Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Dublin’s grassroots jazz approach points the way

After a hugely successful debut run last year, the 12 Points music festival returns to Dublin in March. The 12 Points festival is an opportunity for local audiences and visiting music professionals to catch live sets from a dozen emerging …

Fri, Feb 8, 2008, 09:13

   

After a hugely successful debut run last year, the 12 Points music festival returns to Dublin in March.

The 12 Points festival is an opportunity for local audiences and visiting music professionals to catch live sets from a dozen emerging jazz acts from all over Europe.

Some of the highlights from last year’s festival included Berlin’s Carsten Daerr Trio, Helsinki’s Ilmiliekki and Stockholm’s Nils Berg.

Festival boss Gerry Godley from the Improvised Music Company says 12 Points is partly about putting Dublin back on the European jazz map.

“Since the Dublin Jazz Festival ran its course in 2004, I was very conscious that the city needed a jazz festival presence. The question was how to do this without aping the existing, rather dysfunctional, festival model which revolves around bringing in big acts and is a huge undertaking.

“Instead of doing that, we decided to take a leap of faith and work just with the green shoots, the new acts. We didn’t want to wait for the act to be famous before bringing them in. The notion is that 12 Points will be a snapshot of the most vibrant working bands around Europe at the moment.”

Godley views the festival as being along similar lines to such talent showcases as Eurosonic, but stresses they’re still at the “small acorns” stage of the game.

“I’m very aware that we need to establish our bona-fides and that’s not a process you can force. 12 Points has to have credibility amongst musicians, bookers, festival promoters and journalists and we have to build relationships. That will take us a couple of years, but I would be very confident that we’d get to a tipping point within two more editions.”

The class of 2008 includes such acts as Shreefpunk (Cologne), The Saga Quartet (Vilnius), RSQV (Vienna), Urs Bollhalder (Lucerne), Togetherness (Dublin) and Oddarrang (Helsinki).

12 Points takes place in Dublin’s Project Arts Centre from March 5th to 8th.