Category Archives: Jazz in Darmstadt

Gender and Identity in Jazz


Conference schedule

(All papers of the 14th Darmstadt Jazzforum – except for the three presentations on the morning of 3 October – will be presented in English.)

FRIDAY, 18 September 2015, 8:30 pm
Opening-Concert at Jazzinstitut

JazzTalk 109 with “Playground”

with Stephanie Wagner (fl), Esther Bächlin (p,voc), Gina Schwarz (b), Lars Binder (dr)

Playground 1The three musicians Stephanie Wagner (fl-Darmstadt), Esther Bächlin (p/voc-Lucerne) and Gina Schwarz (bs-Vienna) met in 2014 while teaching at during a women’s workshop. They found their interplay at the final teachers’ concert so stimulating that they decided to form a new ensemble to be enlarged by other musicians whenever necessary.

The original compositions by the three musicians’ original complement each other: impressionist, colorful harmonies with a tendency towards darker nuances, entwined and filigreed melodies, airy odd-meter rhythms and bulky grooves – the band explores this rich musical playground with delight and develops the musical ideas in dramaturgical arches. Far from any clichés they create an intelligent collective interplay which alternates with sparkling solos and engulfs the listeners into the creative moment: music between freedom and concentration, pluse and breath!

Stephanie Wagner is one of just a few jazz flutists in Germany. She just recorded her second album with her quintet, “Stephanie Wagners Quinsch”; sie also published a textbook for jazz flute (Schott-Verlag). Esther Bächlin has returned to the contemporary jazz idiom with this project after working in improvisation projects across genres in recent years, including her collaboration with Lauren Newton. The Vienna-based bassist Gina Schwarz has just released her album “Jazzista” on Unit Records and toured with the American drummer Jim Black earlier this year. The drummer Lars Binder is well-known in Germany, having performed with Cécile Verny and the quintet L14,16. He supports and enriches the trio in his nuanced and creative approach.

Spontaneous. Female. Genuine

Exhibition at the Gallery of the Jazzinstitut 
September to December 2015

The exhibition Spontaneous. Female. Genuine focuses on four female jazz musicians from different countries, different eras and different stylistic approaches: the American “First Lady of Jazz” Ella Fitzgerald, the German organ virtuoso Barbara Dennerlein, The German-Polish energy saxophonist Angelika Niescier, and the Swiss free jazz pianist Irène Schweizer. The exhibition documents four lives and artistic approaches far from the usual clichés of “female jazz”  – an inviting trip to different scenes of the jazz world shown on photos, in films, covers and posters.

Echibition at the Gallery of the Jazzinstitut from 18 September to 4 December 2015
Opening of the exhibition: Saturday, 19 September 2015
Open MO, TU, TH 10am – 5pm, FR 10am – 2pm

FRIDAY TO SUNDAY 2 – 4 October 2015
Workshop at Waggong, Frankfurt

with Esther Bächlin, Gina Schwarz, Stephanie Wagner

waggong       LogoMelo_orange     Logo_JazzDa_4c

THURSDAY, 1 October 2015
Literaturhaus, Kasinostrasse 3
free and open to the public

1:30 pm

Opening remarks

Gender and Identity

2:00 pm

Wolfram Knauer, Darmstadt, Germany:
Clash of Identities

In his introductory paper, Wolfram Knauer asks about the stereotypes of identity. He looks at different criteria denoting musicians’ “identity” and asks in how far they can be found in the music itself or whether perhaps they have become a cultural vocabulary spoken and understood both by musicians, critics and audience while being hard to prove analytically. Knauer categorizes musical features which might represent identity to the listener and reflects both upon the explicit and implicit vocabulary jazz musicians have at their disposal to frame identity.

Wolfram Knauer is a musicologist and the director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt since its inception in 1990. He has written and edited more than 14 books on jazz and serves on the board of editors for the scholarly journal Jazz Perspectives. His most recent books are critical biographies of the trumpeter Louis Armstrong (2010) and the saxophonist Charlie Parker (2014). He has taught at several schools and universities and was appointed the first non-American Louis Armstrong Professor of Jazz Studies at the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, New York, for spring 2008.

3:00 pm

Mario Dunkel, Dortmund, Germany:
Sexual Desire, Eroticism, and the Construction of the Jazz Tradition

Mario Dunkel argues that rather than revising the largely masculinist and sexist representations of eroticism in early texts on jazz, jazz writers of the 1940s and 1950s sought to legitimize jazz by entirely denying its erotic appeal. Besides leading to a largely de-eroticized jazz tradition, their de-sexualization of jazz continues to complicate attempts to re-inscribe eroticism into the jazz tradition. Dunkel explores how the de-eroticization of jazz interacted with conceptualizations of gender, and discusses how a reconsideration of jazz’s eroticism can actually help to position jazz within the larger narratives of musical history in the 20th century.

Mario Dunkel is a researcher and instructor in Musicology at TU Dortmund University, Germany. He holds a PhD in American Studies, which he completed in 2014 with a thesis on “The Stories of Jazz: Performing America through Its Musical History”. His articles and reviews have appeared in American Music, Jazz Research News, Musiktheorie, Popular Music and Society and other publications. His current research interests include the practice and repercussions of transnational music diplomacy as well as the conceptualization and performance of music history in Europe and the U.S.

4:00 pm
Katherine Williams, Plymouth, UK:
‘Alright For A Girl’ and Other Jazz Myths

Katherine Williams looks at the British saxophonists Kathy Stobart and Trish Clowes to explore how they, representing different generations in jazz history, negotiated their path through the traditionally male jazz environment. She draws upon existing jazz literature and original interviews to explore the challenges and rewards of their gendered and musical environments, offering a reworked narrative of the female role in jazz history.

Katherine Williams is a Lecturer in Music at Plymouth University. She gained her degrees from King’s College London (BMus(Hons)), and the University of Nottingham (MA, PhD). Her research specialisms are jazz, gender, popular music, digital cultures, and music and geography, and she has published in many of these fields. She has articles in Jazz Perspectives (2013), Jazz Research Journal (2013), and the Journal of Music History Pedagogy. Her first monograph (Rufus Wainwright), is forthcoming with Equinox in spring 2016, and she is editor and contributor to the Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter (also forthcoming 2016). Katherine is an active saxophonist, and practices in the idioms of jazz, classical and new music.

5:00 pm

Monika Bloss, Berlin, Germany:
Trouble with Genre and Gender: Female Jazz Musicians and their (Print) Media Representation – Four Examples from Past to Present

Monika Bloss asks how the thinking about women in jazz is being shaped by its coverage through the media. She takes the example of four female musicians, Hazel Scott, Diana Krall, Maria Baptist and Esperanza Spalding, and discusses the way their public representation is shaped by subtle forms of discrimination through both words and photos. She also discusses what actions female musicians can take to change the way in which they are being portrayed by the mainstream or the specialized jazz press.

Monika Bloss has published extensively about pop music and gender. She taught at Humboldt Universität Berlin as well as at the universities in Potsdam, Bremen, Dresden and Oldenburg. In 2010, she held the Aigner-Rollet Visiting Professorship at the Institute for Jazz Research of Art University Graz. Bloss curated the exhibition “SHEPOP – Frauen und Mädchen auf den Bühnen populärer Musik” at the rock’n’popmuseum Gronau in 2013 and organized a conference about gender and popular music accompanying that exhibition.

FRIDAY, 2 October 2015
Literaturhaus, Kasinostrasse 3
free and open to the public

9:00 am

Michael Kahr, Graz, Austria:
Chromaticism and Identity in Clare Fischer’s Music

Michael Kahr focuses on the pianist and composer Clare Fischer who has developed a highly individual style characterized by voice-leading and chromaticism. He asks about the interrelations between harmonic structures, personal experiences and general socio-cultural matters and how all of these help to describe indicators of Fischer’s musical identity.

Michael Kahr (Dr. Mag.Art., MMus, PhD Sydney) is senior lecturer at the Institute for Jazz at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz/Austria. He conducted the FWF-funded project Jazz & the City: Identity of a Capital of Jazzand teaches jazz piano. His dissertation on aspects of harmony and context in the music of Clare Fischer at the University of Sydney/Australia was funded by an International Endeavour Research Scholarship by the Australian Government. In 2010 Kahr conducted a research project on the music of Clare Fischer in Los Angeles as a Fulbright Scholar and, subsequently, organized the first International Clare Fischer Symposium at the University of Music in Graz with international presenters such as Bill Dobbins and Brent Fischer. In 2011 he was awarded the Morroe Berger – Benny Carter Jazz Research Award by the Rutgers University. In addition to his academic activities he pursues freelance work as a jazz pianist, composer and arranger.

