Manfred “Manni” Selchow died on November 5th, he was 87. While he was a good enough pianist to earn a scholarship, Manfred Selchow quickly realized he would never be in the top tier of jazz performers, so he decided to instead become a top tier jazz supporter. His family fled the Red Army when he was a child, landing in Germany after the war. By 12 he had begun a lifelong passion for jazz. He became a regular attendee at the Philharmonic where a stream of jazz greats from America poured through on European tours; Roy Eldridge, Buck Clayton, Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet, Gene Krupa, and the bands of Basie, Ellington, Herman, and Hampton. He also saw Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, Red Norvo, Benny Goodman, and of course, Louis Armstrong, who was accompanied by one of Selchow’s heroes, Edmond Hall.
Having experienced these tours with one generation of great musicians from America he made them possible for another generation. Beginning in 1986 he organized 33 tours of Germany and Switzerland for Wild Bill Davison, Yank Lawson, Ralph Sutton, Jack Lesberg, Norris Turney, Oliver Jackson, Nat Pierce, Peanuts Hucko and Bob Haggart. He has also brought many current musicians to his area including Dan Barrett, Enrico Tomasso, Stephanie Trick, Bobby Worth, Duke Heitger, Rossano Sportiello, Frank Roberscheuten, Engelbert Wrobel, Antti Sarpila, Ken Peplowski, Butch Miles, Chris Hopkins, Nikki Parrott, and Menno Daams. He also published extensive bio-discographies of Edmond Hall and Vic Dickenson.