It don’t mean a thing

… if it ain’t got that swing? 

Texts about music

Wolfram Knauer is a musicologist, author and lecturer. From 1990 to 2024 he was the founding director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt. He teaches as an honorary professor at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Wolfram Knauer lives in Darmstadt.


for instance biographies about Louis ArmstrongCharlie ParkerDuke Ellington as well as ‚Play Yourself, Man‘. Die Geschichte des Jazz in Deutschland (all published by Reclam Publishers) 

talks + readings

at scholarly conferences, but also in jazz clubs, literature houses and on other occasions


of public panels on jazz and... (society, politics, aesthetics and more) 

band infos + liner notes

for current projects, CD releases

articles and radio essays

for specialised and consumer magazines, for anthologies, for radio programs or entire radio features


at Hochschule für Musik, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz

Jazz deals with ...

  • improvisation
  • the artistic discourse about the present
  • the balance between individuality and community
2018, Bremen, during the lecture 1968 – Bremen – Brötzmann. Eine Reflektion über das ungewollt Revolutionäre eines Jazzalbums
2014 während Aufnahmen zum Film Night Bird Song. The Thomas Chapin Story

This website

  • is intended to let you know more about some of my current and past work

„Anything you are shows up in your music—jazz is whatever you are playing yourself, being yourself, letting your thoughts come through.

Mary Lou Williams

pianist, composer