Last Week at the Jazzinstitut
The world visits the Jazzinstitut
In late October we were visited by a group taking part in the official visitors program of the Federal Foreign Office. The participants from Brazil, Montenegro, Kenya, Mexico, Vietnam and the USA attended events in Berlin, Frankfurt and in Darmstadt where we told them about the Jazzinstitut's activities and talked to them about the German jazz scene. Vibraphonist Christopher Dell played a short solo set of his Monodosis program in our concert space and involved the participants in a lively discussion about his own musical thinking and their experience comparing improvisatory approaches in Germany and their own countries (Besucherprogramm des Auswärtigen Amts; Themenreise Jazz from Germany).
City of sciences (jazz included)
In late October the Jazzinstitut received a plaque celebrating 25 years of the official city's title as "City of Sciences". Darmstadt is home to more than 30 scientific institutions including four universities, the European Space Agency, Eumetsat, the particle accelerator center GSI / FAIR, but also cultural institutions such as the German Poland Institute, the Institut Mathildenhöhe, and the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt (25 Jahre Wissenschaftsstadt).
heimat@jazzinstitut: "Bebop Mädchen" goes Darmstadt
Mandy Neukirchner is a guitarist from Leipzig, who about three years ago launched a podcast under the title "Bebop Mädchen" (Bebop Girls), which deals with current issues that affect career planning and everyday situations of musicians – all from a deliberately feminist perspective (Bebop Mädchen). The content, which she addresses in a fresh manner with her guests, ranges from overcoming female self-doubt when making music to general mysogyny in the music business or hate speech on the net related to female musicians.
We have invited Mandy Neukirchner to the fifth of our 2022 short residencies under the title heimat@jazzinstitut and we are pleased that she will spend four days in Darmstadt next week. Neukirchner wants to use her Darmstadt residency for an extensive evaluation of her previous podcasting activities in order to open up new topics. To this end, she will meet (in real or virtual terms) with SWR journalist Julia Neupert, with cultural manager Lisa Tuyala and with podcaster Imke Machura from the Raketerei and spend several days researching new topics in the Jazzinstitut's archives (heimat@jazzinstitut).
Jazz and the Future of (German) Radio
When we selected this semester's topic of our Mainz Jazz Talks we didn't know that the future of public radio actually would be a widely reported subject due to a statement of WDR intendant Tom Buhrow who suggested that changes in both the structure and content of broadcasting were inevitable.
Apart from concerts and recordings, public radio was the most important medium in Germany in the 20th century when it came to presenting current trends in jazz or attracting new audiences to the music. Today, there are many other ways to find out about jazz and improvised music, and even the public broadcasters no longer offer their programs in just linear format, but for re-listening give open access to their media libraries. In addition to the still comparatively well-equipped public broadcasters, there are regional, local, non-commercial radio projects as well as podcasts that deal with different aspects of our music.
The Mainz Jazz Talk brings together three representatives of different radio formats to exchange ideas about what the radio of the 2020s might look like. Julia Neupert is editor for jazz and new music at SWR in Baden-Baden and, among other things, involved in the SWR Jazz College, which connects three of the university jazz departments in the broadcast area. Jazz guitarist Mandy Neukirchner has been producing "Bebop-Mädchen" since a couple of years, a podcast in which she reports regularly on topics that equally affect career planning and everyday situations of musicians - all from a deliberately feminist perspective. At the time of the Jazzgespräch, Mandy is just starting a short residency at the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, which she wants to use for an extensive evaluation of her two years of podcasting, but also to open up new topics (see the entry above). The third guest is guitarist Markus Fleischer, who, together with drummer Maximilian Hering, produces the monthly show "Hör halt hin" on local Radio Rheinwelle 92.5, in which the two regularly invite guests to talk about music.
With all three (and with the students and audience members), moderator Wolfram Knauer will talk about what the different types of radio represented by his guests can do for jazz, what might have been better "in the past," what is better "today," and what the future of radio might look like. The panel will be musically framed by singer Helen Skobowsky and pianist Manuel Seng, students from the Hochschule für Musik, who will perform some original compositions by Skobowsky.
The Mainz Jazz Talk is free and open to the public. The date is: Wednesday, 16 November 2022, 7:30pm until 9:00pm at Hochschule für Musik, Universität Mainz, Jakob-Welder-Weg 28, 55128 Mainz (Mainzer Jazzgespräch, Mainz Veranstaltungen).
Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz
We are continuing the preparations for our next Darmstadt Jazzforum conference to be held 28-30 September 2023. Inspired by Hartmut Geerken's Sun Ra Archive housed at the Jazzinstitut, we have titled the conference: "Destination Unknown. The Future of Jazz".
Our Call for Papers can be found on our website (Destination Unknown) together with a corresponding blog that outlines some of our own thoughts on the subject. Current entries: (1) The devil you (don't) know; (2) Soothsaying; (3) If you have visions; (4) infinite vastness; (5) just go ahead ... (women in jazz)
If you want to be part of the conference as an active or passive participant, let us know. If you have any ideas for a paper or a panel, write to us. If you want to know what happened at the Jazzforum conferences over the years, browse the website of our publisher (Wolke Verlag, Jazz).
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.