All change for the anniversary of 40 INT. JAZZFESTIVAL SAALFELDEN

Friday, 05.07.2019

All change for the anniversary of 40 INT. JAZZFESTIVAL SAALFELDEN

from 22 to 25 August 2019

Jazzfestival Saalfelden is celebrating its anniversary, looking back on an impressive history while also building a bridge to the future with many innovations.


It all started in the mid-70s with a handful of young music fans who were sick of having to travel all the time to see jazz concerts. They decided to simply invite the jazz musicians to Saalfelden – and founded their own jazz festival. Initially held in stables, the festival has grown to one of the most renowned of its kind in Europe over the decades in between.


Over 70 concerts in the town and on the surrounding mountains 
The festival and its surroundings were restructured for the 40th anniversary. From the 40-something concerts in previous years, the programme will grow to include over 70 concerts from 2019 on - more than half of them with free access. There are many new stages! Artistic director Mario Steidl and production manager Daniela Neumayer have big plans. “We are creating a new festival centre on the town square with a dedicated concert stage and a young and attractive hospitality concept. It will be a simmering and sizzling space, a meeting place for young and old, for local residents and international visitors,” says Daniela Neumayer.


New series of concerts and “Artists in Residence”
“We spent more than one year honing the new concept. We want to give far more people than ever before the opportunity to discover music, to open themselves to unusual acts or simply to have a good time at our festival,” says artistic director Mario Steidl. “There are so many great artists whose projects need smaller and more intimate spaces. I also wanted to create a new structure to allow artists to meet one another spontaneously.” To this end, Steidl nominated two Artists in Residence, Maja Osojnik and Lukas König, who will each present multiple projects – in an old, derelict district court and in the bookbinding company of an art-loving patron. Other concerts will take place in a bookshop and in Schloss Ritzen Museum, for example. There will be a few more surprises on the surrounding Alpine pastures – such as a full day guided concert hike with Austrian musicians like Lukas Kranzelbinder and Jim Black. An entire park in the town centre will become a green musical meeting place – with three days full of DJ sets and concerts. 
Also, at the so-called "Ranch" - the place where the festival was launched in 1978 – concerts will take place again. The Sketchbook Quartet and Wolfgang Puschnig with "Fulsome X" will be performing here already on Wednesday.
Arch. DI Wolfgang Hartl, chairman of the Association of Contemporary Music, who is responsible for the programming of the festival, is enthusiastic: "I can still remember the “Ranch” concerts. I am pleased that for the 40th anniversary this year we are returning to the place of the beginning of the International Jazzfestival and will probably cause some tingling in the stomach of some people."


Jazz in the surrounding Alpine pastures
A variety of combos will play live at three mountain huts – the Forsthofalm, the Stöcklalm and the Vorderkühbühelhof. All anyone hoping to experience these truly outstanding concerts has to do is simply put on their hiking boots, climb the mountain and savour the unique atmosphere and cool jazz music with a cool beer and a hearty snack.


Free programme of events for jazz fans and insiders
Organizer Marco Pointner is pleased: “With the new concept, Saalfelden promises five great festival days, full of concerts and with a programme that will be an absolute hot spot for jazz fans and insiders. With its free programme of events in and around the town, the festival also has a unique flair filled with music throughout the entire day.” 
Anyone who still has not had enough after countless concerts, which run until late at night anyway, can party and dance the night away at the groovy late-night concerts in Kunsthaus Nexus.


Programme highlights from around the world
The festival is traditionally opened by an Austrian artist commissioned to produce a project. This year, the young bassist Manu Mayr was selected, and will perform as a duo with Susanna Gartmayer. Christian Muthspiel founded the 18-strong Orjazztra Vienna for Saalfelden, and Daniel Riegler will also present a new project with Anthony Coleman. Many international artists have already signed up: Sylvie Courvoisier from the USA will present her new album with Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley and Tom Rainey, as will saxophonist Anna Webber. France’s lively jazz scene will be presented in the form of the unusual Trio Abacaxi around guitarist Julien Deprez and the duo of Theo Ceccaldi and Roberto Negro.  Scandinavia will also be represented by the energetic Mette Rasmussen, who will perform as a duo with Tashi Dori, and accordion player Frode Haltli will enchant visitors with his “Avant Folk” project. Of course, the big names in the modern jazz scene will be there: Drummer Jim Black will showcase a brand-new project in Saalfelden, and the exceptionally talented saxophonist Joshua Redman will play one of his few European concerts with Ron Miles, Scott Colley and Dave King. 


With all of these highlights, the 40th International Jazzfestival Saalfelden promises to be a very special one.

SAVE THE DATE: The 41th Jazzfestival Saalfelden will take place from 20–23 August 2020.

Tickets for the Mainstage-Concerts, the concert-hike and the "Ranch" can be purchased here or at