Joachim-Ernst Berendt

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Joachim-Ernst Berendt (born July 20, 1922 in Berlin-Weißensee ; † February 4, 2000 in Hamburg ) was a German music journalist and music producer in the jazz genre . For over forty years he was an editor at what was then Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden , making him the longest-serving jazz editor in the world. With the (occasionally) weekly television broadcast with jazz concerts and a radio program about jazz that was still broadcast daily at the time, he did great pioneering work to promote and spread jazz in post-war Germany .


Joachim-Ernst Berendt was a son of the Protestant pastor Ernst Berendt (1878–1942), director of the Diakonische Werke in Berlin-Weißensee (today the Stephanus Foundation ). His father was a member of the Confessing Church . He was arrested eight times during the National Socialist era and died in Dachau concentration camp in 1942 . His grandfather Ernst Gottlieb Georg Berendt (1842–1919), founder of Diakonische Werke, was able to successfully conceal and hide his conversion from Judaism to Protestantism from the public.

During the Second World War , Berendt had to break off his studies of physics at the TH Karlsruhe , which he had just started , because he was drafted into the Wehrmacht. Even during the Third Reich , he was interested in jazz, which was then pushed underground . In the months after the end of the war on May 8, 1945 , he was one of the founding members of Südwestfunk (SWF). He was the first employee of the SWF since August 1, 1945. From 1947 until his retirement in 1987, Berendt was in charge of the SWF's jazz editorial team. His mentor was the musicologist Heinrich Strobel , from whom he learned to work in the media of radio, television, records and the press.

From 1947 Berendt organized the concert series Jazztime Baden-Baden , which he used from 1954 to 1972 as the basis for his TV series Jazz - heard and seen on the ARD . It also contained other jazz productions by the SWF, such as the NOWJazz session - at the Donaueschinger Musiktage since 1954 . He also worked as a press officer for the German Jazz Federation . In 1953 the Fischer Verlag first published Das Jazzbuch, a standard work translated into many languages.

In the 1950s Berendt combined - together with the reciter Gert Westphal - jazz & poetry . Already in the 1960s Berendt was concerned with world music , a hybrid of western popular music and traditional non-western forms of music. As an early promoter of the genre , he brought German jazz musicians together with local musicians on Asian tours with the support of the Goethe Institute . In 1983 he organized the Jazz and World Music Festival in New York .

Berendt was the initiator and sometimes also artistic director of many jazz festivals: American Folk and Blues Festival , Berlin Jazz Days , Free Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden , World Expo in Osaka, Olympia 1972 in Munich. He was also the producer of numerous records, especially for the label Musik Produktion Schwarzwald (MPS).

On November 28, 1981, the Südwestfunk broadcast Berendt's two-part audio soiree Nada Brahma. The world is sound . As one of the few radio broadcasts in the cultural program, this radio feature reached a large audience and triggered over a thousand responses. In 1983, following the radio broadcast, Berendt published the books Nada Brahma - The World Is Sound and The Third Ear. From hearing the world out. Here he deals generally with hearing, that is z. B. with medical, historical, physical, cultural, meditative and philosophical aspects (see Nadabrahma meditation ).

Joachim-Ernst Berendt died on February 4, 2000 at the age of 77 from the consequences of a traffic accident that he had caused as a pedestrian: On the way to a presentation of his book There is no way. Just go. he crossed a street despite the red light.

Berendt's estate is in the archive of the Darmstadt Jazz Institute .

Berendt was married to Jadranka Marijan-Berendt for the fourth time. The American musician Ry Cooder named his son Joachim Cooder after Joachim-Ernst Berendt.

Nada Brahma - the world is sound

With Nada Brahma - the world is sound , Berendt wrote about the world of the audible and magnetic, electrostatic and other physical vibrations. His work is often assigned to the field of the New Age , even if the former physics student Berendt quotes a large number of well-known scientists for his theses. Peter Sloterdijk , as well as Bhagwan / Osho followers like Berendt, appreciated the philosophical depth of the work and extensively discussed both its metaphysical thesis ( universe as a musical instrument ) and its epistemological thesis (individual as manifestation of the universe): Even if Berendt is following in the footsteps of Pythagoras , as a " Ptolemy " he tried to avoid its anti-individual implications and to fill the gap between the individual and the world that other philosophies and ideologies had dug. Berendt turned away from jazz to explore music in a broader sense. In his later years, he understood music to be more of an expression of human existence per se, understandable in the context of the social and religious context.

His turn to the philosophical and spiritual with his meditations in Japanese Zen Buddhism and the Indian mystic Osho, among others, has been regretted by some of his readers, but welcomed by others. Equally controversial was Berendt's late tendency to “go beyond” jazz. In doing so, he was not turning against jazz itself, but rather wanted further development in other directions:

“Exceeding does not mean: leaving jazz behind you; it means: take one more step. Many jazz friends resented these steps, they wanted pure (a questionable term that I will discuss in the chapter on world music) jazz. "

- Joachim-Ernst Berendt : Life, one sound


Joachim Ernst Berendt Prize of Honor from the City of Baden-Baden

Since 2012 the city of Baden-Baden has been awarding the Joachim-Ernst-Berendt Honorary Prize of the city of Baden-Baden as part of the Mr. M's Jazz Festival . Recipients were:


