Dr. Bettina Bohle (Director)

Dr. Bettina Bohle by Lena Ganssmann… studied musicology, ancient greek philology and philosophy in Greifswald, Glasgow, Padova, and London. She received her PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin and and worked for several years as a research assistant and post-doc in the field of ancient philosophy and literary theory at various universities in Germany. In this context she was one of the founders of the online journal eisodos with a focus on literary theory, and she organized workshops for young female scholars in the sphere of philosophy. In the recent years, she has increasingly focused her publishing activities on jazz-related studies. Amongst others, she was a member of the scientific advisory board for the "Jazzstudie 2022" and authored the report "German jazz" for the Europe Jazz Network survey.

Until February 2024, Bohle led the implementation process for a center for jazz and improvised music in Berlin ( Zentrum für Jazz und Improvisierte Musik in Berlin). As a project manager for the Initiative Musik, she developed the concept for the first edition of the German Jazz Award (Deutscher Jazzpreis). For several years she ran the blog JAZZAFINE with its weekly newsletter.

Recently she has been teaching at the Institute for Music and Musicology at the University of Hildesheim, where she offers courses in jazz with a focus on cultural politics, philosophy and sociology. Also, since 2019 Bettina Bohle is spokesperson of the Bundeskonferenz Jazz and thus responsible for the current political report on the situation of jazz in Germany, which is expected to be published in 2024.

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Contact: ph. +49 6151 963740,

Marie Härtling (Projektleitung/Dokumentation, allgemeine Dienstleistungen und Ausstellungen)

... studied musicology, ethnology and music education at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main. In her studies, she specialized in African-American music in historical and contemporary contexts. Härtling is also active as an artist herself and has professional experience in adult education. At the Jazzinstitut Marie Härtling is responsible for the visual collection. In addition, she supports external exhibition projects and helps our users with their research questions. She curates exhibitions at the Jazzinsitut, and is involved in the organization of workshops, conferences, concerts, and other formats.
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Contact: Tel. +49 6151 963700,

Arndt Weidler (Deputy Director/archive, general services, and events)

... studied sociology, political science and social psychology, first in Heidelberg and then at the University of Mannheim. In his master thesis, he investigated the different expectations of blues and jazz audiences when attending concerts. Already during his studies, he initially worked as a tour guide for American blues bands and later founded his own artist agency for blues and jazz musicians, while also organizing club concerts and festivals featuring blues, jazz and gospel music. Since 1998, he has been responsible for events as well as the information and service area of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt. His diverse activities also include providing expert advice to committees and juries. In addition to a large number of other projects, Arndt Weidler supervised the creation of the "Jazzstudie 2016 - Living and working conditions of jazz musicians in Germany" and he was a member of the advisory board of a follow-up-study in 2022 Nachfolgestudie 2022.
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Contact: Tel. 06151 963744,

Prof. Wolfram Knauer (founding director)
— retired since 1 February 2024 —

... studied musicology, English/American studies, art history and sociology at the University of Kiel. He has been director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt since 1990 and has also taught at several German universities, including as an honorary professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. He has published various books, most recently biographies of Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker und Duke Ellington (all published by Reclam-Verlag), has been editor of the Darmstadt contributions to jazz research (15 volumes to date), sits on the editorial board of the international journal Jazz Perspectives and is the author of numerous scientific articles in books and specialist journals. In fall 2019, his latest book "Play yourself, man!” Eine Geschichte des Jazz in Deutschland (Reclam). In spring 2008 he was the first non-American Louis Armstrong Professor of Jazz Studies at Columbia University in New York. (Publikationsliste)
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Besides the Foerderverein Jazz (predominately support of events in our venue), we can rely on the assistance of great people in our daily archivial work. Below you find short portraits of our long-time colleagues, who will be introduced below. In addition, Jochen Rissler, Mirjam Irle, Bernd Wehking-Berges and Thomas John joined our library in 2022 and 2023, and their short portraits will follow here soon.

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Rainer Grobe (Ehrenamt für Darmstadt e.V.)

... supports us in archiving extensive collection holdings, such as complete discographic recording of the record collection. Rainer Grobe has been part of our team for over ten years. As a committed trade union activist, the current retiree has been awarded the Darmstadt Citizen's Medal for his many voluntary activities.

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Alexander von Leliwa (Ehrenamt für Darmstadt e.V.)

... worked professionally as a pilot and planned the logistics of large airports. Now, in his retirement, he helps us with the development of extensive collection holdings and the initial registration of special collections (Wilhelm-Liefland-Collection, Gene-Krupa-Collection, Hans-Blüthner-Collection).

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Günter Schapka

... is a passionate glider pilot and cyclist. The jazz fan and amateur photographer joined our team through concert visits to the Jazz Institute. Collaborates in the archiving of extensive collection holdings, edits the discographic complete version of the recorded sound collection.

2013_09_12_SchaeferRudolf Schäfer (Ehrenamt für Darmstadt e.V.)

... was a self-employed graphic designer and helps us prepare exhibitions in the Jazz Institute Gallery. At the same time he helps us with the collection, digitization, cataloging of jazz photos, posters and posters for the electronic database.

Michael TelegaMichael Telega

... is a specialist for jazz films on VHS and DVD. Digitizes and archives the film collection for the Jazzinstitut and supervises its technical preparation for our electronic database. The former IBM employee was active in the Jazzkreis Wiesbaden e.V. and wrote a blog about historical jazz recordings.

R.I.P. Helmut Lücke († 30.5.2023)

Helmut Lücke offered us his voluntary work in the mid-2000s and since then had mainly cataloged CDs, new releases as well as donations. Not only did he catalog them, but he also listened to the music and developed his own taste in jazz over the years. He attended our concerts and was always open to new musical adventures, even if - or especially if - he didn't quite understand what they were about. It was precisely this kind of challenge that he enjoyed, and it was important to him to share his experiences with us afterwards. Helmut Lücke was a passionate hiker who certainly knew all the good hiking trails in the Odenwald. But his eyes lit up the most when he talked about his "grandchildren". At the beginning of May 2023, Helmut Lücke called us from hospital to tell us that he would probably not be able to come to work. He was discharged home for palliative care and died shortly afterwards on May 30, 2023 at the age of 81. We miss him very much.