Only a few German jazzers have acquired international fame. Rolf Kühn is one of them. This year, the clarinettist is celebrating his 90th birthday, which he takes in his stride saying that he never stops working on his playing. Only the very grand stars know that perfection is the goal, and also that it will never be reached. His talent was discovered when he was a child in Leipzig, where he dove into the world of classical music. At age 17 he discovered a recording by Benny Goodman which captivated him: he started playing with various big bands, moved to the USA in 1956 and immediately connected with an inspiring environment. He recorded lead albums, was a member of Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey’s bands. In 1962 he became director of the German NDR Fernsehorchester (television orchestra) alongside which he played with people like Albert Mangelsdorff and his brother Joachim, and different musicians like Chick Corea, Dave Liebman, Lee Konitz and Ornette Coleman. Traditional jazz, free jazz, jazz rock, classical music – Rolf Kühn’s curiosity prevented him from making himself comfortable in a niche. His quartet release “Yellow + Blue” (2018), a beautiful ballad album, is yet again evidence of this.
The concert is seated.