Tuesday, September 6, 2016

News from Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

25 / 26 August 2016
Josephine Baker / Stadtgarten Köln

Zachary Wolfe talks to the drummer and composer Tyshawn Sorey and the soprano Julia Bullock about their project "Josephine Baker. A Personal Portrait", picturing the dancer, singer and civil rights activist as a precursor of today's Black Lives Matter movement ( New York Times). --- Henriette Westphal reports about Stadtgarten Köln which opened its concert hall 30 years ago, about the history of the organization behind the internationally renowned venue, and about plans to make it a "European Center for Jazz and Contemporary Music" ( Kölnische Rundschau ). Heinz Dietl reports about the 30th anniversary of the jazz club Stadtgarten as well ( Bonner General-Anzeiger).

27 / 28 August 2016
Randy Brecker / Long Playing record

Ralph A. Miriello talks to the trumpeter Randy Brecker about his initiation to jazz and early influences on the trumpet, about his education in and out of the schools, about studio work in the 1960s and 1970s, Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard, about working with Blood, Sweat and Tears and the band Dreams with Billy Cobham, about the Brecker Brothers band, about meeting the pianist Eliane Elias whom he was married to for seven years, as well as about the trumpeter Lew Soloff ( Notes on Jazz). --- The long playing record celebrates its 65th birthday in Germany, and while vinyl might be a niche product today, there is a revival for the medium among DJs, jazz and classic collectors ( Frankfurter Neue Presse).

29 / 30 August 2016       
The Bad Plus / Bastian Jütte

Jim Farber talks to Reid Anderson, bassist of the trio The Bad Plus, about their latest album "It's Hard" which includes cover versions of songs by Prince, Johnny Cash or Barry Manilow, about the idea of the "cover" itself and what the musicians can do with such material, about the equal leadership in the trio, as well as about the singer Wendy Lewis who is present on one of the tracks, having had to "integrate herself into what we do" ( Observer). --- Oliver Hochkeppel talks to the German drummer Bastian Jütte about his musical family background, about his initiation to jazz, about his latest project "Happiness Is Overrated" as well as about his collaboration with the singer Fola Dada ( Süddeutsche Zeitung).

31 August / 1 September 2016
Moers Festival / Louis Armstrong

Reiner Michalke, long-standing artistic director of the Moers Festival in Germany, has stepped down from his position three years ahead of the end of his contract, not stating any reasons for his decision; however differences about the financial basis of the newly restored festival hall seem to have been part of the controversy between Michalke and the board of directors of the cultural organization behind the festival ( Berliner Zeitung, Der Westen, Rheinische Post). Officials declare that the festival will go on. --- Bill Schulz reports about Louis Armstrong's lip balm which he had discovered supposedly while on tour in Europe in the mid-1930s (Schulz says Armstrong "found himself in Germany with a split lip", however not even Armstrong would have that country during those years), a balm invented and sold by the trombonist Franz Schüritz from Mannheim, Germany, which was renamed and marketed as "Louis Armstrong Lip Balm" in the 1950s after Satchmo bought a sizeable amount of it; Schulz finds 500 tins of the lip balm at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens, and also mentions other artifacts at the museum ( New York Times).

2 / 3 September 2016                          
Charlie Parker / Steve Coleman
Ethan Iverson talks to Ken Sloane, a trumpet player from New Albany who was responsible for the transcriptions in the legendary "Charlie Parker Omnibook" about how he transcribed Parker's solos, about the selection of pieces he transcribed and about how to this day he is not happy with ten of solos he transcribed on short deadline after he had already finished 50 others because he sees those ten as "not quite at the level of the others" ( Do the Math). --- Fred Kaplan talks to the saxophonist Steve Coleman about growing up on Chicago's South Side, about an early interest in motion in nature, about his move to New York in 1978 and his subsequent move to Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1991, about the influence of his explorations of foreign cultures on his own musical ideas, about music as a substitute for language, as well as about Chicago influences connected to the AACM jazz collective ( New York Times).
4 / 5 September 2016
Till Brönner / Betsy Braud Hodnett

Katja Schwemmers talks to the German trumpeter Till Brönner about his instrument, about insurance for his hands, lips and teeth, about his sense for fashion, about his love of photography, about the luck of having moved to Berlin and having played with the Rias Big Band for some time, accompanying stars from jazz and show business, about his dream for a jazz center in Berlin, comparable to Jazz at Lincoln Center, and about meetings with the German minister for culture about this subject, about his life in Santa Monica and his likes and dislikes for both his homes, as well as about his performance at the International Jazz Day celebration at the White House this spring ( Berliner Zeitung). Steffen Rüth talks to Till Brönner as well who tells him that Barack Obama talked to him about Angela Merkel, about his experience as TV casting show juror, as well as about the challenge of parting his life between Los Angeles and Berlin ( Berliner Morgenpost). --- The flautist Betsy Braud Hodnett talks about her experience of music as a healing force and her decision to become "the jazz nurse" by incorporating music into her nursing and nursing into her music, about her initiation to jazz when she heard the late clarinetist Alvin Batiste, about the establishment of arts classes for staff and patients at the Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge where she works, as well as about her experience caring for victims of Hurricane Katrina ( Nurse).

