Emil Mangelsdorff

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Emil Mangelsdorff
Mangelsdorff in 2015
Mangelsdorff in 2015
Background information
Born(1925-04-11)11 April 1925
Frankfurt am Main, Hesse-Nassau, Prussia, Germany
Died20 January 2022(2022-01-20) (aged 96)
Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany
Instrument(s)alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute
Mangelsdorff in 2009

Emil Mangelsdorff ([ˈɛmɪl ˈmaŋl̩s.dɔʁf]; 11 April 1925 – 20 January 2022) was a German jazz musician who played alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet and flute. He was a jazz pioneer under the Nazi regime which led to his imprisonment. After World War II and years as a prisoner of war, he was a founding member of the jazz ensemble of Hessischer Rundfunk in 1958. He played with several groups and was active, also as an educator, until old age.

Life and career[edit]

Mangelsdorff was born in Frankfurt,[1] as the son of the bookbinder Emil Albert Joseph Mangelsdorff (1891–1963), born in Ingolstadt, and his wife Luise, née Becker (1896–1976), from Wertheim.[2] Mangelsdorff was introduced to jazz at age nine, when his mother switched to Radio Luxemburg, and he heard the voice of Louis Armstrong.[3] His first instrument was accordion.[3][4] In 1942 and 1943, Mangelsdorff studied clarinet at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt.[5] As a member of the Frankfurt Hotclub Combo [de], with trumpeter Carlo Bohländer [de], bassist Hans Otto Jung and drummer Hans Podehl [de], he performed jazz and became a figurehead for Swing Youth,[2] which led to his being imprisoned by the Gestapo.[3][6] He was forced into the German army and was a Russian prisoner of war for four years.[7] In 1949, he returned to Frankfurt and decided to become a professional jazz musician. He played in the groups of Joe Klimm and Jutta Hipp, and was also a member of the Frankfurt All Stars and of the jazz ensemble of the broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk from 1958.[8][9] In 1966, he founded Swinging Oil Drops, with Joki Freund, Volker Kriegel, Fritz Hartschuh [de] and Günter Lenz.[5][10]

Mangelsdorff was influenced by swing.[5] He continued to develop musically, playing bebop, fusion and cool.[11][12] In 1964, Mangelsdorff wrote an instruction manual for jazz saxophone.[13] He played with Charles Mingus in New York[5] and performed often in the Jazzkeller (jazz cellar) in Kleine Bockenheimer Straße, Frankfurt, sometimes together with his brother, trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff.[8][14] He gave his last concert in Frankfurt's Holzhausenschlösschen on 1 November 2021.[5] He also informed in schools about the Nazi era as a witness of the time, continuing remembrance work until old age.[4]

His first wife Simone [de], an operatic soprano, died in 1973.[5] Monique (died 2018[15]) was his second wife.[16] Mangelsdorff died in Frankfurt am Main on 20 January 2022, at the age of 96.[9][8]



  1. ^ "Jazzlegende Emil Mangelsdorff gestorben". BR24 (in German). 22 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b Mozer, Isolde. "Mangelsdorff, Albert". Frankfurter Personenlexikon (in German). Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Jürgs, Alexander (15 June 2019). "Jazz-Musiker Emil Mangelsdorff: Swing Heil". FAZ (in German). Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b Halbig, Matthias (22 January 2022). "Jazz gegen Hass – Saxofonist Emil Mangelsdorff stirbt mit 96 Jahren". RND.de (in German). Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Wegbereiter des deutschen Jazz: Trauer um Emil Mangelsdorff". Süddeutsche.de (in German). dpa. 23 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  6. ^ Lange, Georg (6 September 2016). "Gaienhofen: Wie sich Emil Mangelsdorff als Jazzer durch die NS-Zeit kämpfte". SÜDKURIER Online (in German). Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Botschafter des Jazz". Frankfurter Rundschau (in German). 6 April 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Riethmüller, Christian (21 January 2022). "Saxofonist Emil Mangelsdorff gestorben". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Frankfurter Jazzlegende Emil Mangelsdorff ist tot" (in German). Hessenschau. 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Swinging Oil Drops – CD (2008, Re-Release, Remastered) von Emil Mangelsdorff". Musik-Sammler.de (in German). Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  11. ^ Göpfert, Claus-Jürgen (10 April 2020). "Jazz als Friedensbotschaft". Frankfurt (in German). Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Der Frankfurter Jazzmusiker Emil Mangelsdorff ist tot". swr.online (in German). 22 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  13. ^ "Anleitung zur Improvisation". Schott Music. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Traurige Nachricht: Frankfurter Jazz-Legende Emil Mangelsdorff ist tot". Frankfurt (in German). 22 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  15. ^ Sandner, Wolfgang (23 January 2022). "Pionier und Zeitzeuge: Jazzer der ersten Stunde". FAZ.NET (in German). Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  16. ^ Teutsch, Oliver (10 April 2010). "Die Puste reicht noch – Jazz-Saxophonist Emil Mangelsdorff wird 85 – neue musikzeitung". nmz (in German). Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  17. ^ "KulturPortal Frankfurt: Goetheplakette der Stadt Frankfurt am Main". KulturPortal Frankfurt (in German). Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  18. ^ "Jazzer Emil Mangelsdorff wird Ehrenprofessor". Die Welt (in German). 4 December 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]