To help artists develop exciting projects that are difficult to realize under existing conditions is the goal of the SWR NEWJazzMeeting. This legendary sound laboratory for jazz of the SWR was founded in 1966 by Joachim-Ernst Berendt and takes place every year. The idea: musicians who always wanted to perform with one another but who, for a variety of reasons, have so far not been able to do so, develop a concert programme in the broadcaster’s studios that the SWR then presents in several concerts in its transmission area. In the course of its fifty-year history, the SWR NEWJazz Meeting has in this way served as a driving force for new trends in jazz. “I see a particular value in exploring the music of my South African homeland and making it fit for the future.” Kyle Shepherd, born in 1987, is the most innovative and important pianist of the contemporary South African jazz scene. His sound boldly makes reference to the roots of township jazz and the Goema Beat of his hometown of Cape Town. Nevertheless, he refuses to be put into a pigeonhole; his horizon extends far beyond his beloved Cape Jazz. “It’s cool to choose the African thing in conceptual questions. But just as cool to choose something else.” Kyle Shepherd, the most innovative and important pianist of the contemporary South African jazz scene, is the curator of the 2016 SWR NEWJazz Meeting. At his wish, four young jazz musicians from South Africa and the Benin-born guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke (who since 2001 has been living in the United States) met in November 2016 at the SWR’s Baden-Baden radio studios. The musicians named their project “Sound Portraits From Contemporary Africa”. The African improvisers experimented for five days and developed a concert programme that they then presented on a tour in the SWR broadcasting area.