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The meaning of an approach
Reminder of the facts, motivations
The Bridge has been building itself since 2013, inspired by a simple observation: if it is now well known that jazz and improvised music, in France and in Europe, have found their flight, their specificity and their independence, some North American stages, particularly in Chicago and the Midwest, continue to develop at their own rhythm(s). The autonomy acquired and the originality developed by both sides should not prevent new forms of cooperation. On the contrary, we believe that they should even encourage them.
To durably bring together French and North American musicians (our network gathers more than 140 musicians from both countries, the list of whom is given in the chronology, and who have been divided into quartets and quintets, themselves divided into two cycles); to give them space, time and the opportunity to get to know each other, in their similarities and differences, to develop their exchanges and creative projects, in reciprocity and complementarity: such is the objective of The Bridge.
Our system therefore provides that each Franco-American ensemble circulates in turn on both continents during tours designed as exploratory trips: the ensembles that began in France then move to the United States, and vice versa.
Each tour is designed and produced as a series of concerts in all kinds of places (from the club to the festival, from the conservatory to the university, from the local association to the national museum, at least fifteen concerts and events are guaranteed each time – a documentary was directed by Hugo Massa to tell the fabulous story of one of these tours,; a recording was also made by Culture Box). But also as an opportunity for musicians on the move to better understand the social, cultural and economic environment of their partners, through multiple parallel events that are equally and differently addressed to the whole society.
This is why The Bridge does not only promote one transatlantic ensemble or another, but takes advantage of each tour to electrify a network. It is a question of creating a real circulation of experiences, ideas and perspectives, almost ethnographic in nature. To follow the long path of mutual understanding that cannot save the time spent, wasted and invented together, the economy of spaces and counterspaces to be repopulated. And through the bringing together of creative musicians, through the assembly of original music drawing on these experiences, filtering, transposing and transforming them, it is also a question of solidarity between the structures and institutions that work daily and year-round with these musicians, and which are our obvious partners. With them and through them, propose another economic model for the intelligent diffusion of this music; contributing to a better dialogue between music and the world.
The Bridge is not presenter anchored in a single physical space, a single territory, but a nebula associating such places all over France and Chicago. Our initiative would not have been possible without the steadfast support of these clubs, festivals, music schools, conservatories, universities, cultural centres, media, on both sides of the Atlantic, nor without a “knowledge of the field” that immediately made it possible to identify, from the “base”, a first set of valuable partners. We would like to thank them here for their commitment to us.