From its inception, the XJAZZ! FESTIVAL has aimed to redefine the boundaries of jazz and music as a whole, so the 2023 edition was a testament to pushing artistic boundaries, fostering innovation, and creating an inclusive space for artists and audiences alike. We are overwhelmed with gratitude and pride for what has transpired over the XJAZZ! FESTIVAL 2023. This year's edition of the festival has been an exceptional journey, bringing together music, culture, and community in a way that truly embodies the spirit of Berlin.
Roy Ayers' Grand Opening
The festival commenced with an unforgettable opening show by the legendary Roy Ayers at Huxley‘s. Ayers' music transcended time, resonating with generations old and new, and setting the tone for a festival that would celebrate both the past and the future of music. Witnessing the performance of a living legend was a dream come true, but when Theo Croker suddenly (even for us) appeared on the stage we started believing in true miracles.
FIRST NIGHT - NIGHT OF EXPRESSIONS
For the second year in a row, we entrust the curation of the XJAZZ! FESTIVAL OPENING CEREMONY to Dhanesh Jayaselan and for the second year in a row we are completely dazed with the vibe! This year‘s OPENING CEREMONY gathered the representatives of the most exciting musical movements in Berlin! A SONG FOR YOU, a Berlin-based soulful vocal ensemble project consisting of over 50 singers and a rotating band - manifestation of the true freedom and beauty.
EXPRESSIONS ENSEMBLE led by Àbáse, Ziggy Zeitgeist, Eric Owusu, Yannick Nolting, Liza Buchholz, Fanni Zahar and Ori Jakobson. Allysha Joy, Dumama, Noah Slee and Selassie also joined the ceremony as special guests. This night encapsulated the XJAZZ! FESTIVAL‘s core belief in music as a bridge that unites humanity and puts a perfect start for a festival week.
XJAZZ! 2023 AFFAIRS
11 locations all around Kreuzberg: Emmauskirche, Festsaal Kreuzberg, Lido, Aeden, Fluxbau, and others were merged into a festival microcosm, to deliver the feeling of a real journey to the audience. On the festival weekend, we‘ve implemented a new concept of making a narrowed festival space with 6 stages with music going on from early afternoon till early morning.
The programming of XJAZZ! FESTIVAL 2023 put together legends of the scene like Alfa Mist, Kokoroko, Love in Exil, Gyedu Blay-Ambolley, and more with local favourites: Sonic Interventions, Aka Kelzz, Sera Kalo, Move 78, and many others.
The audience witnessed several outstanding collaborations, born on the XJAZZ! FESTIVAL: Angel Bat Dawid and Natalie Greffel performed together at Emmauskirche, and Alabaster Deplume shared the stage with Dumama at Lido. Watching XJAZZ! artists uniting their power and making new projects is our absolute pleasure!
MORE THAN A FESTIVAL
Beyond the electrifying performances, the XJAZZ! FESTIVAL boasts a resolute dedication to addressing critical social challenges. So, XJAZZ! has transformed itself into a platform for promoting awareness and action on issues that matter. Beyond the stages, we host panel discussions, workshops, and talks that delve into pressing social issues. By creating spaces for dialogue and education, the festival brings attention to topics such as social justice, equality, and global empathy. Last, but not the least, the XJAZZ! FESTIVAL became a platform for industry representatives from all over the world to meet, bring together their experiences, and build an open dialogue about a better future for the music industry.
Standing applause to those, who made the 2023 festival edition come true. More than 100 people worked on the event and we want to thank each of these souls for their commitment, energy and love brought on board. Up to 20 local acts performed on the XJAZZ! FESTIVAL 2023 and we are proud to represent the gems of the Berlin music community and create the environment for their growth and inspiration. And of course, heads up for our partners who made this festival massive: Le Tigre Noir, Autostrada Studio, Initiative Musik, Berliner Senat, Refuge Worldwide, Dussmann, FluxFm, Goethe-Institut in Exile, Artists At Risk, RBB Kultur, TAZ, ByteFM, Schall Musik Magazine, NBHap, RosaMAg, Kuchen Platte, Berlinerberg, Passenger Berlin, Star Cars and many others.
See you very soon, on the 6. – 12. MAY 2024. With big love, your XJAZZ! TEAM.