The next edition of North Sea Round Town takes place from 22 June to 9 July 2023. The heart of Rotterdam will pulse with music with the official fringe festival of NN North Sea Jazz, marking its beginning with the public access festival inJazz. The festival will present more than 350 concert programmes across 125-plus venues until 9 July, culminating in a lively culmination, the Stoelendans with live music.
The North Sea Round Town is introducing a new feature this edition - the North Sea Round Town passe-partout. With this pass, you can visit unique concerts during the opening weekend, and with the North Sea Round Town Plus passe-partout, you can additionally board The Jazzschip.
Event schedule in 2023
Here are a couple of special events taking place during this year's edition of North Sea Round Town. For a full schedule, have a look at the North Sea Round Town website.
Opening concert YOURAN at De Kaai
North Sea Round Town kicks off on 22 June with YOURAN: an exclusive concert under the direction of clarinettist/saxophonist Joachim Badenhorst at De Kaai, a new creative hotspot on the banks of the Maas. This concert will mark the opening of creative experiments at this former margarine factory, with musicians from all over Europe coming together for the first time for this project. In a world where everything is transient and snappy, this will be a moment to relax and immerse yourself in acoustic and electronic sounds.
Sanem Kalfa: Invisible Columns
On 23 June, vocalist Sanem Kalfa (Artist in Focus 2023) and North Sea Round Town will premiere Invisible Columns at the Van Nelle Fabriek. Through music, dance, and visual art, Kalfa tells a personal story, with samples and soundscapes by mastermind Jan Bang (NO), piano and Hammond sounds by Kit Downes (GB/DE), and poetic storytelling by trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (US, Blue Note Records), who is coming to Rotterdam specifically for this project. The dance is performed by Alice de Maio (Rotterdam/Italy), and texts by Kalfa's mentor and guide Gozde Turkmen can be heard.
Midnight Mess, the dream project of guitarist Teis Semey (Artist in Focus 2022), blends Scandinavian folk music, indie, and jazz improvisation. The album presentation is on 24 June in the Oude Kerk in Charlois.
InJazz and The Jazzschip
On 22 and 23 June, jazz enthusiasts can discover the latest in contemporary jazz at the free showcase festival inJazz. Following this, on 24 June, audiences will step aboard The Jazzschip again and set sail under the accompaniment of live music to a hidden location along the Maas where the audience will be treated to a unique concert.
More adventurous music tours
From 30 June to 2 July, the second weekend of North Sea Round Town, the Dudok Jazz Tour takes place, featuring live jazz from Tallulah Rose Trio among others. On 2 July, embark on a bicycle tour to explore surprising urban locations which are once-off the stage for contemporary jazz, including a concert by Artist in Focus Sanem Kalfa and George Dumitriu.
Music on the streets
During North Sea Round Town, there is ample music in public spaces, and the festival spreads throughout the city. Performances by local talents will be held at the NSRT Central Station Stage during the first two weekends of July. Boy Edgarprijs winner Ronald Snijders is a guest at the neighbourhood concerts this year. From 7 to 9 July, the music caravan NSRT x RET: Metro Melodies will accompany the public in the metro towards Zuidplein to ensure that visitors of NN North Sea Jazz Festival arrive in the right mood at Ahoy.
City tours to look out for in 2023
North Sea Round Town grants an opportunity to explore Rotterdam through a musical lens. The festival offers several tour routes that participants can follow via cycling, public transportation, or on foot to various neighbourhood concerts.
1. Jazz on the river Maas
On 24 June, the Jazzschip sails out, offering a musical journey through the Rotterdam port. During the trip, the city's picturesque view can be enjoyed along with performances by Nabou Claerhout, Reinier Baas and Jamie Peet, Kit Downes and Fuensanta, and KOFFIE, a jazzy afrobeat-band.
2. Discovering secrets on wheels
On 2 July, Jazzfietsen offers a cycle tour to explore the hidden gems of Dutch jazz. Starting from LantarenVenster, participants cycle towards Arboretum Trompenburg to enjoy a concert by Yanna Pelser and her trio. The tour is concluded with a surprise act at Skateland.
3. A fusion of culinary and musical
The Dudok Jazz Tour, running from 30 June through 2 July, combines gastronomy and live music at three Dudok locations. Performances include Marta Arpini, Lilian Vieira, and Marcelo Godoy Trio.
4. Exploring the city's art scene
The Gallery Tour immerses visitors in contemporary art at various galleries, accompanied by live music. The tour features the Rabo Kunstcollectie at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, Frank Taal Galerie, Huidenclub, Roof-A, BRUTUS, and Neck of the Woods.
5. A musical walk to the South
On 22 June, participants can enjoy the two-day showcase festival inJazz, featuring numerous Dutch jazz artists at LantarenVenster, Nederlandse Fotovakschool and MOOD. The day concludes with YOURAN, an improvisation concert under the leadership of Joachim Badenhorst at De Kaai.
6. Public transportation music immersion
From 30 June to 9 July, live music will be enjoyed in public transportation. Bands will perform at NSRT’s Central Station Stage, and metro riders will experience live music en route to Ahoy.
7. Neighbourhood concerts and outdoor festivals
From 20 June to 15 July, accessible neighbourhood concerts will be held at various locations, including performances by Boy Edgarprijs winner Ronald Snijders. The festival ends on 15 July with the Stoelendans on live music, marking the start of summer holiday.