Sunday, January 3, 2016

News From Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

31. Dezember 2015                            
Philadelphia / Tomeka Reid

Brandon Baker reports about initiatives to bring attention back to jazz in Philadelphia and engage a younger jazz audience, talking to Robert Bynum of the new Southern Kitchen and Jazz Parlor, to the 18-year-old musician Isaiah Moregrass, to the jazz vocalist Lauren Talese, to the School District of Philadelphia music program's director Frank Machos, to the trumpeter Terell Stafford, to the pianist Orrin Evans, and to Thomas Camardo who co-founded Jazz It Up Philly, an initiative trying to connect musicians and possible venues ( Philly Voice). --- Howard Reich talks to the cellist Tomeka Reid about touring the world while working on her doctoral thesis at the same time, about the string improvisation ensemble she performed with recently, about the Chicago tradition she feels to be a part of, and about music being a political statement as well ( Chicago Tribune).

1. Januar 2016
Nick's Tavern / Village Gate

Katie Whittaker recounts the story of Nick's Tavern which she claims opened in 1922 (although other jazz clubs at that time were not really yet around 52nd street, as Whittaker writes, and other sources give an opening date sometime in the 1930s), became a major hangout for the more traditional jazz musicians in New York, who played a style which the New York Times called "Nicksieland" and closed in 1963 ( Bedford and Bowery). After Nick's closed it transitioned into another club, Your Father's Moustache, which kept going until 1976. Today the building in which Nick's was based, houses a gourmet supermarket and a fitness club. --- Mireia Triguero Roura recounts the story of another building in New York's Greenwich Village which started as Mills House No. 1 which provided cheap accommodation to a number of artists, then in 1958 housed Art D'Lugoff's Village Gate, a major jazz club for 35 years, followed by Le Poisson Rouge, yet still has a marquee sign up announcing "Jacques Brel's 25th anniversary" and Penny Arcade's "Politics, Sex & Reality" ( Bedford and Bowery).

2. Januar 2016
Ornette Coleman / Avo Uvezian

The singer Neneh Cherry remembers her meetings with the late saxophonist Ornette Coleman whom she met through her stepfather, the trumpeter Don Cherry, and reveals that it took her a long while until she felt she could cover a song by Coleman ( The Guardian). --- Michael Wilson tells the story of the Beirut-born Armenian pianist Avo Uvezian who claims he is the original composer of Frank Sinatra's hit song "Strangers in the Night" which was credited to Bert Kaempfert whom Uvezian, as he claims, had sent the music to publish it ( New York Times). In his second career, Uvezian became a successful cigar manufacturer.

3. Januar 2016               
Louis Armstrong / Wolfgang Dauner

James Karst discovers two small newspaper notes mentioning a Christmas concert of the Colored Waif's Home in New Orleans in December 1913, led by the 12-year-old cornetist Louis Armstrong and playing a repertoire including pieces like 'Little Bunch of Shamrock' (sic), 'Dixie', 'Maryland, My Maryland', and 'America' ( New Orleans Times-Picayune). --- Thomas Morawitzky talks to the German pianist Wolfgang Dauner who turned 80 these days, about his hometown Stuttgart, about New York, about the difficult life being a jazz musician, about writing scores for TV and movies, about crossover projects towards rock or towards contemporary composed music, about Jackson Pollock's art as well as about wanting to write for a big orchestra once more ( Stuttgarter Nachrichten ). Wolfgang Sandner pays tribute to the versatility, courage and musical wisdom of Wolfgang Dauner as well ( Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). Dauner meanwhile was awarded the Stauffermedaille, a high honor bestowed upon him by the governor of his home state, Baden-Württemberg (Schwäbische Post ).

4. Januar 2016
HatHut Records / Oliver Groenewald

The Swiss record label HatHut turns 40, and its founder and artistic director Werner X. Uehlinger recalls how he wanted to help a musician friend to bring out a record in 1975 and how ten years later he left his main job in the pharmaceutical industry to focus on the label which has issued 500 records today ( 20 Minuten). He laments the impact of downloads and streaming on the record industry and announces that he will produce vinyl records again after 30 years. --- Barbara Luetgebrune talks to the German trumpeter Oliver Groenewald who moved to Seattle in 2014 about the Seattle jazz scene and about what he misses about Detmold, the city in Germany he lived and taught in for 17 years ( Lippe-Zeitung).

5. Januar 2016
Brain Activity

Susan Scutti reports about a study by US neuro-scientists that shows how when jazz musicians improvise about a happy, a sad and a more neutral mood, different areas of their brain are activated ( Medical Daily). The results itself can be found in the actual article ( Scientific Reports).

6. Januar 2016
... what else ...

Mark Stryker remembers the impact of the late trumpeter Marcus Belgrave on Detroit's jazz scene ( Detroit Free Press). --- Dylan Baddour reports about the discovery of a new photo of the bluesman Robert Johnson ( San Francisco Chronicle). --- Thomas Larson talks to the San Diego pianist Joe Garrison ( San Diego Reader). --- The Austrian saxophonist Viola Falb is the first female musician to win the Harry Pepl Award ( Niederösterreichische Nachrichten ). --- Tom Cole talks to the guitarist John Scofield ( GPB News). --- Christian Knatz talks to the German saxophonist Steffen Müller-Kaiser ( Echo-Online). --- Hans-Jürgen Linke remembers the late trombonist, arranger and educator Peter Herbolzheimer on his 80th birthday ( Frankfurter Rundschau). --- Ulrich Roth pays tribute to the German-Swiss pianist Joe Haider (born in Darmstadt!) who turned 80 recently ( Langenthaler Tagblatt). --- Jared Nicoll talks to the New Zealand saxophonist Colin Hemmingsen who was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit ( Stuff). --- Walter Tunis talks to Chris and Dan Brubeck, both sons of the late Dave Brubeck ( Kentucky). --- Yoshi Kato talks to the drummer Eric Harland ( San Francisco Chronicle ). --- Hans Hielscher looks back at 2015 and focuses on Kamasi Washington and the ElbJazz Festival in Hamburg ( Spiegel Online). --- Franziska Buhre looks forward to 2016 and has some New Year's wishes ( TAZ). --- Anne Kunz talks to the former German politician Patrick Döring about the parliament, jazz and the animal insurance industry ( Die Welt). --- The guitarist Al DiMeola and his German wife have become parents near Chemnitz, Germany ( Bild).


We learned of the passing of the pianist Paul Bley at the age of 83 ( Ottawa Citizen, Something Else), the singer Natalie Cole at the age of 65 ( The Guardian, New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ), the drummer Tony Bazley at the age of 81 ( Louisiana Weekly), the pianist Sam Dockery at the age of 86 ( Philadelphia Inquirer), the composer John Duffy at the age of 89 ( New York Times), the German pianist Roland Schneider at the age of 78 ( Frankfurter Rundschau), Lester 'Rusty' G. Paul, the son of guitar legend Les Paul, at the age of 74 ( Billboard), as well as the bassoonist Daniel Smith at the age of 77.

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

Based on a concept developed by and in cooperation with the Jazzinstitut, the Selbst.Los!-Kulturstiftung (literally "Self-Go! Cultural Foundation) has announced a jazz workshop grant to help potential attendees whose social or financial situation would not allow them to pay the participation fee (including young people from low-income families) to attend jazz workshops and thus continue their musical education. The grant has to be applied for and will be accounted for by the workshops organizers and can amount to up to 400 euros per participant ( Selbst.Los! Kulturstiftung) . The application form has just been published online.

Jazzinstitut Darmstadt is a municipal cultural institute of the city of Darmstadt, Germany.

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