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Berlin – Symbolism

Posted on: March 20th, 2017 by monikaherzig

We just returned from a week in Berlin attending a conference, performing two concerts, and other lectures and activities. This is the third time over the course of one year that I ended up in Berlin – a concert and workshop last July at the IU Gateway Office, a week working on creativity and jam session research in October and this past week. Even though I grew up in Germany, I had been to Berlin only once before – in 1985. Yes, that was before the wall came down and we had to travel there on a highway that was enclosed by barbed wire and were forced to exchange a certain amount of money into DDR currency for a day visit to East Berlin. (more…)



What About Ingrid?

Posted on: March 4th, 2017 by monikaherzig

For the past three years, The Whole World in Her Hands has been my advocacy project for instrumental women in jazz but also to create unique original music with a female touch. I’ve been discussing the issues many times, the missing role models, the psychological and historical barriers, and the current danger of losing our hard-earned privileges and steps towards equality – read a great blog on the issues here. So one more time with feeling – in March 2017 we’ll celebrate Women’s History again – and we’ll do it in style with a series of concerts and events with the amazing trumpeter Ingrid Jensen.

And just in case you haven’t heard  – who is Ingrid Jensen? (more…)



With Or Without Words

Posted on: February 15th, 2017 by monikaherzig

IMG_1176We have a recent and fun tradition on Sundays. My 15-year old daughter helps me cook up some rice, eggs, and veggies and we stuff Tortillas for lunch. It’s a great opportunity to catch up on the week’s happenings and chat about life. Today she exclaimed, how her best friend had casually mentioned something that she found quite disturbing. (more…)



The ABC’s of Jazz

Posted on: January 30th, 2017 by monikaherzig

ABC2Can you teach jazz? Jazz and academia were at odds for half a century before a group of musicians and educators from Indiana helped codify the language and share the art form with the rest of the world. Often referred to as the ABC’s of jazz – Jamey Aebersold, David Baker, and Jerry Coker – met at Indiana University as teachers and students in the early 1960’s and collaboratively created a canon of instructional materials, curricula, and workshops that are essential learning tools for students all over the world. (more…)



Jam for the Soul

Posted on: January 27th, 2017 by monikaherzig

Jam Session 2017Yes, one more time, what is it about jam sessions that’s so good for the soul and everything else. You’ve seen me talk about it, you can find my articles about it, this unique gathering of young and old, students and pros, female and male, black, brown, and beautiful, fosters learning, creativity, networking, friendship, and most of all pure joy. (more…)



A glorious weekend in New Orleans – Report from the JEN Conference

Posted on: January 14th, 2017 by monikaherzig

New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, what better place to celebrate 100 years of recorded jazz and the eighth annual gathering of the Jazz Education Network (JEN). Thousands of jazz students, teachers, professionals, supporters, and audiences gathered on Wednesday, January 4 in the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans in anticipation of a glorious weekend of non-stop performances, clinics, research sessions, a large exhibit hall, and of course excursions to the French Quarter and the many entertainment options in the city. (more…)



2016 – Only the Good, Not the Ugly

Posted on: December 27th, 2016 by monikaherzig

IMG_0269The end of the year is always a time to reflect and set new goals. Usually it is a best of… and worst of… list, but I decided to only go for the good stuff because there is plenty of problems and issues that don’t need to be celebrated. Here is the chronological review  – come along for the ride and please share your memories! (more…)



Intro to Jazz History & The Bloomington Jazz Scene

Posted on: December 6th, 2016 by monikaherzig

As I often point out in lectures and talks, the arts are an essential part of building communities. People come together with common interests, find a Printcommunal form of expression, exchange ideas, create experiences, and also build economies and business  – for example Bloomington’s own Cardinal Stage Company is showing Oliver at the moment with a host of local actors and children on the stage, sold-out houses every night, lots of dinner and hospitality business along with the shows, and happy audiences getting into the holiday spirit of giving and cherishing memories with loved ones. The story of Indiana Avenue as exemplified by our own David Baker and the group of outstanding jazz musicians that evolved from this nurturing community with plenty of opportunities is another example. (more…)



Peace on Earth

Posted on: December 5th, 2016 by monikaherzig

CoverThe Christmas decorations went up today and St. Nikolaus brought presents  – the four weeks have arrived where we sing about ‘Peace on Earth’ and good tidings to all. Here is my wish list this year – please share yours too! (more…)



Jazz And Everyday Aesthetics

Posted on: November 22nd, 2016 by monikaherzig

IMG_0480I’m getting ready to return to the US after nearly six weeks in various European cultural centers and about a dozen jam sessions with musicians  from at least that many cultures. The last three weeks, I spent in Reading with several trips to London including two jam sessions at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s. The last week also happened to be the London Jazz Festival and in conjunction with the festival, the European jazz research group hosted the launch of an initiative entitled “Jazz and Everyday Aesthetics” at Westminster College. (more…)