This award which is valued at 15,000 Euros honors the work of people who render outstanding services to jazz as a cultural asset. “John McLaughlin has had an impressive career” says Professor Ulrich Beckerhof, artistic director of jazzahead!. “He started in Bluesrock, delved into Indian music intensely and is considered one of the great stylists of electronic jazz. With the Mahavishnu Orchestra he achieved worldwide fame and international recognition – with musicians, audiences, as well as critics. Ginger Baker, Billy Cobham, Paco de Lucia, and Miles Davis are just some of the renowned musicians he has collaborated with in the past.
He is a musician who places great emphasis on the spiritual level of music.” The jazzahead!-Škoda-Award will be given to John McLaughlin in a celebratory ceremony in the context of the concert featuring LEBOCAL plays Zappa and John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension at the Bremen Musical Theater on Friday, April 23rd at 9 PM.
In the mid-1960s, besides accompanying the Four Tops and Wilson Pickett on their tours, John McLaughlin started the Graham Bond Organization. He reached great success with his own Mahavishnu Orchestra which he founded in
1971 and in which he played with Jerry Goodman, Jan Hammer, and Billy Cobham. In 1981, he worked with guitarists Al Di Meola and Paco de Lucía in recording the celebrated live album “Friday Night in San Francisco”, which sold more than two million copies.
Together with Dennis Chambers, John McLaughlin was at the Jazz Festival Montreux in 1993 and 1995, as well as at the Jazz à Vienne festival, and recorded the album “The Free Spirits – Tokyo Live”.
„The jazzahead!-Škoda-Award honors the activities of artists in the vibrant and distinct musical language of jazz” explains Dr. Christoph Ludewig of Škoda Auto Deutschland GmbH. “With this highly valued award, we want to express our appreciation for their commitment and dedication to this scene. Prague is a European capital of jazz. This is why Škoda Auto Deutschland GmbH is a natural and perfectly fit partner for Europe’s only jazz trade fair.”
In 2009, the jazzahead!-Škoda-Award was given to Norma Winstone, concert promoter Karsten Jahnke received it in 2008, and in 2007, the musician Joe Zawinul was honored with it. The first ever jazzahead!-Škoda-Award was given to producer and ECM-label boss Manfred Eicher back in 2006.
The jazz scene will be meeting for the fifth edition of jazzahead! themed “discoveringchances!” from April 22nd – 25th 2010. Participants can expect events in three locations in Bremen: the trade fair and the 3rd German Jazz Meeting will be held at Congress Center Bremen, the 2nd European late-night-program will take place at Kulturzentrum Schlachthof, and the Bremen Musical Theater will host the big evening concerts. Pre-sale tickets can be booked at TSC eventim (+49 421 353637), Nordwest Ticket (+49 421 363636) and the ticket service at Glocke Bremen (+49 421 336699). All information on tickets, concerts and events can be found online at www.jazzahead.de.