10:00 am

Yoko Suzuki, Pittsburgh, PA, USA:
Gendering Musical Sound in Jazz Saxophone Performance

Yoko Suzuki focuses on jazz saxophone performance, examining how the instrument’s sound, intonation, and performance style are “gendered” in the narrative of her informants, four male and thirty female saxophonists. She asks what exactly is being associated with a masculine performance and what is being perceived as feminine. She suggests that while gender norms in general are constantly challenged and reconstructed, in jazz they seem to be rather stable. She discusses the effect of such gender norms in jazz and how the emergence of female jazz saxophonists in recent years could change them.

Yoko Suzuki earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and a Ph.D. certificate in women’s studies at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. Currently, she teaches jazz history and jazz ensemble at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also an active jazz saxophonist performing in Pittsburgh and New York City.

11:00 am

Ilona Haberkamp, Cologne, Germany:
(Jutta) Hipp Style or Adaption?

Ilona Haberkamp looks at the two musical careers of the German pianist Jutta Hipp, who was considered the most advanced pianist in Germany, male or female, in the early 1950s, and changed her piano style after moving to the United States in 1955 due to the competitive environment in New York. Hipp had developed her personal style through the adaption and imitation of musical role models, and Haberkamp shows by comparing recordings from different periods of Hipp’s career that once her life situation changed, so did her piano style.

Ilona Haberkamp studied saxophone in Dortmund and Köln as well as musicology in Münster (M.A.). She teaches at the Dortmund music school and the Jazzakademie, where she heads several jazz ensembles and the big band, but performs with her own musical projects as well. Her current band, Ilona Haberkamp Quartett, played at the Berlin Jazzfest in 2013 performing her “Cool is Hipp is Cool” project. He has been researching jazz in the Soviet Union, the musical style of Paul Desmond, and the art of Jutta Hipp.

12:00 – 2:00 pm
lunch break

2:00 pm

Martin Niederauer, Vienna, Austria:
Male Hegemony in Jazz

Martin Niederauer sees the genre of jazz being dominated by men. However, gender relations in jazz, he argues, cannot be explained merely on account of stereotyping of women or the preponderance of men; it is rather due to a jazz-specific production of masculinity prevailing both among recipients and musicians, in which male-to-male relations in jazz become increasingly important. As a result, it is less a case of the percentage ratio of men and women, but rather the social relations and practices in jazz which pave the way for the prevailing gender relations and through which they are manifested.

Martin Niederauer, Dr. phil, studied Sociology in Trier and Frankfurt am Main. He wrote his doctoral thesis on “Die Widerständigkeiten des Jazz – Sozialgeschichte und Improvisation unter den Imperativen der Kulturindustrie” (“Jazz as social criticism and aesthetic resistance”). Since 2013 he works in a research project at the Institute for Music Sociology at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna on the relation between knowledge and artistic practices in art music composing. His further research interests are critical theory, aesthetics, jazz, and empirical social research.

3:00 pm

Joy Ellis, London, UK:
Women and the Jazz Jam

Joy Ellis looks at the jam session as a specific jazz practice which due to its competitiveness seems to have often been considered a predominantly masculine one. She examines prejudices which female musicians might encounter sitting in and, referring to interviews with musicians, both male and female, asks in how far general social changes in today’s culture have influenced the acceptance of women playing at jam sessions.

Joy Ellis is a jazz pianist, vocalist and composer based in London. Since appearing on the music scene in 2003 she has performed in the UK, Europe, the USA and Southeast Asia. She achieved a Masters in Jazz Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in July 2008. Since then Joy has performed with an array of well-established artists on the UK music scene including Omar Lye-Fook MBE, Nikki Iles and Anita Wardell. This year she is looking forward to the release of her debut jazz album entitled “Life On Land”. Joy has a growing portfolio of work as a composer, arranger and orchestrator. In 2012, she was the winner of the BASBWE festival for an original composition for concert wind band due for publication this year. Renowned UK composer Philip Sparke described one of her pieces as “the work of a composer with an original voice and the means to express it.”

4:00 pm

Christopher Dennison, New York, NY, USA:
One-Armed Ball Players: The Language of Homosexuality in Jazz

Christopher Dennison finds that stereotypes of gay men as effeminate have been present throughout jazz history, and that some of these stereotypes have become so central to jazz’s treatment of homosexuality that even prominent gay musicians seem to believe them. In his paper Dennison examines the language used in discussions of homosexuality in jazz, focusing on the problematic stereotype that is deeply ingrained in jazz culture.

Christopher Dennison has an MA in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University-Newark. His research interests include language and discussions of jazz. His undergraduate thesis deals with elements of jazz in James Joyce’s Ulysses, and his 2015 master’s thesis focuses on the role of oral history in the construction of the bebop story, specifically through Ira Gitler’s Swing to Bop. Christopher currently works on the NPR program Jazz Night in America.

5:00 pm

Jenna Bailey, Lethbridge, Canada / Sussex, UK:
‘Play Like A Man and Look Like a Woman”: Exploring the Role of Gender in Ivy Benson’s All Girl Band

Jenna Bailey looks at the British bandleader Ivy Benson who managed to keep an all-girl band working from 1940 into the 1980s, a band which would be the starting point for well-known British female instrumentalists such as Barbara Thompson, Deidre Cartwright and Annie Whitehead. Drawing upon interviews with Benson band members, Bailey explores the ways in which gender assumptions influenced the working lives of these women and how, despite being an advocate for female musicians, Ivy herself reinforced long held negative gender stereotypes about women and music by insisting her musicians “play like men” and “look like women”.

Jenna Bailey is an historian and a writer. She has her PhD in Contemporary History from the University of Sussex and is currently an Executive Member of the Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT) at the University of Lethbridge, Canada and the Visiting Research Fellow for the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research (CLHLWR) at the University of Sussex, England. Jenna is the author of the best-selling book Can Any Mother Help Me? (Faber) and is currently working on her next book about Ivy Benson’s All Girl Band.

20:30 Uhr
Conzert and session at the Jazzinstitut

Jürgen Wuchner Quartet

Thomas Bachmann (ts) – Uli Partheil (p) – Jürgen Wuchner (b) – Ulli Schiffelholz (d)

[The concert originally planned for Friday, featuring Lynne Arriale, Cécile Verny and Grace Kelly, has been canceled.]

Insetad we invited the Jürgen Wuchner Quartett to play at the Jazzinstitut’s concert space. After the first set the stage will be open to sit in at a jam session at which we expect a number of conference speakers to join the band. Bring your instrument/s!

This concert / session is free and open to the public.


SATURDAY, 3 October 2015
Literaturhaus, Kasinostrasse 3
free and open to the public

9:00 am

Ilka Siedenburg, Münster/Bremen, Germany:
Bigbandklassen: Ein Weg zur musikalischen Identität jenseits von Geschlechterstereotypen?

Ilka Siedenburg looks into the increasing formation of big bands in school education, a typically male-connoted activity (playing jazz) in a typically female-connoted field of action (music class), and the effect of this development on the gender self-image of participating boys and girls. She reports about a pilot study on “doing and undoing gender” in big band classes which tries to identify the gender perception of children and adolescents through their musical preferences and perspectives. [This presentation will be held in German]

Ilka Siedenburg is a professor of music education at the university of Muenster, Germany. After her studies in music education at the University of Oldenburg and the Conservatory of Frankfurt, she worked as a musician and as a teacher in different fields of music education and was a professor of didactics of popular music at the University of Applied Sciences in Osnabrueck. She received a PhD from the university of Oldenburg.

10:00 am

Mane Stelzer, Frankfurt, Germany:
“Für uns war es fremde Musik” – wie junge Instrumentalistinnen zum Jazz finden (oder auch nicht)

Mane Stelzer explores the decision-making process of girls when it comes to taking up instruments, as well as the obstacles they meet trying to collect their first experiences either in pop or jazz bands. Based on interviews with young female musicians, Stelzer explores the divergent musical biographies of young female instrumentalists ad asks how some of them succeed in making a profession out of their passion and others don’t. She also asks which aspects of their musical biography qualifies these young women to be accepted at jazz and pop departments of German Musikhochschulen (conservatories). [This presentation will be held in German]

Mane Stelzer is an ethnologist and a freelance editor for the online journal MELODICA issued by Frauen Musik Büro in Frankfurt, Germany, an organization representing, supporting and connecting female musicians. Her focus are interviews with female musicians about their living and working conditions, about the compatibility of family and work or study etc. In 2014 she in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences, a website by and for young female musicians. She teaches at songwriting workshops for girls and performs as a singer/songwriter (

11:00 am

Nicole Johänntgen, Zurich, Switzerland:
Get the flow and go! Music & Business

Nicole Johänntgen reports about two initiatives she is involved in, SOFIA (Support Of Female Improvising Artists) and HELVETIA ROCKT, both of which try to help female musicians in an environment which is mostly dominated by male decision-makers. Johänntgen explains the need for such initiatives and the outlook for regional, national and international networking and self-marketing, by all of which she and her colleagues aim to change the existing social stereotypes as well as the lack of female role models in the field of jazz and rock. [This presentation will be held in German]

Nicole Johänntgen is a German saxophonist / composer, currently living in Zürich, Switzerland. In 2013 she founded the project SOFIA – Support Of Female Improvising Artists. The pioniering project helps female improvising musicians in today’s difficult music business.

