Lecture “Marijuana and Music – A Match Made in Heaven”

"It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics... dope and all that crap. It's a thousand times better than whiskey - it's an assistant - a friend." Louis Armstrong.

The history of Jazz music and the use of cannabis are closely knit. On the occasion of the 2016 Red Light Jazz Festival, the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam has organised an interactive lecture by Barend Toet (NL, 1947) for Saturday 4 June (5:00 pm). Toet is a publisher, media consultant, author and translator. He is known to be an expert in pop music, not least because he founded the musical newspaper Oor in 1971. Using various examples from twentieth century (pop) music, he will explain how the much-discussed cannabis plant influenced the music and life of innovative musicians in all genres. 

Vipers

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the jazz musicians played at the brothels in Storyville, the New Orleans red light district. They smoked gage, tea, muggles, muta and Mary Jane and, as the story goes, they soon named themselves vipers due to the hissing sound made when taking a quick drag on a reefer (joint). Major names in the jazz scene – such as Satchmo, Thelonious Monk, Count Basie or Duke Ellington – developed a preference for cannabis as a mind-expanding substance to inspire them or help them relax.

Barend Toet will guide you through the history of jazz and the traces this genre left behind in pop music. He will alternate video clips with special audio recordings, personal reflections and historic facts and information about musicians such as Charles ‘Buddy' Bolden, Cab Calloway, Larry Adler, Ray Charles, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. Of the latter, Toet said: “It swings like crazy, it threatens and thunders away while explaining the story behind tonality. If Hendrix truly benefited in a musical sense from all the joints he smoked, it would be a vital part of the inheritance of the match between music and marijuana...

Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum

The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam is the oldest and most important museum in the world dedicated to Cannabis Sativa L., also known as hemp or marijuana. The museum boasts a unique collection of exhibits related to all aspects of cannabis and is spread over two locations in Amsterdam on Oudezijds Achterburgwal (nos. 130 (Gallery) and 148 (Museum)), only thirty metres apart and on the edge of Amsterdam's red light district. You can listen to the best Reefer Jazz and Blues at both locations on the occasion of the Red Light Jazz Festival for the entire weekend. From the 1st of June until the 3rd of July 2016, the museum location in Barcelona will present The Pope Smokes Dope - Cannabis Records & Covers, an exhibition featuring a selection of album covers from the museum's private collection that prominently display the cannabis plant.

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