Now Maria is booking a tour with American jazz artist Becca Stevens in Sweden! We took the opportunity to speak to her about her plans.
For someone who has never experienced Becca Stevens live, what can we expect?
The tour is so far quite short with only two gigs. But what venues! Kosters Kyrka (The church on Koster island) in connection with their great closing celebration of their cultural trail that has been going on throughout October.
It is going to be totally magical with Becca Stevens in that environment.
The last gig is at Nefertiti in Gothenburg, the legendary jazz club in the middle of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Becca Stevens is an incredibly charismatic singer whose music borders on jazz, singer songwriter and pop. With collaborations with Snarky Puppy, Taylor Eigsti, Gretchen Parlato among others, she joins the contemporary jazz that is influenced by several popular genres. The music is beautiful, smart and sensitive. And then there’s something about Becca’s voice that strikes a tone in the listener. You can’t defend yourself, it goes straight in.
You are now using the tool Samspel to plan the tour with Becca Stevens. What do you hope to get out of that?
I hope to extend Becca Stevens’ tour with at least one date to Friday, November 1st. Their gig in Norway was canceled so I am trying to help them fill their gaps. And this is not just for jazz and improvisation organisers – I hope someone joins me to expand the tour. [To do so, go to Samspel and click apply.]
Having a communication tool where one can easily find other organisers and quickly start a dialogue, well for me that is the dream!
As long as everyone is serious about their events and can offer a professional stage, it is great to find new collaboration partners.
What are your plans for Gothenburg in the near future?
I will continue to lead and develop Knutpunkt Nefertiti all the way to the end of the project, spring 2021. Then we will see how the project has landed with everyone involved and hopefully we can build on it – pick the goodies out of the cake, so to speak. Besides Knutpunkt, I also intend to try to increase the interaction between the Gothenburg-based jazz and improvisation organisers.
Then I have some exciting side projects that I unfortunately cannot talk so much about at the moment. These projects will benefit the organisers and music life in western Sweden substantially.
Maria Rylander, credit Calle Wärnelöv
What gives you the most pleasure in your work, and what is your biggest challenge at the moment?
The biggest joy for me in my work is definitely to meet, get to know and help all the wonderful organisers in the region. They do a fantastic job and often struggle with small financial margins. Yet they do wonders by offering their local communities a great musical offering. It is really a nice feeling to support them and give them some air under their wings.
The challenge is to help them survive in the long term, without having to feel that they have to sacrifice too much of their artistic ideals. Many of the associations are struggling with difficulties in rejuvenating their board and thus they risk disappearing within the next 10-15 years. I am helping out and supporting through that process, but of course it is a sensitive issue.
Can you name someone in and outside Sweden who you think is doing a really good job for the jazz scene?
I’ll definitely say Sweden’s jazz musicians. I think they are fantastic and give so much of themselves and their music. Without them and their hard work, there wouldn’t be a jazz scene to talk about. They continue to explore and stay interesting, and then they are very nice to work with too.
Partners outside Sweden, I must say the Europe Jazz Network. I’m going to my first meeting now this fall and am really look forward to it. I have had the pleasure of following their work at a distance through my job at Nefertiti and I think they continuously stay relevant and at the forefront. Their work with Europe Jazz Balance is so valuable and important.
Which cities would you like to see closer collaborations between for bookings?
Within Sweden, I work quite hard on building a tour trail and a stronger collaboration between Halland and Skåne. But I would also like to see Värmland in this. Outside of Sweden, I would like to see more exchanges with Norway and Denmark, as they are so close to our region geographically.
Maria, what song do you have as heavy rotation today on your streaming service?
Haha! Well, I use Deezer and share the same account with the kids and my husband. But here you go:
Current Tours Arranged by Maria
Josefin Cronholm Group
Mai Group feat. Greg-Leisz