More than one hundred years ago a form of jazz music was already played. But only the people who attended performances at the time knew how it sounded. That changed in 1917, one of the most crucial years in the history of jazz. In that year the first jazz record appeared, of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band that was a hit on the New York live circuit at the time. The raw, wild and cutting-edge music, for that time, became a commercial success and since then jazz has spread all over the world.

The diversity of the music that sounded this past century is brought to us with the insightful and multimedia project Jazz - The Story bringing topnotch musicians, including Jon Faddis, Vincent Herring and James Carter, to give the audience an exciting history lesson.

1917 is a remarkable year in other regards, too. It is the year in which a number of vital and innovating jazz musicians were born. This year we celebrate the hundredth birthday of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Mongo Santamaria and Buddy Rich. Their musical heritage is honored in various ways at North Sea Jazz. Dizzy Gillespie’s influence can be heard first hand, from his pupil Jon Faddis. Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most swinging singers of all times. Dianne Reeves, Ala.Ni and Cécile McLorin Salvant follow in her footsteps with their project Woman to Woman on Saturday. Roberto Fonseca, CaboCubaJazz and Richard Bona with Mandekan Cubano will commemorate Mongo Santamaria, the founding father of Latin jazz. The unique pianist and composer Thelonious Monk is remembered on two days by MONK’estra of John Beasley, nominated for a Grammy Award.

The fact that drummers have evolved from mere accompanists into musical forerunners is partly due to the highly expressive bandleader Buddy Rich. At present a 
great many young drummers are demonstrating their leading and innovative qualities. On Friday you can enjoy Makaya McCraven, Mark Guiliana, Ari Hoenig and Lander Gyselinck of LABtrio.