12:00 – 2:00 pm:
lunch break

2:00 pm

Sherrie Tucker, Lawrence, KS, USA:
A Conundrum is Woman-in-Jazz: Continual Improvisations on the Categorical Exclusions of Being Included

Sherrie Tucker reflects about the longevity of the “women in jazz” category (analytic, tactical, programmatic, marketing, reception, gatekeeping, advocating, etc.) as a shifting set of gendered and sexed parameters that appear to span the gamut of jazz history. She looks at different approaches towards this and related subjects (Gender in Jazz, LGBTQ in Jazz, Sexuality in Jazz etc.), highlights some of the creative ways in which improvising artists and scholars have worked with and against the conundrum “women in jazz”, and asks what it might take to compose more innovative parameters for gender and sex difference in jazz practice and study than inclusion/exclusion, in/out, omission/addition, invisibility/recognition.

Sherrie Tucker (Professor, American Studies, University of Kansas) is the author of Dance Floor Democracy: the Social Geography of Memory at the Hollywood Canteen (Duke, 2014), Swing Shift: “All-Girl” Bands of the 1940s (Duke, 2000) and co-editor, with Nichole T. Rustin, of Big Ears:  Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies (Duke, 2008). She is a member of two major collaborative research initiatives: International Institute of Critical Improvisation Studies and Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice (for which she served as facilitator for the Improvisation, Gender, and the Body research area) both funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is a founding member of the Melba Liston Research Collective, a member of the AUMI (Adaptive Use Musical Instrument) research team of the Deep Listening Institute, and founding member of AUMI-KU InterArts, one of six member institutions of the AUMI Research Consortium. She was the Louis Armstrong Visiting Professor at the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University in 2004-2005, where she was a member of the Columbia Jazz Study Group. With Randal M. Jelks, she co-edits the journal American Studies. She is one of three Series Editors, along with Deborah Wong and Jeremy Wallach, of the Music/Culture Series at Wesleyan University Press.

3:00 pm

John Murph, Washington, D.C., USA:
Exploring the Queer Overtones of Sun Ra’s Outer Space Ways

John Murph discusses examples in which the charismatic pianist, composer and bandleader Sun Ra incorporated homoeroticism and other gay overtones through his expansive multi-disciplinary, idiosyncratic artistic realm, which incorporated music, theatre, film, poetry, dance and street fashion. In a comparative analysis he touches upon iconic gay culture touchstones as drag-queen balls, disco, pageantry, self-invention and self-mythologies as well as some of Sun Ra’s lyrics, philosophies, the art of challenging traditional gender, the concept of otherness, and the visual representations through concert and films.

John Murph is a Washington, DC-based music journalist, whose written have been published by JazzTimes, Down Beat, The Washington Post, JazzWise, NPR, The Root and AARP. He was written several articles related to the arts and gay culture, mostly notably JazzTimes’ 2010 article, “Rhapsody in Rainbow: Jazz and the Queer Aesthetic.” He was also a panelist at Philadelphia’s first annual OutBeat Jazz Festival in 2014.

4:00 pm

Christian Broecking, Berlin, Germany:
Authentic lesbian as I am…” Aspects of Gender, Marginalisation and Political Protests in the Life and Work of Irène Schweizer

Christian Broecking looks at the career of the Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer, an important source of inspiration on the European free music scene since the late 1960s, early 1970s. Drawing upon his ongoing biography project about Schweizer, Broecking reflects about the pianist’s commitment to feminist issues and its impact on her art, and he discusses aspects of gender coming up in interviews with fellow musicians, family and friends.

Dr. Christian Broecking, sociologist and musicologist, curated the international conferences “Transatlantic Dialogue on the Societal Relevance of Music” (Heidelberg Center for American Studies, 2012 and 2013). He is the author of several books on African American culture (“Der Marsalis-Komplex”) and writes for newspapers as well as for music journals, he also produces radio features. Christian Broecking was the founding program director of Jazz Radio Berlin (1994–1998) and program director of Klassik Radio in Frankfurt (2000-2003). Broecking is a juror at the “Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik” and NPR (National Public Radio). He has lectured at the universities of Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Basel, Luzern, Osnabrück and Berlin as well as at the Winterthurer Institut für aktuelle Musik (WIAM). Currently he is a Senior Research Associate at Hochschule Luzern. In 2004 he founded the Berlin based Broecking Publishing House. Among his recent book publicatons: “Gregory Porter: Jazz, Gospel & Soul” (2015).

5:00 pm

Nicolas Pillai, Birmingham, UK:
Watching Men Play: the Erotics of the Hollywood Jazz Film

Nicolas Pillai argues that while Hollywood cinema was structured around a “male gaze” assuming a heterosexual male point-of-view which objectified the female body, Hollywood jazz films like “Young Man With a Horn”, “The Benny Goodman Story”, “Bird” or “Whiplash” problematized this conception, making the male performing body the object of scrutiny and desire. Pillai suggests that the homosocial scenes of male musical interaction constructs a network of gazes – some mutual, some yearning, some unacknowledged, some hidden – which dramatize musical achievement. It is only in this erotic context, Pillai argues, that musical pleasure can be understood in these films, as texts designed to be consumed by non-jazz listeners.

Dr Nicolas Pillai is a researcher in the Jazz Research Centre at Birmingham City University. His first book Jazz as Visual Culture: film, television and the dissonant image will be published by I. B. Tauris in 2016. Nicolas is a frequent speaker at the National Jazz Archive (London) and in 2014 he organised the New Jazz Conceptions: History, Theory, Practice conference (University of Warwick) and curated the Jazzprojector film season at The Vortex Jazz Club (London). Nicolas currently teaches at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music.

8:00 pm
Konzert, Bessunger Knabenschule

Tenors of Kalma

with Jimi Tenor (sax), Kalle Kalima (g), Joonas Riippa (dr)

TenorsOfKalma rae photo by Maarit KytöharjuTenors of Kalma combines jazz with electronic pop music in a new way. Sun Ra meets Kraftwerk here.

Jimi Tenor and Kalle Kalima have made music together for ten years and now they are breaking ground in a new trio with Joonas Riippa on drums. Jimi Tenor has never settled for the traditional role of a pop artist. He is known as a musician whose work lies beyond current trends although he has also written hits like “Take me Baby”. He is at home in front of the crowd gone wild, wearing a glittering self-­designed costume and a flowing cape, holding a self made noise-producing device. Kalle Kalima is a Berlin-based Finnish jazz guitarist who mixes elements of jazz and rock in a unique way. He has played a.o. with Jazzanova, Jason Moran, Jim Black, Greg Cohen, Anthony Braxton, Tony Allen, Leo Wadada Smith, Michael Wertmüller and Marc Ducret. Kalima is also known of his bands Klima Kalima and K-18. Joonas Riippa is one of the most important drummers in Finland today working with renowned musicians like Mikko Innanen, Verneri Pohjola, Teemu Viinikainen, Seppo Kantonen and Joonatan Rautio.

Tickets:     Logo_BKS_orange     MES_logo_engl

MONDAY, 5 Oktober 2015, 8:30 pm
Closing-concert at the Romanfabrik Frankfurt/Main


with Stephanie Wagner (fl), Esther Bächlin (p,voc), Gina Schwarz (b), Lars Binder (dr)


Please find the Darmstadt Jazzforum on Facebook    GENDER_IDENTITY

„GENDER_IDENTITY“ is hosted by the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, a cultural institution of the City of Science Darmstadt.

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The 14. Darmstädter Jazzforum is fonded by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt Rhein-Main, the  Hessischen Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst and the jubilee-foundation of the Sparkasse Darmstadt.

