“The freshest, hottest sounds in jazz and contemporary experimental music.” - The Irish Times
“Four dizzyingly diverse international triple-bills…a splendidly challenging festival” – Jazzwise UK
Improvised Music Company, the Dublin based curators and producers of 12 Points Festival, today announce the programme for the 2016 edition of 12 Points, which will take place from 20-23rd of July in the vibrant Basque city of San Sebastian, in association with Heineken Jazzaldia.
Programmed each year by an open-call across the continent, almost 500 acts applied to perform at this 10th edition of the award-winning festival, seen as a ‘mezzanine’ for promising acts on their way to the next level in their careers.
The 4-day festival is uniquely nomadic – moving between Dublin and other exciting young European cities in alternate years.
12 Points festival 2016 will run concurrently with Heineken Jazzaldia, Europe’s longest, continuously running Jazz Festival, which will broaden the audiences for the carefully chosen 12 artists and frame their music in the context of a bigger jazz programme. San Sebastian also holds the title of the 2016 European Capital of Culture, alongside Wrocław, Poland.
THE 2016 PROGRAMME
Setting the stage for our 10th edition is Danish duo The Embla who open 12 Points 2016 with the battle cry of their self proclaimed “Savage Pop”. A duo forging new sounds from the nucleus of all music, one voice and one drum. Stripped of all unnecessary accoutrements – this is fundamental music, rooted in melody and rhythm.
Menorcan solo pianist Marco Mezquida will represent the home-side with his mercurial and sophisticated pianism, full of vibrant improvisational ideas, reflecting both his Spanish heritage and his considerable talents in folding classical and free improv structures.
Wednesday night closes with Leipzig drummer Eva Klesse and her dynamic quartet of strong soloists, each contributing to her striking compositions. Klesse leads from the throne eschewing theatrics in favour of intricate brushwork, delicately balancing and guiding the form, allowing the music to flow effortlessly.
On Thursday night we visit the sparkling city of Gothenburg, or, more specifically, the weird and wonderful world of Water Boogie System, and their beautifully constructed and elaborate puzzle-work of musical impulses. At times, absurdist, other times fragile, frequently explosive, but above all, entertaining.
Bass saxophone takes centre stage with our Dublin duo Insufficient Funs, with Sam Comerford shepherding the instruments thunderously low frequencies in this blistering drum and sax tête a tête, borne out of a recent residency for prolific composer and charismatic drummer Matthew Jacobson.
Parisian jazz renegades CHROMB! conjure up a symphonic sound on their four man musical expedition, hard wired into 220 volts of polished punk pop, with a nod to Zorn and King Crimson along the way. Music for sick kids and emotive adults.
On Friday the Victoria Eugenia Theatre will host a virtuosic young accordion player, virtually peerless in contemporary jazz. Lisbon native João Barradas has already established himself as a major force in improvised music, working with established contemporaries like Avishai Cohen, Mark Turner & Greg Osby. Together with his trio they are an exciting find for the 12 Points festival.
Our 2016 edition shines a spotlight on innovative soloists and no one fits the bill like Oslo native Hilde Marie Holsen, and another first for 12 Points in featuring solo trumpet, due, in large part, to the singular vision of Holsen’s unique sound-world. From heavily distorted drones to the soft clicking of the trumpet’s valves, she weaves a digi-organic musical landscape, constantly in the flux of the distinctive multiplier of technology.
We finish in London, and Strobes are the cream of its thriving electronica/free improv scene. Built from years of collective composition, live sampling and improv jams, Strobes flicker effortlessly between the worlds of electro-improv, minimalist polyrhythm, Afrocentric grooves and distinctively original hooks making them the perfect soundtrack for a Friday night in San Sebastián.
The jazz conservatory in Graz, has once again become the fulcrum for two young European musicians. Four Seasons two horns, no chords structure perfectly showcases the striking musicianship of this quartet led by Gerhard Ornig on trumpet and Karel Eriksson on trombone.
We continue our focus on innovative soloists with Swiss beat maestro Julian Sartorius, another idiomatic outlier who has forged his own distinctive path. Eschewing all technology in favour of analogue sound manipulation, his compelling exposition pushes the boundaries of new music, hip-hop, industrial, abstract electronica and improvisation. A daring and unique solo drummer.
We finish in Ghent and with the explosive progressive jazz-rock quartet Nordmann. Their multiphonic rollercoaster ride has scant regard for ‘genrefication’ and they don’t shy from the experimental, both with audiences and each other in their tightly woven dynamic live sets. Hold on to your seats.
Tickets for 12 Points 2016 are on-sale already.