• We are already looking forward to the final evening of this year's Young Jazz Talent Award on 26 April at the Schmiede.
    These are the jazz singers nominated for the YOUNG JAZZ TALENT AWARD 2024:

    Merle Böwering

    What fascinates you most about music?
    What fascinates me most about music is the interpersonal and musical exchange. It's always special for me to be on stage with fellow musicians, to react spontaneously to each other and to experience this sense of community. Songwriting is also very important to me. When composing and writing lyrics, I can express my thoughts and feelings and share them with others.
    Which musician has influenced you personally the most so far?
    Bon Iver (US folk band) is the band I've been listening to the longest and most consistently. The way Justin Vernon writes lyrics really excites and inspires me. I also find it exciting to observe how the band's sound has changed over the years. Ella Fitzgerald's singing was one of my first points of contact with jazz. Her phrasing and scat singing immediately touched and impressed me. In addition to Ella, the sound of Chet Baker and Esperanza Spalding also influenced me personally.
    Which band/soloists have you always wanted to perform with?
    I would love to be on stage with the Portuguese musician MARO. I particularly appreciate the way she writes melodies and her soulful and soft voice, which has a high recognition value.
    What does your life outside of music look like?
    Besides making music, teaching and going to concerts, I like to dance in my spare time. I used to dance a lot of ballet and hip hop and have now started again. It's a nice balance to my otherwise very music-focussed everyday life. It's a good way to work out and clear my head. I also enjoy going to the theatre or watching dance productions.

    Anna Galchenko

    My name is Anna, I'm 21 years old and I'm in my fifth semester of jazz singing at the Folkwang UdK in Essen. I am very grateful for the opportunity to take part in this year's Young Talent Jazz Award. I started classical piano lessons at the age of five and realised relatively quickly that I was more drawn to singing. I then started singing in a Ukrainian children's choir relatively quickly and then had private lessons at the age of 10. When I was about 13, I came across jazz and became enthusiastic about it. I started singing standards and of course transcribing Chet Baker. At the moment, I would say I orientate myself a lot on Norma Winstone and the modern jazz published by ECM. I try to compose in that direction, as well as incorporating classical, Latin American elements and vocalises, like in one of my favourite albums 'Aqui' by Tatjana Parra and Andres Beeuwsaert.
    At the YTJA, I want to showcase the versatility of my music. It's important to me to sing compositions without lyrics and reach people with them. I find the effect of this very interesting, as the voice then acts as a non-verbal instrument and there is no need for language as a means of communication.
    I'm really looking forward to the evening and am excited to meet the other participants.

    What fascinates you most about music?
    In general, I'm fascinated by the diversity and change in music. In jazz alone, there are so many different subcategories and genres, and it's all categorised as 'jazz'. I find it incredibly exciting how much music exists in the world, with its own facets and cultural differences, so that everyone can find themselves somewhere. For me, it's a phenomenon that can bring people together on an infinite number of levels.
    Which musician has influenced you personally the most so far?
    It's quite difficult for me to single out just one musician, as I'm influenced by so many musicians in so many different areas and genres. In classical music, I am particularly inspired by Chopin and I loved playing his works.
    When I started singing jazz, I listened to and sang a lot of Chet Baker, Joni Mitchell, Carmen Mcrae and Thelonious Monk. Chet Baker's solos really shaped my language and improved my improvisation. Keith Jarrett is one of my favourite pianists and I try to incorporate elements of his playing into my compositions as much as I can.
    Which band/soloists have you always wanted to perform with?
    Again, there are many musicians that I admire and would love to play with. Kenny Wheeler's Large Ensemble is at the top of the list, as I currently listen to and sing a lot of contemporary jazz. I find every single composition from the album ''Music For Large And Small Ensembles'' unique and of course Norma Winstone's singing inspires and touches me a lot. I would also love to play with Richie Beirach as a duo as I am fascinated by his musical choices and I think I could learn so much from him.
    What does your life outside of music look like?
    My life largely consists of music, but I make an effort to find a balance in my everyday life. For example, I go to the gym regularly and I have a small dog. I'm also interested in psychology and political issues relating to feminism and racism.
    I maintain friendships with various people inside and outside the jazz scene.

    Sophia Hufschmidt

    What fascinates you most about music?
    That it can be so touching and that you can communicate through music in a way that goes beyond verbal communication.
    Which musician has influenced you personally the most so far?
    Stevie Wonder, Dianne Reeves and Milton Nascimento.
    Which band/soloists have you always wanted to be on stage with?
    I find it difficult to say specifically, but perhaps with Stevie Wonder or Al Jarreau.
    What does your life outside of music look like?
    My life has a lot to do with music, of course, but apart from that I enjoy spending time with friends, travelling and other cultural activities, such as going to museums or the theatre.

