When it comes to music, Berlin is a wild city. Whether it is the hypnotic electronic beats that you escape into, or countless concerts that you wish you had more time and a fuller wallet, whether it’s classic, funky, metal, or other-worldly, you name it, and Berlin has it.
When it comes to jazz, Berlin has its unique jazz scene, with its intimate yet crowded atmosphere, full of possibilities and freedom. It attracts international young musicians from all over the world to gather together in this musical city. The city jazzes with music festivals, jazz bars and clubs, as well as dancing parties. The annual Jazzfest just came to an end and left the city with flying notes and crazy rhythms. Jazz enthusiast and supporter Lavia Lin interviewed a few young Jazz musicians on what makes the jazz scene in Berlin so attractive.
Amanda Becker, singer, Germany
Amanda Becker is a singer from Frankfurt, who has found herself at home in Berlin. Although she has only been living in Berlin since the past 8 months, she is not foreign to the jazz scene. During her studies in Freiburg, she went to Berlin whenever she had the chance to get the sparks and energy of its vibrant Jazz scene. She has now formed a few music combos, including a jazz duo with Gur Liraz, a Billie Holiday tribute band, “Mimi’s holiday”, and a trio with bass and drums. Amanda studies Master in Lied at Universität der Künste, while jazzing into the night.
You are also a classical singer, what makes you choose Jazz?
Actually, I did jazz before I do classical. I grew up with classical music, but I never saw myself making or singing classical music. When I used to live in the US, I had jazz lessons there. When I returned to Germany to study, I picked up classical music to try it out. I’m glad it worked out in the end. I get to do jazz, too. To do both is really what I need. It was supposed to happen like this. It’s the best thing possible.
What was like being in Freiburg? Was there a jazz scene?
There is no jazz scene in Freiburg. There was one piano player that I worked with but that’s all. I was the only one singing Jazz there. There was no audience. That’s why I came to Berlin all the time, to get my dosages of jazz. I kind of escaped into the jazz city.
What makes the jazz scene in Berlin so special?
First of all, it is HUGE! There are so many nationalities and it is diverse. It is true in a way about what they say how Berlin’ s jazz scene is most about avant-garde music, but there is also space for classic. I think it’s an amazing thing to be able to go out and expose to so much music.
There are always new people coming to Berlin and they give new vibes and new dimensions to the scene. Berlin calls for these people with creative minds.
What are your favorite music venues in Berlin?
Schlot, I like playing there a lot and going to concerts there. Café Engels, I love the sessions there. They are so cosy. I like to sit in in Donau 115 and Zig Zag for concerts.
I love the vibe at Peppi Guggenheim.
It also depends on the atmosphere and crowd, if the crowd is right, it doesn’t matter where you are, whether you are playing or listening.
What changes have occurred ever since you started living in Berlin?
When I was visiting Berlin, while living in Freiburg I used to go to sessions every single night to get the most out of the jazz scene. That changed. Now I get to play my own gigs. It’s way more fun!
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope next year I get to play more in clubs. I want to get the tribute band out more.
Project wise, I’m developing the duo project further with Gur Liraz. It’s lucky to have someone who understands you musically!