Archive for the ‘ Concert Reviews ’ Category

Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2016 (A Retrospective)

The wintery Augsburg was dressed in a robe of hoarfrost, when we reached our destination on Friday after a long journey. It was for the first time that we attended the Smooth Jazz Festival in Augsburg during the New Year period. We had expected adverse weather conditions and were pleasantly surprised by the snow-free weather. Traditionally the festival took place in the Kurhaus Göggingen in Augsburg. A venue of timeless beauty build in the years of rapid industrial expansion in Germany. It is the work of famous architect Jean Keller, who constructed the building in 1886.

The festival is due to the promoter Christian Bössner, who, like every year, is passionate about the smooth running, the high-profile artists and the constancy of the festival. To him my highest appreciation and many thanks for this wonderful event.

The backing band consisted, as always, of professional studio musicians, who had been operating their music business for many years. The formation was led by musical director and gifted keyboardist Lutz Deterra, who, with his musical expertise, mastery on his instrument and tireless élan, kept the event in motion.

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Smooth Jazz Festival Mallorca 2014

The smooth jazz community is international. One likes to travel to faraway places to meet with like-minded people. So you can enjoy not only the concerts of popular artists but exchanges views among themselves. Many have formed friendships with each other and are also linked via Facebook or other platforms. This multiplies the impressions gained for all the senses, especially when one meets in such illustrious climes as the 5-star Protur Biomar Hotel in Sa Coma.

Concert promoter Christian Bößner had invited for the third time and they came to this outstanding event from many countries. We were particularly pleased to see so many American friends who had after all to cope with a wide approach path. And there were very prominent among them such as Melody Warren, who is very active with her JAZZ IN M.E.E. magazine. She equipped many artists with her t-shirts which maps the logo of her magazine. We could also welcome Sandy Shore known by her website and radio station SmoothJazz.com.

Regulars at this festival include Jaume Nebot from Spain, the competent general manager for the Protur Hotels, Peter Boehi from Suisse, who has already written his personal impressions on his website Smooth Vibes, Sascha Brezina from Austria, who always comes closest to the artists with his camera, Michel Mathieu from France, Len Seward and his wife from London, UK, Hilde Jervsjø and husband from Norway, Andreas Büchel, Germany, who is responsible for all prints of this festival, and the list goes on and on.

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Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2012

Promoter and event manager Christian Bößner has fulfilled his lifelong dream. If he wants to hear and see a great musician, he invites him to his Smooth Jazz Festival. His festivals in Bregenz, Munich, Austria, Mallorca and Augsburg are legend.

Musicians like Peter White, Rick Braun, Brian Simpson, Nick Colionne, Dave Koz, Jessy J, Paul Brown, Rocco Ventrella, Jonathan Fritzén, Gerald Albright, Martin Ehlers Trio, David Benoit, Walter “Chepe” Blanco, John Odio, Paul “Shilts” Weimar, Chuck Loeb, Joyce Cooling, Steve Oliver, Michael Lington, Club des Belugas, Marcus Johnson, Richard Elliot, Gabin, Chieli Minucci, Alex Bugnon, Marion Meadows, De Phazz, Praful, Pat Appleton, Jaared, Candy Dulfer, Eric Darius, Jeff Lorber, Marc Antoine, Warren Hill, UNÉ and Adani & Wolf followed his invitation.

His events are varied. He surprises the audience constantly with new programs. As he always opens up new places and venues, it is also not boring for the audience concerning this aspect. But apparently is his hometown Augsburg the constant in his career as promoter. Thus, the Smooth Jazz Festival in Augsburg is meanwhile tradition and institution. Evidently provides the Kurhaus Göggingen all the elements for a successful festival.

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Smooth Jazz Festival Mallorca 2012

In search of the beautiful moments of life there are always opportunities to hold it for a short time. One of those moments was the Smooth Jazz Festival, which first took place in Sa Coma, on the beautiful east coast of the Spanish island Mallorca. The exclusive ambience of the Protur Biomar Gran Hotel & Spa, a 5-star hotel was the awesome venue of this remarkable event.

Despite the not to be underestimated costs by air travel, hotel stay and tickets a surprisingly large number of smooth jazz fans participated in this highlight at this breathtaking place. All brought with them a good mood because they had the occasion to see many friends from last year. With world-class artists such as Uné, David Benoit, Jeff Lorber, Marc Antoine and Warren Hill did nothing to be desired.

