Insights from European jazz career development programs – Constellations project’s online magazine released

Valtteri Pokela

The Finnish Jazz Federation and eight other partner organizations of the Europe Jazz Network implemented the Constellations pilot project in 2023, based on artist exchanges within the international jazz community. The project has now released an online magazine with the idea of sharing the experiences and lessons learned during the project with the jazz community.

For the Constellations pilot, one artist was selected from each of the eight project countries, each of whom had previously undergone a career development program administered by the project partner in their home country. The participating artists and collaborators engaged in development or networking programs in another project country, familiarized themselves with local operating environments, and established new contacts and networks with fellow musicians, creative professionals, and other music industry experts.

Constellations is built on the strong commitment of all parties and support for the artists, aiming to create a foundation for a more cohesive and sustainable music industry across Europe. The Constellations pilot was funded through the European Union and was part of the Music Moves Europe program under the MusicAIRE project. Continued funding is sought for the project.

“The development of Nordic Jazz Comets has been able to leverage the knowledge and insights of participants in the Constellations project, including both artists and organizations. This input is sure to shape what Nordic Jazz Comets will look like in the future. I strongly believe that each of the nine participating organizations will incorporate influences from similar programs in other countries into their own career development initiatives. The collaborative development of career programs among the nine European organizations, along with the launch of an entirely new project, is an excellent example of how a network driven by common goals can quickly achieve results and impact.”

Maria Silvennoinen, Executive Director of the Finnish Jazz Federation

In the 2023 pilot, the Finnish Jazz Federation’s exchange partner was Powered by TINC / Stepping Stone (Netherlands). Artist-activist Frederike Berendsen from the Netherlands visited Nordic Jazz Comets and the Finnish Jazz Federation. Bassist Kaisa Mäensivu, a previous Nordic Jazz Comets artist, participated in a residency program in Italy. Both artists’ experiences can be read in the Constellations online magazine.

The image shows participants of the Constellations project at the Europe Jazz Conference held in Marseille in September 2023.