For over 20 years now, JazzBaltica (Germany) has been representing a melting pot of known Jazz musicians and creative newcomers from all over the world. Thereby, the festival of Baltic Jazz has achieved to set standards for the international Jazz scene.

  • What is the project about?
    In 1991, Rainer Haarmann created the program of JazzBaltica for the first time, and JazzThing labeled it the »Kaleidoscope of jazz festivals«. At the time, it was the opening event for Ars Baltica.

    The Big FrashBand at JazzBaltica 2014 © Big FrashBand
    JazzBaltica continuously promotes up-and-coming young artists. This includes artists from the local Schleswig-Holstein scene and highly talented young musicians from Scandinavia and the Baltic countries who have gained a definitive pulse in their careers by performing at the festival. JazzBaltica has been a part of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival since 2002. As a core element of JazzBaltica since its beginning, each year the JazzBaltica Ensemble has been formed anew. With its rotating orchestration, this Small Big Band is made up of highly-gifted musicians from the Baltic region and performs special programs for the »Festival of East Sea Jazz«. The JazzBaltica Ensemble has come together for the past 4 years without a musical director. The compositions and arrangements instead come from within the group itself.

    The concept behind JazzBaltica has also been to present unique projects and to allow for unusual ensembles that might otherwise never have been able to form. At JazzBaltica, the greatest jazz artists from the region and beyond come together to make these projects a reality. American artists such as Dave Brubeck, Max Roach, Milt Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves, and Pat Metheny, and European artists such as Albert Mangelsdorff, Wolfgang Haffner, Cæcilie Norby, Viktoria Tolstoy, Ulf Wakenius, Tomasz Stanko, Lars Danielsson and Michael Wollny are just a few of the great musicians who have all performed on the stages of JazzBaltica.
                                                                                                                                                                                  The Swedish trombonist, Nils Landgren, has worked especially closely with the festival for many years, and was named Artistic Director of JazzBaltica in 2012. In the same year, the festival officially moved from its former home in Salzau to the shores of the Baltic, at the grounds of the Evers-Werft in Timmendorfer Strand-Niendorf. In addition to the main stage, each year also features a program for children as well as free concerts on the Open-Air Stage at the Niendorf harbor, on the Night Stage and in the @ the beach series.
  • Next edition of the project

    The next edition of JazzBaltica will take place from 23rd until 25th June 2017.


"ARS BALTICA is not a bureaucratic construction for political posturing, but a concept that stands for unconventional and committed collaboration in real cooperative projects." (Rainer Haarmann, former ARS BALTICA Coordinator, 1997)

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Key Facts

  • start of the project in 1991
  • accredited with the ARS BALTICA logo since 1991 (first ARS BALTICA project ever)
  • located at Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)



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© Daniel Weth