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History

The bird's eye jazz club

 

For three decades, the Bird's Eye Jazz Club has been one of Europe's leading jazz clubs. On five evenings a week, we offer authentic, contemporary live jazz with international stars, as well as renowned regional musicians and rising young musicians.

  

2024  

Thirtieth Anniversary: The first Bird's Eye concert took place in 1994 at our original location in the old Bell grounds on Elsässerstrasse in Basel. This was a milestone not only in the history of our club but also in the rich tradition of jazz in Basel. We are celebrating thirty years of the Bird's Eye with a special anniversary program in the summer months of June, July, and August, with many excellent concerts and new collaborations. This program is a celebration of all the unforgettable moments of our history and a prelude to all the musical adventures that are still ahead of us.

  

2019  

Project acoustics & sound system: For our 25th anniversary we completed a seven-year research project that found unconventional and pathbreaking solutions to optimize our acoustics and install a cutting-edge sound system worthy of the club's history and future.
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2015

Ventilation system with air-conditioning: Thanks to technological progress, it became possible in 2015 to install a new ventilation system with air-conditioning in the basement of the Bird's Eye Jazz Club. Now, the club is much cooler and more comfortable in the summer for musicians, staff, and guests.

  

2014

Twentieth Anniversary: In the summer of 2014, twenty years after the Bird's Eye first opened on Elsässerstrasse, the club organized five concerts in parks in the city of Basel as well as interactive concerts for children at Robi summer camps. A birthday jam and 31 concerts organized with other promoters rounded out the anniversary program.

  

2013

The Bird's Egg: The Bird's Eye began awarding an annual prize of 2500 CHF. "The Bird's Egg" is awarded to a person, organization, or institution that has provided significant support to the ongoing development of the Bird's Eye.

  

2009

Live Stream: On 22 April 2009, the first Bird's Eye concert was presented as a live stream on the internet. Ever since, all our concerts have been streamed live on our website.

  

2006

Subsidy agreement: A major milestone was the 2006 agreement with the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Land that provided for long-term subsidization of the Bird's Eye. The club had previously received regular financial support from both cantons, but never before had the commitment been made for four years.

  

2003

Courses for adults: The Bird's Eye started courses for adults, too, with musicians introducing participants to the secrets of jazz music and related musical styles.

  

2002

Jazz in the schools: Since 2002, the Bird's Eye has regularly offered workshops for school classes in the series "Jazz in the schools." In a friendly, authentic atmosphere, young people have the chance to experience and interact with jazz music at first hand.

  

2000

Recording Studio: Since September 2000, multi-track digital recordings have regularly been made in the Bird's Eye. The small recording studio behind the stage is also a backstage space for the musicians.

 

“Live at the bird's eye” CDs: Since September 2000, the Bird's Eye has recorded many concerts and produced a sample CD, “Live at the Bird's Eye”, almost every year. Usually, each CD is devoted to a special theme.

 

Outside CD production: Local and international bands also use the recording studio to make their own live CDs. Most of these CDs can be bought at the club or ordered here.

  

1999

Move to Kohlenberg 20: On 18 February 1999, the club re-opened in its new home at the converted Lohnhof. The Lohnhof Foundation put a lot of effort and expense into turning the former prison's gymnasium into a special club with its own unique atmosphere.

 

Room in the Room: The concept of "room in the room" that was realized during renovation damps vibrations and associated noise and makes optimal listening possible.

  

1994

Founding: The Bird's Eye Jazz Club opened its doors on 21 July 1994 at the former Bell building at Elsässerstrasse 184. The founding of the club was made possible by the engagement and the ideas of Gisela Iranzo and our longtime artistic director Stephan Kurmann, as well as with the indispensable efforts of numerous supporters in those early years. With their professional presentation and musical quality, the live concerts from Thursday to Saturday quickly became popular with the public. The Bird's Eye soon made quite a name for itself, and then, when the interim contract on Elsässerstrasse ran out, was able to move downtown.