Rollover Beethoven! The great Rocker himself takes a legendary crowd-surf off the stage in Stern-Strasse. It’s a little known fact that the young Ludwig was a huge fan of Lemmy, and his deafness at a young age was actually attributed to playing ‘Ace of Spades’ for hours on end. Eventually, his parents bought him a piano – and the end of a career in heavy metal became the start of something quite different…
The fifth Bonn Over The Border Festival promises to continue its success story into 2020. Musical diversity has always been a key part of the Festival and this year is no exception. Regulars will be delighted that the Local Ambassadors will kick off the Festival on 20 March at the Pantheon. That concert alone will see 17 different musicians from 13 different Countries playing together. Between then and the closing high-energy Harmonie Concert of Sven Hammond (above with Jared Grant) ten days later there will be some great, and very unique, World Music to enjoy.
Israeli singer/songwriter Yasmin Levy is an internationally acclaimed world music singer, with all of her seven album releases hitting the top of music charts around the world. Along the way, she has received many prizes and awards, including an International Songwriting Competition (with her song “Me Voy”), the BBC World Music Award and the Edison Award in Holland. Many of her songs are sung in Ladino, the language of the Sephardic Jews, described by UNESCO as one of the world’s most endangered languages. Her appearance at the Telekom Forum is sure to be a highlight of the festival.
It’s great to see the Ortszentrum Dottendorf, a burgeoning Jazz location, has also been added to the event locations this year. Noëmi Waysfeld established her Jazz Quartet in 2008 and now offers a repertoire incorporating Yiddish, Portuguese, French and Russian roots, combining jazz with Shtetl-Hinterhof, oriental and Mediterranean sounds and the blues of the Siberian steppes. If that isn’t enough diversity in one evening, special guest is Portuguese fado singer Suzana Pais with her guitarist Ivo Guedes.
Congolese Cult-band Jupiter & Okwess (Harmonie 26 March), Caribbean Jazz instrumentalist Jowee Omicil (Pantheon 27 March) and Eze Wendtoin from Burkina Faso with a show eye-catchingly titled ‘Burkina Faso meets Goethe’ (Rheinbühne, 24 March) are further highlights – but honestly, ALL the concerts are likely to be highlights.
If that hasn’t convinced you that Bonn’s reputation as a Multi-Cultural Centre in Germany is well founded (did I mention that Festival Sponsors include the UNCCD, one of many United Nations Departments in the City?) then take a look at the full programme (in English and German) HERE
18 Concerts in 6 European countries, performed over 24 days. Layla’ Zoe’s 2019 ‘Retrospective’ Tour was an intense affair time-wise. It was also pretty intense musically, as this live release of the band’s appearance last November in Bremen proves.
It’s hard to believe that this is the 15th Blues Caravan Tour. It’s always fun to chat with fellow Caravan fans and argue over which was the best. Oli Brown? Samantha Fish? Ana Popovic? Candye Kane? You could argue until the cows come home (and we do) but collectively the 2020 show has to be amongst the very best. Jeremiah Johnson, Ryan Perry and Whitney Shay. Add the bass talents of Roger Innis and drummer extraordinaire Amanda Dal radiating a good time. Musicians truly in harmony at the Harmonie? It makes me want to run away from home and join a band – THIS band.
“I was expecting a full room- but not one packed to overflowing!” Head of Bonn’s Culture Department (Kulturamt) Susanne König was clearly taken by surprise at the popularity of Bonn’s Folk Club at Dotty’s. She was there to celebrate the Club’s 10th Anniversary, along with Bonn’s Rock & Pop Representative Hans-Joachim Over and some of the best young musical talents in Bonn. In all some 17 acts took part. Why so many? Because when the discussion came regarding who to invite at the Club AGM before Christmas, someone foolishly said “We should invite the best in Bonn, everybody, they won’t all want to come” – except they did!
Bonn presents itself as an International City, and the yearly ‘Over the Border’ Festival proves this in mouthwatering musical style.
The Festival this year will run from 20th through to 30 March and take place in various locations: Harmonie, Pantheon, Telekom Forum, Rheinbühne and there is also a concert by Noami Waisfeld in Dottendorf (great to see this establishing itself as a venue). There will be more details to come about the shows and the performers – one of these is already a popular live performer in Bonn – Sven Hammond is famous for his explosive live shows at the Harmonie in recent years.
20.3 – Local Ambassadors + Special Guest (Pantheon)
21.3 – Yasmin Levy – Songs from a forgotten Culture (Telekom Forum)
21.3 – Jamaran feat. Jahcoustix 20 year Anniversary (Harmonie)