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Europe Jazz Network announces Zenith Award for emerging artists awarded at IMC’s 12 Points Festival

Europe Jazz Network (EJN) and IMC's Irish-made 12 Points festival are thrilled to announce Zenith, a new Award for excellence and innovation in emerging artists that will be awarded annually at 12 Points, complementing the existing EJN Awards for “Adventurous Programming” and “Music & Community”.

The Zenith Award will shine a spotlight on one remarkable European ensemble or solo project working in creative jazz and improvised music, with the winner selected from the carefully curated 12 acts performing at 12 Points festival, all coming from different European countries.

The Award will celebrate the ensemble’s ability to break musical boundaries while demonstrating an original approach to performance and a potential for a strong, ongoing international career. The name “Zenith Award” was adopted to reflect the level of excellence in the winning act, and its capacity to show a way forward for the future of creative music in Europe.

12 Points Festival is an established platform that showcases emerging ensembles from different European countries. The winner of the Zenith Award will be selected by an independent top-level jury of festivals and venue directors, from the Europe Jazz Network, who will be in attendance at 12 Points and listen to all musical acts performing live.

For the first Award edition, a jury of 6 industry professionals will convene at 12 Points 2019, taking place at BIMHUIS, Amsterdam 25-28 September 2019.

The winning ensemble/solo project will receive European performances and promotional opportunities from among the EJN membership, including a prestigious showcase at the European Jazz Conference in front of over 300 promoters and other music professionals from all over Europe and beyond. For the first Award winner, this showcase will take place in September 2020 during the European Jazz Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria.

As part of the prize, EJN will also support the organisation of 5 additional concerts during the subsequent year inside the EJN membership, setting up a communication and professional development strategy to promote the winning project through its vast range of contacts and assisting in developing the winning act’s visibility and viability in the international arena.

About 12 Points Festival

12 Points is a dynamic festival of emerging European jazz established in 2007 by Dublin-based Improvised Music Company (IMC). The festival is nomadic, alternating between Dublin and other vibrant European cities, with the 2019 edition taking place in partnership with the prestigious BIMHUIS venue in Amsterdam from 25-28 September.

The 4 day festival presents 12 emerging acts from 12 different European countries. Over 600 young musicians from across Europe have performed at 12 Points since 2007, with the festival now seen as a ‘mezzanine’ for promising acts reaching the next level in their careers, as well as an invaluable resource for promoters and music media seeking emerging jazz talent.

12 Points is programmed each year by an open-call, with recommendations from jazz promoters and organisations across Europe. This exploratory approach to finding new talent earned 12 Points the inaugural Europe Jazz Network award for ‘Adventurous Programming’ in 2012.

About Europe Jazz Network (EJN)

The Europe Jazz Network (EJN) was created in 1987 as a Europe-wide non-profit association. Currently it includes 154 organisations (festivals, clubs and concert venues, independent promoters and national organisations) in 35 countries. EJN's mission is to encourage, promote and support the development of jazz and creative improvised music within the European scene and to create opportunities for artists, organisers and audiences from all different countries to meet and communicate.

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