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German Jazz Advocate Berendt Dies

February 4, 2000

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ Joachim-Ernst Berendt, known as the ``Pope of Jazz″ for his leading role promoting the American-rooted music in Germany, died Friday, a day after he was hit by a car. He was 77.

A spokeswoman at the University Clinic in Hamburg confirmed that Berendt had died Friday morning.

Berendt was critically injured when he was struck Thursday evening as he was walking to an event to promote his new book ``Nur Gehen,″ or ``Only Walking,″ his version of experiences with nature, said a spokesman for the music department at Suedwestrundfunk radio in Baden-Baden.

Berendt co-founded the radio station, and led more that 10,000 broadcasts featuring the music he loved.

He was the author of a number of works on jazz, including ``The Jazz Book,″ published in 1952, ``Variations of Jazz,″ in 1956, and ``I Hear, Therefore I Exist,″ in 1996. ``The Jazz Book″ was translated into 18 languages and sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Berendt regularly toured the United States, Japan and other countries promoting jazz. He produced some 250 long-play records for such companies as MPS, Atlantic and Electrola. A poll conducted in 1970 by the American-based music publication ``Jazz and Pop″ voted him Europe’s best jazz producer.

He is survived by his wife Marijan. Funeral plans were not complete.

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