Welcome to our festival
Holiday in the city – every evening, all summer long: that’s the Kulturarena Jena! This open-air festival offers imaginative theatre productions, exciting films, a host of varied concerts and fun events for children. The Theatervorplatz in Jena transforms itself on this occasion into an idyllic oasis for all lovers of outstanding music and culture.
Musically, the Kulturarena spans a repertoire ranging from the finest world music, exhilarating jazz and eclectic pop sounds on the Theatervorplatz, through catchy acoustic events at the Volksbad right down to hot club concerts at Kassablanca. For these music events you can find the English texts below.
For all other informations please hop over to the German website.
ArenaOuvertüre 2018: Carmina Burana 22. - 23.06.2018 · 9:00 pm · Festplatz Lobeda West The fortune goddess Fortuna, decision maker on either luck or misfortune, enters the open-air stage of the Arena Overture in Lobeda, having Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" in the luggage. And fatefully, this piece is a statement, already the history of creation being a noteworth. The basis are texts that Orff once found in an antiquarian catalog. The work, written in Latin and Middle High German, turned out to be a hundred-year-old edition of a collection of poetry. The original song and drama texts from the 11th/12th Century, stored once in the Benediktbeuren monastery, used to wander through medieval Europe in the form of multiple copies. Even in Norway, text passages of the work were found on wooden wedges. Later, the lyrics circulated predominantly in intellectual circles and were taken on by students. Carl Orff brought them to the public eye. He selected 24 pieces from more than 200 songs, which he set to music: sensual, rude, full of life and spirituality – and with such a force that they are still turning into catchy tunes for advertising spots, serve as soundtracks for great heroic films or accompany sports competitions. But the "Carmina Burana" was not only met with affection. After the premiere in 1937 in the Frankfurt Opera, the Reichsmusikkammer of the Nazis judged: "Bavarian nigger music, full of alien elements", which referred primarily to the lyrics and dramas written mostly in Latin. Today, "Carmina Burana" is one of the most successful and popular works of classical music. The socio-critical, political songs, the drinking songs, the hymns to love and the parody-satirical texts describe the lifestyle of ordinary people who simply can not be deprived of their lust. All this is brought to the fore by the powerful choral movement of the Jena Philharmonic with all force and clarity. It is further supported by the male voices of the choir and the boys' choir of the Jena Philharmonic. The implementation of the overture will be done by designated chief conductor Simon Gaudenz.
Kinga Glyk & Opal Ocean 12.07.2018 · 7:30 pm · Theatervorplatz On the opening day of the Kulturarena you can count for yourself: how many concerts will be played, how many acquaintances do I meet, how many drinks do I get? In this way, culture certainly has its mathematical side. But numbers are not all, musically speaking, strings are even more. First mentioned in the 17th century, musical strings have gained in number and importance. Which will also be true at this opening night: a total of 16 strings will be played on the Theaterhausbühne in various ways. Twelve of them are shared by the guitar duo "Opal Ocean", consisting of Alex Champ from France and Nadav Tabak from New Zealand – both living in Melbourne, Australia. The guitar duo beams into Hispanic realms where they celebrate the blending of flamenco and rumba, a lot of progressive rock and acoustic metal. The missing four strings are brought into action by the Polish jazz bassist Kinga Glyk, whose heart is audibly with American jazz, blues and funk. Incidentally, the internet was the foundation of the career for both acts of the evening. For example, a YouTube video in which Kinga Glyk played Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" catapulted her music into the world overnight, turning the young woman into an Internet phenomenon par excellence. You might wonder what's so special about it. But what others already have done well in the pop and mainstream realms is in fact an unparalleled new number in jazz. Since then three albums are in their shopping cart, musicians from the first American jazz league playing their compositions. Opal Ocean's fame was also supported greatly by the online distribution procedure. The two street musicians experienced their breakthrough with the release of their first album "Lost Fables" at the end of 2016, which was reflected in a video clicked by the millions and shared by the hundreds of thousands. In the analog world these "Sixteen Strings" are the beginning of the 2018 Arena concert summer: A one, a two ... a one, two, three, four…
