March 4, 2024

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All the best! Jazzclub Unterfahrt celebrates its 40th anniversary: Video

Munich’s jazz club with international renown celebrates its 40th anniversary: the Unterfahrt and its anniversary program.

Munich – When jazz agents put together tours for their artists, they do everything in their power to build upcoming European tours around a few essential inpatient stations. The Bimhuis in Amsterdam is one of the preferred stops in the route, then the Viennese Porgy & Bess – and especially the Munich underpass. This week, the Haidhauser Club celebrates its fortieth anniversary – with a festival lasting several days in different locations of the cultural center Einstein.

“For me, the underpass is one of the most important jazz clubs in Europe, because one notices shortly after entering the room, that here a special mood between musicians and audience can be built – a kind of intimacy that can otherwise arise only in very small rooms “, says the Vienna bassist Lukas Kranzelbinder on request. With his furious troupe “Shake Stew” he will perform one of the coveted “Munich Summer Jazz Weeks” in August, with which the underpass has skilfully bridged the summer hole for years.

Many colleagues from near and far are similar to the Austrians. Anyone who depends on a drink at the bar with musicians after the gig will often hear confessions like: “Man, I love this club,” or “this feels like home.”

Even when the jazz venue was still located on Haidenauplatz, artists from all over the world felt at home in the underpass – despite the small stage, the cramped, crooked auditorium and the equipment that was anything but state-of-the-art at the time. Everything became more comfortable than the “Förderkreis Jazz und Malerei München e.V.” operated club in September 1998 in the cultural center “Einstein” was allowed to relocate. Now there was room for a good two hundred listeners, the basic equipment has been greatly improved, the boards that mean the world, finally offered big bands enough space and over time, the level of gastronomy was raised significantly – it can be really good in dining the underpass.

What is the secret of this club?

An important factor is certainly the exemplary handling of the artists. From the technicians to the organizational team, everyone who plays here is looked after and taken care of – which also has an effect on the concerts. Then the program: when putting together, the creators around Michael Stückl, the first chairman of the association, conscientiously look to always set the artistic level high and to cover almost the entire spectrum of jazz, without falling prey to arbitrariness. Although after the departure of the former artistic director Christiane Böhnke-Geisse personnel something went haywire, the immense program level has held despite all the fears.

Now celebrating the club’s fortieth anniversary, it is again claiming to represent the versatility of jazz. On Wednesday, for example, Klaus Paier (accordion) and Asja Valcic (cello) will perform “Cinemsatic Scenes”, and together with pianist Chano Dominguez will meet a veteran of flamenco jazz on Israeli flutist Hadar Noiberg (Thursday). The popular singer China Moses and the legendary band Oregon are next to the duo “Dauner / Dauner”, the trio of pianist Makiko Hirabayashi or “Pericopes + 1” to the underworld well-wishers.

The local scene is represented by drummer Shinya Fukumori, the iconic “Jazzrausch Bigband”, the Leo Betzl Trio or the “Münchner Musikkritiker” band. With the only 17-year-old alto saxophonist Jakob Manz presents promising offspring (Sat, 19.30 clock). On the final Sunday of the festival there will be an avant-garde highlight with “Snowy Egret”, pianist Myra Melford’s Allstar Ensemble and a concert by the Klaus Doldinger Quartet.

China Moses kommt am Samstag mit dem Pianisten Ashley Henry um 22 Uhr in die Unterfahrt.  Foto: Ssirus Pakzad

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