Concert readings with Walfriede Schmitt, Ruth Hohmann, Ulrich Gumpert and Conny Bauer
Originally conceived by Walfriede Schmitt for the series Jazz - Lyrik - Prosa, the programme Love and Blues has become a successful concert reading. Walfriede Schmitt reads poems and texts by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Bertold Brecht, Theodor Storm, Joachim Ringelnatz, Margarete Duras, Robert Burton, Heinrich Heine, Kurt Tucholsky, Christa Kozik, Ernst Jandl and Friedrich Hölderlin, and deal exclusively with the topic of love. This also applies to the blues and jazz songs chosen by Ruth Hohmann, which she performs with accompaniment from Ulrich Gumpert on piano.
Conny Bauer’s trombone threads through the entire programme like a golden ribbon, whether as solo instrument, backdrop for Walfriede Schmitt’s readings, as duo with the piano or accompanying voice during the songs.
“To a certain degree Conrad Bauer’s musical score for the readings form a programme within a programme, for his polyphonic trombone playing alongside Walfriede Schmitt’s empathetic interpretation of the Brechtian ballads displays an approach that goes far beyond the simple addition of jazz, lyric and verse.”
As he GDR’s First Lady of Jazz, Ruth Hohmann had an important role in propagating jazz in the country. She has worked with the Jazz Optimisten Berlin, Dresdner Tanzsinfonikern, Weißensee Sextet and the Harry Seeger Trio, and was a lecturer at Berlin’s Hanns Eisler Academy of Music for vocal training. With the Mackey Gabbler Quartet she primarily sung jazz standards, and with her regular band of several years’ standing, the Jazz Collegiums Berlin, mostly more traditional jazz titles.
Walfriede Schmitt (born 1943 in Berlin) is a well-known German TV and theatre actress. Between 1972 and 1994 she was a member of the cast of the Volksbühne in Berlin. Her roles include parts in the TV films Das Schilfrohr, Bahnwärter Thiel, Pauline Oswalds zweites Leben, Coming Out, Die Beunruhigung, the DEFA children’s film Moritz in der Litfaßsäule and TV series such as Für alle Fälle Stefanie and Der Landarzt. Walfriede Schmitt has worked with amongst others Brigitte Soubeyrand, Horst Bonnet, Benno Besson, Fritz Marquardt, Heiner Müller, Matthias Langhoff, Frank Castorff, Christoph Schlingensief and Hans Kresnik and has also directed. As a freelancer, she is also involved with projects involving texts from author Joachim Ringelnatz as well as Love and Blues and Alice im Wunderland. Schmitt received the prize for best supporting role in the film Die Beunruhigung, as well as receiving the GDR’s art prize and acting prizes, the latter several times.
Ulrich Gumpert (born 1945 in Jena) is a pianist, organist and composer living in Berlin. He has played in diverse bands since the late sixties, with Klaus Lenz as well as in SOK and Synopsis, and in a trio with Rado Malfatti and Tony Oxley. He has also toured with, amongst others, Steve Lacy, John Tchicai and Peter Brötzmann. He has written music for theatre, radio plays and TV (the successful German detective series Tatort) and is currently active in various ensembles including the Ulrich Gumpert Quartet, B3 Spezial, Zentralquartett and the Ulrich Gumpert Workshop Band. In 2005 he was awarded the Albert Mangelsdorff Prize.
Conny Bauer (born 1943 in Halle an der Saale), is one of Europe’s most significant trombonists. Since the start of the 70’s he has been a founding member of numerous groups such as Exis, FEZ, Konrad Bauer Quartet, Bauer Sommer Kowald Trio, Doppelmoppel, Zentralquartett as well as the initiator of the big band Klangprojekt 86 (which later became the Jazzorchester der DDR).
Bauer gave his debut solo trombone concert in 1974. Today, over 35 years later he continues to explore and experiment with this instrument, continually developing new worlds of sound for himself and his audiences.