Jazz from Germany

What I found enriching about German jazz.

08 November 2019 | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE



The German government - through its Foreign Office - runs information or themed trips, which are part of its visitors’ programme, and through their respective embassies, invites suitable candidates from all over the word.

This year alone, the German embassy was able to facilitate trips to Germany for seven Namibians, ranging from those in arts and culture to business, technology and politics.

I participated in the themed trip called ‘Jazz from Germany’, in association with the German Jazz Festival Frankfurt, which held its 50th anniversary that took place from 21 to 27 October in Berlin, Darmstadt and Frankfurt.

As part of the programme, we attended jazz concerts and had talks with jazz artists, just to get to understand the jazz scene in Germany more. For this themed trip, we were 12 participants from different countries.

The participants included jazz festival directors, musicians and journalists.

At some point I felt out of place, because there were only two journalists, and there I was networking with people who have hosted concerts for 27 consecutive years. It was inspiring. The overall hospitality from the organisers was excellent.

The artists we met included Samuel Blaser, Johanna Borchert, Lucia Cadotsch, Silke Eberhard and Daniel Glatzel.

These names may sound foreign, and they are indeed foreign to us, but they are big in their respective right and the talks we had with them about jazz was so insightful.

When it comes to organising of events, the first observation I took note of was that the German people are very punctual.

Another interesting observation was the German jazz scene is filled with female instrumentalists, which is a good thing because back home we do not have a lot of female drummers, for instance. The majority of the audience was made up of older people at the concerts we attended.

The highlight of my excursion was the connections I made with key players in the music industry from different countries. I am grateful to the German embassy for availing such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to me.

MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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