CD Dedication

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Anke Helfrich piano, rhodes, harmonium, featuring Tim Hagans trumpet & flugelhorn, Martin Wind bass, Jonas Burgwinkel drums, special guest Ardie Walser voice.

Anke Helfrich belongs to the exclusive elite of European pianists who has been able to contribute a new kind of energy and spirit to jazz music. She is a fantastic pianist, known for captivating her audiences. Now, with Dedication, she reveals new facets of her musicianship. This release is a personal project where she successfully maintains jazz’ American roots while offering her own interpretation of jazz as it sounds today. We will always need artists who take chances, and Anke Helfrich does this masterfully.
Christian Brorsen, Music Director – Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen.

Anke Helfrich in her liner notes: "Dedication means commitment and devotion. Being a jazz musician and playing improvised music requires total commitment, in every way. It is a constant challenge. It offers the possibility to express yourself through music and to transform emotions into your playing and compositions. Each track of this CD is dedicated to inspirational figures, influential people in my life and themes, that have inspired me."

"During my childhood in Namibia my parents were committed to an anti-apartheid organization. I accompanied my mother regularly to the kindergarten of the black town ships to distribute donations, clothes and toys. It was a ritual to hold each other’s hands and to sing together "We shall overcome". Nelson Mandela was, also during the time of his incarceration, the venerated man. His determination and perseverance to believe in something and to not have his will power broken even in decades of captivity is inspiring and gives courage. The poem Invictus by William Ernest Henry gave strength to Mandela during this period. I created a dialogue between words and melody which culminates and than leaves space for the important message: I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul!

I have read and researched a great deal about the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. As with Nelson Mandela I am touched and inspired, by his courage and incredible commitment, his fight for equal rights, improvement of living conditions, and change in thelaw. He is an icon for many jazz musicians and his attachment to blues and jazz is documented in the preface "On the Importance of Jazz", introducing the first Berlin Jazz Festival 1964. Here he describes how important this music was for the American Peace Movement. I harmonized his most significant speech and accompanied it on the the piano, giving it an almost gospel-like melody and sound." Excerpts from the liner notes.