Behind this inconspicuous word hides a world of culture, which we, the association GrevenGrass e.V. want to promote!
Bluegrass is a form of music in the narrowest sense and in the broadest sense it reflects a wonderful attitude towards life and is the only form of music that can be traced back to one person, the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe (*13 September 1911; †9 September 1996)! The importance of Bill Monroe and his musical child Bluegrass is already evident in the honors that Bill Monroe received, e.g. the Grammy, the National Medal Of Arts, as well as the introduction to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In his 61-year career, he has recorded more than 500 records. Two of his greatest hits are Blue Moon of Kentucky and Kentucky Waltz.
We’re not interested in personality cult. However, you should know where Bluegrass comes from so that you can really enjoy the music and what is connected to it.
Bluegrass began in 1946 when Bill Monroe combined polyphonic vocals with a rhythmically dynamic instrumental mixture of mandolin, guitar, banjo, violin and double bass in his formation “The Blue Grass Boys”, which gave the genre its name. The music of the band, with its roots in the folk music of the European immigrants to the USA, the African-American blues and many elements borrowed from jazz, could largely be described as country jazz. Remarkable are the virtuosity of the musicians, the rhythmicity of the songs, the high energy of the instrumental playing, the immense joy of playing and the closeness to life of the lyrics. The fact that Bluegrass is traditionally played on purely acoustic instruments without electrical amplification makes this form of music suitable for small home music as well as for the classical concert hall and music festival.
It is therefore clear that bluegrass can be found in many areas of life. In the foreground is always the cordial social contact with interested people. In so-called workshops, the music interested person learns the musical skills regarding singing, mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle (violin), resonator guitar, bass and so on. In jam sessions, people meet informally to make music together. In house concerts the music performance is enjoyed in a familiar atmosphere. At festivals there is the opportunity to consume music and also to make music together. The open-mindedness and homely atmosphere of any Bluegrass event appeals not only to the die-hard fan, but simply to everyone. Especially children find the music to touch great.
How popular bluegrass is internationally can be seen in the scene. The IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) reports about 600 Bluegrass festivals worldwide, in 1997 82 million Americans listened to Bluegrass, there are more than 1,000 Bluegrass bands, and the EBMA (European Bluegrass Music Association) records festivals in almost all European countries. Some festivals are visited by more than 30,000 listeners (e.g. the Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, USA). The first festival of this kind was held as early as 1965, the oldest European festival, the Banjo Jamboree, was established in Caslav, CZ, in the 1970s and has had up to 5,000 visitors at times.
Bluegrass has so far been rather a niche product in Europe, which may be due to the fact that it has received a stigma in the wake of traditional country music, against which it was difficult to assert oneself. Festivals such as the Jazz Festival in Montreux, CH, the Tönder Festival, DK and other events have always given Bluegrass a highly regarded forum. However, one can only speak of a pan-European bluegrass scene since the turn of the millennium, since the EBMA (European Bluegrass Music Association) has been trying to coordinate the manifold festival activities in Europe.
All in all, there is probably no European country where bluegrass is unknown. Whether in Spain or Finland, Estonia or Italy, Ireland or Switzerland, everywhere there are musicians, organisers and listeners who appreciate Bluegrass.
The Bluegrass scene in Germany has taken an equally difficult and unshakeable path in its long development from the 50s until today and is on the verge of a breakthrough as an alternative music form. For years, festivals have been held in Kötz (near Ulm) in Bühl Hagen and elsewhere. In May 2010, the German Bluegrass Music Association (GBMA) was founded with the aim of bundling the forces for Bluegrass in Germany more strongly, for the common good of Bluegrass and thus to make it better known in Germany!
Probably the oldest and most important German Country Music Festival, which presented Bluegrass Music as its main focus, was founded in the early 60s in Neusüdende near Oldenburg and had attracted top stars like Bill Monroe and the Osborne Brothers over the decades. Unfortunately, this festival in its present form, since the mid-1980s under the proven direction of Klaus Grotelüschen, was held for the last time in 2006.
At the Neusüdende Festival musicians met to play music, music listeners to listen to music, exhibitors to offer records and artifacts, fans who celebrated the US-American lifestyle and the friendly people next door who enjoyed the colorful hustle and bustle and the exquisite music. The atmosphere in Neusüdende made every newcomer want to visit again. The great acoustic music, the warmth of the festival visitors, who came from all walks of life and educational backgrounds, the campground atmosphere and the joy of making or listening to music themselves all contributed to this.
The circumstance of not being able to enjoy the advantages of the festival in Neusüdende any longer has left such a considerable gap that we, the GrevenGrass e.V. association, decided to accept the heritage of Neusüdende and to organize a Bluegrass Festival in Greven.the association was founded on September 13th 2008. The association is tax exempt. Donations to the association are tax deductible. So we can confirm your donation of money and goods with a donation receipt, which is recognized by the tax office to reduce taxes. With a donation to the association and as a member and helper, we will get closer to our goal of experiencing a festival like in Neusüdende.
The association is currently represented by
Thomas Drunkenmölle,1st Chairman
Frank Tschinkel , 2nd Chairman
Susanne Fischer, cashier