Aug 24–Oct 27, 2007

New York – Music Programme


With three concert series dedicated, respectively, to Broadway, Greenwich Village and the el barrio sound, the House of World Cultures is celebrating New York as a world centre of the music industry. The three 'locations' stand for three styles and three artistically and economically different ways of making music: the quasi-industrial song production of composers and lyricists such as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter; the search for the roots, for the authentic spirit of the old American folk scene, which, from the time of Pete Seeger right up to today, has gathered in Greenwich Village; the Latin scene generated by immigrants, especially from Puerto Rico and Cuba, who over the years have made New York the world capital of Spanish-language popular music.

Such legends as Jimmy Scott and Joe Bataan meet representatives of the current scene, including Tony Touch and Jeff Lewis. Special among the unique events of the programme is a reunion of the star salsa band Grupo Folklórico Y Experimental Nuevayorquino.

12th – 27th October
Greenwich Village
The House is presenting the New York folk music scene in its own, specially constructed Greenwich Village Folk Club. Music fans are invited to step into a slightly different time and space to witness folk veterans coming together with young representatives of the genre. Around 1950 the obvious artificiality and urban stylisation of American commercial popular music gave rise to a longing for music that was more natural and authentic. A broad movement set out in search of the roots – in search of a supposedly pure and original music. While the quest initially led to rural areas in the American South, New York soon became a world centre of folk music and remained so through the rest of the 20th century. Folk musicians still flock to the clubs and cafes of, above all, Manhattan's Greenwich Village. On six evenings at the House's Folk Club, exponents of today's punk rock-affiliated folk scene, including Jeff Lewis, Prewar Yardsale and Dufus will join musical forces with such veterans as Peter Stampfel and David Peel & The Lower East Side. Guest curator Lewis, of the younger generation, writes and sings songs that frequently take up the history of the folk genre and of the New York music scene.

Jeff Lewis / Professor Louie: Family Beatnik | Bob Neuwirth / Ish Marquez | Peter Stampfel / Prewar Yardsale | Biff Rose / Dufus | David Peel & The Lower East Side / Roger Manning | Eric Andersen / Langhorne Slim

5th + 6th October
The House invites the public to experience the great tradition of American entertainment music in an homage to Broadway featuring, among others, Jimmy Scott. Broadway's music industry arose between the charged poles of economic imperative and artistic ambition. The Broadway machine, with its prospects for artistic and financial success, was a magnet for great talent – especially European immigrants who had an affinity for Stravinsky and Schoenberg, yet were open to new forms such as blues and jazz. Out of productions for musical theatre grew the Great American Songbook, a loosely defined canon of outstanding popular songs from the period of the 1920s to the 1950s. The one-of-a-kind Jimmy Scott , his boy's voice unaltered by the passage to adulthood, has been at home in this idiom for decades. The duo of Roswell Rudd (trombone) and Duck Baker (guitar) have dug up largely unknown Broadway songs. Berlin Musician Masha Qrella (Contriva) - together with Rike Schuberty (Contriva), Michael Mühlhaus und Andi Haberl - takes on this city's contribution to the Great American Songbook as she performs Broadway works by the Berlin composers Kurt Weill and Frederick Loewe.

24th August – 8th September
El Barrio – Latin New York
The El Barrio series shows the development and the diversity of Latin music in New York. The music industry has succeeded where numerous Latin American integration summits have not: in transforming the term "Latino" into a cultural and, above all, a musical identity. Since the 1930s, New York has been the centre of Spanish-language music. The styles imported from the Caribbean and Central and South America were recast into "neoyorquino" genres. The African-American audience, the Italian and the Jewish communities, white Manhattan – all of these groups have left their mark on New York's Latin music. While Puerto Ricans became "Nuyoricans", the term "Latino" transcended its origins as a stereotype applied by white America and came to stand for a full-fledged cultural and musical identity. From salsa to boogaloo to reggaeton, HKW is bringing the exciting spectrum of New York's Latino music to Berlin's stage. The Spanish Harlem Orchestra is invited to play at the opening weekend of the New York programme. The group is the chief heir to "neoyorquina" salsa, the famous sauce combining Latin, jazz and soul ingredients. One of the greatest Latin ensembles, Grupo Folklórico Y Experimental Nuevayorquino , is reuniting specially for the New York programme – starring Eddie Palmieri as guest of honour. Representatives of Afro-Cuban spirituality such as Luisito Quintero , Latin soul musicians like Joe Bataan , the music ensemble Los Pleneros and a reggaeton revue of sorts with Tony Touch bring today's hottest Latino sounds to Berlin.

13th – 15th September
Asian Bop
Cultural globalisation does not have to mean uniformity. This is demonstrated by a number of Asian musicians whose inspiration is the jazz style most strongly connected with New York – bebop. All over the world there are musicians young and old who virtually deify jazz greats such as Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. Things get interesting when the passion for bebop collides with other musical approaches not typically associated with jazz. Japanese pianist and composer Koji Ueno began in punk rock, then advanced, with his band, Guernica, to the forefront of Japanese electronic music, and later became a respected composer of film scores and so-called serious music. In the 1990s he discovered jazz. At the HKW his big band will make its German debut. Indra Lesmana, the leading jazz pianist of Indonesia, will present his reading of bebop in a small ensemble, while the Beijing group Du Yinjiao prove that bebop has left its unmistakable mark even in the insular realm of mainland China.

13th Sept. Indra Lesmana / Indonesien | 14th Sept. Du Yinjiao / China | 15th Sept. Koji Ueno / Japan

Broadway, Greenwich Village and Asian Bop will be presented as part of Asia-Pacific Weeks 2007 - Asia-Pacific: Changing the World. Asia-Pacific Weeks receives funding from Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin DKLB.