    Eva Swiderski

    What do you find particularly fascinating about music?
    For me, music is an escape from everyday life, the dreariness, the world-weariness. At the same time, it is also a way of processing these feelings and giving listeners a chance to feel heard or less lonely.
    Which musician has influenced you personally the most so far?
    To this day, Bobby McFerrin remains an inexplicable phenomenon for me, his musicality, (self-)irony and lightness despite his insanely acrobatic singing fascinates me. Having played classical piano for a long time, I'm finding more and more pleasure in the fusion of classical harmony mixed with improvisation; it was probably similar to Bobby, who as a baby was already comfortably listening to his parents warbling operas under the grand piano and later came to jazz. I also feel connected to Brazilian music in a way. I find the way João Gilberto, João Bosco and Chico Buarque compose so beautifully delicate ... at the same time, the recordings radiate a warm, lively energy. And that despite the fact that most of the latter's music was about criticising the dictatorial regime of the time. Recently I've also been able to get a lot out of new music, be it Helmut Lachenmann, Rebecca Saunders or Lauren Newton or my friends Laura Totenhagen, etc. I'm constantly adding new things to my repertoire. New things are constantly being added and I think it's important to always keep an open mind for different genres.
    Which band/soloists have you always wanted to perform with?
    On tour as a backing singer for Shirin David.
    What does your life outside of music look like?
    I like going to the market and bargaining over every bunch of coriander, watching cookery videos, going for walks. Sometimes I watch films excessively, e.g. at the Berlinale, put acrylic blobs on a canvas or finally finish knitting my scarf. I almost forgot to mention that I'm a passionate Scrabble player! Add me on Wordfeud: @eversnidersbyhurchill).

    Eva Swiderski (*2000) is a Berlin jazz singer, currently a student at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz (Prof. Anette von Eichel, Prof. Shannon Barnett) in Cologne. Coming from the classical piano, her path as a singer led her through several big bands, including the Landes Jugend Jazz Orchester Berlin, Bundes Jazz Orchester, Orchestre National de Jazz (FR). With her FLINTA* band called Ever Evolving, she played at the renowned Cologne Klaeng Festival, performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival and won the German Music Council's Future Music Competition in 2023 with her composition "Insomnia". As a scholarship holder of the Gutenberg Jazz Collective in Mainz, she got to know world-famous musicians (including Norma Winstone, Ben Wendel and Lionel Loueke) with whom she was able to share the stage. After being accepted into the German National Academic Foundation (2022), she was able to release her first singles and focus on political activism in addition to music, including organising a benefit festival for Ukraine at Cologne's "Odonien" in June 2022, co-organising the feminist concert series "La Citè des Dames" for gender equality at the HfMT Cologne and setting up a regular "FLINTA* Köln Musik" meeting with Catalina Valencia (diversity officer at the Jazzhausschule Köln). During her Erasmus semester (2024) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she met British singing legend Elaine Delmar and received lessons from Brigitte Beraha and Scott Stroman. She was also able to join the London Vocal Project (directed by Pete Churchill).

  • The "Jazz City Bilk" beckons at Whitsun

    When it was announced last October that there would be no Jazz Rally this year, there was great horror: no invigorating music at Whitsun, no cheerful shuttling from pub to pub, no lively jazz in the city. That sounded like a difficult idea to bear. All those who feared that the once renowned title of "Jazz City Düsseldorf" could be forgotten were not prepared to accept this. Resistance to the development promptly arose, and the horror of the moment developed into a small jazz quake, the seething epicentre of which was clearly located in Bilk. There, a few stalwarts stamped their feet and said "now more than ever", which is why there will now be three days of invigorating music again at Whitsun. You can now move from location to location from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon after all - in the "Jazz City Bilk".

    There are already three places in Bilk (where the initiative for the new project originated) where jazz regularly sets the tone: on Thursdays and Fridays at the Pure Note bistro on Brunnenstraße, on Saturdays at Aachener Platz and throughout the week at the Jazz Schmiede, where there is also an information board commemorating the "Jazz City Düsseldorf" exhibition. Peter Weiss once helped design this exhibition. As a nationally renowned drummer, he is a permanent fixture in Germany's jazz scene and, on the board of the "Jazz in Düsseldorf" association, is responsible for top-class culture in Bilk and for the city.

    So it was only natural to entrust Peter Weiss with the artistic direction of "Jazz City Bilk" and thus ensure that the musical programme can be heard beyond the borders of Düsseldorf. "We want......", says Weiss.

    As soon as word of the plans for the new project got around the district, the list of venues grew longer and longer. The list now includes not only the Jazz-Schmiede, Aachener Platz and Pure Note, but also the Metropol cinema, the Bürgersaal Bilk, the Bilker Bunker and the Bürgersaal Salzmannbau.

    A lot of phone calls, emails and letters are now being sent in order to be able to present a complete programme as soon as possible. "We are working flat out to ensure that the programme not only satisfies jazz fans in the city, but perhaps also attracts one or two visitors from the surrounding area," says Pure Note Managing Director Marcel Clemens. The complete "Jazz City Bilk" programme should be ready by ??? at the latest.

    The energy of the initiators and the sense of community created in the neighbourhood and beyond have also convinced District Council 3, which was asked for help quickly and has now promised start-up funding for this year at lightning speed. "We were convinced that....", says district mayor Dietmar Wolf.

