When living in Bremen-North for some 30 years at that time, I was a regular visitor to many different events, both musical and other, at KITO
in Bremen-Vegesack. Indeed, I got to know KITO very well when organising my own events namely Ceilidh 1998
and Ceilidh 2000
when the Hößelbarth brothers, Claus and Lutz, were managing "Das alte Packhaus". Playing to a full house in KITO is something special and for my part particularly memorable. The KITO team provided excellent support .
When I heard from Monica Jenne of De Saitenspeeler
(with whom I occasionally performed) that Hartmut Emig was forming a choir and she was joining then I was keen to join too. Now Hartmut was well-known as the leader of a shanty choir Hart Backbord
of which Brian Kelly
had been a member. I got to know him fairly well when doing a little translation for his songbook Haul Away
I really admired his chosen pieces for the choir introducing to the worlds of Arvo Pärt
, Heitor Villa-Lobos
and the renaissance composers. It was very sad that the choir was short-lived because of Hartmut' serious illness. When he happily returned from death's door, Egbert Heiß
and I gave a rendering of Ein Mann geht nicht unter
at his welcome home party amongst his friends and admirers.
The choir was obliged to change its rehearsal room from KITO itsef to the Grohn Gemeindehaus due differences between a choir member, Urmgard Farhi, and KITO-CEO, stefan Linke.
By the way, when I first came to Bremen in 1983, Vegesack was still engaged in the fishing industry herring loggers being regularly landed there. Now the name KITO is said to derive from "Kisten Tod" [death box - coffins] meaning boxes to pack canned fish. It maybe however that Claus Hößelbarth had another definition.