LOCATION: Ballhaus Prinzenallee, Prinzenallee 33, 13359 Berlin

LOCATION (Thursday) Ballhaus Wedding, Wriezener Str. 6, 13359 Berlin

ARE YOU SYNCOPATED?! Sept 29.– Oct 2. 2022

Welcome to the party! For this first edition, we have a fantastic line-up of bands and musicians to carry the music all through the night. Each concert will lead to a Jam Session in the style of our regular Jam Cats Session where musicians and dancers can share the stage. Additionally to that we have planned a lot of cool activities also during the daytime:

Dancers – This festival is for you! All the parties focus on dance music and to warm you up we will offer you some fun dance and movement related tasters on Thursday, Friday and Sunday – as well as some lectures and panel discussions on Friday and Saturday Afternoon. By the way: Come as you are! Feel free to dance solo, with a partner, lead, follow, switch… Make the music your friend, bring your own spin to the style, and don’t be afraid to stand out. We make no differentiation based on level, dance style, or role and welcome all of your happy feet! 

Musicians – We also organize music workshops during the day where you can practice and learn with professional musicians from the Syncopation Society. These workshops will take place alongside lectures and panel discussions accessible to all participants. We will discuss music styles, history, and the cultural significance of jazz today. More fun awaits you with special daytime activities and tasters curated for the occasion. More to be announced soon.

Everyone – We want to use this festival as a chance to educate ourselves in cultural topics that are connected to, but go beyond the dance and music community today. Which is why we on Friday and Saturday afternoon we offer a set of lectures and panel discussions around the topics of Black American Culture, Diversity and Inclusivity. These topics are very important to us, so we hope you show up and show your support.

There will also be some more community events to meet and exchange. More infos on that are coming soon…

Pre-festival event

Fr. 09. Sept Lesung Mit Michaela Dudley // Konzert & Jam Session. We are very pleased to welcome Berlin-based cabaret artist, author, and speaker Michaela Dudley, trans woman and queer feminist with African American roots, to present her new book “Race Relations – Essays über Rassismus”. Nina is half-way through, she says it’s REALLY REALLY GOOD!

Ballhaus Prinzenallee, Prinzenallee 33

How much? 15EUR – VVK at swingstep.com/michaela-dudley

⭐ The event is free for the participants of Are You Syncopated?! 2022 or with a SwingStep City Pass ⭐


Ballhaus Wedding


21:00 | Ice breaking taster with Joris & Joren

Photo © Sissel Steyaert Photography

Joris and Joren will open the celebration with a warming up and musical games to get us all in the mood. More about the tasters ♬


20:00 | The Time Rag Department

Photo © Stephane Talneau

In Berlin, the Time Rag Department doesn’t need an introduction. They are powering the dance community with their regular appearances at the infamous Villa Neukölln. They have been polishing their sound eversince with a blend of old jazz songs, forgotten standards and musical tunes. Anton Wunderlich, the lead singer, and trombonist of the band always finds the way to communicates his love for the oldest of jazz to his audience. We are so happy to have them welcoming you all! – Read more ♬

22:00 – DJ Set by Christopher Rose &
Andreas Michalke


Ballhaus Prinzenallee


16:15 | Lecture with JorenThe genesis of African and American musical traditions

Panels and lectures are on donation basis. Free admission with a festival pass. | Centuries ago, millions of African people were being taken away from their lands and drafted into forced labor in the Americas under European rule. This had a profound impact on both continents, and certainly also on their musical traditions. Imagine you could watch and listen to an interactive radio show, live, and the presenter is right there in front of you, playing good old music, talking about its context. The goal here is to question How African and American musical traditions have continuously been influencing and inspiring one another since the first day up until present times. More about Joren ♬

20:30 | Dance taster: Switch it! with Momo and Jean Bartolome

Do you lead and follow and always do the same two steps to change roles with your partner? Or are you used to dancing only one role but are interested in the other part as well? We invite you to join us and have more fun discovering both sides of the story. Read more ♬


21:30 | Meschiya Lake & The New Movement

Photo © Stephane Talneau

Meschiya Lake has a strong connection to Berlin and a long history. She took a bigger step with her last album “Looking The World Over” recorded and produced in Berlin back in 2018, shortly before the pandemic. Now she’s returning to the stage with the New Movement to pick up the story where she left it, and we will all be there to catch it! – Read more ♬

23:00 | Late Night Session with the Careless Cats.

Carried by the powerful personality of Nina Thaler, the Careless Cats is a versatile sextet with a distinctive instrumentation. With a tuba, a full drum kit and an electric guitar, they can pull off a totally swing sound but also bluesy or slightly Latin if they feel like it, allowing their front line to shine on cornet and reeds. They present intricate original arrangements of famous jazz songs from the 20s to 50s and they will host the jam. Read more ♬


Ballhaus Prinzenallee


16:15 | Panel discussion with Momo: Reflecting the Past and the Present…and then?!

