First staged in 2013, NUEJAZZ was created to establish an international jazz festival in Nuremberg with an emphasis on inviting young, exciting projects of all styles to show how colourful, creative and varied the genre can be. Over the years, the festival has featured newcomers who have gone on to reach the front ranks of international jazz. The curators of NUEJAZZ place no boundaries on their event, welcoming artists from pop, rock, electro and world music, as much as those from free improvisation. The 2022 edition of NUEJAZZ, which took place towards the end of last year, broke its previous attendance record and drew rave reviews from the critics.
Such a varied programme demands versatile and flexible audio, not least at the festival’s main venue, Nuremberg’s Z-Bau. The venue is home to three stages, all of which benefit from installed sound by CODA Audio. It is significant that within days of the conclusion of NUEJAZZ 2022, Z-Bau received the APPLAUS award, a federal cultural prize, for ‘Best Live Music Venue’ from Minister of Culture, Claudia Roth. Christopher König, Technical Manager of Z-Bau was delighted with the award and was keen to stress CODA’s contribution: “The sound performance is spot on and the systems are enormously flexible. We cover a wide range at the Z-Bau – from rock, jazz and hip-hop to classical music and conferences, where the best possible speech intelligibility is essential. Our CODA Audio systems always deliver a consistent audio experience.”
The Red Salon and Gallery stages at the venue first benefited from CODA Audio systems in 2015. Installed by Andy Zeh and Tobias Förster of Munich-based company into>noise, the systems comprised CODA Audio RX40, G712 and HOPS8, complemented by U4 and G18 subs.
Two years later, it was the performance of those systems that saw Zeh and Förster return to install a CODA Audio system for the 1000-capacity Great Hall. This time they installed 2 x 9 ViRAY, 8 x SCP Sensor-Controlled subs, 4 x HOPS8 as nearfills, 3 x TiRAY as centre delay lines, as well as 10 x CUE-TWO stage monitors and G18 subs for drum and sidefill.
Front of House engineer Dominik ‘Domi’ Back was at the console in Z-Bau’s Great Hall for performances by Seed and Melanie Charles at NUEJAZZ’s latest edition: “As an engineer, you have to work with the tools that are in front of you, so when it’s a system like ViRAY, you really appreciate it! It’s easy to use, it sounds balanced and the low end is easy to control.”
The unconventional approach of talented New York artist Melanie Charles, presented its own particular challenge according to Back: “With a different system, things could have been critical. I had to make the vocal quite loud, and on top of that, the artist switches to playing the flute in between, so there was a great danger of feedback. But everything went flawlessly and we didn’t have a single problem. I also noted that you don’t have to push the controls far to get a punchy, transparent sound from ViRAY – even at relatively low volumes you get a rich sound quality from the system. That’s what excited me.”
Reflecting on this latest edition of NUEJAZZ, its Artistic Director Frank Wuppinger was delighted: “We only got positive feedback from the event. Several of the acts were so enthusiastic about playing and so taken with the audience that they said afterwards that it was it their best gig ever. For the audiences at the Z-Bau, the concerts were once again a pleasure in terms of sound – powerful and punchy but at all times so transparent that you could hear all the subtleties.”
Managing Director of CODA Audio Deutschland, Ton Groen adds: “For a venue like Z-Bau which stages a huge variety of events, its audio systems are absolutely fundamental to its success. We’re very proud of the fact that CODA systems ensure that events like NUEJAZZ are successful, and particularly pleased that Z-Bau has been recognised with such a prestigious award.”