1. Dr. Timo Vollbrecht: Making Music is a Quiet Revolution. Patrick Huey 42:56

From the Jazz Age to Citizen Artist

Music has been at the forefront of social movements in America. Where politicians dared not go, music often led the way. Its rhythms, melodies and lyrics Moving past peoples’ eyes and into their hearts. With their eyes people can see race, gender, and even social class. With the sound of music, as the lyric implies, the hills come alive.

Jazz is a particularly American artform that suffered from the particularly American social ills born from racism. Even though black artists played to white audiences in grand hotel ballrooms in the North and the South, they were not allowed to stay in the very hotels where they played. Duke Ellington may have reigned as one of the Kings of Jazz, but he couldn’t sit at the bar of the Cotton Club that he made famous. Black Jazz artists like all black musicians in the first half of the 20th Century, had their songs often stolen by white artists who got the glory, the recognition, and the money. Artists like Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, and Billie Holiday risked losing their careers, their lives, and their freedom over the social stances they took to support Civil Rights and Human Rights. 

Today, that lineage of the music has found its way into the creative and artistic life of Timo Vollbrecht. From his roots in Lower Saxony Berlin in Germany (where the music, the improvisations and the saxophone called to him) to New York City (where he expanded his education and pedagogy) to the stages of the world (where he has performed for audiences of 1 to 1,000), Timo is reimagining the place for a citizen artist in a post-Jazz centric world with his tenor saxophone. A music scene once ruled by Jazz and Bebop and Lindy Hoppers, is now the domain of rappers, boy bands, and YouTube stars, but there is still a considerable space for Jazz to make the connections it was famous for a century ago – where the other stops being the other but becomes a part of you. Timo has curated an open music night in Ramallah, where his band teamed up with Palestinian musicians. He organized student concerts at the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital in New York and performed interactive concerts at senior citizen residences and refugee homes. Today, he is bringing his saxophone and considerable musical experience and education to the students at Brown University as the Director of Jazz Studies. 

As Timo succinctly says, “I want to make music that is for people, that moves people, that might inspire people. You can use it also for social justice, activism, but not just that. The question is how do you use your music? It’s the understanding that I’m not just a musician. I am a citizen. And I have responsibilities as a citizen.”

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Patrick Huey Global Hospitality Executive, Creator & Host At the Podium Podcast

With over 20 years of experience in the global luxury hospitality and wellness industries, Patrick has built a dynamic career as an international leader within this elite field, running multimillion-dollar operations successfully by delivering the highest levels of performance and guest satisfaction.

Patrick has worked for such iconic brands as Four Seasons Hotels, Montage Resorts, Equinox and Sandals Resorts.Patrick serves as Chairman of the Board for the International Spa Association – the premier spa association with a presence in over 70 countries that fosters the development and professionalism of the global spa and wellness industries.

Patrick holds a Master of Fine Arts from Yale School of Drama in Acting and a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University in Creative/Nonfiction Writing, English Literature and Theatre.

He is also the Creator and Host of the podcast and video podcast “At the Podium with Patrick Huey” which has reached over 600,000 people since its inception in 2021. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube, the show and its weekly newsletter focus on sharing the stories of people from a diverse background of lives, careers and experiences who have stepped boldly into saying “yes” to the unexpected and transformational detours of their lives.