From 1966 till 1987, the Downtown was a prominent jazz club in Düsseldorf’s Altstadt (Old Town). Once we were old enough to visit Düsseldorf’s drinking mile unaccompanied, we would occasionally go to the Downtown – or the Dr. Jazz, another club in the same neighborhood, but the music played there was a bit too old fashioned for us. I remember the anticipation while we descended the stairs to the basement, a dark brick vault filled with smoke and sound.

After 40 years, these pictures won’t do the Downtown any justice. The sign above the door is based on a photo; the rest is fiction. Düsseldorf’s Altstadt never looked anything like this, and even today, nobody would announce a burlesque show in English down here. The mood is quite true though. And it’s also true that more effort and work go into a great evening of music than you’d think once you hear ’em play.

I am really happy to have completed this series: The jazz club was something I felt was missing from the Jazz series I made last year.