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hr2 Kultur, JAZZTHETIK and MELODIVA are media partners of the 14. Darmstädter Jazzforums        JT_box_purple       LogoMelo_orange

We are co-operating for the 14. Darmstädter Jazzforums with the „Frauen machen Musik e.V.“, the Kulturzentrum Bessunger Knabenschule, WAGGONG Frankfurt e.V., the Centralstation Darmstadt and the Romanfabrik in Frankfurt/Main

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Darmstadt Studies in Jazz Research

Ekkehard Jost (Hg.): Darmstädter Jazzforum 89. Beiträge zur Jazzforschung

Hofheim 1990 (Wolke Verlag), 237 Seiten, ISBN 3-923997-40-X, 19 €

1989_darmstaedter-jazzforumThe first Darmstädter Jazzforum took place in desember 1989, where jazz researchers from Germany met to an informative symposion without any specific emphasis on a certain subject.

The book is in German and can be ordered directly from the the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt.


  • Bert Noglik: Improvisierte Musik in der Folge des Free Jazz
  • Jürg Solothurnmann: Die aktuelle Situation des Jazz und der improvisierten Musik
  • Hans Kumpf: Sowjetischer Jazz
  • Klaus Scheuer: Zur Improvisationsweise Bix Beiderbeckes
  • Wolfram Knauer: Die Entwicklung des Jazz zwischen Bebop und Free Jazz
  • Ekkehard Jost: Cecil Taylor – Solo
  • Günter Sommer: Die Jazzszene in der DDR
  • Dieter Glawischnig: Eine Gemeinschaftsproduktion mit Ernst Jandl
  • Bernd Konrad: Probleme der Jazzpädagogik
  • Ludolf Kuchenbuch: “Notation” im Amateurjazz der 60er und 70er Jahre
  • Wolfgang Schickhaus: Das Phänomen Swing
  • Peter Niklas Wilson: Syntax und Ästhetik der Musik Ornette Colemans
  • Herbert Hellhund: Einige Strukturprinzipien improvisierter Avantgardemusik

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): Jazz und Komposition. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 2

Hofheim 1992 (Wolke Verlag), 225 Seiten, ISBN 3-923997-41-8, 19 €

1991_jazz-und-kompositionThe second Darmstädter Jazzforum treated different concepts of composing in jazz music.

The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher.


  • J. Bradford Robinson: “Jazz”-Rezeption in der Weimarer Periode
  • Hans Ulrich Engelmann: Hans Ulrich Engelmann und der Jazz
  • Lutz Neitzert: Über das problematische Verhältnis der bürgerlichen Musikkultur zu improvisierter Musik
  • Gerhard Putschögl: John Coltrane. Strukturelle Organisation als orale Komposition
  • Wolfram Knauer: Charles Mingus. Jazzkomposition nach Ellington
  • Peter Niklas Wilson: Musikalische Systemphilosophie nach ihrem Ende. Anthony Braxtons musikalische Metaphysik
  • Ekkehard Jost: Typen jazzmusikalischer Komposition
  • Ran Blake: Third Stream – Vorrang des Ohrs
  • Hermann Keller: Komplexe Vorgänge – einfache Grundlagen. Was vom kompositorischen Handwerk in meine Improvisationen eingeht
  • Ulrich Kurth: Zur Rolle der Streichinstrumente. Kompositionen von Tony Oxley, Peter Herborn und Mark Dresser
  • Bert Noglik: Komposition und Improvisation. Anmerkungen zu einem spannungsreichen Verhältnis

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): Jazz in Europa. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 3

Hofheim 1994 (Wolke Verlag), 261 Seiten, ISBN 3-923997-42-6, 19 €

1993_jazz-in-europaThe 3rd Darmstädter Jazzforum tried an overview on jazz history in different European countries.

The book is in German and can be ordered directly from the the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt.


  • Marko Paysan: Transatlantic Rhythm. Jazzkontakte zwischen Deutschland und den USA vor 1945
  • Erik Wiedemann: Jazz in Dänemark 1933 bis 1945
  • Kees Wouters: Von den Wandervögeln zum Wanderers Hotclub
  • Theo Mäusli: Jazz und Geistige Landesverteidigun. Zur Rezeption des Jazz in der Schweiz der Jahre 1933 bis 1945
  • Walter Ojakäär: Jazz in Estland. Hoffnungen und Wirklichkeit
  • Virgil Mihaiu: Entwicklung und Probleme des Jazz in Rumänien 1965 bis 1993
  • Lubomir Doruzka: Jazz in der Tschechoslowakei 1945 bis 1993
  • Bert Noglik: Osteuropäischer Jazz im Umbruch der Verhältnisse. Vom Wandel der Sinne im Prozeß gesellschaftlicher Veränderungen
  • Misha Mengelberg: Misha Mengelberg spricht über seine Musik
  • Wolfram Knauer: “Musicianer”, oder: Der Jazzmusiker als Musikant. Anmerkungen zum Verhältnis von Jazz und Folklore
  • Jürg Solothurnmann: Die Alpine Jazz Herd. Zeitgenössischer Jazz und natonale Folklore, paßt das zusammen?
  • Erik Kjellberg: “Old Folklore in Swedish Modern”. Zum Thema Volksmusik und Jazz in Schweden
  • Ekkehard Jost: Über das Europäische im europäischen Jazz

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): Jazz in Deutschland. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 4

Hofheim 1996 (Wolke Verlag), 287 Seiten, ISBN 3-923997-70-1, 19 €

1995_jazz-in-deutschlandThe 4th Darmstädter Jazzforum discussed the history of jazz in Germany from the early 1930ies until the present.

The book is in German and can be ordered directly from the the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt.


  • Horst Bergmeier & Rainer Lotz: Charlie and his Orchestra. Ein obskures Kapitel der deutschen Jazzgeschichte
  • Guido Fackler: Jazz im KZ. Ein Forschungsbericht
  • Bernd Hoffmann: Die “Mitteilungen”. Anmerkungen zu einer “verbotenen Fanpostille”; Die “Mitteilungen (Reproduktion)
  • Wolfram Knauer: Emanzipation wovon? Zum Verhältnis des amerikanischen und des deutschen Jazz in den 50er und 60er Jahren
  • Musikergespräch mit Michael Naura: Es war ein lustiges Völkchen
  • Komponistengespräch mit Klaus König: Reviews (A Revue for Frank Zappa)
  • Bert Noglik: Hürdenlauf zum freien Spiel. Ein Rückblick auf den Jazz der DDR
  • Ernst Ludwig Pettrowsky & Uschi Brüning: Gednaken eines Menschen aus Güstrow, der zwischen Nazi-Märschen, Stalin-Panzern und FDJ-Liedern der Faszination des Jazz erlag
  • Ulrich Kurth: “Kurze Geschichten”. Die 90er Jahre
  • Joachim Ernst Berendt: Wandel und Widerstand

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): Jazz und Sprache, Sprache und Jazz. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 5

Hofheim 1998 (Wolke Verlag), 189 Seiten, ISBN 3-923997-79-5, 19 €

1997_jazz-und-spracheThe 5th Darmstädter Jazzforum in October 1997 discussed the influence of jazz in literature and vice versa.  It also reflected on the influence of language and critical writing on the general perception of jazz music.

The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher.


  • Wolfram Knauer: Jazz – Sprache – Lyrik – Kritik. Einige grundsätzliche Anmerkungen
  • Stephan Richter: Magic Books and a Jam Session. Das Spannungsfeld von Literatur, Literaturtheorie und Jazz
  • Heinz Steinert: “… und in dem allen ist der Gestus von Musik der Stimme entlehnt, die redet.” Über das komplexe Arbeitsbündnis des Genres “Jazz und Lyrik”
  • Ernst Jandl & Dieter Glawischnig: ….. ‘texte und Jazz’ …..
  • Mike Westbrook: The Westbrook Song Book
  • Ekkehard Jost: Zum Sprachcharakter von Musik im allgemeinen und Jazz im speziellen
  • Hans Ulrich Engelmann: Zur szenischen Kantate “Die Mauer”
  • Wolfram Knauer: From Ellington to Malcolm X. Vom Umgang mit Texten/Libretti im Jazz
  • George Gruntz: Jazz – Was für ein Theater?
  • Christian Broecking: Viel Lärm um große Worte. Auch fiese Sätze können swingen. Wynton Marsalis und die Verbalisierung des Jazz in den 90er Jahren

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): Duke Ellington und die Folgen. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 6

Hofheim 2000 (Wolke Verlag), 276 Seiten, ISBN 3-923997-91-4, 19 €

1999_duke-ellingtonThe 6th Darmstädter Jazzforum was dedicated to a single musician. On the occassion of Duke Ellingtons centenary,  lectures and panels in September 1999 concentrated on the music of this overall pianist and composer.