6 September 2016
Ron Carter / Jazzomat

Ana Garvrilovska talks to the bassist Ron Carter about studying classical cello at Cass Tech in Detroit when he was young, about the differences between the cello and the bass, about the bassist always being the leader in any band, the difference just being the paycheck, about Detroit's jazz history, as well as about his approach to teaching jazz and to composing for different ensembles (Detroit Metro Times). --- The Jazzomat Project announces the Second International Research Workshop "Perspectives for Computational Jazz Studies" which will take place at 23th/24th September in Weimar ( Jazzomat). During the last years, the Jazzomat Project team has built up the Weimar Jazz Database with several hundred jazz solo transcriptions ( Weimar Jazz Database), also available as sheet music, as well as the stand-alone software MeloSpyGUI for the study of jazz improvisation.

7 September 2016
... what else ...
Gina Faridniya reports about Bobby McFerrin's house in Philadelphia which is up for sale for $3.496 because the singer and his wife plan to move to California ( MansionGlobal). --- David Allen talks to the 91-year-old trumpet player Chet Jaeger ( Inland Valley Daily Bulletin ). --- George Varga talks to the guitarist Carlos Santana ( Las Vegas Sun). --- Louis Reitz reports about the Lippmann+Rau-Musikarchiv in Eisenach, Germany ( Oberpfalznetz), and talks to its founder, Reinhard Lorenz ( Oberpfalznetz). --- Frank Knittermeier talks to the German pianist Klaus Berger about the Bop Cats, a band founded 50 years ago and still going strong ( Hamburger Abendblatt). --- Dorothee Pfaffel talks to Manfred Rehm, co-founder and man behind the Birdland Jazz Club in Neuburg, Germany ( Augsburger Allgemeine). --- Samir H. Köck talks to the American-German singer Bill Ramsey ( Die Presse). --- Shenequa Golding reports about a planned documentary about John Coltrane narrated by Denzel Washington ( Vibe). 
We read more obituaries about the saxophonist Bob Kindred who had died in mid-August at the age of 86 ( KTOO) and the vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, who had died at the age of 75 (Half Moon Bay Review). --- We learned of the passing of the sound engineer Rudy van Gelder at the age of 91 ( Fact Mag, NJ, New York Times [1], New York Times [2], Jersey Record, The New Yorker, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Washington Post), the pianist Ken Rhodes at the age of 71 (Winston-Salem Journal), the pianist John Fischer at the age of 86 (JazzPages), the club owner Lennie Green (Basin Street East) at the age of 99 (The Desert Sun), the German saxophonist Gerhard Stein at the age of 86 (Jazzkeller69), as well as of the German pianist Hans Rempel at the age of 75 (Jazzkeller69). ---

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut
We had a wonderful "Open Jazzinstitut" on 28 August, a great opening of "The Jazz I've Seen", a new exhibition showing artwork relating to our local scene, a full house during the guided tours of the archives, and an enthusiastic audience for the concert by Haberecht 4.

It's only next year, but we start early this time. The 15th Darmstadt Jazzforum will focus on the centennial of jazz but ask for alternative narratives of jazz history rather than the ones we all are aware of. We think that history has many perspectives, and our objective is to look at some of these perspectives critically or look at perspectives rarely acknowledged. We will have a couple of keynote speakers, apart from whom we invite potential participants to give us their possible input. Our website has an outline of what we envision for the 2017 Darmstadt Jazzforum conference on "Jazz @ 100 | An alternative to a story of heroes" and also includes a call for papers.

Wolfram Knauer will attend a symposium celebrating the 80th birthday of German critic Siegfried Schmidt-Joos in Eisenach, Germany on 10 September ( Jazzclub Eisenach). He will also be present at a roundtable discussing New Jazz Studies in Germany at the International Conference of the German Society for Music Research in Mainz, Germany, on 16 September ( GfM, Neue Jazzforschung).

Wolfram Knauer will give a talk with film examples about the different perspectives of Postwar Jazz in Germany as the start of a series of jazz events at Hohe Landesschule (HoLa), Hanau, on 20 September ( VHS Hanau).

Günter Bauer collects newspaper clippings from our local Darmstädter Echo for us. He started in the early 1920s and now has reached September 1990, the first days of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt. From now on, his regular contributions also document our own Darmstadt experiences.

We read ... Bernward Halbscheffel's "Canterbury Scene. Jazzrock in England", the books "Black Popular Music in Britain Since 1945", edited by Jon Stratton and Nabeel Zuberi, and "Black British Jazz. Routers, Ownership and Performance", edited by Jason Toynbee, Catherine Tackley and Mark Doffman, Dave Gelly's "An Unholy Row. Jazz in Britain and Its Audience, 1945-1960", as well as Klaus and Edgar Huckert's "Jazz im Film, 1927-1965".

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