(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
4 – 17 May 2023 | Ausgabe 09/2023 (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 ...

Ken Fountain talks to drummer and composer Kendrick Scott about a new composition commemorating the "Sugar Land 95", 95 individuals buried in a historic cemetery in Sugar Land, about 25 miles southwest of Houston, Texas, who are believed to be a part of a convict-leasing program that began in the late 1800s and lasted through around 1910 (The Fort Bend Star). Andrew Dansby talks to Kendrick Scott as well (Houston Chronicle). --- Oliver Ohmann reports about the last meeting of the Jazz Spinners a Berlin-based group of jazz fans meeting regularly to listen to lectures, records and live music (BZ).

Lewis Porter listens to a TV show featuring Charlie Parker in October 1950 for which the audio is preserved, however the video is not (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Stefan Michalzik attends a concert by pianist Andrey Shabashev who just had received the Arbeitsstipendium Jazz of the city of Frankfurt (Frankfurter Rundschau).

Florian Sievers talks to pianist Nduduzo Makhathini, journalist and producer Dave Durbach, pianist Thandi Ntuli, pianist and guitarist Xaba, and guitarist Vuma Levin about the current situation of jazz in South Africa and how music in their country has very specific political undertones (Die Zeit). --- David Rolland talks to bassist Alphonso Johnson about the idea behind the band Jazz Is Dead! that reimagines songs by The Grateful Dead as jazz standards, about his personal connection to the rock group, as well as about trying not to categorize music (Miami New Times).

Ammar Kalia talks to pianist Lonnie Liston Smith about his involvement in jazz-funk-fusion music of the 1970s, about his love for the Fender Rhodes piano, about having been introduced to jazz through the music of Charlie Parker, about working with Miles Davis in 1972, as well as about his recent return to the studio for a new album (The Guardian). Annie Parnell talks to Lonnie Liston Smith as well (VPM / NPR). --- Ken Abrams talks to saxophonist Kamasi Washington about plans for a project with Joe Russo's Almost Dead, a Grateful Dead cover band, about having performed at the Newport Jazz festival three times already and how playing a festival is different from other gigs, about jazz as part of hip-hop's DNA from the start, as well as about an album by Moroccan musician Ami Taf Ra he has been producing which brings jazz elements together with North African traditions and more classic Arabic music (What's Up Newport). Paul Robicheau hears Kamasi Washington's eight-piece ensemble in person (The Arts Fuse). And Arun Starkey references Kamasi Washington in an essay outlining why contemporary music is "obsessed with jazz", by "contemporary music" meaning contemporary popular music (Far Out Magazine).

Lewis Porter shares the first part of a panel discussion New York journalist Ira Gitler conducted with drummers Cozy Cole, Art Blakey, Mel Lewis, and Tony Williams in 1963, both the published Down Beat article as well as the audio of the actual interview (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Michelle Mercer shares a liner essay she wrote for the late trumpeter Ron Miles' album "I Am a Man" (Call and Response).

David Renshaw reports about King Charles III's coronation that was attended (among others) by Karl Jenkins, former saxophonist and composer for British jazz-rock band Soft Machine (The Fader). --- Maxi Broecking talks to drummer Terri Lyne Carrington about the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice she initiated in 2018 and the anthology "New Standards – 101 Lead Sheets by Women Composers" she published in 2022, about her own definition of a jazz standard in 2023, about different compositional approaches of men and women, about the Next Jazz Legacy project she started in 2021, funding female and non-binary students, about her own experiences with sexism, as well as about the complex connections between race, gender, power and suppression in the United States (taz).

Tim Gorbauch talks to Raimund Knösche and Leo Wölfel, a father and son team who initiated the new Magnet Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany, presenting contemporary jazz, electronic music, and avant-garde fusion projects (Sensor Wiesbaden). --- Berlin-based marimba player Taiko Saitō will receive this year's Jazzpreis Berlin award (Berlin). Saitō, by the way, will be one of the teachers at this year's Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions workshop (Jazz Conceptions).

