Opening Wassermusik: Black Atlantic Revisited | © Sebastian Bolesch/HKW
The Mississippi – the river that crosses the United States from north to south, on whose banks people settled a thousand years ago, traffic artery for plantation management and slavery, prime example of an Anthropocene landscape – is also the cradle of American music. Jazz and funk originated in New Orleans, the blues in its delta, rock ’n’ roll in Memphis. Wassermusik 2020 will explore the importance of the river for the history of music and research whether these places on its banks continue to have an exceptional creative position and what is currently being developed there. The entire spectrum of Mississippi music can be expected over four weekends: jazz, blues, Cajun, zydeco, R&B, folk, bluegrass and mixed old and new forms like bounce or trailer trap. There will be talk and literary events on two Thursday evenings, for example with the literary scholar Ananya Kabir, who studies “water philology” and has traveled and described the Mississippi extensively.