New home wanted for jazz: The Saarbrücken jazz festival no longer exists, but … Videos

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The Saarbrücken jazz festival no longer exists, but at least three days of jazz in the Saarbrücken chain factory (27 to 29 September). From 2019 there should be a new venue and eight double concerts in Saarbrücken. 

Many jazz fans will miss it this autumn: the Saarbrücken Jazz Festival. The festival is dead after many successful years, after its artistic director Wolfgang Krause misappropriated the budget (just under 100,000 euros) last year (we reported). The organizing “Jazz-Syndikat e.V.” is dissolved. Many musicians are still waiting for their fees. The city of Saarbrücken judicially examines how they can collect their subsidy in the amount of 32 000 euros. “Contrary to his announcement in March, Wolfgang Krause has paid back no money,” said the Saarbrücken Culture Department Thomas Brück on demand of our newspaper. Also, the prosecutor confirms that against Krause is determined.

The friends of the Blue Notes are therefore dependent on alternatives in the autumn in our region, they do not want to wait for the St. Ingberter Jazz Festival or the Saarbrücken “Free Jazz Festival” (both in April). The St. Wendel Jazz Days took place this year exceptionally in May instead of in September. Among these jazz events, the Saarbrücken Jazz Festival, which takes place in November, was a giant with supraregional appeal, with more than 20 concerts. Especially since in Saarbrücken also jazz icons such as Lee Konitz or Abdullah Ibrahim occurred.

This concept of inviting international (expensive) guests to Saarbrücken was once again controversial in the regional jazz scene, says Brück, who has performed with local musicians since March (including Christof Thewes, Susan and Martin Weinert, Stefan Scheib, Jan Oestreich) has met to discuss a new use of the funds. “The local jazz scene would like to see stronger regional support and a venue,” says the head of the cultural department, who had previously negotiated a new concept with jazz professor Oliver Strauch, who teaches at the conservatory. However, Strauch floated a big, ambitious festival with international guests. “I also did not want to be involved, as long as musician colleagues are still waiting for their money,” said the jazz drummer.

There is not much to distribute anyway. The Minister of Culture and the musicians involved in the discussion have now agreed to sponsor a series of events with eight double concerts a year with € 27,000 in funding and to support the young “Free Jazz Festival” with € 5,000. It is thought that each a regional musician invites a musical guest. To curate the series of experienced concert planner Thomas Altpeter, announces Brück. It should start in 2019 – and in a new venue, which will open the operator of the “Terminus” in Saargemünd, Geoffrey Mueller, in Saarbrücken. He is still waiting for various permits before he can announce the location of the new club, he said yesterday. The “Terminus” has long been established as a concert promoter.

At the end of September, however, it is now the proven chain factory in St. Arnual that keeps jazz alive – with modest means and a great deal of commitment. The group of culture-loving people around Klaus Kühn and his St. Arnualer chain factory roommate has not been stopped by the jazz syndicate, as every year a jazz program in the factory’s old factory building on the legs. On the 27th, 28th and 29th of September, jazz formations from the region will perform there. “KettenJazz” is the name of the new series. “In the past, we were docked to the Saarbrücken Jazz Festival as a kind of pre-program with groups from the region. For the first time this year we have managed the organization ourselves, “says Klaus Kühn, who is responsible for the program together with Birgit Marx-Böhmer and the professional musician Jochen Lauer.

The organizers are planning with a budget of 5,000 to 6,000 euros, whereby it is set to generate the largest part of the expenses on the entrance fees (18 euros). Around 100 people fit in the chain factory. Otherwise, a St. Arnualer insurance agency looks after posters and advertising. And the district mayor also asked for a grant, says Kühn.

Only since this month is the Kettenfabrik recognized as a public corporation as a non-profit, so that one can now accept donations, he explains. It must be known that the factory is not just a cultural center, but above all a residential community made up of eight co-owners, who for more than 40 years have been practicing alternative living together in the heart of St. Arnual and who are also involved in the cultural sector. It is not surprising that the organizers have “no financial foundation”, as the retired pediatrician admits, the Kettenfabrik is a matter of the heart. He and his colleagues understand cultural work primarily as a voluntary commitment to the district. “It’s a lot of fun and we’re creating a very intimate, family atmosphere here at our concerts,” enthuses Kühn. The jazz fans will thank him.

Elmar Federkeil (right) and guitarist Uli Brodersen perform with the singers Noreda and Donnielle Graves from the USA in the chain factory.

Elmar Federkeil (rechts) und der Gitarrist Uli Brodersen treten mit den Sängerinnen Noreda und Donnielle Graves aus den USA in der Kettenfabrik auf.

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