12 points festival

Festival 10.4–12.4


This festival showcases young, creative and ambitious jazz musicians from all over Europe. Drop in on the festival when you visit Umeå in 2014. Dublin is the true home of 12 Points Jazz, which is staged every other year in one of Europe’s young, vibrant cities.

12 points webbsite.

Festival program

Tor 10 april kl 19.00–22.30
Black box, NorrlandsOperan:

Kl 19.00 Schnellertollermeier (CH)
Kl 20.00 Elin Larsson group (SE)
Kl 21.20 Pixel (NO)

Kl 23.00 på Scharinska: Songs from the North: J Knutsson/L Lestander/M Öberg (fri entré)
Kl 24.00 på Guitars The Bar: Jam med festivalartisterna (fri entré)

Fre 11 april kl 19.00–22.30
Black box, NorrlandsOperan:

Kl 19.00 Foyn Trio (DK)
Kl 20.10 Five38 (FR) - Se gruppens videohälsning till Umeå längre ner!
Kl 21.20 LABtrio (BE)

Kl 23.00 på Guitars The Bar: Jam med festivalartisterna (fri entré)

Lör 12 april kl 14.00–23.30
Black box, NorrlandsOperan

Part I, kl 14.00-17.30
Kl 14.00 Alexander Hawkins (UK) Längre ner kan du höra Alexander spela – och hälsa!
Kl 15.10 Herd (FI)
Kl 16.20 Violet Spin (AT) Videohälsning längre ner!

Part II, kl 20.30–23.30
Kl 20.30 Marcin Masecki (PL)
Kl 21.40 Alarmist (IR)
KL 22.50 The more socially relevant jazz music ensemble (NL)

Seminarium Jazz Futures
Fre 10 april kl 10.00-12.00 (B-salen, NorrlandsOperan)
Lör 11 april kl 10.00-12.00 (B-salen, NorrlandsOperan)

Läs mer om 12 Points Festival på deras
12 Points in English


10 april: 100 kr
11 april: 100 kr
12 april: Part I, 100 kr, Part II, 100 kr
Festivalpass: 300 kr
Fri entré gäller konsert på Scharinska 10.4 och Jam på Guitars The Bar.

(Images from 12 points festival 2013 in Dublin (photo: Dublin Jazz Photography)


(Lucerne, Switzerland)
Andi Schnellmann-guitar / Manuel Troller-bass / David Meier-drums

12 Points 2014 hits the ground running with some big beats from the Swiss Alps. Schnellertollermeier might like to self deprecatingly refer to themselves as ‘from the backwoods’, but behind their wall of sound, there is musical sophistication at work. The guitar power trio gets a 21st century overhaul that sits at the crossroads of the European improvising tradition and brute rock from across the Atlantic. The melodic lines come   tight and fast, anchored by strong rhythmic architecture that builds to imposing thunderous peaks. It’s a further evolution of the jazz rock output of other Swiss musicians like Christy Doran, and Schnellertollermeier have an appetite for work that has so far yielded three encouraging studio albums on the Lucerne label Veto.

Elin Larsson Group
(Stockholm, Sweden)
Elin Larsson-saxophones / Kristian Persson-trombone / Henrik Hallberg-guitar Niklas Wennström-double bass  / Johan Käck-drums

Saxophonist Elin Larsson has been on our radar since the release of her powerful 2009 debutLive and Alive, and since then she’s established herself as an important voice in the next chapter of Swedish jazz. Crucially, she’s maintained a working group through that period, and it shows in the supple and empathic playing from guitarist Henrik Hallberg, bassist Niklas Wennström and drummer Johan Käck. The substantial trombone of Kristian Persson is the foil to Larsson’s nimble playing, and the band oscillates between light and shade, pivoting around anthemic compositions that freewheel across the genres, always expressive and openhearted.

