJazz News: What are the main ideas you put into practice when programming the Jazzdor Berlin festival?

Philippe Ochem: For me this is the opportunity to put on groups that have never played in Germany, at least in Berlin. Or it is the chance to put together new projects. Plus this year we have quite a few Franco-German collaborations.

- So this year we have the very first appearance of a new trio of Henri Texier with Daniel Erdmann and  Christophe Marguet

- Then I discovered the quartet of a young German saxophonist Charlotte Greve (her group is called Lysbeth Quartett)asked her to invite a french musician whom she'd like to work with. She thought about 2 or 3 possibles and decided on the saxophonist Antonin Tri Hoang who was a member of the Orchestre National de Jazz under the leadership of Daniel Yvinec. Antonin will arrive just the day before to rehearse, they have already been sending each other music

- I followed the same idea with the German pianist Julia Hülsmann and suggested that she mighr invite Alexandra Grimal who is tenor saxophonist in the current French ONJ under Olivier Benoit. They've also been swapping music

- Then we have another Franco-German projecct with the difference that it already exists, and has a record coming out, and we'll be celebrating that. It 's the group with vibraphonist/composer Simon Kanzler, he is quite sensational and he is inviting a French trombonist Gregoire de Masure . This one has a very natural feel about this own because de Masure lives in berlin – he teaches at the Jazzinstitut

- Apart from that we are bringing violinist  Regis Huby to Germany for the frst time, and he will be with Marc Ducret

- And there's UK interest with the Anglo-French band Whahay: This is their first appearance in Germany. I asked them because the way this trio plays the themes of Charles Mingus is special and completely unique. Robin Fincker plays the saxophone so poetically, whereas the rhythm pairing of Paul Rogers Fabien Duscombs has an earthiness about it that I really like. Plus this trio is making waves at every festivals it appears at.

- And we also have the three ensembles from the Jazz Migration scheme. In its early stages we were involved with getting Donkey Monkey into the scheme.  The one we have been the direct promoter of onto this year's scheme is  Auditive Connection

LJN: Have you worked many times with Henri Texier?

PO: I have known him for about 30 years, and I have programmed most of his groups in the past quarter-century. Right a the start there was the African trio with Louis Sclavis and Aldo Romano, then there was Joe Lovano. He did work on a film Les Remparts d'Argile – the film came out in 2000 . He's 70 years old, but his quartet in bremen was so fresh.

LJN: And are there artists whom you will be bringing back to your main festival in November?

PO: Julia Hülsmann I've also invited her in the her trio back to Strasbourg with her quartet with Tom Arthurs and the singer Theo Bleeckman 500. I like theit new ECM Kurt Weill record.



Philippe Ochem - Photo credit: Tiphaine RIVA


LJN: And what did you do before running jazz festivals ?

PO: It was jazz.  I had a professional career as a pianist. My last concert was two years, it's hard to keep it going.  I played in several German formations, my  first record was with the American drummer Allen Blairman  and Gunther Lenz who was the bassist in the historic Albert Mangelsdorff quinter And I worked with a singer Cecile Verny whose career was whollly in Germany.  And loads of others Steve Lacy... Steve Potts.....

o - o - o - o

FULL PROGRAMME OF JAZZDOR BERLIN 2015 - at the Kulturbrauerei, Prenzlauer Berg

TUESDAY 2nd June

8pm DANIEL ERDMANN / HENRI TEXIER / CHRISTOPHE MARGUET “THREE ROADS HOME"
9 pm LISBETH QUARTETT INVITE ANTONIN-TRI HOANG


Wednesday 3rd June

8pm DONKEY MONKEY
9pm JULIA HÜLSMANN TRIO INVITE ALEXANDRA GRIMAL
10pm ROBERTO NEGRO “LOVING SUITE POUR BIRDY SO“

Thursday 4th June

8pm PETITE VENGEANCE
9pm RÉGIS HUBY “EQUAL CROSSING"
10pm SIMON KANZLER TALKING HANDS INVITE GEOFFROY DE MASURE

Friday 5th June

8pm WHAHAY
9pm AUDITIVE CONNECTION
10pm THOMAS DE POURQUERY SUPERSONIC PLAY SUN RA

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