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North Sea Round Town Rotterdam - Clockwise: Efe Erdem (Jazz op de Stoep, ©Maarten Laupman), Under the Surface (Jazzfietsen, ©Eric van Nieuwland), Michline Plukker (SPRAZZZ, ©Eric van Nieuwland), Kay Slice & Tyler Koudijzer (Spoken Woordjes, ©Maarten Laupman).
North Sea Round Town is the North Sea Jazz Festival's fringe festival. Expect poetry, dance and jazzy musical performances at Rotterdam's famous jazz hotspots, as well as unexpected pop-up events at often surprising locations.
North Sea Round Town in 2021
This year, the festival is held from 24 June through 11 July, but it will be somewhat different from usual. North Sea Jazz will not take place in Ahoy and the North Sea Round Town festival, which this year consists of smaller events all over the city, is also experiencing difficulties due to corona.
Still, as it's the 15th anniversary edition, North Sea Round Town will do their best to organize as many concerts as possible at different, surprising locations, with the best jazz, soul, funk, pop, hiphop and improv. North Sea Round Town will also stream concerts online. A large part of the programme is free to attend. You can find an overview of the events on the North Sea Round Town website.
Live performances this year
Drummer Sun-Mi Hong is this year's Artist in Focus. Her dream project 'Dance in Four Colours' (a co-production with Dansateliers and de Doelen) has been developed especially for North Sea Round Town: a (partly) improvised interplay between Sun-Mi and pianist Philipp Rüttgers, complemented by strings, horns, synths and bass. The music builds a bridge to modern dance, performed by four dancers under the direction of choreographer Joseph Simon. Throughout the festival, Sun-Mi Hong will also tour the city, including a fairytale concert in Boerderij Driebergen aan de Schie with pianist Harmen Fraanje and alto saxophonist Jose Soares. She also gives an exclusive show with trumpeter Alistair Payne in a special living room in a former ambulance garage. At the Goethe-Institut, artist Henning Bolte creates live art to Sun-Mi's improvisations. Try-out: 4 July in Dansateliers || Premiere: 7 July in de Doelen.
Besides concerts at unexpected locations in the city, there's also jazz on the well-known Rotterdam stages. In LantarenVenster you can see, among others, one of the most versatile harpists of our time Lavinia Meijer (sold out), the trio of Cuban jazz pianist Ramón Valle (the other face of Cuban jazz), Arifa and the English Teepe Herman trio with the most famous Dutch saxophonist Benjamin Herman. In Dizzy, singer Sanne Rambags and keyboard player Carlo de Wijs will give a performance in collaboration with Jazz International Rotterdam, as part of the Eenop1 series. Dizzy presents the adventurous and experimental Jazzhouse series and pays attention to young top talent, such as the winners of the Dutch Jazz Competition and the Erasmus Jazz Prize (Codarts). There will also be plenty to see and hear in BIRD and on other stages such as the Machinist.
This year, North Sea Round Town will again be reaching out to people who do not usually come into contact with live music. In a series of Neighbourhood Concerts, various musicians will be visiting 30 of Rotterdam's nursing homes. This summer they are The Art of Two with Elizabeth Simonian (vocals), vibraphonist Vincent Houdijk and jazz singer Maria Mendes, Ruigrok 010 and Edison winner Izaline Calister together with guitarist Ed Verhoeff featuring trumpeter Angelo Verploegen. Saxophonist Benjamin Herman will join three Neighbourhood Concerts as a special guest. The concerts are organized by drummer Arend Niks.
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