Pixel(Oslo, Norway)
Ellen Wang-bass-vox / Jonas Kilmork Vemoy-trumpet / Harald Lassen-saxophone / Jon Baar -drums

And so to Norway, where musical curiosity seems to flow like spring melts waters off the mountainside. Pixel’s 2012 debut Reminderwas a shot of adrenaline with its sprightly alliance between Indie Rock and outward looking jazz. Led by bassist and singer Ellen Wang, Pixel merge knotty jazz compositions with radiophonic vocal choruses that are both catchy and satisfying.  This is a band with real bite, bridging the gap between jazz and pop. Drummer Jon Baar doesn’t hold back while trumpeter Jonas Vemoy and saxophonist Harald Lassen multitask as they render rich unison hooks around Wang’s pop ingénue vocals at the service of proper songwriting, all done with a tongue in cheek disposition that is pretty irresistible.

Foyn Trio(Aarhus, Denmark)
Live Foyn Friis-voice/ Alex Jønsson-guitar/ Jens Madsen-bass

Two Danes and a Norwegian comprise the Aarhus based Foyn Trio, but their sound speaks to the wider creative energies of many young musicians across Scandinavia today. Pivoting on the voice of Live Foyn Friis, here is soulful, unhurried music that speaks for itself in an impressionistic space where categorization seems especially futile. Guitarist Alex Jønsson and bassist Jens Madsen are primarily concerned with texture, painting in loops and colours and their own voices, adding to the music’s panoramic feel. It’s a beautiful frame for the star attraction; Live Foyn Friis’ ethereal, bittersweet, occasionally Bjorkesque delivery, a voice you’d be happy to hear anywhere.

Five38(Paris, France)
Rafaelle Rinaudo-harp/ Fanny Lasfargues-bass

Five plus 38 equals forty three, the total number of strings available to harpist Rafaelle Rinaudo and bassist Fanny Lasfargues. That’s a lot of sonic possibilities, and this Parisienne duo isn’t shy about exploring all of them. Both musicians come from different backgrounds, ranging from underground bands like Retroviseur to folk artists like Erik Marchand. The common thread is COAX, the Paris collective that has been to the fore in new and adventurous French jazz of recent years.  It’s a new project and their sense of discovery is palpable, as they follow their shared instinct for sonically emancipated music.  For the harp in particular, this is unexplored terrain, dark, distorted and liberated completely from its historical constraints.

LAB Trio(Ghent, Belgium)
Bram De Looze-piano/ Anneleen Boehme-bass/ Lander Gyselinck-drums 

Our only piano trio might also be the youngest performers at 12 Points 2014. Though still in their early twenties, Pianist Bram De Looze, bassist Anneleen Boehme and drummer Lander Gyselinck have been playing in trio for six years, and that graft is now bringing its rewards. Based in Ghent, They’ve won a raft of awards and they exemplify the qualities that have become a hallmark of jazz in Belgium, with music that is fresh, intelligent and contemporary in its aspect. There’s an urban sensibility with bass ostinatos and grooves that evoke the late Esbjorn Svensson and original writing that assimilates the wider tradition of piano trio. Still developing, there’s a collective confidence and attention to detail that can only flourish in the years ahead.

Alexander Hawkins(Oxford, UK)
Alexander Hawkins-piano

Pianist Alexander Hawkins left behind a career in criminology to pursue an auto didactic path in music, and it’s clear that this is an independent mind untroubled by the doctrines of music education today. Already established as a major force in improvised music and working with senior figures like Mulatu Astatke and Joe McPhee, he’s just released Song Singular, his first solo offering. It’s evidence of just how good he has become, with an artistic stance that embraces the history of the instrument from Debussy to Art Tatum to Cecil Taylor, and no apparent technical impediments to his fertile imagination. Coherence and discipline are reconciled with exuberance and wit, old blues meet 20th century abstraction, and Hawkins reminds us at every turn that jazz is the cross road where many music styles meet.

