Last Week at the Jazzinstitut
We are hiring:
Director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt
Looking for a new job? Well, here is one: The city of Darmstadt is looking for a new director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, a municipal cultural institution with international connections. If you subscribe to this newsletter, you know of the scope of our work as an archive, a documentation and information center, a lobbying organization for jazz and improvised music in Germany and beyond, a partner to regional activities, an organizer of conferences, workshops and concerts, a publisher of books and articles, an instigator and supporter for research and other activities related to jazz. It's just three of us (plus some volunteers), but with the support of the city we get a lot done. Due to reaching the mandatory retirement age, the current leadership will step down in late January. The job posting for Director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt is online since 7 June, with a deadline for applications set for 12 July 2023. We are searching internationally, however, as this is a municipal (not an academic) position the job posting asks for "spontaneous and fluent command of the German language, both written and spoken (C-1 level or higher)". More about the task ahead can be found in the job posting; you can also contact us directly if you have any questions regarding the work scope itself, or you can contact the city's human resources department for details about your application. (https://karriere.darmstadt.de/stellenangebot.html?yid=1637)
Jan Kricke: Jazz Frames
The Museum Künstlerkolonie on Darmstadt's Mathildenhöhe is currently showing a fascinating exhibition by photographer Jan Kricke, whose work deals with light and shadow, natural structure and urban energy. In jazz circles, however, Kricke is also known as a concert photographer whose pictures of Wayne Shorter, Albert Mangelsdorff, Anja Lechner, Charles Lloyd, Matthew Shipp and many others can be found in journals and on album covers. More than that: his nature photography has been used as cover art for more than 30 albums on the Munich-based record label ECM. This Thursday (15 June, 6:30pm) Jan Kricke talks to Wolfram Knauer about the connection between jazz and photography and the influence of music on his current work. The conversation will be moderated by Philipp Gutbrod, director of the Institut Mathildenhöhe. Come by if you're in the region... (Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt)
Darmstadt Music Talk
New Music / Jazz: Who Cares?
This year both the Darmstadt Summer Courses for Contemporary Music and the Darmstadt Jazzforum are taking place, two internationally acclaimed events in which a lot of music is heard, but also the present and future of contemporary music is discussed. At the Darmstädter Musikgespräch (Darmstadt Musik Talk), moderator Thomas Schäfer (Internationales Musinstitut) asks composer Arne Gieshoff (Akademie für Tonkunst), musicologist Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann (Max Planck Institut für empirische Ästhetik) and jazz researcher Wolfram Knauer (Jazzinstitut Darmstadt) what genre designations such as jazz or new music actually still mean in the 21st century, how they are perceived within the different music scenes and what meaning they have for the audience. The Darmstadt Music Talk will take place in the former home and studio of composer Hans-Ulrich and artist Roma Engelmann, Ludwig-Engel-Weg 15 (Rosenhöhe), 64287 Darmstadt. Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2023, 8-9:30 p.m. Admission: free (Darmstädter Musikgespräch).
Song of the Shank
We were more than thrilled by the world premiere of George Lewis' monodrama "Song of the Shank", based on a novel by the same title by Jeffery Renard Allen, performed by Ensemble Modern (conductor: Vimbayi Kaziboni) with Gwendolyn Brown (dramatic alto) and Hermann Kretzschmar (piano) (Ensemble Modern). Lewis will be in Darmstadt in August, as will Anthony Braxton, Tyshawn Sorey and many others for the biennial Darmstadt Summer Courses for Contemporary Music (Darmstädter Ferienkurse). That event includes a two-day conference about Anthony Braxton (Braxton conference) as well as the launch of a new book edited by Harald Kisiedu and by George Lewis, "Composing While Black. Afrodiasporic Music Today" (Wolke-Verlag).
Moving boxes (2: nearly done)
With the help of a moving company and two local students we were able to move more than 400 boxes into their new home at the city's new Kunstdepot (art depot). Most of the boxes were previously stored at an annex we had rented for the last fifteen years, about 70 boxes were moved from our main location, the historic Kavaliershaus in Darmstadt's Bessungen neighborhood.
Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz
There is a change in the concert program for our 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum in the fall: We are happy that for the final concert on Saturday, 30 September, we will have saxophonist Frank Gratkowski's quintet featuring fellow saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock. Gratkowski will also be part of the conference program, talking about his very personal vision of the future of jazz and improvised music on Friday. The Jazzforum's dates: 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 (latest addition, some thoughts about whether the future of jazz might also be served by musicians looking back). The main conference language will be German.
R.I.P. Helmut Lücke
You may not know Helmut Lücke, but for us he was a regular presence for more than 15 years. Helmut joined the Jazzinstitut's volunteer staff in the mid-2000s and soon catalogued all new CDs arriving on our desks, fresh releases as well as collections donated to us. Not only did he catalogue them, he also listened to the music and developed quite a taste for 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 grasp what was going on. He liked to be challenged by music, and he loved discussing his experience with us afterwards. Helmut was a hiker, he knew all the trails in the closeby Odenwald region. His biggest love were his grandchildren, his "Enkelchen", and his eyes started to glow when he talked about them. Helmut Lücke had called us from the hospital in early May informing us that he probably would not be coming back to work anymore. He was released home into palliative care, and died shortly thereafter on 30 May 2023 at age 81. We miss him dearly.
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.