It’s even a little more international as usual in teacher Mathias Fehn’s class this morning at a Cologne grammar school. Among his students, all refugees or young people coming from foreign countries like Syria, Greece, Italy, Iraq and Spain, are five students from Liverpool University – all of the them future teachers.
It is a home of Jazz music. The town of Indianapolis in the midwest of the USA. The crossroad of America, as the welcome signs of the town say.
Back in the 1930s and earlier: After young black students were banned from public schools, they were taught at special places, special schools, as University professor Monika Herzig explains. The birth places of Jazz.
Herzig, originally from southern Germany, lives in Burlington since 1991. Together with three (upcoming) alumni of Indiana University, all of them well taught musicians, she now traveled to Cologne, Germany. As part of the “Indiana Jazz Exchange.” A programm that brings young musicians, writers, teachers, even fire fighters from Indiana to Germany – and back.
Since almost 30 years both towns, Cologne and Indianapolis keep a regular relationship – based on a sister-city arrangement.
Since Indiana is the birth place of Jazz, we had to find our own version of the music, says bass-player and award winning musician André Nendza. He is from Cologne, also working there as a music teacher.
“We wanted to show the Americans that there is more than simple brass music in Germany,” he explains.
As part of the “Indiana Jazz Exchange” now three upcoming musicians came to Cologne. Bass player Quinn Sternberg, trumpet player Matt Riggen and drummer Josh Roberts.