If you ever fancy to hop on the „Jazz train“ to discover the region around the university town Münster then take into consideration to stop at the Farmhouse Jazz Club. Home of the club is an old half-timbered farmhouse 'beyond the Black Stump' – a vulgar Australian colloquial for in the middle of nowhere. There is no settlement close by; it is just countryside with paddocks and meadows. The closest township is Harsewinkel but it is still a long way to go. During spring and summer when the club presents Open Air concerts folks use their bikes to reach it. Indoor performances fill the wintertime. It is quite cosy inside with all the collected furniture from flea markets and garage sales. It evokes the times when during the late 60s and 70s students organised their own alternative club life in big cities and stuffed their clubs with bulk trash furniture.
The Farmhouse Jazz Club was founded 50 years ago by a bunch of Jazz buffs who lived at Harsewinkel and surroundings. Jazz was a largely ignored music genre at that time. The German audience was in favour of a nice young singer called Manuela and her number 1 hit „Schuld war nur der Bossa Nova“. The young lads from Versmold and Harsewinkel however wanted to promote Jazz to a wider public and were quite persistent to place Jazz high on their agenda. First they organised Jazz Band Balls before they started to set up live acts. The first band who jumped on the stage was the Albrecht Claudi Quartet. This band kept its liaison with the club and played 144 concerts over the years.
Without the 100 volunteers who kept the club alive over the years the Farmhouse Jazz club would not have survived until today. Volunteers organise the live acts, renovate the old farmhouse if needed, do the job behind the bar, serve meat balls and beer, do the cleaning up of the place and look after the musicians. The club members and their guests welcomed Champion Jack Dupree, Nelson Williams, Benny Bailey, Gottfried Böttcher, Memphis Slim and George Maycock – but that is just a reminiscence of the past. The Rollhedge Funk Orchestra and Farmhouse Club band jazzed the stage now and then.
Jazz is still played during weekends every fortnight. Dixieland, Mainstream, Swing and Blues are become the flavour of the month when the Metropol Jazzmen take over. You can listen to tunes of Wes Montgomery, Nat and Cannonball Adderley, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine and Pat Martino if the guitarist Ansgar Specht turns up with his Woodpegg's Organ Lab and vamps by using the themes of the above mentioned Jazz 'heroes'. His companions are Markus Strothmann on drums and the very talented Max Blumentrath on Hammond organ. With Bluesin' the Groove - Tommy Schneller (sax/voc), Christian Rannenberg (piano/vocal) and Alex Lex (dr/voc) – you can't get the Monday Blues because you listen to the band Saturday evenings and Sunday noon until early afternoon. From time to time students take over the club true to the motto 'Farmhouse Next Generation Jazz'. Is it Folk, is it Rock, is it Jazz – that's the question when the Irishman Matt Walsh plus his fellows invite the audience to enjoy their acoustic music. Well, just come along and take a cup full of good music. Hot dogs, meat balls and a fresh beer are served for your convenience too. You won't regret it.

© Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther


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