  • Jazz: A Time-Critical Study. Stuttgart 1950
  • The jazz book. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 7th edition 2005; revised and expanded by Günther Huesmann
    • Overall, there were the following editions / revisions: 1st edition 1953 (Das Jazzbuch), Fischer TB, 2nd edition 1959 (Das neue Jazzbuch), Fischer TB, 3rd edition 1968 (Das Jazzbuch - from New Orleans to Free Jazz), 4th edition . Edition 1973 (Das Jazzbuch- from Rag to Rock), 5th edition, Krüger 1981, Fischer TB 1982 (The great jazz book: from New Orleans to Jazz Rock), 6th edition 1989 (Das Jazzbuch: from New Orleans to the eighties), 7th edition, S. Fischer 2005 (The Jazz Book: from New Orleans to the 21st Century, continued by Günther Huesmann)
  • Jazz - optically. Munich 1954
  • Variations in jazz. Munich 1956
  • The story of jazz. From New Orleans to rock jazz. Deutsche Verlagsanstalt , Stuttgart 1975, without ISBN (Ed. By Joachim-Ernst Berendt. With articles on the development of jazz in New Orleans and Chicago , on Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington , on blues , swing , bebop , cool jazz , hard Bop , Free Jazz and Rock Jazz as well as an afterword under the title Marginalia on a Philosophy of Jazz ; in the appendix a discography and a list of picture sources) with contributions by Werner Burkhardt
  • Photo story of jazz . Wolfgang Krüger Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1978, ISBN 3-8105-0209-X
  • A window of jazz essays, portraits, reflections. Fischer TB, Frankfurt am Main 1978, ISBN 3596230020
  • The third ear. From hearing the world. Traumzeit, Battweiler 2007, ISBN 9783933825674 . (initially Reinbek 1988)
  • I hear therefore I am. Traumzeit, Battweiler 2007, ISBN 9783933825636 . (initially Freiburg 1989)
  • Nada Brahma - the world is sound. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1983; rororo, Reinbek near Hamburg 1989, ISBN 3499179490 ; Suhrkamp Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-518-45895-2
    • The world is sound - Nada Brahma. Hörwerk with booklet on 4 CDs. Network Medien Cooperative 1988 in the distribution of two thousand and one
    • The world is sound / from hearing the world / shells in my ear .
  • From hearing the world - the ear is the way. Hörwerk with booklet on 4 MCs. Network Medien Cooperative 1988 in the distribution of Zweiausendeins, ISBN 3762685797 (also on CD)
  • Going Over - The Miracle of the Late Work. Book (hardback) and three audio CDs, Network bei Zweiausendeins, 1993
  • Life, one sound. Paths between jazz and Nada Brahma. Autobiography. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-426-26933-3 , (also Traumzeit-Verlag 2007)
  • Soul Landscapes , 1999 (with Krzysztof Zgraja - flute, Vladislav Sendecki - piano, Philip Catherine - guitar, Horst Boesing - recording and mixing), Hermann Bauer, Freiburg (republished by Jaro, Bremen)
  • There is no way - just go. Traumzeit, Battweiler 2007, ISBN 9783933825704 . (initially Frankfurt a. M. 1999)
  • Strength from silence. From the growth of consciousness. Droemer Knaur, Munich 2003, ISBN 3426776405 . (hardback edition 2000)
  • JazzLife. A Journey Across America. With photos by William Claxton . Taschen, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-8228-4970-7 , including 1 CD with original concert recordings.


  • Uta G. Poiger: Jazz, Rock and Rebels. Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany. University of California Press, Berkeley, 2000, ISBN 0-520-21138-3 .
  • Andrew Wright Hurley: The return of jazz. Joachim-Ernst Berendt and West German cultural change. Foreword by Dan Morgenstern , afterword by Wolfram Knauer . Berghahn Books, New York, Oxford 2009, ISBN 978-1-84545-566-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The jazz editor with probably the second longest career was the radio presenter Willis Conover at Voice of America from 1955 to 1996.
  2. Joachim-Ernst Berendt: Life, one sound. Paths between jazz and Nada Brahma. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1996, p. 115 u. 171 ff.
  3. Joachim-Ernst Berendt: Life, one sound. Munich 1996, p. 281
  4. ^ Carlo Bohländer: Reclam's Jazz Guide . Stuttgart 1970, p. 70.
  5. ^ Hans Hielscher: Poetry and Jazz. Heinrich Heine's groove. Spiegel Online , September 13, 2006.
  6. "28. November 1981: The radio feature "Nada Brahma. The world is sound" by Joachim-Ernst Berendt is originally sent “ , SWR2 Zeitwort, November 28, 2007, rich text format file, 9.53 kB
  7. Wolfram Knauer : Obituary ( Memento of the original from February 5, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Darmstadt Jazz Institute , February 4, 2000 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. ^ Peter Sloterdijk: Copernican Mobilization and Ptolemaic Disarmament . edition suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1987.
  9. Joachim Süss: Bhagwan's legacy , p. 27
  10. Joachim-Ernst Berendt: Life, one sound. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1996, p. 332.
  11. Mr. M's Jazz Award ( Memento of the original from September 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. Mr. M's Jazz Club celebrates its 10th anniversary ( Memento of the original from February 22, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Press release from the organizer "Baden-Baden Events GmbH" (PDF file, p. 5) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. Prize commemorates the jazz icon of Südwestfunk - "Joachim Ernst Berendt Honorary Prize" to Wolfgang Haffner Article on the website (February 21, 2017)
  14. Helge Schneider receives the Joachim Ernst Berendt Honorary Prize Baden-Baden 2018
  15. ^ Review of Das Jazzbuch : "Between the chairs and styles" , Deutschlandfunk , December 16, 2005
  16. ( Memento of the original from December 8, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. Kay Ziegenbalg: "Schwergewichtiges Daumenkino" , Die Berliner Literaturkritik , December 7, 2005, review by JazzLife