Vernissage with concert by Simon Dahl

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Mo. 20.11.2023
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From 20 November to 15 December 2023, the Ilmenau University Library will host the photo exhibition "Blues People - Images of the Deep South" with photographs by Axel Küstner.

Axel Küstner has been regularly travelling in the footsteps of blues musicians since he was 16 years old. In 1972 he travelled to the U.S.A. for the first time and many more trips followed, during which he matured into a legend recognised in the U.S.A. himself. He formed personal friendships with many musicians. In 1978, he spent several weeks with Big Joe Williams in Crawford, Mississippi. Towards evening, when the subtropical heat subsided, the then already aged blues veteran gave private concerts on his 9-string guitar. Axel Küstner was there with his camera and tape recorder.

Countless photographs, field recordings and an extensive collection of rare shellac discs bear witness to his encounters with legendary musicians and ordinary people beyond the ideal world of the "American way of life". In 1980, Axel Küstner and Ziggy Christmann recorded field recordings with musicians all over the States. They are among the best in blues history.

Horst Lippmann, one of the founders of the legendary concert agency Lippmann & Rau, who made the trip possible in the first place with generous financial support, published a selection on the L+R label.

Axel Küstner's photographs show a very unique, often archaic world that no longer exists today.

The exhibition will be opened on 20 November at 8 pm with a concert by Simon Dahl.

Born in Berlin in 1977, the guitarist and mandolinist has been exploring all facets of the blues for more than 30 years. Originally inspired by greats such as John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Albert King, his interest has increasingly shifted towards the archaic, acoustic blues of the 1920s and 1930s. Skip James and Mississippi Fred McDowell in particular have become the focus of attention. In the meantime, an extensive repertoire of blues, ragtime and folk has come together. Authentically presented with powerful vocals, the artist brings the blues to the audience.

This is an event organized by Jazzclub Ilmenau e.V. in cooperation with the Thuringian State Center for Political Education.

Admission free