9th Darmstadt Jazzforum
Treason !!! ... or Chance?
Jazz and its ambivalent relationship(s) with popular music
Darmstadt, September 29th to October 2nd 2005
Jazz has always resisted being pigeonholed: some have thought it to be the
popular music of the 1930s and basis for many later styles in popular
music, for others it has been art music and as such an alternative to the
commercial aspects of popular music. Jazz musicians have always had to
live with this split identity of their music, they have had to reflect it,
but they have also been able to make use of it for their own purposes.
At the 9th Darmstadt Jazzforum we want to look at different aspects of
this relationship between jazz and popular music. We will discuss some
basic questions (What makes music popular?), we will look at historical
facts (Where and when did jazz and popular music split and how did the
relationship between the two develop thereafter?), we will ask about the
economic situation jazz is being played and produced in (for instance
about the influence of record labels), we will discuss current tendencies
(young jazz musicians who consciously make use of popular music idioms)
and aesthetic questions (Jazz as art music, the suspicious sides of
As always at our Darmstadt Jazzforum we have invited historians,
musicologists, sociologists, as well as musicians to approach the topic
from different sides. Among the speakers are: Diedrich Diederichsen,
Andreas Felber, Fabian Holt, Andrew Hurley, Peter Kemper, Wolfram Knauer,
Paul W. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky), Martin Pfleiderer, Jürgen Schwab,
Frithjof Strauß, Colin Towns and others. All papers will be given either
in German or English; no simultaneous translation is being provided. If
you want to attend, thus, you should have a general knowledge of the
German language. The conference from September 29th to October 1st, 2005
is public and free and can be attended without prior registration. The
conference is held at the conference hall of the Darmstadt Literaturhaus,
the former John-F.-Kennedy-Haus (Kasinostrasse 3).
Part of the conference will be a panel discussion with colleagues from
jazz business - agents, media people, producers. They will discuss their
own experiences in producing and marketing jazz and the problems with the
term "jazz" as a sales factor, with the tendencies of (especially German)
listeners to pigeonhole musical tastes.
The Darmstadt Jazzforum will also feature an ensemble workshop with
bassist Henry Grimes at the jazz lounge "Stella". And it will present an
exhibition with drawings and paintings by Tony Munzlinger at three
locations: Centralstation (during the evening concerts), Literaturhaus
(during the conference) and the newly established "Galerie im
Jazzinstitut" (from September 23rd).
No jazz conference would be complete without live music. And thus we will
deal with the topic of the Jazzforum in musical terms during three evening
concerts at Centralstation and Bessunger Knabenschule, featuring, among
others the NDR Bigband under the direction of Colin Towns, the Henry
Grimes Trio with David Murray and Hamid Drake, DJ Spooky (That Subliminal
Kid), as well as the bands Palinckx and AUTOFAB.
www.jazzinstitut.de provides more details on the event. If you have any
questions, feel free to contact us.
Best, Wolfram Knauer
Bessunger Strasse 88d
Tel. ++49 - 6151 - 963700
Fax ++49 - 6151 - 963744
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