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Author of the JazzNews (German and English): Wolfram Knauer

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JazzNews, 7 October 2020

… brief news …

John Edward Hasse pays respect to pianist and singer Ray Charles who was born 90 years ago (Wall Street Journal). — Daniel Nagel (Backstage Pro) and Georg Spindler (Mannheimer Morgen) talk to Rainer Kern, the artistic director of the Enjoy Jazz Festival in Germany.

Zev Feldman tells the story of a recently discovered live recording by Thelonious Monk (Discogs). — Martin Johnson looks at the history of the 1970s label Black Jazz Records (NPR). — The Georgian-German bassist Giorgi Kiknadze receives the Werner Burkhardt Music Award (Kulturport).

Renate Feyerbacher reports about the Hungarian-German saxophonist Tony Lakatos who has just been awarded the Hessischer Jazzpreis (= Hesse Jazz Award) (Feuilleton Frankfurt). Stefan Michalzik (Frankfurter Rundschau) and Norbert Krampf (FAZ) report about Tony Lakatos as well. — Jeff Vasishta takes a look at the late Dave Brubeck‘s Connecticut home which is for sale (Dirt).

Reinhard Köchl talks to the German pianist Michael Wollny (Die Zeit). — Andrian Kreye talks to the pianist Brad Mehldau (Süddeutsche Zeitung).

Sabine Leipertz remembers the legendary Onkel Pö’s jazz club in Hamburg, Germany (NDR). Kyle Buchanan sees the new Netflix adaptation of August Wilson’s play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, featuring Viola Davis and produced by Denzel Washington (New York Times).

Mary Ellen Wright talks to trumpeter Wynton Marsalis ahead of a performance at Mount Gretna (Lancaster Online). Giovanni Russonello listens to newly issued recordings by Ella Fitzgerald, “Ella. The Lost Berlin Tapes” 1962 (New York Times).

Stefan Michalzik hears the German pianist Hans Lüdemann with his Trio Ivoire (Frankfurter Rundschau). Ted Gioia remembers the impact the jazz writer Whitney Balliett had on his view of jazz (City Journal).

Accra Shepp publishes a long interview with his father, the saxophonist Archie Shepp (New York Review of Books). Orla Barry looks at the situation of Black musicians in the classical world (The Week), while Joshua Barone discovers that orchestras have been adding Black composers to their repertoire recently (New York Times).

Steve Provizer looks at Louis Armstrong as a negotiator between the world of popular entertainment and jazz (The Arts Fuse). — Andrew Gilbert talks to the saxophonist Dayna Stephens (The Mercury News). George Varga talks to the drummer Cindy Blackman (The Columbus Dispatch).


We learned of the passing of the French chanson singer Juliette Gréco at the age of 93 (Der SpiegelNew York Times), the trumpeter and saxophonist Ira Sullivan at the age of 89 (Chicago TribuneWBGO), the guitar player and singer Sterling Magee at the age of 84 (New York Times), the German trumpeter Steffen Matthes at the age of 33 (Mannheimer Morgen), the German clarinetist Laszlo Dömötör at the age of 71 (Rheinische Post), the saxophonist Arlen Asher at the age of 91 (Santa Fe New Mexican), the German critic Karlheinz Drechsel at the age of 89 (MDRTag24), as well as the Austrian saxophonist Hans Salomon at the age of 87 (Vienna OnlineORF).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

In late September we announced the winner of the 2021 Kathrin-Preis, an award named for the late saxophonist Kathrin Lemke which comes with a fully paid-for one-week residency in Darmstadt to realize whatever project the nominees thought of in their pitch to the jury. And the winner is: the saxophonist and composer Luise Volkmann whose work pays respect to the African American roots of jazz while also being aware of her own position as a Western European musician and taking into account the urgent discourses of today’s world which she wants to reflect in her music (Darmstädter EchoKathrin-Preis).

Honorary doctorate for Rainer E. Lotz
The author, collector, discographer, jazz researcher, and producer Rainer E. Lotz received an honorary doctorate from the Music University Franz Liszt in Weimar in early October. The laudation speech was given by the Jazzinstitut’s Wolfram Knauer.

(New) books we read
Among the books on our desk the last couple of weeks was “Kleine Songs zwischen Freunden”, a book about the pianist and artist John Fischer written by Arno Fischer (see the Jazzinstitut’s book review page).

Call for Papers: 17th Darmstadt Jazzforum
“From the New World”? Eurocentrism in Jazz
If jazz was a gift to the world, as is often said, and if the music literally demands of anybody playing it to “play themselves”, i.e. to add their own cultural influences to the idiom, how does such a mix of information, attitudes and approaches influence the discourse about the music? If jazz still functions as a tool for identification within the African American (arts) community, how do we deal with the fact that the music has become part of a global music industry, less controlled by community than commercial ideals, or with the fact that jazz has been adopted by many national or regional scenes around the world as a valid idiom for the local artists’ expressive needs? “Eurocentrism” is a loaded term, often linked to cultural dominance and a colonialist past. Is it possible to talk about it more neutrally, as an account of reality, of an artistic discourse that jazz has been part of since the early 20th century, not as a moral but a descriptive instance?

Those are questions we will ask at the 17th Darmstadt Jazzforum conference, to be held 30 September – 2 October 2021. We invite you to send us proposals for papers, panels, artistic interventions that look at any of these (or other) topics from your perspective. We also ask you to share our Call for Papers with others interested, colleagues, artists, journalists, activists. We will (within limits) be able to help with travel expenses. The deadline for all proposals is: 30 November 2020 (17th Darmstadt Jazzforum).