The recent Jazzahead convention in Bremen offered the perfect opportunity to talk to promoters, festival directors, national jazz agencies and policy makers about the value of jazz in Europe. I spent two days interviewing some key industry professionals about their work and gathering case study materials for the Rhythm Changes project and our ongoing collaboration with the Europe Jazz Network (more on this soon).
In seeking to establish how jazz is valued within the national settings of our partner countries, I interviewed Sverre Lunde from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The interview touched on a lot of important issues from the relationship between cultural policy and artistic product to the continued need for investment in jazz. We discussed the way in which Norwegian culture has been transformed into an export activity (and how jazz supports this) and how concepts such as national sounds are constructed, cultivated and feed into broader social and political agendas.
Listen to an edited version of the interview here: