Founded in 1988 by the legendary Peter Herbolzheimer, the Bundesjazzorchester – BuJazzO for short – under its artistic leaders Niels Klein and Ansgar Striepens is considered an outstanding finishing school for future jazz musicians. With Klein and Striepens and various guest leaders, the talents aged 17 to 24 – almost all of them students at German and international music academies – regularly rehearse new programmes, presenting them in concerts in Germany and abroad. Approximately 35 young members are chosen from about 250 applicants; successful winners join the BuJazzO for two years. Among the BuJazzO’s approximately 1,000 alumni, there are illustrious names such as Till Brönner, Roger Cicero, Tom Gaebel, Julia Hülsmann, Johanna Summer and Michael Wollny. Since 2010 the WDR Big Band has been the patron orchestra of the Bundesjazzorchester. Since 2014 resp. 2016, it has also entered into partnerships with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of England and the National Jeugd Jazz Orkest in the Netherlands.
Emilia Roig (she/they) is the Founder and Executive Director of the Berlin-based Center for Intersectional Justice (CIJ), a non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing justice, equality and a life free of systemic oppression for all. Her experience growing up in a transracial Algerian-Jewish-Martinican family in France shaped her commitment to and passion for intersectional social justice. Emilia is Adjunct Faculty member of the Hertie School in Berlin since 2021, was Faculty member of the Social Justice Study Abroad Program of DePaul University of Chicago before and has taught graduate and post-graduate courses on Intersectionality Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Critical Race Theory, Queer Feminism and International and European Law at universities all across Europe. She holds a PhD in political science, a Master of Public Policy and an MBA in international law. Prior to her PhD, she was working extensively on human rights issues at the UN in Tanzania and Uganda, at the GIZ in Cambodia, and at Amnesty International in Germany. She was jury member of the German Non-Fiction Book Prize 2020, was nominated Ashoka Fellow in 2020, and received the Online Magazine Edition F Award in 2021. She is the author of the bestselling book WHY WE MATTER. The End of Oppression. She was voted “Most Influential Woman of the Year” for the Impact of Diversity Award 2022.
Leading the Bundesjazzorchester in this project, Michael Gibbs is a living legend. Born in 1937 in what was then Salisbury in South Rhodesia (known today as Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe), the 84-year-old is one of a handful of big band composers and arrangers whose voice is perceived as unmistakable in jazz. He has written for such luminaries as Pat Metheny and John Scofield, Uriah Heep, Whitney Houston and Peter Gabriel. He also arranged works by Charles Ives for jazz orchestra, a composer he counts among his greatest inspirations next to Olivier Messiaen and Gil Evans. Gibbs has also written scores for almost a dozen films, from Madame Sin with Bette Davis and Being Human with Robin Williams to Hard Boiled (dir. John Woo) and Housekeeping (dir. Bill Forsyth). His most well-known composition is presumably Sweet Rain, a jazz standard that has been recorded by numerous jazz greats, including Stan Getz, Stephane Grappelli and Gary Burton.
„Almost Every Day” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„Antique” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„As A Matter Of Fact” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„Don't Explain” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„I'll Look Around” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„Maurizius” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„Moon Dreams” (arr. Gil Evans)
„Now Listen Here”/ „Thul'ulalele” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„Round Midnight” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„So In Love” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„Solitude” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„'Tis As It Should Be” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
„You've Changed” (arr. Michael Gibbs)
About the concert
Seek, and ye shall find: under the title “I’ll Look Around”, the National Jazz Orchestra of Germany (BuJazzO) dedicates itself to Billie Holiday’s moving songs. The young musicians are guided by Michael Gibbs, one of the few big band composers and arrangers whose voice is considered unique and unmistakable in jazz. Together with the BuJazzO, the grandmaster continues work he began in 2013 with the NDR Big Band. Titles from Gibbs’ private archives round out the exclusive programme, which will be performed only at Young Euro Classic in Germany. A must-see for all jazz fans!