Matthieu Mazué Trio wins JazzBeet competition

The Matthieu Mazué Trio is the winner of the first international competition JazzBeet, which was held as a hybrid event in Bonn on 12 June 2021. In a ten-hour jury session, the band from Switzerland was able to convince the jurors of themselves. The second and third prize went to the Will Kjeer Trio from the USA and Fiona Grond Interspaces from Germany. The D.A.S. Trio from Hungary and the HarpBeat Trio from Italy both share fourth place.

The jury, consisting of jazz pianist Julia Hülsmann, saxophonist Roger Hanschel and journalist Ulrich Stock (Die Zeit), was particularly impressed by the outstanding interaction and sensitivity of the actors of the Matthieu Mazué Trio. The jury’s statement reads: “In naming the winner, the jury immediately agreed: A trio with outstanding interaction of equal actors, powerful without lacking in sensitivity, complex but not aloof, contemporary in its aesthetics, with a refreshing courage to take risks. Transparent and dense, sometimes poetic, sometimes mysterious, and with the gift of developing tension in peace,” says Ulrich Stock.

The band members of the trio, the pianist Matthieu Mazué, the bassist Xaver Rüegg and the drummer Michael Cina can look forward to a prize money of 5,000 euros as well as a live performance at one of the upcoming concerts of the Jazzfest Bonn.

Already in the summer of 2019, the Jazzfest Bonn announced this competition for young jazz musicians on the occasion of the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven in cooperation with the BTHVN2020 Beethoven Jubiläums GmbH and in February 2020 selected the finalists from among the 30 applicants from all over the world. However, since they were not able to arrive as planned in May 2020, the Jazzfest Bonn has redesigned the finale into a hybrid event. The bands from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary and the USA played live in their respective home countries and were streamed to the jury meeting, which took place in the premises of the Post Tower in Bonn.

“It’s just wonderful to finally experience music again and to have the great young musicians as guests with us, at least in this way,” enthuses Peter Materna, artistic director of the Jazzfest Bonn. “We are very happy that we have succeeded in this way in holding the JazzBeet competition despite the challenging circumstances.” An essential part of the conditions of participation was the composition of a piece that deals with the artistic idea of a work by Ludwig van Beethoven. “There are young jazz musicians all over the world who compose and make music at an enormously high artistic level. With this competition, we want to make some of the most exciting projects visible and give young musicians the opportunity to present their artistic ideas to an interested audience,” says Materna.

Malte Boecker, Artistic Director of Beethoven Jubiläums GmbH, also emphasizes the importance of JazzBeet: “Beethoven’s music comes from improvisation. His echo is therefore particularly great in jazz. Setting Beethoven as a source of inspiration for the JazzBeet Competition is obvious and is an important contribution to beethoven’s anniversary!”

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