The Ghetto Swinger: A Berlin Jazz-legend Remembers by Coco SchumannThe Ghetto Swinger: A Berlin Jazz-legend Remembers by Coco Schumann

The Ghetto Swinger: A Berlin Jazz-legend Remembers

byCoco SchumannAs told byMax Christian Graeff, Michaela Haas

Hardcover | January 29, 2016

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Jazz in Nazi-era and postwar Germany, as lived by a Jewish prodigy who survived the horrors of Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Coco, it's not important what you play. It's important how you play it," said Louis Armstrong to jazz and swing guitarist Coco Schumann during a break between sessions. Recalling this episode Schumann reminds readers that even in the midst of real-world nightmares, music is alive and musicians experience this essential freedom and hope, which they can, in turn, give to their audiences. Throughout his remarkable life, Coco Schumann (b. 1924) would accumulate accolades, including the Orderof Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany in 1989 and the prestigious Ehrenpreise Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, and play with jazz greats Toots Thielemans, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and others. But few knew he relied on composing music and performing for live audiences to ease the burden of his wartime memories. After forty years of silence Schumann's memoir opened a rare window into the previously unknown life of one of Germany's most renowned musicians, who was a member of the vibrant and illegal Berlin club scene, a part of the cultural revival of postwar Berlin, and a survivor of Theresienstadt (Terezin) and the horrors of Auschwitz. Shortlisted for the 2017 A.R.S.C. Awards for Excellence in Historical Research in Jazz. Includes over 50 historical documents and rare photographs. "
Coco Schumann (b. 1924 Berlin) is an award-winning swing and jazz guitarist. He has played with jazz greats, has been a composer and arranger, taught guitar at the music academy in Zehlendorf, and has put out numerous collections. He was awarded Honors of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany in 1989, the City of Berlin in 2008, a...
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Title:The Ghetto Swinger: A Berlin Jazz-legend RemembersFormat:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.75 inPublished:January 29, 2016Publisher:DoppelHouse PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0983254044

ISBN - 13:9780983254041

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

It is rare and beautiful that someone can play with such sadness - and with such musical humor.- Abendzeitung Munchen The recently published, never-before translated book by Coco" Schumann traces his journey from Berlin's pre-war nightlife to a band in Auschwitz and back to Berlin - and doesn't miss a beat. [... ] Look for this unusual book.- Rochel Sylvetsky, Israel National News From his early enthusiasm for American jazz in Berlin cabarets to his membership of Terezin's celebrated Ghetto Swingers and surviving Auschwitz through his music, to post-war appearances with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, jazz remains a constant in a remarkable life story. [... ] Illustrated by a fascinating range of photographs.- Ron Simpson, The Jazz Rag (Manchester) For posterity, [Schumann] left behind a lifetime of music and memories, along with his remarkable autobiography, The Ghetto Swinger . [... ] Within its 192 pages - which includes 55 photos and illustrations - Schumann covers most of his life, from his birth in 1924 until about 1990, with wit, intelligence and deep feeling.- JAZZIZ Magazine Considered the first ever jazz electric guitarist in Germany, [Coco Schumann] played swing for years but was versatile enough to perform in much more commercial settings during the lean periods. He kept his memories of the prison camps mostly to himself for four decades. The Ghetto Swinger has Coco Schumann telling his story honestly, colorfully and with occasional humor. It is a fascinating [book] that is well worth discovering.- Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene Unusually interesting amidst the plethora of self-serving musician autobiographies. Schumann has a better story to tell ... survival under the hardest conditions, the value of well-placed friends and the vagaries of fortune as well as the impulse to create. The Ghetto Swinger is a rare glimpse into the persistence of nightlife in Berlin (once a wide-open city) under the Nazis. At Theresienstadt, the ostensibly model concentration camp, Schumann entertained the SS guards with his music like his life depended on it - and it did!- David Luhrssen, Shepherd Express "