The Art of the Duo

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Concerts - Jazz & Blues
Old Opera House
Event dates:
Old Opera House
Opernplatz 1
60313 Frankfurt am Main





Speech and response, action and reaction, give and take, listening and communicating: The smallest unit conceivable as a musical ensemble simultaneously reveals an enormous potential for expression, especially in the jazz realm. "The Art of the Duo" is the name of a new format within the JAZZnights series, which has been established for many years at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, and is dedicated to this most intimate level of the art of playing together. The principle: two duo formations present themselves on the same evening in the Great Hall of the Alte Oper and explore the possibilities of musical dialogue in their own way. On Thursday, February 16, 2023, at 8 p.m., trumpeter Nils Wülker will first meet his guitar colleague Arne Jansen, before pianist Julia Hülsmann and vibraphonist Christopher Dell jointly create the second part. For the finale, the two duos join forces to form a quartet, in which the individual parts of this combination will once again come together in new and surprising ways.

Since 2010, Nils Wülker and Arne Jansen have played together live and on six albums to date in Wülker's band, but have also toured together as a duo. Their duo repertoire includes a diverse program of their own new compositions for small instrumentation, arrangements of well-known songs by both musicians, but also cover versions ranging from Neneh Cherry to Johnny Cash to Radiohead or Björk. The sonic possibilities of their instruments both still expand with directly and spontaneously used electronic means of production.

Julia Hülsmann and Christopher Dell are also familiar with each other as a duo formation for several years. "You learn a language, but it takes a long time before you can recite a poem or have a virtuoso conversation with each other in this new language," says the multi-award-winning jazz pianist, composer and professor, describing the process of their musical collaboration. For her colleague Christopher Dell, "the leading vibraphonist of his generation" according to Reclam's Jazzlexikon, the secret of their collaboration can be summed up in a very simple formula: "We always have to be there," is how he describes the "positive excitement" with which he engages with his counterpart, awake and ready to respond.

The Art of the Duo
March 2023
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