I am happy to present you the quick overview about Heidelberg’s and the Jazz scene of the Rhine-Neckar region: www.metropoljazz.de. It offers a quick overview on jazz venues and links to the essential concert in Heidelberg and the surrounding area. It’s also smartphone-friendly! Let me know, what you think and suggest improvements. More about Germany’s jazz scene with an emphasis on the southern regions at www.jazzpages.com.
The well know international Jazz Festival “Enjoy Jazz” will start on October, 2nd and lasts to November, 15th 2014. More than 60 concerts and some additional events will take place in several venues throughout the Rhine-Nekckar region around Heidelberg, Mannheim and Ludigshafen. Some highlights are Jan Garbarek and The Hilliard Ensemble, Bassist Sebastian Gramss, Drummer legend Mani Neumeier, the Branford Marsalis Quartet, Polar Baer, Stefano Bollani Solo, Rebekka Bakken & hr Big Band with their Tom Waits programme, Youn Sun Nah & Ulf Wakenius, and many more. There will be an “Enjoy Jazz Encore” concert, on December, 1st, with Gregory Porter and a special guest.
Have you ever heard of “Krautrock“? It’s a specific German kind of rock music, which originated in the late 1960ies. The term was attributed to the music of this time by the English-speaking world but it was “adopted” in Germany, too. The term reflected the reception of the music at the time and was not a reference to any one particular scene, style, or movement – many krautrock artists were not familiar with one another.
One mastermind of Krautrock is the drummer Mani Neumeier, head of “Guru Guru” an organiser of the famous event Finkenbach Festival”, since the early 1970ies. This year the festival will take place on two days, 15th and 16th, August 2014. A special highlight, besides the madatory performance of “Guru Guru” will be the last concert of “Kraan”, which is one of the most praised Krautrock band.
Over the two days all around the festival stage, a huge free camping site is offered, some of the fans arrive days before the festival and begin to celebrate their festival of peace & love and great music. The location of the festival is 35 km from Heidelberg, up the river Neckar and some km in a side valley. Beautiful location with authentic Odenwald-feeling in the nature.
Freitag, ab 19:00 Uhr (Einlass 17:00 Uhr):
Faust – 19:00 Uhr
The Brew (UK) – 21:00 Uhr
Kraan – 23:00 Uhr
Bröselmaschine – 01:00 Uhr
Samstag, ab 15:00 Uhr (Einlass 13.00 Uhr):
Embryo – 15:00 Uhr
Marblewood (CH) – 17:00 Uhr
The Quireboys – 19:00 Uhr
Guru Guru – 21:00 Uhr
The Pretty Things – 23:00 Uhr
Simeon Soul Chargers – 01:00 Uhr
Looking for the good music in Heidelberg? Hear Jazz. There are some locations in Heidelberg an nearby Mannheim, worth to look for. In Heidelberg, the Jazzclub Heidelberg offers 10 to 12 concerts a year with an ambitious programme, which comprises high class bands from Germany and selected bands from abroad and the best of the regional jazz scene. Their scope ranges from modern mainstream to experimental and avantgarde. The Jazzclub’s concert location is the DAI (Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut) in downtwon Heidelberg. Another location, with mostly local bands and sessions is “Jazzhaus Heidelberg”, which can be found in old town Heidelberg. There is some turmoil around the Jazzhaus these days and it will have to close soon, probably. Please check their website. One of the famous jazz locations in Heidelberg was Cave 54, where international jazz stars of the 1950ies and 1960ies used to jam, but these golden times are gone and nowadays, there’s only one weekly session left, which is held on tuesday evenings. Some other concerts are spread on several locations over the city.
If you chose to look for jazz outside of Heidelberg, there are some really nice spots not far away. In nearby Mannheim, the IG-Jazz offers a regular programme at “Klapsmühl am Rathaus”. A little, nice location with concerts of the locals jazz students but you can hear the best german jazz bands there, too (also: mainstream to experimental and avantgarde). At Alte Feuerwache Mannheim, the programme offers often some “bigger names”, with an international twist. The “Neuer Deutscher Jazzpreis” (New German Jazz Award) is held there each year. This price is quite unique, as the audience elects from three bands, which were chosen from roundabout 200 applications by a jury and a curator, the winner.
At Bergstrasse, in Heppenheim, the Forum Kultur offers an ambitius programme, which could be characterised as modern mainstream, also worth a little trip from Heidelberg.
There are some jazz festivals in and around Heidelberg, too. The biggest is “Enjoy Jazz“, which is held in fall. It runs over 6 weeks and offers roundabout 60 to 70 concerts on several locations of the Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar (the region around the cities of Heidelberg, Mannheim and Ludwigshafen). In summer “Palatia Jazz” offers concert – most of them open air – in several cities of the nearby Palatinate (a region, belonging to the neigbouring state of Rheinland-Pfalz), worth a look. It offers a mostly international programme and its USP is the offer of regional wine and food before the concerts. Another festival nearby is “Jazz and Joy” in Worms. A little bit more far away, but definitely worth the trave is the “Just Music Festival” in Wiesbaden, which is held in January: a fine selection of avantgarde, modern and sometimes free jazz. Recommended.
This is just a short sample of the most interesting jazz venues and festivals of Heidelberg and its surroundings. You can find all interesting jazz concerts in the region at www.metropoljazz.de, which offers a comprehensive overview of all concerts worth listening. As the Heidelberg-Blogger is also the webmaster of www.jazzpages.com and the Jazzblogger, please feel free to drop a line, to get some expert’s advice 😉
Jazzology is the weekly jazz radio show at the free radio station bermudafunk. Since 2000, every Monday evening at 9 pm, Frank Schindelbeck is hosting the broadcast live, often with some of Germany’s finest jazz musicians as guests.