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Thinking Spaces: Harald Kisiedu on Peter Brötzmann

April 23, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Thinking Spaces: The Reading Group and Speaker Series is pleased to present “ Living Ball of Fire: Peter Brötzmann, Black Experimentalism, and Politics in 1960s West Germany,” a virtual talk by Harald Kisiedu. The event will take place on Friday, April 23, 2021, at 3 pm EST via Zoom. A moderated Q&A will follow the talk. 

If you are interested in attending, please register online:

This talk is concerned with the experiences and musical practices of important saxophonist and improviser Peter Brötzmann. It will illuminate the creative tension between the realms of music and politics that shaped his music’s production and reception during the latter half of the 1960s and situate his work within the larger context of the rise of the New Left and the West German student protest movement during this period. Moreover, this talk will elucidate the building of alliances between segments of the West German student protest movement and the Black Freedom Movement in the US as an important backdrop for Brötzmann’s engagement with black experimentalism. 

Harald Kisiedu is a historical musicologist who received his doctorate from Columbia University. His research interests include jazz as a global phenomenon, music of the African diaspora, Afrodiasporic composers, music and politics, improvisation, transnationalism, and Wagner. He has published on Peter Brötzmann, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Muhal Richard Abrams, Black composers, jazz and popular music in the Terezín concentration camp and the political reception of Wagner’s Meistersinger of Nuremberg in the National Socialist RegimeHe is also a saxophonist and has performed with George Lewis, Branford Marsalis, Henry Grimes, Hannibal Lokumbe and Champion Jack Dupree. He has made recordings with the NY-based ensemble Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber and composer/improviser Jeff Morris. Between 2015 and 2017, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation at the University of Guelph and at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Kisiedu is currently a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück’s Institute of Music. He is the author of European Echoes: Jazz Experimentalism in Germany, 1950-1975 published by Wolke Verlag. More information can be found at

As always, Thinking Spaces is free and open to all.

We hope to see you there! 


April 23, 2021
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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