Lucy Cheung is looking forward to Pablo Held and Nik Bärtsch

Since I discovered the festival by chance during an impromptu trip to Mannheim in 2009, Enjoy Jazz has become an annual meeting place for European jazz for me. I look forward to returning, having traveled around Europe and the UK for the past decade, regularly attending a number of jazz festivals. I find that Enjoy Jazz still stands out with its uncompromising selection of artists, highlighting their innovation and openness in exploring music.

Having lived in London for the last eight years, I have noticed that there is a "time gap" musically between the UK and the European continent, just as there is a time gap between Scandinavia in the north and Greece in the south. I find it particularly inspiring that Enjoy Jazz brings in new generations of musicians from different parts of Europe and beyond, so that we are able to change perspectives from time to time and understand the current European jazz scene more deeply. The horizons are constantly expanding.

This year I will be visiting the Pablo Held Trio, who have a good reputation in Europe but have been absent from the UK scene for the last three years. I will also see Artist in Residence Nik Bärtsch with Les Percussions de Strasbourg. I would also have liked to see this year's second Artist in Residence Tania Giannouli, but is my travel plan this time unfortunately did not quite work out. The appearance of such musicians and groups shows the independent approach to programming, which is really appealing. And the concept of "one concert per day" makes for a "slow festival" that gives us time to enjoy the music.

After getting hooked on bebop jazz while listening to the radio in high school in southern China, I wrote extensively about jazz for two decades after becoming a music journalist for a national daily newspaper in China. Over the past 11 years, I have covered Enjoy Jazz for a number of newspapers and magazines in China, including Time Out Beijing, Financial Times Chinese, China News Weekly and Lonely Planet China. Since meeting Enjoy Jazz in 2009 and participating in its celebration of 40 years of ECM, I have continued to explore ECM's music and artists and launched Windfall Light, The Visual Language of ECM in mainland China after translating the book into Chinese. The third edition is currently in print.

Lucy Cheung, London-based music journalist and critic, columnist, musician, singer, and literary book translator. She has hosted the bilingual (English/Chinese) music podcast London Ears since 2021.