(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
7 – 20 July 2022 | Ausgabe 13/2022 (English)

We read the morning paper for you!

Dear jazz friends,

The Jazzinstitut's JazzNews keeps you up-to-date with news of the jazz world, which we collect, summarize, and issue via e-mail about once a week. This service can also be accessed on our website (www.jazzinstitut.de), where it is updated on a daily basis.

If you need bibliographies of the musicians named in our JazzNews, please click on our website’s Jazz Index page. This is a bibliographical reference to jazz-related books, magazines, journals and other sources that you can access without charge. If you don't find the name(s) you’re looking for, feel free to e-mail us! We will send you Jazz Index digests of articles about musicians as they make the news.

Now, have fun reading about the jazz week that was!

... brief news ...

Timothy Cox remembers Black Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the 1960s and 1970s, filled with nightlife, dancing and small neighborhood bars. Among these, he especially points out the Zebra Room jazz club, Fox's, and Mancini's Lounge (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). --- Elysa Gardner talks to pianist and singer Michael Feinstein about moving his regular show from 54 Below to Café Carlyle in New York (New York Times).

Duante Beddingfield talks to saxophonist Alex Harding about changing the tenor for the baritone saxophone in High School to make room for tenor player James Carter, about making it on the New York scene but returning to his hometown Detroit in 2015, as well as about the aesthetic of his current band: "It has to swing and it has to be full of soul!" (Detroit Free Press). --- Lisa Abend reports about a jazz camp just for girls held in 11 cities all over Denmark and the hope of its organizers to encourage girls (a) to pick up instruments they never tried before, (b) to improvise. She learns that the idea has also been adopted by Finland, Poland and Sweden and talks to Agnete Seerup, deputy director of the JazzDanmark about how it might still take some time to reach results when it comes to gender balance in jazz, and how forming strong relations between girls can help as "private networks really matter in jazz" (New York Times).

On the occasion of his 85th birthday Franpi Barreaux talks to British pianist and composer Mike Westbrook about fond memories from his long career, about some of the musicians he regularly worked with, about tending to think of performances as theatrical as well as musical experiences, about the current British jazz scene, about his longtime collaboration with his wife, singer Kate Westbrook, about the influence of Duke Ellington as well as some classical composers, about working with material of The Beatles, about his approach to solo, large orchestra or brass band writing, as well as about his hopes for the future (Citizen Jazz, London Jazz News). --- Marc Myers talks to guitarist Mike Stern about his current activities, about often identifying with horn players, about his childhood and how he came to play the guitar, about studying at Berklee College of Music, about playing in the band Blood, Sweat & Tears in the 1970s and with Miles Davis in the 1980s, about his drug addiction, about an accident in which he broke both arms in 2016, about the idea of jazz rock, as well as about five albums of his which he would recommend to get acquainted with his playing (JazzWax).

Silke Arning talks to German singer Fola Dada about her different projects, about jazz still being a men's world in Germany, as well as about the need to change that (SWR). --- Melanie Biedermann finds young bands, exciting music and a euphoric audience on the London jazz scene and singles out trumpeter Emma-Jean Thackray, harpist Nala Sinephro, poet Alabaster DePlume, and saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings and Chelsea Carmichael as some of its major players (Neue Zürcher Zeitung).

Edigna Menhard talks to German drummer Harry Alt about the influence of Turkish and Arabic music on what he calls his "oriental jazz", about the hassles of a professional musician's life, as well as about his concept when it comes to teaching drums and percussion (Augsburger Allgemeine). --- Following the decision to reinstate Jim Thorpe's 1912 Olympic gold medals, Ted Gioia suggests to do the same for Duke Ellington's Pulitzer Price. In 1965, the Pulitzer jury had decided to honor Ellington for his career which would also have made him the first jazz and African-American musician to receive the award, however the board refused to accept the jury's decision, which resulted in the 66-year-old maestro commenting, "Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn’t want me to be famous too young (The Honest Broker). Gioia also started a petition to give Ellington the Pulitzer he was denied in 1965 (petition).

Ted Gioia continues his three-part essay on Frank Zappa (The Honest Broker). --- Ulrich Habersetzer remembers Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko on his 80th birthday (BR Klassik).

Marc Myers talks to guitarist Al DiMeola about the album "Saturday Night in San Francisco" (JazzWax). --- Robert Fröwein talks to drummer Billy Cobham (Kronen-Zeitung).

Abe Beeson talks to trombonist Freddy Fuego (KNKX). --- The 2023 NEA Jazz Masters are violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, drummer Louis Hayes, as well as producer and author Sue Mingus (NPR, NEA).


We learned of the passing of British saxophonist Barabara Thompson at age 77 (ORF), British critic Bob Weir at age 82 (Jazz Journal), drummer Lawrence Batiste at age 83 (New Orleans Times-Picayune), British singer Edana Minghella at age 63 (On the Wight), as well as drummer Clarence Becton at age 88 (Jazzenzo).

