Few musical marriages can seem more oddly matched than a German classical/chamber trio with an Afro-Cuban percussion ensemble. Yet Mozart Meets Cuba presents astonishing work: Latin explorations of Mozart's timeless melodies that are true to the fire and passion, and to the almost mathematic precision, of Afro-Cuban and classical perspectives. Mozart's compositions remain refined and austerely beautiful (such as his Clarinet Concerto, for example, here presented as "Poema Con Cohiba ), but they rhythmically move forward with a smile and bounce.
Bassist Killian Forster, pianist Tobias Forster and drummer Tim Hahn were trained in classical music in Germany. Together they began to explore crossover music by stretching classical music out with important rhythmic, harmonic and improvisatory aspects of jazz, then formed the Klazz Brothers to explore their KLAZZ (KLAssic JaZZ) music. They befriended Afro-Cuban percussionists Elio Rodriguez Luis (congas) and Alexis Herrera Exteves (timbales) while performing in Havana; their combined ensemble constructs a cross-cultural instrumental quintet that moves between classical, jazz and Latin.
Whatever you call it, the members of this quintet play like virtuosos and brilliantly execute Mozart Meets Cuba. Tobias leads the ensemble with piano playing so sparkling and articulateespecially on "Salzburger Schafferl (from The Magic Flute) that your ears may think you're listening to Dr. Billy Taylor instead. Later, his piano sets the table on "Calypso Facile (from Piano Sonata, K.545) for a finger-popping bass turn served a la mode with percussion.
Added harmonica and trumpet expands "Don Muerte (from Don Giovanni) into cinematic territory with the sound of a sunset closing a classic Western. "Cuban March also takes a bit of liberty with its original ("Turkish March ) to reshape the familiar melody into hot Latin jazz with explosive percussion/piano sections. It serves a great example for the entire Mozart Meets Cuba concept. You hear the familiar classical melodybut essentially as a starting point for genuine, excellent new music based upon its theme.
Track Listing: Cuban Dance; Danzon De La Trucha; Preludio; Afrolise; Air; Pathetique I; Pathetique II; Pathetique III; Salsa No. V; Czardas; Etude Flight Of The Bumblebee Guten Abend; Anthem.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.