‘I am delighted to have this opportunity to join the Jazzaar family and i would like to begin by thanking my predecessor, Joe Bættig, for everything he has personally contributed to the success of Jazzaar over the previous years.
The music we call jazz, together with the support and promotion of young players who will ensure its future development, are things that are very dear to my heart. Whilst I whole-heartedly concur with the late, great Duke Ellington’s oft-quoted maxim that ‘there are only two types of music – the good kind and the other kind’, I nonetheless believe that jazz contains a creative, intellectual and almost visceral aspect which singles it out in terms of its artistic quality as well as its pervasive influence on the best of contemporary music. In short it appeals to the head, the heart – and the feet (although I have never personally been able to master this latter aspect)!
This year’s programme focuses on two themes which are equally close to my heart – the richness and joy of cultural diversity and using culture as a means to reach beyond geopolitical boundaries and divides, seeking to create harmony in place of discord. I can think of nothing more important at the current time. These themes are variously captured in the Mango with Chutney programme created by Helen Savari Renold for the Swiss Youth World Music Orchestra and the Transatlantic Rhapsody programme created by Fritz Renold for the Swiss National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
The great work which Jazzaar accomplishes each year is entirely attributable to the energy and commitment of the aforementioned founders, Helen and Fritz, and their dedicated Jazzaar team. This is a labour of love by committed musicians and educators, incorporating the outstandingly effective and motivating concept of allowing young musicians to interact intensively on the bandstand with the best professionals the music can offer (Bandstand Learning with Role Models). It is an endeavour worthy of all our support and we are most grateful to the canton, the municipality and our various corporate, foundation and individual sponsors for their ongoing commitment to the cause.
Finally it just remains for me to wish you a maximum of enjoyment through your participation in this year’s festival. Please continue to support us and spread the word!’
President of Jazzaar Association,
Chair of the Board, EFG International