Whom alone the appearance of the artist was not enough, could deepen the contact in intensive talks to his idol. Even the great weather, excellent food and fine drinks rounded out the well-being. The program of Friday night opened the agile saxophonist Eric Darius with Settin’ In Off from his album On A Mission (2010). For photographers, it was a difficult task to keep him in the picture, because not only during this piece, but throughout the entire performance, he found himself in motion.

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Too long a Fourplay? There’s no such thing! :)

After 20 years of Fourplay, maybe they felt we should move on…”, says Chuck Loeb in a jocular manner later that night, employing the pun on words in the band’s name when introducing one of the songs he contributed to Fourplay’s 12th album “Let’s Touch the Sky”. While the cover art suggests that very endeavor with the band member’s hands reaching up, nearly two hours of stellar live music performances left no doubt among avid music lovers who had flocked to Bayerischer Hof Night Club on this November, 8th 2011 night that Smooth Jazz’s famous supergroup are doing exactly that: They’re not only touching the sky, but weaving a musical skyscape with arrangements and solos that exude virtuosity, verve and vitality in equal parts.

Katharina Ehmki, CEO of Ehmki Music Management, promoter and press relations at the venue, landed the renowned music act as a major highlight of her New York at Bayerischer Hof series, and proved her experienced hand at knowing Jazz fans’ expectations: Fourplay packed the place to the last available seat and had every non-seated area crowded as well! Which might explain why fans had started to line up well before admittance at 8 pm, as Fourplay had sold out many venues prior to coming to Munich. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time and I was curious to see, what Chuck Loeb would sound like in this rarity of a group of musical heavyweights, where each of them is undoubtedly a leader in their own right, yet they appear to have kept ego out of the way and managed to amalgamate four strong musical personalities into a band – and with a formula that’s been going strong for the past two decades with only two changes to the line-up: Prior to Loeb, Larry Carlton held the guitar seat from 1998 through 2010, while Lee Ritenour was a founding member and stayed from 1991 through 1997.

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Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2011

The weather God was good to us. Bright shining sunrays flooded through the glass building of the Kurhaus Göggingen in Augsburg. On Friday, September 16, 2011, started the 4th annual Smooth Jazz Festival. We already arrived at the venue in the afternoon to meet Jessy J and Paul Brown for a small talk after the rehearsal in the inner courtyard of the Kurhaus. Peter Hoerd (GrooveFM) conducted the interviews, we hope to present you soon.

Promoter of this event was Christian Bößner, who lives in Augsburg and organizes since several years Smooth Jazz Festivals in Europe. This year was special, because Christian already promoted the Smooth Jazz In The Cube 2011, a festival in the Austrian mountains May 20-22, 2011 at CUBE Biberwier-Lermoos. The event featured Nils, Brian Culbertson, Jackiem Joyner and Nick Colionne, who thrilled the international audience with their exceptional performances.

Christian shows an admirable staying power and ability to assert the triumphal march of Smooth Jazz in Europe. Against all odds he makes it possible to host a great event with many International stars of the Smooth Jazz scene and this every year.

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Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2010

The third Annual German Smooth Jazz Festival took place in the Kurhaus Göggingen in Augsburg. A venue of timeless beauty build in the years of rapid industrial expansion in Germany. It is the work of famous architect Jean Keller, who constructed the building in 1886. The dreamy impression of this building is captured in the title photo, which was made last year by Andreas Lutz (Fotostudio Xanderhof).

Augsburg is the home town of Christian Bößner, who promoted this event for the third time. He already announced that the next festival in 2011 will be again in the same location. Those who are interested to know more about the ambiance I recommend to look at the numerous photos, which are published by friends of this event on Facebook.

The festival was opened by piano wizard David Benoit, who pleased the audience with several songs of his new album Earthglow. David Benoit is like Dave Grusin one of the big names of contemporary jazz. Always looking after new sides of music, he created with Earthglow anew gripping melodies with addictive potential. From his great repertoire we listened to Kei’s Song, Letter To Heaven, Blue Rondo a la Turque and Freedom at Midnight. The latest mentioned song is now often played on his tours. Originally recorded for his same-titled album (1990), the reaction on all his concert was so overwhelming, that he decided to re-release the popular song and mix it with musical quotations of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

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