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Jazzwerkstatt special- Julie Sassoon and more

Two day festival of Berlin label jazzwerkstatt: Julie Sassoon, Uwe Kropinski, Stefan Schultze.

Click here for both nights  £30

Julie Sassoon launched her new quartet album at the Vortex to a sell-out show last year. Since her relocation to Berlin, her music has expanded and exploded in diversity. Increasing openness in approach highlights the personal nature of her music but her empathetic partners, from Germany and Austria.

“Julie Sassoon continues to steer her own discreetly eloquent path.” (John Fordham, Guardian)

Bassist Stefan Schultze collaborates with two musicians better known here in London – saxophonist Peter Ehwald and long-time Tim Berne collaborator Tom Rainey. “Schultze and Ehwald both relish exploring the melodic contours of the pieces, which are often reflective, even dreamy, while Rainey’s cymbal color play remains the epitome of sensitivity.” (New York City Jazz Record)

Uwe Kropinski was a trailblazer for the free jazz scene  in GDR and is still as vibrant today: “He knocked me out. I don’t think I’ve ever been so impressed with a solo-guitar performance as with his.” (Pat Metheny)

From the interview with Julie Sassoon and Lothar Ohlmeier by Gail Tasker in Londonjazznews

LJN: Tell us about this Vortex gig. 

JS: I brought out an album with this quartet last year. It was premiered at the London Jazz Festival at the Vortex. It was a wonderful festival, it was packed out. The CDs were fresh, the first ones had just arrived at the Vortex. When I came back, I told Ulli Blobel about it, and he said he wanted to bring Jazzwerkstatt musicians to London. Obviously I’m the connection, because I’ve known Oliver Weindling for many, many years. I used to have albums on Babel when I lived in London. So he got in touch with Oliver Weindling, and they decided on it. Oliver I think had a festival with the Swiss Intakt label earlier this year. It’s something similar.

LJN: What’s the story behind Ulli Blobel? 

Lothar Ohlmeier: He was born in the GDR, in the east. He was an organizer of concerts, festivals and stuff. All the people immersed in jazz music, once a week they came to somewhere in East Berlin. A place where there was a jam session or a concert. Everybody would bring their calendars to plan rehearsals and gigs. People didn’t have telephones… something we can’t imagine in the 1970s. Blobel also organised big events in the GDR from around 1976 until 84 with thousands of people coming. In 1982 his biggest event, “the Peitz Festival” was not tolerated anymore and was forbidden by the Government. In 1984 Blobel emigrated to the West. In West Germany doing the same thing, he was busy in the music world. And then in ‘89, the wall came down, and the two parts of Germany came together again. Since then, he always makes a big connection from the old musicians he knows in the East, and the people from the West. That is, I think, his driving force.

Read the full interview on

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