Michelle Mercer talks to pianist and composer Rachel Z about sex, sensuality and "love addicts in music" while looking back at her time with Steps Ahead, about fashion and the choice of photos for her record covers, about ageism especially in regard to female musicians, as well as about her own involvement in exploring how the "erasure of women's history makes us think that guys did all the fantastic things". Mercer also opens up about her own writing, an article from 2017 for instance about the sexism in a conversation between Robert Glasper and Ethan Iverson, and how she "ended up getting problematized by much of the music world" (Call & Response). --- Lewis Porter provides the backstory to an article from 1958 written by the night manager of the Colony Record Shop in New York who talks about some of his customers and the records they bought, such as the Baroness Nica Rothschild de Koenigswarter (Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins), Sammy Davis Jr. (Bing Crosby), cartoonist Charles Addams (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)), Charlie Parker (Tennessee Ernie Ford), Lester Young (Frank Sinatra, Kay Starr), Dmitri Shostakovich (Charlie Parker), Duke Ellington (Frederick Delius), and Miles Davis (Khachaturian) (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Dwight Garner reads saxophonist Henry Threadgill's new autobiography, written with Brent Hayes Edwards (Jazzinstitut review to follow shortly) (New York Times). --- Nicky Schrire talks to trumpeter and vocalist Leala Cyr about how she deals with being a mother and a jazz musician at the same time (London Jazz News).


We learned of the passing of guitarist Jack Wilkins at age 79 (The Jazz Guitar Life, Notes on Jazz), producer Chris Strachwitz at age 91 (Rolling Stone, New York Times), bassist Leon Rollerson at age 74 (The Black Wall Street Times), painter Wren Panzella at age 69 (Times-Union), British drummer Mike Naylor at age 80 (Darlington & Stockton Times), Dutch discographer Coen Hofmann at age 84, South African bassist Musa Manzini at age 51 (News 24), saxophonist Larry Smith at age 79 (Funeral Memorial), Indian mridangam player Karaikudi Mani at age 77 (The Times of India), as well as German drummer Detlef Schönenberg at age 78 (Wuppertaler Rundschau, Jazz City).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

Kathrin-Preis for Robert Lucaciu

This year's Kathrin Preis award goes to bassist Robert Lucaciu. Lucaciu was and is involved in numerous musical projects, but apart from music he also critically deals with his environment, with political and patriarchal structures, always questioning his own position in them.

The Kathrin-Preis is a one-week residency at the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, during which the winner can research, rehearse, experiment any way he/she wants.

Robert Lucaciu's plan is to find out "what message" can actually be conveyed through music. With his band "Fallen Crooner" he wants to explore political issues with humor and irony, issues such as toxic masculinity, heteronormativity or everyday racism, and also discuss what role humor and irony can play in the self-perception of social reality.

All band members - Robert Lucaciu, Laura Totenhagen, Pascal Klewer, Shannon Barnett, Sofia Salvo, Moritz Baumgärtner - are in Darmstadt since Monday. There will be a public intervention at Darmstadt's main park (Herrngarten) on Thursday afternoon (which is a public holiday in Germany).

The official award concert will take place at the artist's workshop of a local steel sculptor, Wolf Werk, this Saturday, 20 May, at 8pm. Should you be near Darmstadt, feel free to join us for the concert (Kathrin-Preis).

Jazz ambassadors at the Jazzinstitut

Changamiré is a singer and one of the hosts of the online show "New Jazz Listener". In 2022 she was part of an international jazz delegation invited by the German Federal Foreign Office to attend concerts, learn about the structure of the German jazz scene and meet with representatives from different fields. One of their stop was the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, and Changamiré was impressed by the building, the archive and a solo performance plus talk of vibraphonist Christopher Dell specifically staged for the delegation (All About Jazz).

Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz

We are constantly adding information about the 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum to our website. You might already want to mark the date: 27/28-30 September 2023. More info here: Destination Unknown as well as on a corresponding blog that outlines some of our own thoughts on the subject. The main conference language will be German.

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