“It Must Schwing!” and More at JazzFest Berlin ’09….
This years jazzfest takes place from November 4th to 8th, and is organized around the theme: “Blue Note: 70 years.” The founders of the renowned jazz label, Alfred Lion (“It Must Schwing!”) and Francis Wolff, were both Berlin natives, and they emigrated to the United States in the 1930s.
One of the most celebrated Blue Note artists of the present is the trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard. He opens JazzFest Berlin ’09 on November 4th with a performance of his “A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem For Katrina)” accompanied by the Deutsche Filmorchester Babelsberg. Julian Benedikt’s Grammy-nominated film “Blue Note – A Story of Modern Jazz” (1997) will be screened free of charge at a Sunday matinee at the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Other classic Blue Note tinged events include performances by trombonist Curtis Fuller and by Sheila Jordan, the first singer to stand in front of Alfred Lion’s microphones, accompanied by Steve Kuhn, another artist with the celebrated label.
Alongside this musical main course, Nils Landgren – the Artistic Director of JazzFest Berlin – has included some additional hors d’oeuvres in the festival menu in keeping to his time-tested motto: “show good music.” Among these is a colorful “smorgasbord” of the Scandinavian bands that have featured so prominently since the beginning of Landgren’s tenure, including the Tingvall Trio, the Ensemble Denada, Mathias Eick, and Arild Andersen.
The jazz of northern Europe finds its counterpart in South Africa’s post-Apartheid generation of musicians: presented at Thursday evening’s concert will be percussionist and famed instructor Dizu Plaatjies and Afro Soul singer Lira.
New Orleans has been a source of constant inspiration For Nils Landgren, and remains close to his heart. Featured besides the above-mentioned opening event featuring Terence Blanchard is John Scofield’s Piety Street Band at the festival’s close, who follow up the Berlin “Schwing” of the preceding days by giving us a taste of their “I’ll fly away” swing.
Legendary jazz label Blue Note Records was founded 1939 in New York by Jewish emigrants Alfred Lion und Francis Wolff. Both had grown up in Berlin, both had been passionate jazz fans since their early ages and both were proud owners of substantial record collections. Jazz to them was not just music but an entire lifestyle – according to Alfred Lion’s creed: “It must schwing”.
The exhibition shows photographs by Francis Wolff who used to document the recordings, creating a unique photo galery of famous jazz musician’s portraits. Amongst them portraits of John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver and Jimmy Smith.
Additionally, the newer history of Blue Note is documented through photographs of Jimmy Katz, the label’s photographer since 1993.
A special exhibition of the Jewish Museum Berlin!!!
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