Winter/Spring 2009/2010

Well I didn’t have the good fortune to escape this winter! It was intense, with temperatures around -12°C being the norm. So much snow all over, unbelievable for us in Cologne, but somehow spectacular!
Musically, a quiet period. The recession, slowly but surely caught up with us musicians. Did we hope to escape? But 2010 is already looking promising but, who knows?
I have a new CD ‘On Stage’ with Sigi Schwab out on the market and we will be performing quite a few live gigs this year. I’ve also been invited to be part of the team involved in a project called ‘Heimat-re-invented’ for Mukutathe Werkstatt and MusikTriennale in Cologne.
End of March I leave for India on a 2-week tour with Renga (10 musicians from LPO) and KCP4. We will perform in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.
Meanwhile, the Barock opera ‘Alessandro’ is still on at regular intervals at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, and each of the performances has been a sell-out!!


This year was full of surprises! For the first time in my freelance career as a musician I made myself available for a couple of long-term teaching projects. This involved working with school kids aged 11-13. I was part of a team of guest teachers to work with children in two schools in Zollstock and Porz, in Cologne. The motto was ‘Heimat-Re-invented’ and it was co-sponsored by the Musik Triennale Köln, with a public perfromance on the 11th of May. Well, the group of kids I was involved with from the school in Porz received the NRW cultural prize! My work in this area continued in the school at Porz together with two wonderful dancers Benadetta and Andre Jolles. We worked with the kids starting in October up until December, with a performance on the 21st of December. Concert-wise 2010 was a busy year. The Barock Opera ‘Alessandro’ continued to play to sold-out audiences at the Nationaltheater Mannheim. Then there was the tour in April with KCP4/Renga (LPO musicians) to India. And, of course a bunch of gigs spread over the year with my regular projects like Mandala, East West Wind, Raga West, KCP4, etc. During the first week of July I was invited to present a lecture demonstration at the IRSA (International Rhythm Studies Association) in Dublin. In August I travelled to Taiwan once again, this time to the city of Tainan, to conduct workshops during the ‘Youth Creativity Week’. This was followed by performances with Pipa virtuoso Yu Feng and indigenous singer Inka Ming. After a flying visit to India, spanning 5 cities in 6 days, to setup the BujazzO tour of India in November 2011, I travelled to Poznan for a World Percussion Meeting where met many interesting young percussionists. End of September I was invited to play with the WDR Big Band and Wolfgang Niedecken. The project was titled ‘Deutschland Lieder’, songs about Germany, written by Wolfgang and arranged by Mike Herting. Following the studio production there was a grand open-air performance on the 3rd of October at the Brandenburger Tor, in front of some 30,000 people to mark 20 years of ‘Deutsche Einheit.’ The very next day I flew to Dakar along with Mike Herting to perform two concerts there, one at the German Ambassador’s residence, and one at the Goethe Institute. It was my first trip to West Africa and the feeling was just great:) Winding up activities for the year I was in the studio recording with the wonderful musicians from the group Fisfüz. I will be performing live with them during the spring of 2011. Look forward to seeing all my friends and relatives during the course of this year:-)