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Zur fünften Kölner Musiknacht

Liebe Besucher!

Our tendency to improvise in the most diverse situations is mirrored by genres like Jazz, Blues, Soul and Spirituals. All of them are psychological and physical expressions of pain, eroticism, faith and lust for life. At the same time, these musical styles are the result of migrations - of Sub-Saharan slaves being deported to North America as well as the subsequentdissemination of their music all around the world. Agility, spontaneity , diversity and the joy of experimentation are, on the other hand, not just virtues of improvised music alone. They are, on the contrary, typical of the entire Free Music scene, which, in Cologne especially, is marked by an astounding polyphony and quality.

While the 2008-edition of the Kölner Musiknacht focused on Contemporary Composition, it will concentrate on the many different faces of Improvised Music this year. After 1945, Cologne quickly developed into the Jazz capitol of Western Germany and its pan-European reputation sent back inspiring messages into the original homeland of Jazz. Just like Jazz and Improvised Music have forever developed through the interaction with other musical styles – including Folk, Electronic Music, Rock, Pop, Classical Music, Old- and New Music – the Kölner Musiknacht is now offering visitors the opportunity of discovering personal paths through the maze of today's music scene. May the global groove of Jazz be your guiding light. Set out for discovery! Go out and listen! Keep on swinging!

For the fifth time already, there will be over 100 concerts spread out over 25 locations in the inner city between 6pm and 2am. Forty of these performances will feature ensembles from the realms of Jazz and Improvised Music. It is the core idea of the night to lure audiences to less-known locations and to kindle their curiosity for music they may previously not have heard. Some formations and styles are furthermore presented at venues not typically associated with them. This unique concert of changes is presented by the Initiativkreis Freie Musik (IFM), a consortium of almost 400 freelance musicians, ensembles and organisers who joined forces in 1999 to pave the way for improved working conditions and a wider public awareness and recognition of their chronically under-financed services.

Partners of the Kölner Musiknacht include the KölnTourismus GmbH as well as our medial partners: Newspaper „Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger“ and cultural radio station WDR 3, which will extensively and alternately cover the concerts at the Klausvon- Bismarck-Saal and the Stadtgarten. The Musiknacht is furthermore supported by the Mayor and the Office for Cultural Activities Cologne, the SK-Stiftung Kultur, the Sparkassen Kulturstiftung Rheinland, the Federal Council of Music NRW, the Regional Authority Rheinland and the RheinEnergie-Stiftung Kultur. For the first time, too, we have managed to establish a collaboration with the „Call a Bike“ service of German Railroad company Deutsche Bahn. This means that the various locations can now also be accessed by specially allocated bicycles.

We are grateful for this support, as it encourages us to keep working on establishing connections between the different musical partners on the one hand as well as improving their rapport with the institutions of the city and the country as a whole on the other.

Dr. Rainer Nonnenmann
Initiativkreis Freie Musik
Köln, August 2009