The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher.


  • Wolfram Knauer: “Each Man Prays In His Own Language…” Duke Ellington und seine Welt
  • Wolfram Knauer: “Reminiscing in Tempo”. Tradition und musikästhetische Ideale in Ellingtons kompositorischem OEuvre
  • Bernd Hoffmann: “Zugunsten der deutschen Jugend”. Zur Rezeption afro-amerikanischer Musik in der Nachkriegszeit
  • Peter Niklas Wilson: “Money Jungle”. Fäden eines Beziehungsnetzes
  • Ekkehard Jost: “Open Letter to Duke”. Was Charles Mingus an Duke Ellington schrieb
  • Franz Krieger: “Piano in the Foreground?”. Zum Klavierstil Duke Ellingtons
  • Günter Lenz: “Die kulturelle Dynamik der afroamerikanischen Musik”. Duke Ellingtons Kulturbegriff und seine Bedeutung in der afro-amerikanischen Literatur
  • Bill Dobbins: “Mood Indigo”. Die harmonische Sprache Duke Ellingtons
  • Walter van de Leur: “Scores of Scores”. Einige Anmerkungen zu Manuscripten der Billy-Strayhorn- und Duke-Ellington-Sammlungen in den USA
  • Martin Pfleiderer: “Far East of the Blues”. Ellington und Weltmusik

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): Jazz und Gesellschaft. Sozialgeschichtliche Aspekte des Jazz. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 7

Hofheim 2002 (Wolke Verlag), 304 Seiten, ISBN 3-936000-01-8, 19 €

2003_jazz-und-gesellschaftTwo week after 9/11, in Septembver 2001, the 7th Darmstädter Jazzforum discussed the social impact and the sociological relevance of jazz in the US and abroad in the 20th century, and beyond.

The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher.


  • Ralf-Peter Fuchs: Neue Menschen und Kultur der Moderne. Der Jazz und sein Publikum in der deutschen Nachkriegspresse 1945 – 1953
  • Christian Broecking: Adorno versus Berendt revisited. Was bleibt von der Kontroverse im Merkur 1953?
  • Tobias Richtsteig: Jazz und Zahlen. – Sozialpsychologische Basisdaten im Zeitvergleich. Ein Forschungsbericht
  • Wolfram Knauer: “Wegweiser Jazz“. Anmerkungen zum Zustand der deutschen Jazzszene
  • Heinz Steinert: Musik und Lebensweise. Warum und wie sich Jazz-Musik eignet, eine soziale Position zu markieren
  • Wolfgang Sandner: Verbaler Impressionismus, wohlmeinende Apologie. Probleme der Jazzkritik
  • Ursel Schlicht: Individuelle Musik auf Jazzbasis. Arbeitsbedingungen und Ausdrucksformen von Musikerinnen in Hamburg und New York
  • Lewis A. Erenberg: Swing Left. Linke Politik und Bigband-Jazz in der Zeit des New-Deal
  • Ingrid Monson: Über Jazz, Geschichte und soziale Theorie. Theoretische Hintergründe der “Freedom Sounds“
  • George E. Lewis: “Gittin’ to know y’all“. Von improvisierter Musik, vom Treffen der Kulturen und von der “racial imagination“
  • Mike Heffley: Vom Anarchischen zum Archaischen. Zur Theorie der freienImprovisation
  • Peter Niklas Wilson: Von der sozialen Irrelevanz improvisierter Musik
  • Ekkehard Jost: Reflexionen über die Soziologie des Jazz

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): improvisieren… Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 8

Hofheim 2004 (Wolke Verlag), 248 Seiten, ISBN 3-936000-02-6, 19,- €

2001_improvisierenThe 8th Darmstädter Jazzforum discussed different approaches of improvisation and why jazz without improvisation is no jazz.

The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher.


  • Wolfram Knauer: Noodlin’ and Doodlin’ and Playin’ Around…Zum sich wandelnden Selbstverständnis des Jazz als improvisierter Musik
  • Lawrence Gushee: Improvisation im frühen Jazz
  • Martin Pfleiderer: Improvisieren – ästhetische Mythen und psychologische Einsichten
  • Thomas Mießgang: Die Kunst des Spontanen. Kann ein Bild improvisiert werden? Über Free Jazz, automatische Saxophone, Jack the Dripper, Materialaktionen und letzte Lockerungen
  • Christopher Dell: Möglicherweise Improvisation
  • George E. Lewis: “Voyager“ … Improvisieren mit dem Computer
  • Ekkehard Jost: Notizen zur Improvisation
  • Joachim Kühn und Bert Noglik im Gespräch: Improvisation und musikalische Realität
  • Paul F. Steinhardt: between the lines. Die verwunderliche Verbindung von Geld und Musik
  • Michael Rüsenberg: Improvisation als Modell wirtschaftlichen Handelns. Eine Erkundung
  • Peter Niklas Wilson: Neue Paradigmen in der improvisierten Musik

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): Jazz goes Pop goes Jazz. Der Jazz und sein gespaltenes Verhältnis zur Popularmusik. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 9
Hofheim 2006 (Wolke Verlag), 284 Seiten, ISBN: 3-936000-03-4; 22 €

2005_jazz-goes-popThe 9th Darmstädter Jazzforum focussed on the different aspects of the tense relationship between pop and jazz music. It tried to clarify such basic questions like “What makes music popular?”, “When did pop music and jazz seperate?”. Participants of the conference also explained economic aspects, musical trends and esthetic conflicts.

The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher.


  • Martin Pfleiderer: Was macht Musik populär? Überlegungen zur (Un-)Popularität im Jazz und anderswo
  • Andrew Hurley: Joachim Ernst Berendt – Jazz, U-Musik, Pop-Jazz und die Ambivalenz (1950-1970)
  • Fabian Holt: Not a Silent Way. Populäre Musik und Jazzmodernismus nach Elvis
  • Wolfram Knauer: Healing Force of the Universe? Warum der Free Jazz zahm wurde
  • Jürgen Schwab: New Standards – Die (gar nicht mal so) neue Lust am Covern im Jazz
  • Frithjof Strauß: Zwischen Mystizismus und Funktionalismus. Zur Popularität des Jazz aus Skandinavien
  • Doris Schröder: Bunte Musik. Die Jazzbilder Tony Munzlingers zwischen Karikatur, Popart und Gebrauchskunst
  • Roundtable zu Aspekten der Produktion und Vermarktung von Jazz mit Veit Bremme, Bodo Jacoby, Harald Justin, Reiner Michalke und Olaf Schönborn
  • Peter Kemper: Wer wär nicht gern ein Global Player? – Über die orthodoxe und paradoxe Annäherung von Jazz und Pop
  • Colin Towns: Musik für Herz, Kopf und Füße. Die unterschiedlichen musikalischen Seiten des Colin Towns
  • Wolfram Knauer: Die Wissenschaft vom Rhythmus. DJ Spooky, der Philosoph der Plattenleger, erklärt die DJ-Kunst
  • Andreas Felber: Alter Greis auf der Suche nach neuer Jugend? Anmerkungen zur neuen Offenheit zwischen Jazz und populärer Musik in den 90er- und 00er-Jahren
  • Diedrich Diederichsen: Jazz als Concept-Art

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): Begegnungen. The World Meets Jazz. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 10
Hofheim 2008 (Wolke Verlag), 320 Seiten, ISBN: 3-936000-04-7; 24 €

2007_begegnungen-the-worldThe volume contains the lectures of the 10th Darmstädter Jazzforum. The concference discussed the affinity of so called ethnic “world music” and jazz music over the decades and the musical and creative exchange that accompanied jazz music constantly. The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher.


