Photo: Mark Albertsen

Photo: Mark Albertsen

Kat Pfeiffer is a cultural geographer, Italian philologist and a pedagogue (educator). She graduated with a triple master's degree from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. She studied also in Poland and Italy and speaks Polish, German, and Italian fluently. Since 2010 she has been living in London and working as a multilingual interpreter.

Kat learned photography as a child at her father's side. When she started working as a young journalist, she was given the task of writing about music and culture. Borrowing her father’s old analogue Russian photo camera Zenit -E (which she still uses today), she went to rock, punk and jazz festivals to write about and to photograph them. There, in the crowd, there was only one way to change the film rolls: quickly, blindly, with both hands and the camera deep in the bag. Her father and the editorial photographer supported her in developing these films and the photographs that later went to publication. It was at a time when digital photography was in the realm of science fiction. Today Kat mostly photographs digitally, with a Canon DSLR. She likes colours, but her imagination still paints in black and white. Her favourite lens is 85mm, 1.8.

The major events in her life include studies in Zielona Góra (PL), where she learned about musical and theatrical productions, gaining experience in performing on stage and creating artistic events. Another important episode was the, almost transcendental, encounter with the iconic theatre in Gardzienice (today: European Centre for Theatre Practices). Once, participating in a workshop, running through the woods, in the black of night, guided only by pale starlight, to avoid her smashing against any trunk, she learned to sharpen her senses so that she could see with everything in her apart from her eyes. There, for the first time in her life, she heard the silence. That's what she was thinking of when, during her apprenticeship in geographical studies in Germany, she measured the denseness of trees in a Bavarian forest. The same senses led her through travels to Bahrain, Sicily, and Germany, where she lived, studied and worked. The same sensation leads her through the London crowds and also define the way in which she perceives music.

As a child, she loved to stare at the cauliflower and she loved singing. She grew up as a front woman, always with a band behind. Her most favourite, from all the companies that she worked for, was the multiply awarded Teatr Modrzejewskiej in Legnica (PL). The time there allowed her to develop her skills: vocal, editorial, photographic, acting - all in the afternoon. In the morning she was in the office working in PR and marketing. She enjoyed being among these wonderful actors and the biggest names of the theatre and music stage in Poland, humbly admiring and learning from them. 

During philosophy courses at the University she met a charismatic personality - Professor of the History of Philosophy Ryszard Palacz. She uncritically took over not only his 'arrogance' of independent, critical thinking, but she also fell in love with Claude Levi-Strauss and his - spreading across philosophy, psychology and sociology - structural anthropology. She is a humanist and a Woman of the Renaissance. One of her favourite books, next to 'The Plague' by Albert Camus and 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Márquez, is 'The Social Contract ' by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

When she moved to London, she continued developing her passion for music. At one London college she attended music theory, jazz singing, and jazz harmony courses. 'Asked the question, who is my favourite jazz vocalist, I always felt a bit perplexed. It is not the human voice that inspires me. My favourite voice is ... the sound of a trumpet. There is something in this instrument that moves my soul and speaks to me.' Since her earliest years she listened to Tomasz Stańko and Miles Davis. Freddie Hubbard’s 'First Light' is, for her, an album which disperses the clouds and breaks the Matrix. In London, she has met extremely talented musicians, who she loves and admires very much, who she learns from, and who she photographs with a passion.

Jazz Context is an international music projects and photography promoter. It is an intercultural bridge bringing together the jazz musicians and their audience from the British Islands with those from the European continent. By encrypting the messages contained in the cultural legacy across the Globe it wants to sensitise and connect people, who currently are destined to face the geopolitical divergence. Jazz Context has also the ambition to grow its educational capacity to reach the most vulnerable members of societies in order to pass over to them the most precious cultural and ethical envois.