It is almost exactly 60 years since NDR editor Hans Gertberg created a new tradition with the first NDR Jazz Workshops. A tradition that can now look back on some 600 jazz concerts and led to the series NDR Jazz concerts. A good reason to celebrate: with a new promising season NDR Jazz Concerts 2018, special broadcasts and a special concert with the NDR Bigband & Omar Sosa.
“Small League of Nations in matters of jazz”
“No music from the assembly line!” That was what the first jazz editor of the NDR, Hans Gertberg, had promised his audience. The graduated theater scholar kept his word and wrote history from February 1958: With the NDR Jazz Workshops he staged exclusive meetings of artists from various countries – with a few days rehearsal and a subsequent radio concert.
Gertberg wanted a “small League of Nations in matters of jazz” and let the astonished audience take a look behind the “Iron Curtain” in the first East-West workshop in the mid-1960s. Since the jazz in the NDR was many years ahead of politics. Hans Gertberg died in 1970.
600 concerts with legendary guests
On the eloquent old-school jazz teachers, who already lovingly warned their audience against overly modern sounds (“Please note: Free Form Jazz, this will not be a feast for the ears!”), Followed for the next three decades by the pianist and gifted word-sculptor Michael Naura (1934-2017). He approached everything with passion: work as well as life. Naura liked to write pithy (“The jazz editorial is a gnarled olive tree on which the most darling wild boars are scrubbing”) and tirelessly dug for gold.
His nuggets are legendary: Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett or Jan Garbarek. Their performances decorate the list of our approximately 600 NDR jazz concerts.
NDR Jazz Concerts: 14 Double Concerts
In the archive they have to get closer together, because our series started in the year 2000 with two bands per concert evening; In 2005, we even doubled to 14 evenings a year. Since then, we have been following the paths of Michael Wollny, Julia Hülsmann and Lars Danielsson, who experienced ECHO Jazz winning projects of the NDR Bigband with Stefano Bollani and Omar Sosa and met new names like Emile Parisien, Eva Klesse or Omer Klein.
So it may go on like this: brave against the musical monotony and ideally be a few moves ahead. “No music from the assembly line!” – Today, 60 years later, we are still happy to join Hans Gertberg’s motto today.
For this we invite some protagonists from the early years: Joachim Kühn played the first time in 1968 in the legendary Studio 10, today’s Rolf Liebermann studio. Michel Portal had its premiere there in 1970. There is also a reunion with musicians who have recently taken important steps in our recent past – like Emile Parisien and Vincent Peirani.
And we welcome new, leading artists such as the American trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, the German pianist Julia Kadel or the Spanish flamenco-jazz-fusion Daniel García Diego. The season is rounded off with a big celebration in the Elbphilharmonie, to which u. a. will visit the saxophonist Joshua Redman.
Photo: Six exciting decades: Jan Gabarek (from left), Keith Jarrett, Michael Wollny, Eva Klesse and many other stars as well as newcomers make the guest list of the NDR Jazz Concerts shine.