  • Andrew W. Hurley: But Did the World Meet Jazz? Ein Blick hinter Joachim Ernst Berendts Plattenreihe”Jazz Meets the World”
  • Martin Pfleiderer: The World Meets Jazz. Zur Ästhetik des Jazz im Zeitalter der Globalisierung
  • Maximilian Hendler: Jazz oder nicht Jazz? Rollenpolyphonie und ihr Vorkommen auch außerhalb des Jazz
  • Torsten Eßer: Jazz in Lateinamerika – Eine periphere Erscheinung?
  • Wolfram Knauer: Blowin’ Up a (European) Storm. Eine Annäherung an die Personalstile von Harry Beckett, Tomasz Stanko und Enrico Rava
  • Gerhard Putschögl: Flamenco Jazz
  • Timothy R. Mangin: Cosmopolitan Roots. Jazz im Senegal
  • Gerhard Kubik: Referentielle Elementarpulsationen. Bemerkungen zur konzeptuellen Welt unseres Jazz aus dem südlichen Afrika
  • Günther Huesmann: John Zorn und der japanische Traditionsbegriff
  • Ralf Dombrowski: Das Originale und das Originelle. Techniken kultureller Aneignung am Beispiel des Oriental Jazz
  • Gilad Atzmon: Jazz und Jihad. Ein (Bird-)Fundamentalist erklärt seine Sicht des Jazz
  • Karl Berger: Skizzen weltmusikalischer Erfahrungen
  • Harald Justin: Jazz und World Music im Fadenkreuz des Kulturkampfes

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): Albert Mangelsdorff. Tension | Spannung. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Bd. 11
Hofheim 2010 (Wolke Verlag), 320 Seiten, ISBN: 078-3-936000-05-4; 27,- €

2009_albert-mangelsdorffThis volume contains lectures of the 11th Darmstädter Jazzforums in October 2009. It examines different facetts in the work of the famous German trombonist, looks at his musical and esthetic influence on other trombonists of his age, as well as on latest developments in German jazz. It alway follows the “leitmotiv” which Albert Mangelsdorff encorporated most, musical open-mindness. The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher.


  • Wolfgang Sandner: Ein Prototyp und Sonderfall: Albert Mangelsdorff, Jazzmusiker in Deutschland
  • Rüdiger Ritter: Jazz-Musiker als „Gründungsväter“ für nationale Jazzszenen? Krzysztof Komeda und der polnische Jazz
  • René Grohnert: Bilder zur Musik. Jazzplakate (von Günther Kieser und Niklaus Troxler) zwischen Ankündigung und Erinnerung
  • Wolfram Knauer: Es sungen drei Engel. Zum Umgang von Jazzmusikern mit deutscher Musiktradition
  • Martin Pfleiderer: Singin’ the Blues. Vokale Expressivität im instrumentalen Jazz
  • Kai Stefan Lothwesen: Emanzipation, Jazz-Dissidenten und Paradigmenwechsel. Anmerkungen zur Diversität des europäischen Jazz
  • Harald Kisiedu: „European Freedom“. Zum Verhältnis von Musik und Politik bei Peter Brötzmann
  • William Bares: Play Your Own Thing „Our“ Thing: „Young German Jazz“ und die deutsche Jazzidentität
  • Silvana K. Figueroa-Dreher: Was kann die Soziologie vom Free Jazz lernen?
  • Harald Justin: Jenseits des Skandals. Albert Mangelsdorff: Autobiographisches Erzählen im Kontext (und mögliche Paradigmenwechsel im deutschen Jazz)
  • Michael Rieth: Goethe und der Blues, Kropotkin und die Krone, Albert und die Anarchie
  • Jürgen Schwab: „50 Jahre institutionalisierte Subkultur“. Das hr-Jazzensemble, eine Bestandsaufnahme
  • Michael Rüsenberg: „Ein musikalisches Zwiegespräch zwischen dem weltberühmten Posaunisten und dem unbekannten Wal“. Anmerkungen zu Albert Mangelsdorff

Wolfram Knauer (Hg.): JAZZ.SCHULE.MEDIEN. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung, Band 12
Hofheim 2012 (Wolke Verlag), 256 pp, ISBN: 978-3-936000-92-4; 24,- €

2011_jazz-schule-medienThis volume contains essays of the lectures held during the 12th Darmstädter Jazzforum in September 2011, which was dedicated to a wider theoretical debate about knowledge-sharing and teaching jazz at school and in the media. The publication intends  to involve readers in a discussion how jazz reaches a wider public recognition in the future without deforming its character as an unique artform or even loose its creative freedom. The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher.


  • Walter Turkenburg: Jazzpädagogik in Europa . Straße und Schule
  • Joe Viera: Jazzpädagogik. Zur Geschichte in Deutschland nach 1945. Aufgaben – Methoden – Zukunft
  • Siegried Busch: Jazz für Lehrer
  • Bert Gerhardt: Jazz in der Schule – nur was für die Elite?
  • Jürgen Terhag: Jazz als Basis der musikpädagogischen Arbeit mit Populärer Musik. Wege aus dem Ghetto
  • Günter B. Schmidt und Cordula Groß: Black Music als Teil der Schulsozialarbeit
  • Daphne Lipp und Sascha Wild: Jazz und improvisierte Musik in der Schule.! Eine Förderausschreibung der Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main
  • Olaf Stötzler und Jochen Stolla: Vermittlung durch Begegnung. Jugendprojekte der hr-Bigband. Bedingungen und Chancen musikalischer Bildung durch eine Rundfunk-Bigband
  • Wolfram Knauer: Online-Modul als Hilfe zur Vermittlung von Jazz im Schulunterricht
  • Michael Rüsenberg: “Amylgada: das Jazz-Zentrum im Gehirn”. Eine Exkursion zu den Neurowissenschaften
  • Elena Ungeheuer: Herausforderungen der Musikvermittlung heute
  • Bernd Hoffmann: Spieglein, Spieglein an der Wand. Präsentationen des Jazz in deutschsprachigen Medien
  • Hans-Jürgen Linke: Alltagsraunen. Über inhaltliche FRagen, Jazz in der Tagespresse, Feulleton-Betrieb und andere langsam veraltende Probleme
  • Reinhard Köchl: Jazzjournalismus heute: Ohne Anzeige keine Zeile?
  • Nils Wülker: Über dem Publikum muss die Sonne aufgehen
  • Roundtable Jazzjournalismus: Reporter, Kritiker, Vermittler
  • Arndt Weidler: PSSST! … und wenn das Jazzpublikum schuld daran ist, dass so wenig Publikum zu Jazzkonzerten kommt?!
  • Roundtable Musiker: Das Publikum: Amorphe Masse oder Energiespender?

Wolfram Knauer (ed./Hg.): Jazz Debates / Jazzdebatten, Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung Bd. 13
Wolke Verlag (Hofheim), 2014, English and German, 224 pp., Photos, Paperback, € 24,-, ISBN: 978-3-95593-013-4

2013_debattenDebates in jazz history are aesthetic marks which reflect discourses about the directions the music might take. In September 2013 experts from Europe and the USA met at the Darmstadt Jazzforum to discuss how such debates inform the perception of jazz to this day. The essays in this book focus on the effects of jazz debates on the aesthetic opinion. They examine historical as well as current debates within the German jazz scene. They discuss the gender debate in jazz, asking how an ideal of masculinity influences both the music and its reception as well as where in the jazz discourses one might find room for women and the LGBT community. Finally, they focus on the latest debate about the term “jazz” itself, touching questions about both historical and aesthetic ownership of music.

Beiträge and essays:

  • Jürgen Arndt: Schlager, Jazz und Argumente: 1953 und 60 Jahre danach oder: Als der Jazz seine Stimme verlor
  • Siegfried Schmidt-Joos: Jazzpapst Revisited. Rückblick auf einen Konflikt
  • Martin Pfleiderer / Wolf-Georg Zaddach: Der gegenwärtige Jazzdiskurs in Deutschland. Versuch einer empirischen Rekonstruktion anhand von Jazzzeitschriften
  • John Gennari:  Remapping the Boundaries of Jazz: The Case of Jason Moran
  • Peter Elsdon: The Potential of the Jazz Record
  • Nichole Rustin-Paschal: Self Portrait: On Emotion and Experience As Useful Categories of Gender Analysis in Jazz History
  • John Gill: Miles in the Sky: Dismantling the glass closet in jazz
  • Tony Whyton: Crosscurrents: the cultural dynamics of jazz
  • Christian Broecking: Not Black enough? Debating jazz in the post-blackness time space
  • Wolfram Knauer “Jazz” or not “Jazz”. From Word to Non-Word and Back

Wolfram Knauer (ed./Hg.): Gender and Identity in Jazz, Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung Bd. 14
Wolke Verlag (Hofheim), 2016, English and German, 308 pp., Photos, Paperback, € 28,-, ISBN: 978-3-95593-014-1

2016knauerThe 14th Darmstadt Jazzforum held in October 2015 focused on different aspects of identity in jazz. The participants talked about the perception of female instrumentalists, about “male” or “female” sound, about homosexuality, about references to the body as well as about the denial of the erotic element in music, about Jutta Hipp, Ivy Benson, Clare Fischer, Sun Ra and others. The conference participants looked at jazz history, but they self-confidently also looked at the jazz scene of today. They discussed how common prejudices can be overcome and how to describe the gender discourse of the 21st century. It is perfectly clear that the view of jazz musicians and their art may be distorted if we reduce them to any parts of their identity, be it their gender, their sexual orientation, their ethnicity, or anything else. However, to ignore these facets, be it in jazz history or today”s jazz scene, is a proof of neglect as well. With this publication we hope to contribute to a discourse which is and remains important in our changing modern world.


