Happy Birthday, Germany

Who would have thought 25 years ago, that in 2014, Germany would celebrate it’s first quarter century as a united nation (although we still have to wait another year for the “official” 25th anniversay). On Oct 3rd, 1989, a peaceful German unification seemed like a dream that would never come true.

So let’s celebrate like on Wednesday at the German Embassy in DC,by remembering what happened 25 years ago,  like in this DW report, and with pictures from my now united hometown: Berlin.

 

“Play Yourself, Man”

The Goethe-Institute Washington, DC has a special program about jazz, celebrating Blue Note Records: “Blue Note Records celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2014. Its roots lie in Berlin, where Alfred Lion, a teenager in the thrall of swing music, met Francis (Frank) Wolff, a young photographer with similar musical interests, in 1924. Their mutual love of American jazz fed a strong friendship. Both men moved to New York in the 1930s, where Blue Note Records was born in 1939.”.

Today, Tuesday, May 27th, Wolfram Knauer, director of the German Jazz Institute Darmstadt talked about Jaz in Germany in “Deutsch am Mittag”. Jazz in Germany, he said, became special when the musicians followed the advice on how to become a good jazz musician: “Play yourself, man” – and don’t just imitate the  Americans. Berlin is now, according to Knauer, THE European center for jazz, where musicians go, although there is not much money to earn, the “atmosphere is creative, because everybody is there”.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the Goethe Institute will host a discussion about the Role of Music in Cultural Diplomacy and a concert with Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes Quintet.