Pop Up KC features German jazz

Kansas City

The Goethe Institut Pop-Up Kansas City has partnered with Kansas City’s UNESCO Creative City team to promote international friendship and peace through music during the Year of German-American Friendship – known as Wunderbar Together.  Two events are planned for April and May 2019 – with additional partnerships in the works. 

On Friday April 26, the Goethe Institut Pop-Up Kansas City will host The Chicago Plan at The American Jazz Museum.  The Chicago Plan is based on more than a decade of musical friendship between U.S. and German musicians – including the German tenor saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and composer Gebhard Ullmann and American trombonist and composer Steve Swell. The current ensemble is named The Chicago Plan which features renowned Chicagoans Michael Zerang on percussion and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello. The plan is to integrate the leaders’ new musical material to inspire groundbreaking improvisation, which include world rhythms, universal textures and other worldly sound experiences. This event celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month and the International Day of Jazz 2019. 

On Monday May 20, 2019 – a second Pop Up event will feature Der Lange Schatten of Berlin [pictured] – a jazz trio. Der Lange Schatten – German for “the long shadow” – features Michael Thieke on clarinet, Håvard Wiik on piano, and Antonio Borghini on bass. The band released a new recording in 2018 entitled Concurrences.

The Kansas City events are presented by Goethe Pop Up KC, an arts initiative implemented by the Goethe Institut, funded by the Federal Foreign Office in Germany and supported by the Federation of German Industries (BDI).  The American Jazz Museum of Kansas City is the host and each event will take place in The Blue Room. 

Kansas City joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in 2017 as the first City of Music in the United States.

The Network includes 180 cities from 72 countries and each city is committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Kansas City has several sister cities that are members of the UCCN – including Guadalajara, Mexico, Hannover, Germany, Morelia, Mexico, and Seville, Spain. 

Kansas City is the home of Kansas City swing, jazz, blues and gospel music rooted in the African American community.  The City’s rich historical legacy of musical innovation includes a transformational chapter in the history of American swing music – which brought a whole new sound and jazz vocabulary to the world through the music of Mary Lou Williams, William “Count” Basie, Ben Webster, Jay McShann and Charlie Parker – among the luminaries of the AFM Local 627. 

As a UNESCO Creative City of Music, Kansas City is working to engage other Creative Cities through creative cultural exchanges aimed to foster inter-cultural understanding, tolerance and mutual respect through music. We are honored to host the Goethe Pop Up in Kansas City for the Year of German-American friendship.

Additional events will be held in Kansas City throughout April for International Jazz Day.