Some years ago, whilst being in Warner Music´s employ, two young dudes came into my office, giving me their plug about the Soulounge. While they were informative and easy going enough, it was the music that captivated me. Packing more than a few punches and executed with a simple straightforward idea: A steady, classy band presenting diverse singers within a show – the sound: Soul! Things went uphill quickly and the Soulounge became established all over the country.
“Jeff Cascaro sings since he can think … “. This PR statement marks the beginning of my liaison with Jeff Cascaro in 2005. And indeed this fabulous singer at the crossroads of jazz and soul has proven himself a master of sophisticated entertainment – as audiences at the Jazz Baltica, the Rheingau Musikfestival, or the Elbjazz, not to forget countless clubs all over Germany, had the pleasure to witness over the years.
It is not quite business as usual for the manager of a record label to be able to just plunk down in your chair, relax and listen to the organizers announcing: “Welcome to the concert with Les Brünettes, which has been sold out completely for weeks.” The Kulturetage in Oldenburg being a rather distinguished venue accommodating up to 500 seated guests. After the concert, which was rewarded with a thunderous applause, one could meet the four radiant young women a the CD stand, signing their latest release. Sometimes it is just that simple.
Every year, although different procedures, we are present in the south of Germany at the foot of the Black Forest, conducting our business at the Kulturbörse in Freiburg. This is a trade fair not just for music, but also comedy and magic - company that we are more than comfortable with, since our artists are working magic as well. And if you ever had the chance to experience Duncan Galloway, frontman of the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, telling jokes on stage, you know how close we feel to comedy as well.
Jeff Cascaro is living in Dortmund and last night he gave a remarkable performance, enchanting the audience at his home town jazz club, the Domicil – together with his fabulous band, consisting of Christian von Kaphengst (bass), Roberto Di Gioia (piano) and Hans Dekker (drums). A mesmerizing atmosphere spread across the full house, as the band alternately dives into gentle ballads, or bangs out heavy rhythmical stompers with equal intensity. In addition to his vocal artistry Jeff Cascaro shone on his trumpet. A truly wonderful evening, crowned and concluded by thunderous applause.
A frenetic audience at the sold out Kulturforum Kiel saw the Nighthawks invoking the spirit of electro jazz, as they were presenting their new album “707”. While some sceptics and critics may think of this fusion of jazz and rock as a thing of the past, the award-winning Nighthawks keep on proving them wrong, transporting it into the present with ease and style. It does take a truly vibrant collective of spirited musicians to turn a concert hall, as was to be experienced at the Kulturforum Kiel, into a bubbling cauldron.
Miu already has a loyal fan base. Our beloved soul pop singer was celebrated once again by a packed house in Hamburg´s cult club Knust. On Friday the 12th a delightfully diverse audience had gathered in the heart of St. Pauli. And once again songs like Watercoloured Borderlines, Ohana, Geneva, Next Big Thing and many more became hymns of a heart- and feet-stirring night. A voice that will keep on pricking up ears!
Happy New Year to You all! By some not too unfortunate accident we got locked in at our favourite wine cellar – hence our latish return from the Christmas holidays. And now it is time to pick up the pace, for the Nighthawks will start their tour of the northern regions on the 17th of January in Kiel. Jeff Cascaro will return to his home town Dortmund and play the exquisite Jazz Club Domicil on January the 18th. Check out more dates on our page.
Musicians have their quirks – on and off stage. Some enter soft-footed, some stride in. Dal Martino, The Nighthawks´ producer and bass player, tends to come shuffling to our yearly résumé. A little bleary-eyed, as if to further emphasize that night time truly is a Nighthawk´s time. Just as the name suggests and their sound proves.
In 1977 a song was first pressed on record, which to this day brings tears to the eyes of many, who have grown up in the GDR: “Am Fenster” (“At the Window”) by the East German band City. It became a tremendous success instantly, even crossing the borders to the West - perhaps the biggest “Ostrock”-hit of all.
For its 40th anniversary Jessica Gall has performed a heartfelt version of this beautiful ballad for MDR Kultur.
