Listening Session Jesse Owens Record Collection mit Aida Baghernejad, Sven Beckstette und Malcolm Ohanwe


Practical information

Event in German
Reservation required
Event admission: € 5

Event overview

Discursive listening session with music from the record collection of the exceptional athlete Jesse Owens
With Aida Baghernejad, Sven Beckstette and Malcolm Ohanwe

The dedicated care and attention the American artist Theaster Gates devotes to the legacy of black culture, the sensitivity he demonstrates as a musician and, not least, his close connection to the city of Chicago prompted the family of Jesse Owens (1913-1980) to donate the extraordinary athlete’s private record collection to Theaster Gates following Owens’ death. 

After making history as an athlete, racial discrimination put an early end to Jesse Owens’ career. To make ends meet, Owens, who was also a music lover, had a variety of part-time jobs, including working as a DJ. Over the course of his life, Owens amassed a considerable record collection. This collection is now being presented in the museum’s Archive Galerie as an extension of the Theaster Gates exhibition in Haus der Kunst’s Middle Hall. It includes over 1,800 iconic soul, blues, jazz and funk albums from the 1950s to the 1970s, and not only provides insight into Owens’ remarkable life story and his urbane and sophisticated taste in music, but, as a ‘sound archive’, it also attests to the social conflicts of the time. The collection evokes black spirituality and creativity as well as the urgent call for political equality and freedom. 

As part of a discursive listening session, Sven Beckstette, (research assistant at the Nationalgalerie in the Hamburger Bahnhof and curator of the exhibition I Got Rhythm: Art and Jazz Since 1920 at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart) and journalists Malcolm Ohanwe and Aida Baghernejad bring Owens’ record collection to life for the audience, while approaching Jesse Owen’ musical legacy in various ways and from different perspectives. As our guests play selected records from the collection, Baghernejad, Beckstette, and Ohanwe will engage in a discussion based on the music, in which they will share their specific and broad knowledge of contemporary history, pop culture and music with the audience.

The event takes place in Germam 

Event admission: € 5


Portrait Aida Baghernejad
Portrait Aida Baghernejad

Portrait Sven Beckstette
Portrait Sven Beckstette

Portrait  Malcolm Ohanwe
Portrait Malcolm Ohanwe