Paul Brody (Berlin): "Wanderings in a German-Jewish Landscape: Living in the Between;" Colloquium. Please RSVP.

Monday, April 16, 2018
12:00pm-1:30pm, 236 New Cabell Hall

PAUL BRODY RESIDENCY, April 16-19, 2018

Paul Brody, an American trumpeter, composer, sound installation artist, and writer based in Berlin, Germany, will be in residency at UVA from April 15-19, 2018. His work explores the relationship between the spoken word and melody through performance, composition, radio art, sound installation. Brody leads his klezmer-jazz band, Sadawi and performs with a number of other groups, including the Other Europeans, the Semer Ensemble, and Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird. Brody has collaborated with artists as diverse as John Zorn, Kent Nagano, Wim Wenders, Shirley Bassey, Ran Blake, the Klezmatics, and Barry White. He is a regular member of the avant-garde theater troupe of Hungarian-born director David Marton.

Over the course of five days, Brody will present two colloquia, visit classrooms in several departments, and meet with the Miller Arts Scholars. The visit will culminate in a performance with the UVA Klezmer Ensemble under the direction of Associate Professor and Director of Music Performance, Joel Rubin on Thursday, April 19, 2018 in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium at 8:00 pm.

“Paul Brody is a remarkable trumpet player, composer, arranger based in Berlin... He brought together some of the best players from both the U.S. and Germany to create a new Jewish supergroup. The music combines exciting arrangements, catchy tunes, and compelling solos into another classic of the new Jewish Renaissance... Brody is forging a new Jewish jazz for the 21st Century.” (John Zorn)

Presented by the McIntire Department of Music with additional support from the James Dunton Gift (Jazz Program), the UVA Jewish Studies Program, the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Center for German Studies, the Dept. of Germanic Languages and Literatures, the Drama Department, the Creative Writing Program, the Anthropology Department, the Linguistics Program, and the Miller Arts Scholars.


As part of his residency at UVA, composer and interdisciplinary artist, Paul Brody will present examples of his compositions and sound installations to explore how he understands the intersections of Jewish, German, and North American cultures. Since moving to Berlin in the mid-90s, he has produced seven albums with Jewish themes, including three CDs for John Zorn’s Radical Jewish Culture label, Tzadik.

In recent years, Brody has extended his compositional techniques to include interviews, resulting in documentary sound installations, poetry-inspired pieces, and radio work. In his first sound installation, for the Heimatkunde exhibition at Jewish Museum in Berlin, he wanted to showcase the critical role played by aurality in Jewish culture. In contrast to the visual culture usually presented in the museum, Brody composed music based on the voice-melodies of people as they explained their sense of belonging — or not —in Germany. The voice melodies inspired musical elements and revealed a intertwining narrative of music and spoken word.

Brody extended his work on the theme of place and identity in his most recent exhibit, Voices of Help at the Schöneberg Museum. While volunteering at a center for refugees, he encountered a young girl who reminded him that his own mother had needed help to escape Nazi Vienna in 1939. He began to ask what prompted people to help other people, and sought out a range of social workers, teachers, and volunteers in his own neighborhood. From these interviews, Brody developed his musical sound installation to tell the concept of help from the perspectives of community and social workers — the kinds of “everyday” people, those not often present in historical accounts, who might have helped his mother.

Across his diverse works, Brody seems to ask a few basic questions: Is the “between world” its own place? Does it have a sound, an expression, a vocabulary of its own? His presentation will show how he uses elements of klezmer melodies, story-telling, and everyday life in Berlin to inspire his musical imagination.

This event was made possible by the following co-sponsors: The UVA Jewish Studies Program, the Center for German Studies, and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Link to “Voices of Help”:

Free and open to the public; Light lunch. Rsvp to Tierre Sanford,