By Steven Schmidt, Supervisor, Indiana State Library Development Office
On Saturday, October 5th, the Indiana State Library was anything but quiet! In partnership with the 25th anniversary of the Indianapolis-Cologne Sister City Partnership, the Indiana State Library hosted a presentation on the history of jazz in Indiana, plus a jazz concert presented by a group of students from Cologne, Germany.
Jazz photographer and historian Duncan Scheidt presented a slide show tracing the early days of Jazz in Indiana, then Hoosier jazz icon Dr. David Baker talked about the state’s contributions and influences on the art form.
Following their presentation, the musicians, lead by André Nendza, one of the leading bass players in Germany and the winner of the Echo Prize, the European equivalent of the Grammy Award for best bass player. The band, composed of Saara Wallraf on violin; Robert Schlanstein on the drums; Ula Martyn-Ellis on the guitar and Annkathrin Huber providing the vocals performed a selection of composition by Nendza and Martyn-Ellis.
These musicians are visiting Indianapolis as a part of the 25th anniversary of the Indianapolis-Cologne Sister City Partnership and have performed at a number of venues around central Indiana during their stay. The rest of the Cologne delegation consisted of Cologne Vice-Mayor Angela Spizig, Cologne-Indianapolis committee chair Volkmar Schultz, Vice-chair and German-American Society of Cologne chairman Hartwig Prüßmann, Lydia Kluetsch from the Office of International Affairs for the City of Cologne and Claudia Burger, widow of the late Lord Mayor Norbert Burger who signed the original sister city agreement with Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut in 1988.
Since 1988, Indianapolis and Cologne, Germany have been connected through an active and lively sister city relationship,” said Martin Baier, President of the Indianapolis-Cologne Sister-City Partnership Committee. “The mission is to foster international understanding at all levels by forging person-to-person bonds between the people of Indianapolis and Cologne.”
Click here to learn more about this event and jazz-related holdings at the State Library.