  • Wolfram Knauer: Clash of Identities
  • Mario Dunkel: Sexuality, Eroticism, and the Construction of the Jazz Tradition
  • Katherine Williams: “Alright for a Girl”, and Other Jazz Myths
  • Michael Kahr: Chromaticism and Identity in the Music of Clare Fischer
  • Yoko Suzuki: Gendering Musical Sound in Jazz Saxophone Performance
  • Ilona Haberkamp: Hipp Style or Adaption?
  • Martin Niederauer: Male Hegemony in Jazz – Trying to Understand One Important Element of Jazz’s Gender Relations
  • Joy Ellis and Adam Osmianski: Women and the Jazz Jam
  • Christopher Dennison: One-Armed Ball Players: The Language of Homophobia in Jazz
  • Jenna Bailey: “Play Like a Man and Look Like a Woman”, Exploring the Role of Gender in Ivy Benson’s All Girl Band
  • Ilka Siedenburg: Bigbandklassen: Ein Weg zur musikalischen Praxis jenseits von Geschlechterstereotypen?
  • Mane Stelzer: „Für uns war es fremde Musik“, Wie junge Instrumentalistinnen zum Jazz finden (oder auch nicht)
  • Nicole Johänntgen: SOFIA und mehr, Eine persönliche Annäherung an ein Frauen-Musikprojekt
  • Sherrie Tucker: A Conundrum is a Woman-in-Jazz: Enduring Improvisations on the Categorical Exclusions of Being Included
  • John Murph: Exploring Queer Notions Inside Sun Ra’s Outer Space Ways
  • Christian Broecking: “Authentic Lesbian As I Am”, Aspects of Gender, Marginalization and Political Protest in the Life and Work of Irène Schweizer
  • Nicolas Pillai: Watching Men Play. The Erotics of the Hollywood Jazz Film

Wolfram Knauer (ed./Hg.): Jazz@100. An alternative to a story of heroes. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung Bd. 15
Wolke Verlag (Hofheim), 2018, English, 296 pp., Photos, Paperback, € 28,-, ISBN: 978-3-95593-015-8

In the centenary of jazz ­the Darmstadt Jazzforum conference in 2017 looked at the pitfalls of jazz historiography, which often relies on myths and legends that distort what is even more important: the multi-perspectivity of a music which is being created not only by great masters, but certainly by many individualists. The fifteen essays in this book try to shift our perspectives on people, places and styles. They focus on what we think we know about jazz in order to question the same knowledge and make us aware both of the ways in which our understanding of the music, its history and its aesthetic has been shaped, and of how that understanding continues to change to this day.


  • Arne Reimer: My Encounters with American Jazz Heroes
  • Nicholas Gebhardt: Reality Remade. Narrative and the historical imagination in Alan Lomax’s Mister Jelly Roll
  • Katherine M. Leo: The ODJB at 100. Revisiting Essential Narratives and Copyright Control of Victor 18255
  • Klaus Frieler: A Feature History of Jazz Improvisation
  • Andrew Wright Hurley: In and Out: Processes of Inclusion and Exclusion in Joachim Ernst Berendt’s Jazzbuch, or Towards the Biography of a Book
  • Tony Whyton: A Familial Story: Hidden Musicians and Cosmopolitan Connections in Jazz History
  • Mario Dunkel: Darcy James Argue’s Uchronic Jazz
  • A talk with pianist and composer Orrin Evans: “Just be me!”
  • Krin Gabbard: Syncopated Women. Gender and Jazz History in 1942 Hollywood
  • Wolfram Knauer: Four Sides of a House. How Jazz Spaces Irritate, Fascinate, Stimulate Creativity or Become Icons
  • Oleg Pronitschew: Die Institutionalisierung des Jazz. Wie die westdeutsche Jazzdebatte der 1970er Jahre das Selbstverständnis einer Szene veränderte
  • Rüdiger Ritter: Myths in Jazz – Artistic Prison or Productive Element? The Shaping of “Polish Jazz”
  • Karen A. Chandler: Bin Yah (Been Here). Africanisms and Jazz Influences in Gullah Culture
  • Scott DeVeaux: Was Bebop a Mistake?
  • Nicolas Pillai: A Star Named Miles. Tracking Jazz Musicians Across Media

Wolfram Knauer (ed./Hg.): Positionen! Jazz und Politik. Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung Bd. 16
Wolke Verlag (Hofheim), 2020, Deutsch, 248 pp., Photos, Paperback, € 24,-, ISBN: 978-3-95593-016-5

“POSITIONEN! Jazz und Politik” is documenting the last Darmstadt Jazzforum conference, where we asked about current political involvement of the jazz world at home, in our country and society, in Germany, and we heard from scholars, journalists and musicians alike. The book looks at previous political discourses within German jazz, discusses the political impact of exemplary bands like Jan Klare’s The Dorf. It also asks about the differences between contemporary improvised and composed music in respect to their political messages. Musicians discuss how they incorporate their political thoughts in their art as well as arguments for a political consciousness on the German jazz scene and the intermedial connection between music and societal perception. Others explain their own political motivations for the decision to become a jazz musician or discuss jazz as a social role model. The book does also look at the perspectives of musician, promoter, journalist and audience when it comes to political meanings in music. Musicologists analyse right-wing populist movements in Germany and Austria and ask about their use of Afrodiasporic music and argue about musical interaction as a democratic act. Influential German festival promoters talk about what political responsibility festivals have when presenting jazz. In a major discussion contributers questions whether jazz is political in essence, while the president of German Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Thomas Krüger, describes the potential of jazz for political education. The book is in German and can be ordered through your local book dealer or directly from the publisher (Wolke Verlag).


  • Stephan Braese: Stammheim war nie Attica. Zur politischen Widerständigkeit des Jazz in Deutschland seit 1945
  • Henning Vetter: Politischer Jazz oder Deutungshoheit: Wem gehört das Gehörte? Eine Untersuchung am Beispiel des Musikerkollektives The Dorf
  • Nina Polaschegg: Sind frei Improvisierende die besseren Demokraten?
  • Benjamin Weidekamp + Michael Haves: Alles wird gut gegangen sein – Der Talk
  • Wolfram Knauer: Jazz und Politik – politischer Jazz?Eine bundesdeutsche Perspektive
  • Mario Dunkel: Zusammenhänge zwischen Populismus, Jazz und afrodiasporischen Musiken als Ausgangspunkt für Demokratiebildung
  • Martin Pfleiderer: „… an outstanding artistic model of democratic cooperation“? Zur Interaktion im Jazz
  • Nadin Deventer, Tina Heine, Lena Jeckel, Ulrich Stock: Veranstalter:innen: die Influencer des Jazz?
  • Nikolaus Neuser (Trompete) und Florian Juncker (Posaune): „Occupied Reading“. Musikalische Intervention
  • Hans Lüdemann: Gesellschaftliche und politische Positionierung eines deutschen Jazzmusikers heute
  • Nikolaus Neuser: Improvisation als Handlungskonzept
  • Michael Rüsenberg: „Jazz ist stets politisch“. Stimmt diese Aussage von Mark Turner? Und, hört man sie in seiner Musik?
  • Thomas Krüger:Politische Dimensionen des Jazz im Kontext von Emanzipation und Kulturalisierung
  • Korhan Erel, Tim Isfort, Angelika Niescier, Victoriah Szirmai: … im Ohr des Betrachters …Ein Panel über das Politische in der Musik
  • Atef Ben Bouzid / Ulrich Stock: „Cairo Jazzman – The Groove of a Megacity“

2007: Encounters … The World meets Jazz

JFProgrammlogo_2007The 10th Darmstadt Jazzforum from October 4th to 7th, 2007 centered on the subject “Encounters – The World Meets Jazz”. The subject matter was not so much “world music” but rather the fact that jazz was a productive music from the beginning. We were aware, that musicians all over the world who took up jazz had to know and respect its roots as African-American music as well as had to contribute some of their own traditions. The Darmstadt Jazzforum discussed this productive discourse of traditions, the fact that jazz has been influenced by music traditions from all over the globe, from countries and regions in which the jazz tradition meanwhile has been accepted as their own tradition. We planned to discuss such convergences, adaptions or adoptions and will look at ideas which come from ethnic musical genres but so excellently work within the jazz context that it’s difficult to place the results in any of the existing genres. It’s not “world music” and it’s not mainstream jazz either. It’s a creative exchange of ideas which changes jazz.

