Trying to be at home in the world – with the JAM MUSIC LAB UNIVERSITY

Event / Event
4/7 2024 6 pm — 8 pm

A jazzy intervention with musicians from the JAM MUSIC LAB Private University for Jazz and Popular Music in the Denkraumgespräche series on the question: What does it mean “to understand”?

Hosted by Natascha Gruver, Andrea Hubin and Michael Kahr

We kindly ask you to register in advance at or directly at the cash desk in Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier. The number of participants is limited.

The event is free of charge and will be held in German and/or English, as required.

Three musicians – Constanze Friedl, Michael Kahr, Robert Unterköfler – from JAM MUSIC LAB UNIVERSITY will explore the exhibition Rene Matić / Oscar Murillo. JAZZ. in a ‘thinking space’ jam session. Their artistic interventions will reflect on impulses and resonances with improvisation in jazz and invite you to immerse yourself in a joint mode of artistic research. Understanding understanding: as moving through sound spaces, encounters with the unknown, playing with interferences and sensory-embodied musing.

Constanze Friedl was born in Ilmenau in the German state of Thuringia in 1993. The talented violinist studied classical violin at the Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria von Weber” in Dresden from fall 2012, but felt increasingly constricted in this music. At the same time, she immersed herself in the world of improvised music in Dresden with the students of the jazz department. The decision to study jazz violin was followed by a move to Vienna in the fall of 2014: because that was where the Carinthian violinist Christoph Mallinger, who commutes between Austria and Barcelona, was teaching, with whom Constanze Friedel wanted to apprentice at the JAM MUSIC LAB, since the “expression and phrasing” of his playing appealed to her very much. In addition, she took “improvisation” as a second major with pianist Paul Urbanek. Constanze Friedel gained scene experience in Vienna so far as a guest of the gypsy-swing-inspired Yamandu Fuchs Quartett as well as in the band Barakah, founded by saxophonist Anton Prettler and drummer Sherif Abdalla, which will release its debut album “Page Zero” in mid-July 2020, and in whose music oriental influences merge with the powerful hymnody of John Coltrane.  As a winner of the Ö1 jazz scholarship in 2020, Constanze Friedel received a 2-year master’s program at JAM MUSIC LAB.

Michael Kahr is a pianist/composer/arranger, holds a doctorate in musicology and is an artistic researcher. He acts as Dean of Music/Scientific Head of Center for Artistic Research at the JAM MUSIC LAB Private University for Jazz and Popular Music in Vienna, where he will lead a multi-year artistic research project on current musical practices in jazz and popular music from summer 2024. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Jazz at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and has been involved in the expansion of the International Network for Artistic Research in Jazz since 2019. His work on the FWF-PEEK project “Jazz & the City” resulted in the monograph Jazz & the City: Jazz in Graz from 1965 to 2015 (Leykam), which was awarded the Erzherzog-Johann Landesforschungspreis Steiermark in 2018. In addition to publishing articles in book projects and journals, he edited the anthology Artistic Research in Jazz: Positions, Theories, Methods (Routledge, 2021) and co-edited the anthology Routledge Companion to Jazz & Gender (2022). As a musician, he has recorded several CDs, composed for big band, string ensembles, choir and jazz groups and performed at festivals and jazz clubs around the world.

Robert Unterköfler was born in 1992 in Villach/Austria. The saxophonist began his jazz studies at the Konservatorium Klagenfurt. He holds a Bachelor degree from the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien and also studied in Groningen and Rotterdam. He also holds a diploma degree and a master’s degree in Music Education from JAM MUSIC LAB Private University, which was part of the Ö1 Jazzstipendium he won in 2018. Robert Unterköfler has been honoured to collaborate with musicians such as Valentin Duit, Christopher Pawluk, Robin Gadermaier, Tobias Meissl, David Dornig, Michael Moore, Werner Feldgrill, Amina Bouroyen, Erik Asatrian and Christian Muthspiels Orjazztra. His most recent projects are his solo project “sidrat” and a collaboration with Nina Feldgrill called “river”.

Natascha Gruver teaches philosophy at the University of Vienna and is working in the field of outreach and public philosophy, e.g. at Radio Orange 94.0 (Philosophische Brocken) and as part of the Socrates Project 2021/2022 of the Central European University.

Andrea Hubin is part of the art education team at Kunsthalle Wien.