Katja von Schuttenbach was born in Hamlin, Germany. While still a high school senior, she began working as a free-lance journalist
for BILD, the largest daily newspaper in Europe. An avid music fan,
she focused on concert and record reviews; interviews with musicians, and reporting news from the Hanover
jazz, rock, and pop scene. Schuttenbach was a general assignment
reporter with BZ daily newspaper in West Berlin in 1988 and also an occasional contributor to RIAS Berlin Radio's music department.
In 1990, Schuttenbach immigrated to the United States, settling in California. In 1996,she graduated with
high honors from San Francisco State University's Radio & Television
Broadcasting program, one of the nation's leading programs in electronic
media. She also completed internships with KRON/Bay TV and news radio station KCBS, both in San Francisco.
From 1996 to 2000 Schuttenbach worked at Butterfield & Butterfield
Auctioneers in San Francisco as Assistant Director of their world-leading
Arms & Armor Department. During that time she researched an, on occasion, catalogued works of art; and appeared on national television (History Channel's "Tales of the Gun" and HGTV's "Appraise
It!") as an appraiser of fine firearms and Western
memorabilia. An account of her experiences in the gun world is featured in
R.L. Wilson's book Silk & Steel - Women at Arms. In 2006 Schuttenbach was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Jazz History & Research from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She has written about jazz for Jazznow, Jazz Podium, and JazzWeek magazines and also works as a translator (German/English and English/German).
The topic of her master's thesis, and current book project, is the life story of the trail-blazing German jazz pianist Jutta Hipp. Hipp—after a brief, much celebrated music career in Germany and the United States during the 1950s—had abruptly abandoned her path and vanished into obscurity. Schuttenbach presented her research in lectures titled "Jutta Hipp: Painter,
Pianist & Poet" at the Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) in Newark,
New Jersey; at the Library of Congress; the Smithsonian Institution; the University of the District of Columbia; and on WPFW radio (all in Washington, DC). She also wrote a feature on Hipp for the
German magazine Jazz Podium and, in 2011, was successful in her efforts to have a street named in Jutta Hipp's honor in her hometown of Leipzig. Since 2006, Schuttenbach has worked as Jazz Program Officer at the National Endowment for the Arts.
Email: katja (at) vonschuttenbach (dot) com
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