A selection of the above ensembles, in which I have been lucky participating from the beginning was invited to Ukrainia and will perform two concerts on 21.03.09 in KIEW and on 22.03.09 In ODESSA.
We are planning more international concerts after our performance in Bonn in May 2009, where we are going to play on the occasion of the 60 years' Germany's celebration of of the "GRUNDGESETZ", the German Constitution. The German minister of family issues - Mrs. von der Layen- actually endorsed our concert, which we highly appreciate.
Some further words about the Greyhair Convention:
This is- I believe- one of Peter Herbolzheimer's greatest ideas ever!
To form a Big Band of GREY PANTERS -of proven musical skills and with a live time experience- as well as of youngsters of great talent and being still in artistic development on their way to become professionals- plus integrating another fraction of musicians, having been music professionals for all their lives. So, off course alto saxophonist Herb Geller, who already performed 50 years ago with Sarah Vaughn and Clifford Brown and later on in the NDR Big Band playing the first alto- and tenorsaxophonist / flutist Heinz von Hermann (who played in Paul Kuhn's Berlin Broadcasting SFB Big Band) and last not least the great trombonist (and pianoplayer) Joe Gallardo, who also was a member of the NDR Big Band have been (great perfoming) professionals for all their lives.
I even do not want to make any comments on the one and only giant BENNY GOLSON, who worked and performed with us a year ago and also promised to make himself available for special events!
The majority of the Band, however, are musicians who earned their living with something else. So,f.e. Ralf Rothkegel, a very old good friend of mine, who plays an unbelievable Cannonball Adderly inspired alto-saxophone, for all his live was a judge and before his retirement (a couple of years ago) a "Bundesrichter" -a FEDERAL JUDGE- at the Bundesverwaltungsgericht in Berlin and later on in Leipzig. Our piano player Steven Reich- a very, very good piano player indeed- is an internationally engaged copyright attorney based in Berlin.
Our Prof. Dr.Dr. August Wilhelm Scheer- our bariton saxophonist- is a well known entrepreuner in Computer technology. The 77 years aged trumpeter Siro Spoerli, who has been a psychologist in diagnostics & the advertisment branch, a great guy and good soloist. Carsten Stamm another very good soloist and 1st trumpeter, still is an engineer in a major company.
To continue with the trumpets:
The two youngsters Benny Brown and Florian Menzel- both unbelievably talented young trumpeters on first trumpet as well as soloing! Off course there is our 1st trumpet player high note specialist monster: the young Austrian Juergen Martl- a young Cat Anderson..it is frightening..!
Last but not least my buddy, Stefan Haake, a middle aged trumpeter with a lot of feel - I love his straight way and open sound especially in playing ballads.
Now Peter's idea was to mix those older chaps from Germany and some other extraordinary musicians from not so exposed European countries such as Romania, where Peter grew up, with the (some above mentioned) possibly best youngsters in Germany (several of them still part of BUJAZZO- the Federal German Jazz Orchestra, which Peter conducted for over 10 years) the Master Class- plus to integrate his ridiculously great vocal ensemble- the Masterbirds-
And it is really crazy: The project worked out perfectly, playing exclusively Peter's and some other musicians hip jazz music arrangements.
Lately Peter started to mix the musicians during performances from each fraction and one can't really hear a difference- each one plays with each one in harmony and great enthusiasm; there are no generation conflicts nor musical problems nor any other disturbing differences; we are all jointly playing together exchanging experience playing fun.. Believe it or not: Some of us nearly have more than a 60 years' of difference in age (Herb Geller just turned 80 years of age and still is playing his a..off and trumpeter Florian Menzel is just 19 years of age, doing just the same.. )!!!
Great!!! You are gonna hear those guys, you wouldn' t believe it!