Herd Trio(Helsinki, Finland)
Panu Savolainen-vibraphone/ Miko Pellinen-bass/ Tuomas Timonen-drums

There’s an admirable purity to Herd Trio, an adherence to the old school principles of building your music through crafting interesting lines, having a dialogue with your band mates and collectively working for the good groove. They’ve been laying it down since 2009, and have acquitted themselves favourably at major Finnish festivals like Pori, as well as winning the EBU Jazz Competition at The North Sea Festival. As we’ve come to except from Finnish bands visiting 12 Points, the music making is at the highest level, favouring a deep consideration of first principles over brash theatrics. Panu Savolainen’s vibes playing purrs with accents and dynamics, bassist Miko Pellinen and drummer Tuomas Timonen propel the trio onwards with an insistent groove.

Violet Spin(Vienna, Austria)
Irene Kepl-violin/ Paul Dangl-violin/ Magdalena Zenz-viola/ Fabian Jäger-cello

Violet Spin follow in the footsteps of previous 12 Points string quartets, Amsterdam’s Zapp and Vienna’s  RSQV. They’re also from Vienna, that city at the meeting points of European culture, and its reflected in the music they make, straddling classicism, folk traditions and improvisation. Conceived by the award winning violinist Irene Kepl and drawing on equally open minded string players on the Viennese scene has, Violet Spin share a joyful, uninhibited approach to playing contemporary groove based music, drawn from disparate sources and stitched together with real improvisational authority. Joining Kepl are violinist Paul Dangl, violist Magdalena Zenz and cellist Fabian Jäger.

Marcin Masecki(Warsaw, Poland)
Marcin Masecki -piano

Pianist, composer, conductor, independent label fixer; Warsaw native Marcin Masecki has a lot of musical balls in the air. He’s also curious, an excellent quality in any musician, and it comes to the fore in projects that include writing for the Polonezy brass ensemble, directing the Warsaw Orchestra of Recreation and playing in punk cabaret band Paris Tetris. When he’s alone, he play piano and very well too. A previous winner of the Moscow piano competition, his latest solo release pays skewed homage to Scarlatti, with the characteristic appetite for mischief and upcycling that defines his musical output. But make no mistake, this is a very thoughtful pianist who is evangelical about classical music, determined to make it relevant to his audience on his own terms.

Alarmist(Dublin, Ireland)
Neil Crowley-keyboard,drums/ Elis Czerniak-keys,guitar/ Osgar Dukes-drums/ Barry O'Halpin –keyboard,guitar

Dublin’s a musically vibrant place, and this is reflected in the DNA of Alarmist, whose backgrounds range from jazz, math rock, electronica and formal composition. They’re crafting very personal and detailed music, and it offers further proof that the next generation of musicians are untethering themselves from the old stylistic dogma. Genres are harvested and manipulated, and multi instrumentalists Neil Crowley, Elis Czerniak, Osgar Dukes and Barry O'Halpin take a quasi orchestral approach that allows their music to hover in its own instrumental space, gravitationally pulled toward a rock aesthetic but constantly implying other philosophies in a way that excites.

The More Socially Relevant Jazz Ensemble(Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Reinier Baas-guitar/ Ben van Gelder-saxophone/ Maarten Hogenhuis-saxophone
Sean Fasciani-bass/ Mark Schilders-drums 

The name is ambitious, but the gifted young Dutch guitarist Reinier Baas has recruited a line up of luminous musicians from his generation that could well live up to it. Their 2011 debut release brought the superlatives gushing from the Dutch music press, Volkskrant describing them as “the hippest and most exciting jazzband of the Netherlands". If free improvisation is the yin of Dutch jazz, then here is a band unmistakably from the yang, with self-assured grooves from bassist Sean Fasciani and drummer Mark Schilders stretched taut over Baas’ prolific writing, and two saxophonists straining at the leash in Ben Van Gelder and Maarten Hogenhuis.