German Jazz Trophy: Abdullah Ibrahim

17 May 2017

The German Jazz Trophy will be given to the South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim at the event center SpardaWelt on July 7th.

Ibrahim is considered a defining influence on modern creative jazz and has been a musical leader in the struggle against South African apartheid throughout his career. With the prize, he is honored for his life’s work. Subsequently, the honored solo will give a prize-giving concert in the Sparda World.

In 1962, at the age of 28, Ibrahim took the opportunity to leave South Africa and settled down in Zurich. There he was discovered by Duke Ellington, who gave him a recording with his then trio. Under the title Duke Ellington Presents the Dollar Brand Trio, his first album, which helped him to make a breakthrough, gave him a trio performance at the Antibes Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival and a Europatour.

In the course of his career he performed solo as well as in the trio or in larger projects, working together with John Coltrane, Ornette Colemann, Buddy Tate and Max Roach.

He grew up in Kensington, influenced by the religious music of the townships, his collaboration with Duke Ellington was a major influence, and further stylistic influences are pianists such as Thelonious Monk and Randy Welson.

In 2009, he was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga, the South African Order, for his excellent musical work and, in the same year, the Art Prize of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation.

Since 2016 he has been on world tour with his new solo project SENZO. In this project, he literally and musically recalls his South African roots: in Senzo, “ancestor” in the mother tongue of his father, Senzo is translated as a creator.

The award has been awarded annually since 2001 under the motto “A Life for Jazz” by the Foundation for Arts and Culture of the Sparda Bank of Baden-Württemberg, the new musikzeitung and as well as the cultural association Musik + Wort eV , Since the year 2013, the jazzopen stuttgart has been awarded the award. “We are very much looking forward to Abdullah Ibrahim. With the artist and the German Jazz Trophy we have a worthy start for the jazzopen 2017, “says Martin Hettich, Chairman of the Board of Sparda-Bank Baden-Württemberg.