JazzTube made an opening appearance on Friday evening before it disappears below ground for the next few weeks at various tube stations in Bonn. It was also the opening evening of this year’s Stadtgarten Festival at Alten Zoll. Even the weather played along – it must be a jazz fan…
Before proceeding with my review I really do want to give a big shout-out to the two gentlemen behind this evening’s music – and indeed behind a great deal of the music that I fear many people in Bonn take for granted. I’m not sure anymore which came first – JazzTube or Stadtgarten Festival. Both seem to have always been there apart from the unavoidable void of Covid years of course. A big thanks in advance then to Hans-Joachim Over ( HaJo) Bonn’s Beauftragter für Rock und Pop and to Thomas Kimmerle, the man behind JazzTube. I hope the music lovers of Bonn appreciate you. I know that I and many, many musicians in the area do. Keep on doing what you are doing gentlemen!
Today also deserving of a mention is Stefanie Zießnitz co-organizer of the JazzTube from Stadtwerke Bonn. The Season could not have got off to a better start as the weather brightened and the audience gradually laid out picnic blankets and prepared for some cool jazz vibes from LATO and YASSMO & The Soulfisticated People.
No need to apologize if you’ve never heard of LATO (Polish for Summer). This was in fact their very first live appearance in the open air. I would never have guessed it though, they were musically and visually confident from the first to the last songs of their excellent set. Most of the texts (in English) come from Noomi Mae Coleman and have a mature air despite her youth. I particularly enjoyed the funky duets between Maxim Burtsev’s piano and Ursula Wienken’s electric bass. Very much looking forward to hearing more from this talented band.
Bonn regulars will not need an introduction to YASSMO & The Soulfisticated People. Yassmo himself has been a regular on the JazzTube circuit over the years with his lively keyboard presence and funky vocals. He always brings a fine set of musicians along too and The Soulfisticated People were no exception. Despite his youthful appeaance, drummer Richard Münchhoff reminded me that I photographed him as far back as 2019 in a band at Marktplatz. He still looks as young and as enthusiastic as he did then.
Musical highlight of the band for me was Danh Thai’s sax playing, but the strength of this group is it’s groove and it really does sound like a full-blown orchestra so kudos also to bassist Emanuel Stanley, guitarist Igor Lazarev too for the ‘wall of funk’.
A great way to kick off the Stadtgarten Season with lots more to come!