The 41st Moers International Jazz festival organized by Music Meeting saw the current New York scene represented again starting with Andrew D’Angelo and his DNA Big Band; there were some interesting contributions from all over Europe, the dance and concert sensation of Latin America in the form of the Afro-Cuban All Stars.
The new “African Dance Nights” at Bollwerk and the “Heimatabend” with Helge Schneider on the fourth day of the festival.
A total of four fringe projects complement the main programme, taking the festival out of the festival tent and into venues all round the town. The “morning sessions”, curated this year by Achim Tang, the “night sessions”, a celebration of Cologne’s new generation of jazz musicians, and the “concerts in the dark”, whose theme this year was “hidden currents”, the moers festival 2012 featured two new “African Dance Nights” on Saturday 27th May and Sunday28th May, where young DJs and musicians from Ghana and Kenya present the music currently being played in the clubs of the African metropolises: raw, up to date and very danceable.
DJ Black started both nights with an hour of pure Dance tunes from Ghana and all over the continent to the crowd made up of musicians, directors, and music enthusiasts who thronged Nijmegen, Holland and Bollwerk in Germany to watch DJ Black display with two turntables, a mixer and Serato.
His selection of diverse African music from the continent got everyone dancing. And when the FOKN Bois got on stage for another hour, the crowd just couldn’t hold back laughter screams and claps as Wanlov, Mensa and DJ Elo performed music from their albums. After their set, DJ Black and DJ Elo awed the audience with a display of mixes made up of eclectic African Jazz and African urban dance music.
Stefan Franzen, the curator applauded the innovation of African Nights which also featured Just a Band and DJ Edu from Kenya and said,
“The musical realities of Africa are constantly changing, tending away from rural traditions towards the rougher but equally danceable underground. To reflect this, our African Dance Nights turn the focus to current developments in Nairobi and Accra, presenting one live act and one DJ set from each city by leading representatives of the respective urban scene. This is not sugar-coated Afro-Pop from the big cities of Europe, but raw, up to date music from the metropolises of Africa as they truly are in 2012. Europe looks forward to another great show.”