2009: Albert Mangelsdorff – Tension

programmheftDuring the 11th Darmstadt Jazzforum, a conference dealt with Albert Mangelsdorff, his music, his influence on German jazz history and his role as an integrational figure for German and European jazz. The papers given at the three day conference (Oct 1-3, 2009) not only delved into Mangelsdorff himself, though, but also with German jazz history, with instrumental techniques, with free jazz, with the Frankfurt jazz scene, with the fusion of jazz and rock, with musical communication in an improvised music, with a growing self confidence of European jazz musicians in recent years and with the aesthetic problems and chances of jazz today. The Jazzforum, thus, tried to not just look back but approach the world of today’s jazz as well, which was so strongly influenced by Mangelsdorff’s lifelong musical efforts. The golden thread is perhaps the musical candor, which always shaped Albert Mangelsdorffs aesthetic credo.

The Darmstadt Jazzforum consists of five program parts: (1) an international three day conference, (2) a concert series over more than one week, (3) an exhibition, (4) an evening of rare film footage, and (5) a book documentation of the Jazzforum to be published next year.

The conference from vom 1. to 3. October 2009 will gather musicologists, historians, journalists and scholars from other fields as well as musicians. This year’s speakers include: the musicologist William Bares (Cambridge, USA, Harvard University) talking about the growing assertiveness of European jazz and problems arising from it; the sociologist Silvana Figueroa-Dreher about social order in free jazz improvisation; the art historian René Grohnert (Essen) about poster art in jazz and the graphic designer Günter Kieser; the Journalist Harald Justin (Wien) talking about biographies and autobiographies of jazz musicians (and especially looking at Bruno Paulot’s Albert Mangelsdorff biography); the musicologist Harald Kisiedu (New York, Columbia University) reflecting upon music and politics in the work of Peter Brötzmann; the musicologist Wolfram Knauer (Darmstadt) talking about how German musicians dealt with their national folkloric traditions; the musicologist Kai Lothwesen (Frankfurt) reflecting upon the diversity of today’s European jazz; the musicologist Martin Pfleiderer (Weimar) about vocal expressiveness in instrumental jazz; the journalist Michael Rieth talking about jazz criticism; the historian Rüdiger Ritter (Berlin) with a paper about the Polish pianist Krzysztof Komeda; the journalist Michael Rüsenberg (Köln) explaining “The Making Of” of a lengthy Albert Mangelsdorff film documentary; the journalist, musicologist and lkong-time friend of Mangelsdorff Wolfgang Sandner (Frankfurt) giving a keynopte speech about the trombonist; the musicologist Jürgen Schwab (Hanau) reflecting about the Jazzensemble des Hessischen Rundfunks; and the trombonist Nils Wogram (Zürich) showing trombone techniques and talking about Albert’s influence on trombonists.

The concert series will feature the alto saxophonist Emil Mangelsdorff, Albert’s older brother, in concert with his quartet and in conversation (Sep. 25, 2009); the duo of vibraphonist Wolfgang Schlüter and pianist Boris Netsvetaev in another concert plus conversation event (Sep. 30, 2009); the American trombonist Roswell Rudd in a duo with the pianist Lafayette Harris (Oct. 2, 2009); the German guitar duo of Joe Sachse and Uwe Kropinski; as well as a trio by trombonist Nils Wogram, organist Florian Ross and drummer Dejan Terzic (Oct. 3, 2009).

The concert series lasted from September 25th to October 3rd, 2009; the conference itself took place from October 1st through 3rd, 2009. Participation in the conference was free; concerts and workshop a reasonable admission price was charged.

Jazz at the institute

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAConcerts take place regularly in the acoustically excellent vaulted cellar under the Jazz Institute. On Fridays, well-known and even less well-known musicians perform here. The concert series “JazzTalk” regularly invites, mostly German-speaking artists, to a discussion concert. In addition, the Verein zur Förderung des zeitgenössischen Jazz in Darmstadt e.V. organises its own concerts and the Bessunger Jam Session on the last Friday of each month. Incidentally, the association’s programme was awarded the “APPLAUS – Award for Programme Planning of Independent Venues” prize by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Jazz musicians from the region also use the concert hall for their own events, such as CD releases or presentations of new programmes. In the gallery on the top floor of the Jazz Institute as well as in the staircase and vaulted cellar we present changing exhibitions of jazz related artists and photographers.


2011: Jazz. School. Media.

Forum_2011_quadrat_72_webTo this day, jazz belongs among the most creative and inspiring forms of music. The art of improvisation challenges musicians to express themselves spontaneously in a way few other art forms ask for. On the other hand jazz is still being considered a minority music, even though there is hardly any musical genre with more stylistic facets or that has been influential on so many developments within the field of popular music.

Musically then, jazz should be the music of the future even though this music sometimes has its problems reaching its audience which senses reservations about a seemingly difficult-to-understand music. The 12th Darmstadt Jazzforum focuses on different aspects of the mediation of jazz, be it in education in schools or conservatories, in the media or directly between the musicians and their audience.

The conference will be held from September 29th to October 1st, 2011 and feature papers by scholars from the fields of media and communication science, educators, journalists, PR experts but also practical mediators, i.e. musicians and concert promoters. We plan a workshop for educators as well as an online competition for critics.

By grouping these topics the Jazzforum wants to show that the future of jazz is not just a task for educators but should combine all aspects of education, media and especially life performance. The conference and the workshops will be in German without simultaneous translation. Paper suggestions from German speakers or scholars who understand sufficient German to be able to participate in the conference are welcome.

2013: jazz debates / jazz analysis

Click here to open program folderControversies regarding jazz have been as old as the music and fought between fans, private researchers as well as journalists and scholars. Historical, aesthetic, sociological, analytical and discographical approaches have enabled the growing field of jazz research to describe jazz as an expression of 20th century art music still valid in the 21st century.

The Darmstadt Jazzforum is an international conference taking place every other year in Darmstadt, Germany. The 13th edition of the Jazzforum took place from September 26 to 28, 2013 as an event co-organized with the Institute for Jazz Research at the Arts University of Graz. The discussions during the double conference focused on two subjects: “Jazz Debates” (organized by the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt) and “Jazz Analysis: Postbop” (organized by the Institute for Jazz Research).

The double conference focused on some aspects of these aesthetic as well as analytiocal approaches toward jazz. By organizing a joined conference of the two most important research institutions in the field of jazz we wanted to illuminate some facets of current jazz research but also instigate discussions which hopefully will discover connections between the two strands of the conference. The conference languages were English (main language) and German.

All lectures are free of attendance fees. Her you can find all abstracts and biographies in a printable PDF file.

Darmstadt Jazzforum

Ruesenberg, Leur, Whyton, Gennari, Kahr - 13. Darmstädter JazzfThe Darmstadt Jazzforum is an international conference taking place every other year since 1989 and focuses on different topics in each edition. It is an unique mix featuring an international conference, concerts, workshops or exhibitions. Each Jazzforum has been documented in our book series “Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung” (“Darmstadt Contributions to Jazz Research” published by Wolke editors, Hofheim), a book series of sixteen volumes up-to-now which focuses on jazz scholarship and documentation.

The 17th Darmstadt Jazzforum  will take place 30 September  2 October 2021 (about “Roots_Heimat: Wie offen ist der Jazz”).

Previous Darmstadt Jazzforums dealt with subjects as “Darmstädter Jazzforum 89” (1989), “Jazz und Komposition” (1991), “Jazz in Europa” (1993), “Jazz in Deutschland” (1995), “Jazz und Sprache” (jazz and language; 1997), “Duke Ellington und die Folgen” (Duke Ellington and what next; 1999), “Jazz und Gesellschaft” (Jazz and Society; 2001), “Improvisieren…” (2003), “Verrat!!… oder Chance. Der Jazz und sein gespaltenes Verhälnis zur Popmusik” (Treason !!! … or Chance? Jazz and its ambivalent relationship(s) with popular music; 2005), “Begegnungen… The World meets Jazz” (Encounters… The World meets Jazz; 2007), “Spannung | Tension. Albert Mangelsdorff” (2009), “Jazz.Schule.Medien.” (2011), “Jazzdebatten / jazz debates” (2013), “Gender and Identity in Jazz” (2015), “Jazz@100” (2017), “Positionen! Jazz und Politik” (2019)

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