May 24, 2024

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Jazz prize winner Fola Dada: In Germany, jazz is still a male domain: Video, Photos

Fola Dada from Stuttgart was awarded the German Jazz Prize 2022 as the best German singer. New York-based saxophonist Charlotte Greve won the national Artist of the Year category. Newcomer Michael Mayo won in the International category.

The Güstrow-born jazz musician, saxophonist, composer and author Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky (88) was honored for his life’s work. The highest prize for jazz music in Germany was awarded in 31 categories for “extraordinary and innovative artistic achievements”.

The singer Fola Dada has been delighting audiences for many years with her fascinating voice and strong charisma. A special characteristic of the winner of the German Jazz Prize 2022 is her stylistic diversity and her broad musical spectrum.

Traveling in different formations

These qualities have also enabled her to meet other great artists over the years. And just recently, Fola Dada received the German Jazz Prize 2022 in the national vocal category for her musical achievements.

Fola Dada is on the road in various formations – she appears as the front woman in Hellmut Hattler’s band, is a singer in the SWR Big Band, and is a guest with numerous renowned artists. But she has also created her own ensembles and, in a duo with pianist Rainer Tempel, moves between art song and jazz.

Jazz is still a male domain in Germany

Fola Dada talks about her wealth of experience as a jazz musician, singing professor and lecturer at several music colleges, and as the director of her own singing school STIMMWERK in Stuttgart.

She observes with concern that jazz in Germany is still a male domain. It is true that women are very strongly represented in jazz singing, and still quite well with the instrument piano, she says, but with the so-called “male instruments” trumpet and drums it would be very thin.

Fola Dada – Wikipedia

“Through school projects, I get to know school bands in which there are definitely girls who play all sorts of instruments. They never end up in the courses. And even if they have a degree, they don’t end up in the scene.”

The process of equality in jazz will still take time

The reasons why young women on this route would ultimately decide to take a different path must definitely be researched, says Fola Dada.

However, this process towards greater equality in the jazz scene will still take time. She sees a possible impetus for improving the situation, for example, in creating role models, she tells SWR2.

“In this respect, I can say quite happily: Perhaps thanks to Esperanza Spalding, singer and above all double bass player, I see some jazz double bass players at the universities, which makes me incredibly happy.”

Die Stuttgarterin Fola Dada wurde mit dem Deutschen Jazzpreis 2022 in der Kategorie Gesang ausgezeichnet. (Foto: SWR, Rechteinhaber: Annette Cardinale)

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