Dane County again welcomes visiting German musicians

September 10, 2019
Supervisor Chuck Erickson, District 13
County Board

Visit by Edgar Knecht Jazz Trio is latest event in Kassel-Dane Sister County Partnership

Dane County is once again hosting world class jazz musicians from its sister county of Kassel, Germany for a series of shows beginning Tuesday, Sept. 17 in the beautifully restored Stoughton Opera House.


“The Edgar Knecht Trio has a distinct jazz sound that includes complex piano work plus unique percussion instruments based on traditional German folk songs,” said Dane County Supervisor Chuck Erickson (District 13, Madison) who has been long active in the Kassel-Dane relationship. “Their music is truly entertaining for everyone and I’m thrilled to see them visit us again.”


The Trio will showcase its sound Tuesday in Stoughton for a show beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Stoughton Opera House at 381 E Main St. is considered one of the best live music venues in the Midwest featuring national and international performers in an intimate setting. Tickets are available online at http://www.stoughtonoperahouse.com/events/2019/9/18/edgar-knecht-trio


On Friday, Sept. 20 at First Congregational Church in Madison the Trio will perform with con vivo! -- a Dane County chamber orchestra that in 2015 traveled to Kassel to participate in the Kultursommer NordHessen Arts Festival. That concert will include chamber music, jazz and a specially commissioned piece for both ensembles. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. with tickets available at the door at the First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave.


The Edgar Knecht Jazz Trio will conclude its 2019 Dane County tour with a 2 p.m. concert on Saturday Sept. 21 with the Madison College Big Band. That show is scheduled for the Waunakee High School's Performing Arts Center at 301 Community Dr. with tickets available at the door. The Madison College Big Band has twice performed with the Knecht Trio, first during its visit to Dane County in 2016 and also on a trip to Kassel in 2017.

While in Dane County, the Trio will also film a documentary capturing their journey as musicians and as visitors to Wisconsin.


The Dane-Kassel relationship dates to 2007 when the two counties entered into a formal sister county partnership.  The agreement is designed to exchange ideas and build economic partnerships in areas like renewable energy, regional transportation systems, workforce training and continuing education.


“We’ve been fortunate to facilitate multiple cultural exchanges with Kassel, ranging from artists, photographers and musicians as well as focusing on renewable energy and regional transportation options,” says Erickson. “The Partnership seeks to maintain a municipal relationship between local governments as well as personal, individual relationships. Both are more important now than ever.”


In 2007, a delegation from Dane County went to Kassel to learn more about the German county’s experience with commuter rail structure, solar energy initiatives and to attend the international documenta 12 Art Festival, the famed German arts and cultural show held once every 5 years. A year later, representatives from Kassel came to Dane County to witness water resource management, visit agri-businesses, tour an organic farm, and attend a performance at Concerts on the Square and a Mallards baseball game.


The relationship has continued with the Kassel fine arts center bringing a Brothers Grimm artwork exhibit to the Dane County Regional Airport terminal in 2010. In 2012, Kassel hosted Dane County artist Michael Velliquette for a contemporary art show associated with documenta 13.


In 2014, Dane County welcomed Christian Schauderna from Kassel, who served as Artist-In-Residence at Edgewood College. He created a new work in the Edgewood College Gallery. 


In 2017, Dane County sculptor Brenda Baker and painter Jennika Bastian traveled to Kassel to participate in EUARCA 2017, a component of documenta 14.