The darker days of the year are here. The clocks have been turned back and You may as well say your Good Nights at 5 pm – but you should not! For now is also the time our artists are entering some renowned and selected stages. You may listen to the Nighthawks playing at the Dresdner Jazztage on the 8th of November and the following day the Jazzfest in Aalen. Jeff Cascaro, after a brilliant premiere in Bremerhaven, will present his new program in his native town Bochum on the 5th of November.
Jeff Cascaro and his band are already on site in Bremerhaven, going through a final rehearsal for their new program Love & Blues in the City. The thrill of anticipation amongst the musicians is palpable, as they are preparing for the first performance of their new set, tomorrow 27th of October, 19 h at the Stadthalle in Bremerhaven. On that same evening Benny Greb will fill his vehicle to the brim with drum equipment and take off to the Netherlands to play at the Keifestival with his band Moving Parts on October the 28th.
A few weeks ago Benny Greb has released his album Grebfruit 2 on Herzog Records. The album is a musical barrage of powerful beats and delicate vocal arrangements – or vice versa. As a singing drummer Benny Greb may seem to be walking out on thin ice. But as it turns out, he is dancing on a glorious big block of pack ice. The album definitely is a triumphant statement. To further underline that, he has cut videos to many of the songs together with Meinl. Yesterday the video Grebchestra has been released. There is a method and now a face as well to the madness.
It´s really a piece of cake – one may think. Musicians love songs and, as seasoned professionals, they know them by heart. From a huge repertoire Jeff Cascaro has put together a congenial set for his brand new album Love & Blues in the City. Now, at the Seaside Jam in Bremerhaven, on the 27th of October, the first concert is due and what has been worked out so brilliantly in the studio has to pass the test of the stage. That means a lot of rehearsing, rechecking of changes, harmonies and timbres to find the perfect musical balance for a live setting.
Autumn is falling down on us and the Nighthawks are taking off for a little tour of Germany´s southern regions. Their first station will be the Jazzclub in Wangen, on October the 6th. Then onwards to “their” Garage in Kleinwinternheim and finally, on the 8th of October, to the prestigious Burghof in Lörrach. The music of the Nighthawks is suited perfectly for this time of the year. Don´t miss Your chance to enjoy their wonderful, pulsing music live and let Yourself be transported around the globe – that is what their album “707” is about.
What can I say? The week is coming to an end and all of a sudden the adrenalin is pumping. Singer Jeff Cascaro has entered the Itunes Album Jazz Charts at No. 1. Yesterday, after a long day of interviews here in Hamburg, we ended up in an Italian restaurant, talking about Love & Blues. The very subjects at the heart of Cascaro´s new album Love & Blues in the City. Take a wild guess: who is hiding behind the LP cover?!
Cascaro's passion for music shines through—as he rhapsodizes about his musical idols and the history of jazz. The same passion pulses through Love & Blues in the City. In contrast to his previous soul-jazz recordings, Love & Blues in the City offers a subtle, laid-back feeling, with touches of classic jazz phrasing and artistry. “The time was ripe to record a more jazzy and intimate album. I wanted to put a stronger emphasis on the voice and its delicacies.”
Coming saturday, 30th of September, Les Brünettes will host the program “Klassik-Pop-et cetera” at radio station Deutschlandfunk. Starting at 10:05 h Juliette Brousset and fellow members Julia Pellegrini, Stephanie Neigel and Lisa Herbolzheimer will chat and tittle-tattle about their latest album The Beatles Close-Up.
Managing an independent record label is bound to give one the blues quite frequently. It is work in a game full of challenges – perhaps more than ever. When asked, why I even bother, there is just one simple answer: I´m in love with music. Which presumably is the way jazz singer Jeff Cascaro feels about it as well. And which is why he has placed these conflicting sentiments of Love & Blues in the title of his new CD.
The grand “Reeperbahn Festival” is only just beginning this week, but already there has been a magnificent concert on this famously infamous boulevard – although completely separate from the “Reeperbahn Festival”. The Oh!chestra has been rocking the Kukuun Club. As part of the event series “Kiez Klassik” the duo, consisting of drums and piano, has laid down a phenomenal performance. A duo – a discovery!