Joachim-Ernst Berendt was born in 1922, in Berlin, as the son of a pastor who was among the leading opponents of Hitler in the German Protestant Church and was killed in the concentration camp of Dachau. In 1945, at the age of 23, Joachim-Ernst Berendt was one of the founders of the Southwest German Broadcasting Company (Südwestfunk). He is the author of 33 books which have been translated into 21 languages. With a total circulation of nearly two million, his Jazz Book (Lawrence Hill Publ., New York) is considered to be the best-selling book on music ever– it is the most widely used textbook on jazz at colleges and universities in the U.S.. In 1964 Joachim-Ernst Berendt was the founder of the present-day Jazzfest Berlin and in 1967 he directed the very first World Music Festival, also in Berlin. In 1970 he organized the World Jazz Festival in Osaka followed by the Olympia Jazz Festival in 1972, in Munich. 1984 was the year of the Jazz and World Music event in the Lincoln Center, New York. The Zeit Magazine has called him the father of the modern world music movement. On his 75th birthday, the Western German Broadcasting Company WDR Köln, the German-French cultural television station Arte and many other broadcasters paid tribute to him by arranging major television concerts.

Since the late 1970s Joachim-Ernst Berendt has distinguished himself above all through his works on the “acoustic character of the world” and “the significance of hearing”– particularly in his books The World is Sound(Destiny Books, Rochester), The Third Ear(Henry Holt, New York) and I Hear, Therefore I Am (Goldmann) and the workshops, seminars and lectures he has held world-wide. Joachim-Ernst Berendt considers the primarily visual orientation of the human being, caused by modern television, to be one-sided: “it blurs and distorts our perception of the world.” He pointed out that in all of the great cultures in the history of mankind, hearing – and not seeing – was to be the most important human sense. In this sense, it is not accidental that the famous German philosopher and theologian, Count Arnold Keyserling, would refer to him: “Nobody in our century has penetrated so deeply into the miracle of hearing than Joachim-Ernst Berendt.”

On the 4thof February, 2000, Joachim-Ernst Berendt, the German Jazz advocate or  the ‘Pope of Jazz’, died in a car accident.  JARO Medien is proud to present to you two albums Joachim-Ernst Berendt was involved into. The first one, ‘Choirs of he World’is a unique collection of choral music gathered by Berendt, whilst the second, ‘Seelenlandschafen’ is an audio book recorded by the master. For more information, go to the album section dedicated to him.