Music

 

ARAB SONG JAM goes Maghreb | Photo: Daniela Incoronato


 

We have our finger on the musical pulse of the city!

Language barriers do not exist in music. Therefore transcultural music is very much alive in our venue. Almost all musical genres that are internationally heard, played and sometimes danced to can be found on the stages of our house. We regularly feature world-class bands which are produced in Berlin, thereby creating extraordinary original productions that reach their audiences.The stages of the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN are important spaces for our guests who come from the many different communities of the city.

With the concert cycle World Wide Music and its forerunners "Migration Music" and "Transmusikale", the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN has established itself as a concert organiser with a finger on the musical pulse of the city, particularly when it comes to music beyond European classical music or Western mainstream pop. Within this framework, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN presents for the most part, music projects from Berlin which combine musical influences from jazz, pop, classical music and various traditional music cultures to create new sounds. Every Friday evening, the transcultural Berlin music scene is represented here.

Over the past six years, the house has also become a meeting place for a discerning jazz audience. Berlin-based, internationally renowned musicians and band leaders such as Eric Vaughn, Kelvin Sholar and Jean-Paul Bourelly curated concert cycles such as Naked Jazz, "Spontaneous Situations" and Black Music Renaissance at the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN which helped to establish it as a relevant jazz location within the city.


           

           

  • The Tagesspiegel reviewed the performance of trumpeter Michael Ray, once a member of the legendary Intergalactic Arkestra of keyboarder Sun Ra in the weekly concert cycle "Naked Jazz" as early as 2012: "Today, Saturday, Ray, whose riffs are as funky as ever, will perform in Berlin. Not during Jazzfest, which runs until Sunday at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, the Akademie der Künste, jazz clubs like A-Trane nor at Quasimodo, but in the beautiful setting of the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN, (...).

  • The taz (25/11/2013) describes the performance of Coltrane's world-famous album "A Love Supreme", which took place as part of the Sacred Music & Dance Festival, as "goosebumps under the vaults of the cellar”. At the end, about two hundred people hummed, sang and whispered one line - ‘A Love Supreme’, as if it was a mantra. A magical moment".

  • The international press perceives the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN as a concert venue in which jazz musicians, true to their tradition, pick up fresh inspirations and weave them into something new. In November 2017, the venerable New York Times, the Washington Post, Canadian Press, San Francisico Chronicle, Arab Press and many other English-language media wrote a refreshingly long and detailed article titled "Jazz it up - Arab musicians bring their songs to Germany" about the ARAB SONG JAM concert cycle launched in 2017. It continues, "Arab musicians in Berlin are bringing their musical roots to Germans - with a little help from American jazz."

Festival formats such as below are also regularly introduced:

  • The GLOBAL DRUMS FESTIVAL, which enters its third season in 2018, presents a comprehensive selection of international traditional and contemporary percussion music. In 2018 the focus is on percussion from the Maghreb.


  • The 2017 Reclaim the Beats Festival which took place in cooperation with the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN, was announced by the music magazine INTRO as follows: "Starting from the premise that the modern entertainment business is the result of ongoing oppression, the Reclaim the Beats Festival embarks on a search for the achievements of indigenous arts and cultures. (...) Hardly any other festival is as passionate about making cultural diversity visible as Reclaim The Beats in Berlin. Afro-American artists particularly from queer subcultures, (...), are in the line-up, and between concerts and workshops, the festival offers a total of eight days of cultural-critical dialogue.
  • 
In 2016 the renowned CTM Festival, made a guest appearance at the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN with a focus on "New Geographies": "Many of the contributions also deal with the conflicts that a significant number of the featured musicians have experienced living under dictatorships. (...) The solo performance "All Hail Mother Internet" was charged with exhilarating tension between spoken word, live radio play and sound art by Tunisian Deena Abdelwahed in the Werkstatt der Kulturen. It also consisted of nervous, tripped-up beats, sung passages, noise and longer narrative pieces." (taz 8.02.2016)


  


The WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.