(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
16 February – 1 March 2022 | Ausgabe 04/2023 (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 ...

Lewis Porter recounts pianist Cecil Taylor's childhood activities, including a mention of him in a dance performance at age 6, a piano recital at age 14, as well as a mention of his graduation shortly thereafter (Playback with Lewis Porter). He also listens to a private recording of, as pianist James P. Johnson explains it, "just a rag" (Playback with Lewis Porter). He tells the story of a legal feud between Charlie Parker's relatives over his estate (Playback with Lewis Porter). And he listens to some more recordings made by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band with Louis Armstrong 100 years ago (Playback with Lewis Porter)

John Edward Hasse remembers blues singer Bessie Smith on the centennial of her first recording (Wall Street Journal). --- Roland Spiegel remembers clarinetist Buddy DeFranco on his centennial (BR Klassik). --- Jazz Times, one of the leading US jazz magazine, has been acquired by the arts-oriented organization "BeBop" (Access Wire).

Vinnie Sperrazza listens to drummer Shelly Manne's "Un Poco Loco", recorded in 1956 and asks about his links to freer forms of improvisation (Chronicles). Sperrazza also listens to some of drummer Jim Black's recordings from the 1990s (Chronicles). --- Hank Shteamer talks to bassist Christian McBride about his long and varied career, about performing with Billie Eilish and a concert featuring both Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman, as well as about wanting to play with Gladys Knight, Dolly Parton and Mary J. Blige. Shteamer also talks to guitarist Pat Metheny and drummers Savannah Harris and Brian Blade about McBride (New York Times).

Steve Krakow talks to saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell about a recent exhibition of his paintings, about his friendship with the late Muhal Richard Abrams, as well as about his current trio with percussionist Vincent Davis and bassist Junius Paul (Chicago Reader). --- Frank Bodani talks to 93-years-old pianist Herb Sell (York Daily Record).

Rebekka Dieckmann reports about the German reverend Simon Birr who decided to change his career and open a jazz bar in a small town in Northern Hesse (Hessenschau). --- The American Academy of Arts and Letters has selected trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith and composer Maria Schneider as newly elected members (American Academy of Arts and Letters).

Wolfgang Sandner talks to pianist Uli Partheil about the flexibility needed to survive as a jazz musician, about being grounded in the local scene of Darmstadt, Germany, where he has started several projects and is artistic director of the Jazz Conceptions workshop co-organized by the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, and he listens to Partheil's renditions of Monk, Fats Waller and Latin-American songs (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). --- Sean Saifa Wall remembers singer Little Jimmy Scott who lived with Kallman Syndrome (Them).

Rick Beato interviews pianist Keith Jarrett who talks openly about his music, his career, and his influences, but also plays some music despite two strokes that limit him to the use of his right hand only (YouTube). --- Roland Spiegel remembers saxophonist Dexter Gordon on his 100th birthday (BR Klassik). So do Nate Chinen (The Gig) and Ethan Iverson, the latter including a transcription by Gordon's and Gene Ammons' "Blowing the Blues Away" (Transitional Technology).

Manasi Gopalakrishnan introduces vibraphonist and urban theorist Christopher Dell in a live concert documentary of the trio Dell / Westergaard / Lillinger with pianist Bob Degen (Deutsche Welle). Dell, who lives in Berlin but was born in Darmstadt, will be a panelist at our 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum in late September (see below). --- Shaun Brady introduces drummer Nazir Ebo whom he calls "Philadelphia jazz scene's next breakthrough talent" (WRTI).


We learned of the passing of German drummer Sebastian Nay at age 56 (MainJazz), bassist and poet Larry Roland at age 72, as well as the saxophonist Jerry Dodgion at age 90 (WRTI).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut


We received a donation of several V-Discs from the collection of the late Walter von Bebenburg (1927-1980), a German chemist, author and jazz collector who had published "Die Jazz-Diskothek" in 1961. The discs include recordings by The Mills Brothers / Ginny Simms; Charlie Barnet and his Orchestra / Jimmy Dorsey; Benny Goodman / Eddie Heywood; Muggsy Spanier; Martha Tilton; Coleman Hawkins / Johnny Bothwell; Jimmie Lunceford / Billie Holiday; Bob Crosby / Duke Ellington; Stan Kenton / Raymond Scott; Louis Armstrong / Kay Starr; Art Tatum; Buddy Rich.

Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz

Give us a just little more time and we will let you know more about the program of this year's Darmstadt Jazzforum conference. Subject is "The Future of Jazz". The date: 28-30 September 2023. More information on our website (Destination Unknown) together with a corresponding blog that outlines some of our own thoughts on the subject.

Darmstädter Musikpreis

This year's Darmstädter Musikpreis (Darmstadt Music Award) will go to bassist Norbert Dömling. Thomas Wolff has more details (Darmstädter Echo). The award ceremony will take place 24 April with a laudation speech by the Jazzinstitut's Wolfram Knauer.

Deutscher Jazzpreis

The nominees for this year's Deutscher Jazzpreis (German Jazz Award) have been announced (Deutscher Jazzpreis). Jazzinstitut connection: We have supported the Deutscher Jazzpreis from its first instalment; Arndt Weidler sits on the award's advisory board.


We had originally started JAZZpects as a journal in which we wanted to collect longer pieces connected to the Jazzinstitut's collection. After its initial number, released in 2017, though, we did not quite find the time for a second instalment, and now have decided to instead continue this project as short glimpses, special treats from the Jazzinstitut's collection (JAZZpects).

The first of these is a 1949-1951 document telling about the activities of the jazz scene in Würzburg, Germany, about discussions with city officials, representatives of the local Amerika Haus and professors at the music university (JAZZpects).

Another JAZZpect is provided by trumpeter Doc Cheatham in letters to German researcher Gerhard Conrad, in which Cheatham talks about his admiration for Rex Stewart, but also about having "to hustle" to make a living in the jazz scene of the mid-1960s (JAZZpects).

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