Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke, one of the often-overlooked founding fathers of jazz, was born in Iowa in 1903, offspring of a family of emigrants from Mecklenburg. With his lyrical, cool cornet tone and a formidable understanding of harmony, he was far ahead of his time and has influenced countless jazz musicians through the present day. He died in 1931 at the early age of 28; and an appropriate general honouring of his legacy is for the most part overdue. He will be commemorated at the first concert in the Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic of this season by the internationally acclaimed stride pianist Bernd Lhotzky. Under his direction, highly diverse instrumentalists will revive Beiderbecke’s music, notably Lhotzky’s quartet Echoes of Swing with Chris Hopkins on alto saxophone, Colin T. Dawson on trumpet and Oliver Mewes on drums.
They will be joined by Mulo Francel, head of Germany’s most successful world music group Quadro Nuevo and one of the few virtuosos on the C melody saxophone, trombonist and bass saxophonist Attila Korb, contrabassist Henning Gailing and drummer legend Pete York. The British drummer became particularly famous in his over 50-year career with fusion and rock bands like the Spencer Davis Group and Hardin & York, but classic swing jazz has always been the root of his playing. Finally, as special guest, the fantastic French saxophonist Émile Parisien will take part; regular visitors to our Jazz series will remember his performance together with (his duo partner) Vincent Peirani at the Accordion Night in February 2015.