While we mourn all we are especially sad to learn of German photographer Jörg Becker's death at age 71 (Jazz Pages). Becker had been a close friend to the Jazzinstitut, and we were proud to present some of his photos from the 1970s to the present both in an exhibition and a catalogue which we published in 2010. He had retired some years ago and in his spare time started to digitize his large photo collection, regularly sending us parts of that material for documentation. We talked to him only two weeks before his unexpected death. R.I.P.

From the World of Jazz Research

Joachim Ernst Berendt @ 100
German critic, producer or as they used to call him, "jazz pope" Joachim Ernst Berendt would have turned 100 on 22 July. Berendt who died in 2000 witnessed the success of the Jazzinstitut which made him glad he had decided to give his large collection to the city of Darmstadt in the 1980s, which became the basis for the Jazzinstitut's archive.

Berendt was one of the most important figures in German post-war jazz. He established the first jazz department at a public radio station, developed concert and festival ideas, was a widely-listened-to voice on radio and TV, wrote books and essays about the music, produced records, established the Berlin Jazzfest, encouraged jazz musicians to experiment with other ethnic traditions, and made sure that jazz and improvised music had to be considered within the "serious" discourses of the contemporary classical and arts worlds. His Jazzbuch was one of the most influential books about jazz not just in Germany (it has been translated into many languages).

He had an ever-curious mind and saw music as a chance to learn more about oneself. He was held in high regards by colleagues all over the world, and he encouraged quite a number of musicians in projects they had always wanted to pursue but that seemed hard to realize. There were some who envied his success or thought that he was praising himself for the ideas of others. And, yes, Berendt was one to embrace projects which he found promising wholeheartedly. He would, however, have been the first to acknowledge the origin of the idea, realizing that sometimes it needed his weight as a renowned cultural journalist and critic to actually make a promising project a reality.

His centenary will especially be celebrated in his original field of work, on German radio. Among the well-wishers are Guenter Huesmann, successor to Berendt's position at the jazz department of SWR, who pays tribute and remembers his first encounters with him (SWR). We know of planned radio features on Deutschlandfunk, ORF and other stations. And, knowing his spiritual side and his belief in nothing really being gone forever, we might take a moment and sing OM to become one with the world and the elements, to breathe in and out and be aware that every breath connects us to those who were before us, Coltrane and Berendt included.

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

(New) books we read
Among the books on our desk the last couple of weeks were "Ode to a Tenor Titan. The Life and Times and Music of Michael Brecker", by Bill Milkowski; and "Chargesheimer fotografiert Jazz, Köln 1950-1970", edited by Evelyn Bertram-Neunzig (see the Jazzinstitut's book review page).

Progress in digitizing Werner Wunderlich, Hans Blüthner and Hartmut Geerken / Sun Ra collections
"In between" our daily workload we try to progress with listing and digitizing parts of our special collections. In recent months our focus has been on three collections, the Hans Blüthner papers documenting the Berlin jazz scene from the 1920s through the 1960s, the Werner Wunderlich collection from which are currently digitizing the manuscripts for his radio shows from the 1960s through the 1980s, and Hartmut Geerken's Sun Ra archive from which we digitized most of the visual material (video, photos), as well as parts of Geerken's correspondence and research papers. All of this work is being done by the Jazzinstitut's staff as well as by a number of volunteers who come once or twice a week to dive into the boxes and help us get a grasp of what's in them. We plan to eventually publish finding aids to the several collections. While material that is being subject to copyright (such as videos or live music recordings) will only be available for research at the Jazzinstitut, some of the other material such as manuscripts or letters might eventually be made available on our website.

Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions
Next week the 31st Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions will re-sound all over the city. Our annual workshop had to pause in 2020 due to Covid and underwent necessary and precautionary changes in 2021. Basically we cut down the ensemble sizes to eight players and made sure that we have bigger rooms in which the bands rehearse. Together with artistic director, pianist and composer Uli Partheil, we invited as teachers Rabie Azar (Arab violin), Heidi Bayer (trumpet), Christopher Dell (vibraphone), Angela Frontera (drums, percussion), and Christian Ramond (bass) to front the six ensembles this year that will work together for a whole week and present results in open-air concerts and sessions each evening. (More info on the Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions

Changes at the Jazzinstitut
The Jazzinstitut has a small staff – just the three of us plus a bunch of volunteers. One of the staff positions will be vacant soon. The City of Darmstadt has advertised the position to be filled from 1 December 2022. The job description can be found on the Darmstadt website; any job application has to go to the city's HR department (link on the job posting); final deadline for all applications: 27 July 2022.

Current opening hours of the Jazzinstitut
The Jazzinstitut is open to the public by appointment. We also offer research help by phone, e-mail or video-call. If you would like to schedule a video call, please send an e-mail to make an appointment and give us an idea what you want to talk about. We will then reply with a link for a Webex video session for your meeting.

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Jazzinstitut Darmstadt
Bessunger Strasse 88d | 64285 Darmstadt | Germany
The Jazzinstitut is an institution of the City of Sciences Darmstadt | Das Jazzinstitut ist eine Einrichtung der Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt