‘Musik unter der Zeder’ makes a welcome return to the Bonn Open-Air calendar in July/August. The concerts, created by The Kleinen Theater and KuKuG in Bad Godesberg were a storming success last year, and the 2021 programme looks to be as strong as, or dare I say it, even stronger this Summer. From the opener with Brazilian Jazz & Latin Grooves offered by Astatine and very special guests through to African Drums that will signal the Festival’s close on 9 August there is a veritable cornucopia of musical styles coming our way in the Kurpark Bad Godesberg.
Read on for more information and feedback from the musicians who gathered for this week’s press conference…
R.I.P. Jazz legend Chris Barber. The celebrated Jazz trombonist died on 2 March aged 90. One of the ‘three B’ greats of trombone alongside Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball, Barber will be remembered beyond his instrumental abilities. His involvement in bringing some of the early legends of popular music to the UK was pivotal to Pop’s evolution, as he brought names like Sister Rosette Tharpe, Muddy Waters and Bill Broonzy to young 50s audiences containing eager listeners who themselves would go on to make Britain the Pop Music Kingdom of the ’60s. Bands like The Stones, Beatles and even Hard Rockers like led Zeppelin.
Stéphane Avellaneda will be familiar to many readers. I remember first seeing him as the new drummer behind Ana Popovic some years ago now. My thoughts then were that he was a rock drummer and that he was LOUD too!. After a couple of shows though, it became apparent that Stéphane could also play subtle accompaniments too, and was a man always ready to experiment a little with the sound. Of course, within the confines of the Ana Popovic Band, it was the lady in charge who dictated the shots. Fair enough, it’s her band and her songs. Fast forward to 2019, and with Ana Popovic now ripping it up a storm Stateside for much of the year with her band, Stéphane has taken the opportunity to team up with French vocalist/flautist Rachel Ombredane to make an intriguing debut disc via Kickstarter donations. The result is a duo named RosaWay and an excellent Jazz/Synthpop EP named ‘Stranger’
Michael Jackson seems to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these days. Rüdiger Baldauf’s Jackson Trip was actually released in 2017, but with the current Jackson Art retrospective at Bundeskunsthalle, now is the perfect time for the top trumpeter from Bensberg to bring a part of Jackson that is in no dispute back in the public eye – his incredible contribution to Funk/Soul and Pop music.
She calls them her ‘Holy Trinity’ of music, and I’m sure Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter would all have enjoyed Astatine‘s excellent concert at Bonn Harmonie on Sunday. Put together some of the best Jazz composers of the 20th Century and a talented band of musicians and you really can’t go wrong. As Mr Gershwin would have observed – “Fascinating Rhythm’!
Comparisons to George Benson and Wes Montgomery are an indication of how highly rated Düsseldorf born jazz guitarist Torsten Goods is in the modern jazz pantheon. Friday nights show seemed too low key an affair to give a definitive answer as to whether the comparisons are justified, but it left no doubt that Ortszentrum Dottendorf and its ‘Dottendorfer Jazznacht’ really is establishing itself. The plain looking fascade hides a local venue to enjoy World Class Jazz in a ‘living room’ atmosphere.
World jazz with JMO, and Rumanian folk/jazz with Ler.che. Certainly, there was no danger that it would be an evening of music you’ve heard a million times before. Given the high standard of concerts already at Stadtgarten this year, the only certainty was that it would be well played.