Tag Archives: Polarjazz

A well-composed score: Polarjazz relies on sellout format (and lots of extra locals) for 20th annual festival

svajazz16

There’s no blowout bash planned for Polarjazz’s 20th birthday, but festival director Lasse Stener Hansen says one isn’t needed for attendees to be blown away.

Full of scat: Visitors inspire locals to be extra expressive – on stage and off – during this year’s Polarjazz fest

polarjazzopenbarentsburg

Which is worse: being a local who’s totally owned by an intruder during an on-stage jam or being an intruder who’s drowned out by the locals?

Both…neither…actually, it’s not really an answerable question given the nature of the world’s northernmost jazz festival.

The notable lack of jazz at a festival supposedly featuring the genre is hardly unique here, but over the years Polarjazz has become as much a social gathering as a musical one. Longyearbyen residents found themselves extra expressive at this year’s five-day festival that ended Sunday, although at times that wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 17, 2015

Le Monde polarjazz

We can’t understand a word of it (beyond “Svalbard,” “Longyearbyen” and a few names, of course), but Le Monde nevertheless has one of the best online articles we’ve ever seen of Polarjazz (even if they got the name slightly wrong) by an uncredited artist who presents the festival as a graphic novel with song and interview audio clips.