    The fact that so many people want to be part of the jazz party not only surprised the initiators, but also inspired them. The idea is already doing the rounds to present the small festival again next year and then perhaps make it a little bigger and possibly also include public spaces as venues. Further supporters and sponsors are sought and most welcome in the "Jazz City Bilk".

  • For the 15th time, the Landesmusikrat NRW and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia are awarding the Spielstättenprogrammprämie NRW to small and medium-sized stages in the independent music scene for their special commitment and their ambitious and dedicated live programme.
    The awards will be presented on Tuesday, 23 January 2024 at the Jazzclub Henkelmann in Iserlohn.

    We are delighted that the Jazz-Schmiede is once again one of this year's award-winning venues!
    With the zakk and the KIT Café, two other venues from Düsseldorf are also among the 16 award winners, and we congratulate our colleagues there!

    Minister Ina Brandes: "The number and diversity of our cultural events in North Rhine-Westphalia is unique in Europe. We also owe this to the many small and medium-sized stages in the independent music scene. With their outstanding programmes and excellent musicians, they whet our appetite for live music. This makes it possible to attract new audiences and at the same time inspire the regular audience. The stages thus make a valuable contribution to the rich cultural offering in our country."

    "Live music is an indispensable part of a vibrant culture. Providing small and medium-sized forums with a financial incentive for outstanding and experimental programming creates scope for innovation and promotes cultural diversity," says Prof. Dr. Christine Siegert, President of the Landesmusikrat NRW.

    The award-winning venues were selected by an expert jury consisting of Christina Lux (musician), Ulla Oster (musician), Tim Isfort (moers festival) and Thomas Baerens (Head of the Music Department, Ministry of Culture and Science).

  • Our homepage, as well as our ticket system, is now also available in english. We hope that all our international guests and all not native geman speakers will now find their way around easily.
    Please be patient with us and write us a short message if you should encounter any hicups here and there. Thank you!

  • Gift vouchers


    Looking for a meaningful gift on the spur of the moment?
    A gift voucher for a concert at the Jazz-Schmiede is always the right choice!

  • On 23 October, the Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Claudia Roth, presented the APPLAUS once again, and for the 10th time, in recognition of live music venues and their programmes for their cultural and socio-political commitment.
    Live music venues are honoured for their cultural excellence and impact in the previous year. The award-winning venues were selected by a jury of experts and the award ceremony took place at the Pavillon Hannover.
    With the Programme Award, the Minister of State for Culture honours concert programmes by independent music clubs and event series from all areas of popular music and jazz. Every year, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) provides prize money totalling around 2 million euros, making the APPLAUS one of the most highly endowed federal cultural prizes.
    This is the 5th time that Jazz-Schmiede Düsseldorf has been honoured with the APPLAUS. Following its nomination for the German Jazz Award as Venue of the Year last year and the award of the NRW Venue Programme Prize at the beginning of the year, the APPLAUS once again underlines the status of the Jazz-Schmiede as an important and high-quality venue for contemporary jazz music in Germany.

  • Dear members,

    as some of you may already know, others have only just heard the sad news: Wolfgang Engstfeld, who had been seriously ill for some time, passed away unexpectedly on 18 September.

    His death is a great personal loss for me as a friend! But also as a musician - and this certainly applies to many other colleagues - we have lost one of the most important representatives of his instrument. As a teacher and inspirer, the saxophonist had a lasting influence on the next generation of musicians. "...One of the best that Europe has ever produced, a real personality with a sound that always got under your skin... thank you, Wölfi, without you I would never have become a musician," said Reiner Witzel, among others, in honour of his former teacher. An appreciative statement that is shared by colleagues such as Paul Heller, Mathias Nadolny and many others. As the response in the social media also shows.

    I will miss his vital, intense playing, which is at the same time so lyrical, with an unmistakable tone!

    We will be remembering our friend and colleague "Wölfi" in a private setting at the Schmiede in October.

    Peter Weiss

  • Peter Baumgärtner
    My Choice

    Alice in Wonderland (Bob Hilliard / Sammy Fain) 07:06
    Invitation (Bronislaw Kaper) 06:07
    Somewhere (Leonard Bernstein) 06:39
    Soul Eyes (Mal Waldron) 06:42
    Isfahan (Billy Strayhorn) 07:11
    Here, There and Everywhere (Lennon & McCartney) 05:59
    Time After Time (Sammy Cahn / Jule Styne) 06:20
    Darn That Dream (Jimmy van Huesen) 05:36
    So Tender (Keith Jarrett) 06:07

    produced by
    Peter Baumgärtner

    Executive producer
    Philipp van Endert & André Nendza

    Peter Baumgärtner (dr)
    Thomas Rückert (p)
    Martin Gjakonovski (b)

    About the album
    It has long been a wish of well-known drummer Peter Baumgärtner to record his favourite jazz standards in a studio. With these two exquisite partners he succeeded in the legendary MPS Studio in Villingen in the Black Forest. Spontaneity, openness and creativity - Standards today!

    Release Date: 2023/03/24
    Catalogue-No.: 8011JSS


    "On his organ - this queen of instruments - Krajenski truly becomes a dazzling magician. Starting with quiet, barely audible, always finely nuanced playing, he escalates from filigree to powerful phases to the point of obsession."