Tuesday, June 9, 2015

News From Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

4. Juni 2015                                
Jen Shyu / Susanna Gartmayer

Frank J. Oteri talks to the singer Jen Shyu about her worldwide travels which have broadened her aesthetic horizons, about the meaning of her self-definition as an "experimental jazz vocalist", about wanting to blend into an ensemble context, about her fascination with Abbey Lincoln, about getting into the jazz idiom when she was 13, about her Asian-American cultural background and its impact on her music, about the political dimensions of jazz, as well as about her duo with bassist Mark Dresser ( New Music Box). --- Franziska Buhre talks to the Austrian bass clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer about her early fascination by vocalists such as Meredith Monk and Yma Sumac, about doubts raised by her arts studies which only increased her interest in improvised music and jazz, about a changing jazz scene in which more and more female musicians make themselves heard and about trying to achieve a sound connected to the spaces she performs in ( TAZ).

5. Juni 2015
Jon Batiste / Charlie Parker

Jim Farber reports that the pianist Jon Batiste will be the new "Late Show" bandleader for host Stephen Colbert who takes over the show from David Letterman starting 8 September ( New York Daily News). --- In advance of the premiere of the opera "Charlie Parker's Yardbird" Karen Smyles and Elisabeth Perez-Luna talk to the composer Daniel Schnyder, the librettist Bridgette Wimberly and the tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and in the background audio of the interviews you can here small excerpts from the opera which plays Philadelphia's Kimmel Theater from this weekend ( NewsWorks). Shawn E. Milnes gets a first glimpse ( The Daily Beast), and Peter Dobrin has the first review ( Philadelphia Inquirer). Anne Midgette ( Washington Post) and Anthony Tommasini ( New York Times) attended the premiere as well.

6. Juni 2015
Brad Terry / Juan-les-Pins

Darren Fishell talks to the clarinetist Brad Terry about his diagnosis with attention deficit disorder and how it "had complicated his efforts to learn to read music or take well to instruction" ( Bangor Daily News). Terry speaks about his musical partner, the young guitarist Peter Herman, about performing with Lenny Breau in the late 1970s, and about having seen Lester Young at an outdoor concert in Bryant Park in New York. In an odd aside the article also mentioned that during the past two years Terry had "borrowed the kitchen floor of Buddy Tate’s New York apartment". --- Verena Fischer-Zernin reports about the 56-year-old tradition of Jazz à Juan, the jazz festival on the French Riviera ( Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ). She discovers that jazz in the region goes back to the 1920s and talks to some regulars who heard them all, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald or Keith Jarrett.

7. Juni 2015
Chick Corea / Antonio Sanchez

Manfred Pabst talks to the pianist Chick Corea about his duo performances with Herbie Hancock, about trying to look ahead in his music instead of looking back, about performing as the most wonderful part of the day (and his own reaction to an audience taking too many photos), about studying scientology but not wanting to convince others of it, about the need to practice, about virtuosity, about electronic instruments and about the biggest influences on his music ( Neue Zürcher Zeitung ). --- Arun Rath talks to the drummer Antonio Sanchez about the challenges of creating the soundtrack for the movie "Birdman" ( NPR). Nate Chinen, meanwhile listens to two of Sanchez's most recent albums ( New York Times).

8. Juni 2015
Lizz Wright / Clare Church

Bänz Friedli talks to the singer Lizz Wright about different influences on her art, about the political dimensions of her music after Ferguson and Baltimore, about daily racism, but also about the deep good she has experienced in people ( Neue Zürcher Zeitung ). --- Ryan Haarer talks to the former saxophonist, now drummer Clare Church who had to change instruments due to Cranial Dystonia, a chronic condition which was triggered by her instruments ( 9News).

9. Juni 2015
Germany. A Survey / Klaus Doldinger

There have been studies about the living and working condition of jazz musicians in several countries, but the last such study about the situation in Germany is decades old. Now the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, the Union Deutscher Jazzmusiker (a musicians' interest group) and the IG Jazz Berlin (a local initiative) have commissioned an extensive study undertaken by Hildesheim University and financed by the federal government as well as the regional governments of the states Northrhine-Westfalia, Lower Saxony and Berlin. It aims at a better knowledge of how musicians live, where their income comes from and how they fit within the German social security structures. The results will be made public at the Jazzfest Berlin in early November, together with recommendations for fitting funding measures to support this creative scene. The online study for professional German musicians can be accessed here: Jazzstudie 2015. --- Martina Kaden talks to the German saxophonist Klaus Doldinger about being on stage since 62 years, about his roots in Berlin, about his first performances, about his detour into pop music under the name "Paul Nero", about film music, healthy living, and his recommendations for young musicians ( BZ).

10. Juni 2015
... what else ...

Geoff Winston hears a new recording by the bassist and violinist Henry Grimes ( London Jazz News). --- Joe Klopus reports about the American Jazz Walk of Fame in Kansas City which came into existence last year and which received six more medallions last Saturday: for Bennie Moten, Claude 'Fiddler' Williams, Coleman Hawkins, Myra Taylor, Lester Yong and Everette DeVan ( Kansas City Star). --- Franziska Buhre reports about this year's Moers Festival ( TAZ ). --- Ben Ratliff hears Dr. Lonnie Smith at the Jazz Standard in New York ( New York Times). --- The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University has announced the appointment of its new Executive Director, Wayne Winborne ( IJS, Facebook). Vincent Pelote, longtime archivist at IJS and supporter for all researchers visiting the world's most important jazz archive, had been named its Director of Operations in April already.


We read another obituary about the producer Bruce Lundvall, this one by his friend and biographer Dan Ouellette ( ZealZNC) as well as a belated obituary about the German pianist and singer Wolfgang Sauer ( Westdeutsche Zeitung). --- We learned of the passing of the pianist Ray Kennedy at the age of 58 ( St. Louis Post-Dispatch ), the pianist Corky McClerkin at the age of 72 ( Chicago Tribune), as well as the Canadian drummer Archie Alleyne at the age of 82 ( CBC News).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

The 14th Darmstadt Jazzforum will focus on "Gender and Identity in Jazz" from 1st to 4th October 2015. Our call for papers went out earlier this year and lead to many interesting suggestions for papers among which we selected eighteen for our fall conference, documenting a number of different approaches. Now we published the names of the speakers as well as abstracts of their papers on our website ( jazzforum.jazzinstitut.de). We look forward to exciting discussions during the conference.

Closer to this newsletter are two events we co-organize next week. On Wednesday (17 June, 8pm) the Jazzinstitut is part of the 20th Darmstadt Music Talk for which our colleagues and us invited Kerstin Schultz, Darmstadt-based professor for architecture and urban planning who will have us re-think the different relationships between "Music and Architecture" ( Darmstädter Musikgespräche ).

The next day (Thursday, 18 June, 7:30 pm) Wolfram Knauer will moderate the 2nd Mainz Jazz Talk hosted by the jazz department at Mainz University. Daniel Martin Feige, pianist, philosopher and author of the recently published book "Philosophie des Jazz" [philosophy of jazz] (Suhrkamp Verlag) will introduce some of his ideas about what philosophy can learn from jazz, and a panel made up of the saxophonist Angelika Niescier, the guitarist and musicologist Jörg Heuser and the pianist and Mainz professor Sebastian Sternal will then discuss some of the arguments and ask which of Feige's observations they know from their own daily work ( Mainzer Jazzgespräche).

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