Panels and lectures are on donation basis. Free admission with a festival pass | Learning about the history and cultural roots of Lindy Hop and Swing is necessary to fully appreciate it. But how can we be sensible and understand the circumstances for black people now and back then? What could be a good way to discuss the dancing scene and its inclusivity today? Momo created a small portable format that breaks down the problematic and identifies the inherent racism that European societies have carried on for centuries. This is a chance to discuss how we can make our scene more inclusive. And it will be more than just warm words! – More about the lecture ♬

20:30 | Meeting Ernie

Originally from Indianapolis, Ernie Butler was stationed in West Germany during the 1950s where he became basketball coach. In his off-hours he played jazz and has kept active in the scene ever since. He will talk about his life, jazz, dance, basketball… And probably a lot more – More about the lecture ♬


21:30 | The Syncopation Society Orchestra

The Syncopation Society Orchestra is the manifestation of our collective. Launched by François Perdriau in 2019, it aims to play a repertoire rooted in the early jazz era with a large ensemble. It was made possible by the remarkable work of world-renowned arranger Claus Jacobi. The SSO presents an impressive line-up of passionate musicians who strive to interpret and even transcend this fantastic music with passion and untameable energy. Read more ♬

23:00 | Late Night Session with the Toolbox Orchestra.

photo © Susanne Ziese

The Toolbox Orchestra is an exotic one-in-a-million-band, even for their notorious adopted hometown Berlin: They are an all-female band and originally started out on self-made instruments straight out of the workshop like singing saw and washtub bass. Completed by banjo, guitar, trumpet and clarinet they weave an earthy and unique sound very close to the roots of the music they chose as their playground: the music of the 20’s and early 30’s. Read more ♬


Ballhaus Prinzenallee (unless specified otherwise)


13:00 – 15:30 | Riverboat Shuffle

Free for festival pass holders, others 15€ | A two-hour boat trip around Berlin with live music and good spirit. Meeting at 13:00 at Rummelsburger Bucht, Registrations available on site or at the festival.

15:15 | Cine-concert – Charlie Chaplin The immigrant

Kinderprogram – Kids under 12: 3€ | Adults: 5-10€ | Free admission with a festival pass. Two brilliant musicians from Berlin will provide musical accompaniment to a film by Charlie Chaplin. With Camille Phelep on piano and Mark Kagan on violin.

16:00 | “SELBSTGEBAUTE MUSIK” – Instrumente basteln

Kinderprogram – Kids under 12: 3€ | Adults: 5-10€ | Free admission with a festival pass. Selbstgebaute Musik‘s workshops explore ideas about building and developing musical instruments with fun and a passion for unusual sound experiment.

16:00 | Street Food Bounce @ Kulturbrauerei

Street Food auf Achse – Dance, eat and drink with the Time Rag Department for the Street food market @ Kulturbrauerei.

17:30 | A meeting with Ewan Bleach & Mauro L. Porro

Ewan Bleach and Mauro L. Porro are both very advanced musicians and both look at the same material from different perspectives. This session will be an opportunity to talk about the state of the hot jazz scene, musical approaches, the challenges to arrange complex musical pieces… And probably many other things that will come up in the conversation.


20:30 | Dance Taster with Joren: Your body, your instrument –Swing dancing from an African perspective.

Music is expressing yourself through your instrument of choise. When your instrument is your voice, we call it singing. When it’s your body, we call it dance. Do you know some swing steps and basic counting? Or you don’t know any of that? Never mind! This time we will fly into swing from an other angle. How do Africans and Black Americans traditionally get to music and dance? How might the pioneers of Swing have discovered their basics? What happens when rhythm, groove and conversation become your starting point? – More about the lecture ♬

21:30 | Jam Cats Night

A Jam Session is an after-hour where musicians can blow freely and hang without the constraints of their usual engagements. We want to communicate the excitement of an improvised set on the dance-floor and bring this vibe to the festival to create a moment on stage for unique musical encounters. Now we don’t call this the ALL-STAR JAM BAND for no reason: Meschiya Lake, Ewan Bleach, Mauro Porro, Malte Tönißen and David Hermlin are all headliners in their name. They will meet on stage for the first time, and we will be there to see it! And just like JAM CATS, the stage will be open for more musicians afterward. It’s going to be a splendid and one-of-a-kind evening. ♬

The participants of the Are You Syncopated?! music workshop will also present the result of their intense sessions along with their respective music teachers during the night.



12:00 – 14:00 | Rooftop Brunch

Free for festival pass holders, others 15€ | A recovery brunch in the most musical rooftop in town. Registrations available on site or at the festival

15:00 – 18:00 | Visit of “La Soufflerie”

Free for festival pass holders, others 15€ | A one of a kind opportunity to discover the working place of a true Berlin legend. Schorsch Pfister has been playing and repairing saxophones for more than 30 years and has seen a lot. Registrations available on site or at the festival

15:30 – 18:00 | Riverboat Shuffle 2

Free for festival pass holders, others 15€ | A two-hour boat trip around Berlin with live music and good spirit. Meeting at 13:00 at Rummelsburger Bucht, Registrations available on site or at the festival.

This festival is part of the project Swinging Europe. Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Commission.

Media Partner