Since 1965, the Euroradio Jazz Orchestra (EJO) has brought together young musicians under the age of 30, selected primarily by EBU jazz producers. With performances in Essen (21 October) and Cologne (22 October), this year’s formation – hosted by WDR – has 17 musicians from Norway, Estonia, Czech Republic, Germany, Croatia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Sweden, Austria, Latvia, Finland, Lithuania, France and the UK. They will be conducted by WDR Jazz prize winner, composer, arranger and double-bass player Hendrika Entzian, who has answered 3 questions that we put to her.
Q: You will be working with a big band made up of young musicians from all over Europe aged between 16 and 30. What do you imagine the experience will be like?
A: I think it will be a very exciting project because the musicians have never met or played together before. So everybody needs to be open to the different musical influences and personalities so that we can grow into a band within one week. This is a process I’m very much looking forward to.
The orchestra will play some works which you’ve composed and arranged. How did you choose the programme?
I wanted the programme to show musically the diversity, vision and cooperation that exists in Europe. So I chose and arranged pieces which incorporate different types of moods and surroundings for the orchestra and its improvisors. Speaking of improvisation, to me it was important to leave enough space for it so that it’s possible to enjoy the whole orchestral sound but also to get a feel for the musical personalities in the band.
The musicians have all been chosen by jazz producers from EBU radio organizations. What is your own relationship to radio?
I grew up listening to the radio and recording songs to my tape recorder so that I could listen to them again later. Of course this relationship to radio has changed in recent years but I still really enjoy listening to radio shows and getting to know new music. In addition to that, I really love listening to live concerts, especially in the car.
The EJO concert ‘We Are Tomorrow’, broadcast by WDR 3 live from the Stadtgarten in Cologne, is available in MUS under reference JM/2022/08/05/01. It will feature pieces composed and arranged by Hendrika Entzian as well as works by special guest Ukrainian singer Tamara Lukasheva, from Odessa, who will perform her own compositions influenced by the war in Ukraine.
Hendrika Entzian shares her top favourite tracks. Listen and enjoy!