Rainald Grebe & Die Kapelle der Versöhnung 13.07.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz · Ausverkauft! Many a stone in the Jena memorial board is tightly stuck – at least for those whose memory goes back so far. After all, a few years have passed since Rainald Grebe served as an actor at the local theater and followed the honorable profession of a dramaturge. Now, the “City of Light Jena” may actually boast, having directed the spotlight on the cabaret musician, even having witnessed live the beginnings of his search as a comedic talent. The ghost of Grebes is still giggling through the Theaterhaus with its café and the legendary Club Kassablanca, in order to light the biggest firecrackers of the “Falkenhorst Show” aka “Cinehorst series”. In 2004 Rainald Grebe left Jena. Since then, much water has flowed down the river Saale. Hymns like “Thuringia” and “Brandenburg” were washed by. Tragic, astute, absurdly witty thoughts and bitter songs landed in the ears of those who were open to them. They tell the sometimes crassly overdrawn, sometimes deeply touching stories of a crystal-clear confused genius – or maybe rather that of a madman? With this comic-melancholy border crosser between musical gem and cabaret suicide one never knows – but suspects a lot. This hermaphrodite is set to a serious theatrical role, gritty comedy performance and bottomless tragedy of Grebe's own "Orchestra of Reconciliation" and the master himself. Because Grebe is not only an astute, fine-nerved poet, he is also an arranger and above all a gifted pianist. As such, he races restlessly and rushed like his thoughts over the keyboard – indeed on the whole instrument. On his Wigwam concert summer tour he serves brand new songs and classics, half-cooked, improvised and long-awaited. But maybe it's also ideas, with which he improves this world a bit…
Moop Mama 14.07.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz We are writing the year 2009 - the young Munich Marcus Kesselbauer aka Dr. med. Marcuse aka Kesselpower spends his free time on the Isar or maybe in the English Garden or in some beer garden. In any case, boredom is spreading. Yawning boredom. The saxophone lures, but alone ...? But help is approaching. Cream Fresh Crew members MC Keno (bourgeois Keno Langbein) and Bustla (Lukas Roth) join in, coming up with two trumpets (by Martin Hutter and Menzel Mutzke), winning Johannes Geiß, the man at alto saxophone, the trumpets of Jan Rößler and Peter Palmer, the drums operated by Christoph Holzhauser, as well as Lukas Roth, and Peter Laib with his sousafon providing the necessary bass. And faster than a piglet can blink, a ten-headed Marching Band is founded that has it all. The boredom is definitely history, because the ten guys live out their love for soul and funk – no matter where. Whether in parks, in front of universities or in public places - everywhere they play their mixture of fat grooves, rich brass sets and cheeky, witty, but sometimes also socially critical rap. These guerrilla gigs, which are often ended by the police for disturbing the peace, make the guys known all over Munich and quickly far beyond. Two years later, their debut album "Deine Mutter" ("Your Mother") is released, with three more albums to follow. Major festivals show interest, as well as Jan Delay, Deichkind and Fettes Brot. The latest work with the forward-looking name M.O.O.P.topia offers once again, a packed suitcase full of amusing everyday observations and stories about the subtle shades of being human,. The sound of the ten is more complex than ever. The fun-soul-jazz sound of marching bands from the American South is joined by the energy of trap and techno and references from blues to old-school rap. A real stage spectacle awaits the visitors, because Moop Mama is physical entertainment and never boring!
Aus dem Nichts 17.07.2018 · 9:30 pm · Theatervorplatz Rarely ever was a movie title more appropriate. As if out of the blue Katja loses husband and child in a bomb attack. Investigators grope in the dark, suspect an act of revenge, as Katja's husband was convicted of drug trafficking and already in prison. Only when Jürgen Möller pronounces a suspicion at the police station against his own son, investigations take a new turn. In fact, it comes to a trial and Katja meets the suspected murderers of her family face to face. With "Out of Nowhere" Fatih Akin, loosely based on the events surrounding the NSU murders, created a disturbing and furious legal drama. Emotional center of the film is Diane Kruger, who was rightly nominated for her performance at the Cannes Film Festival as Best Actress. In addition, "Out of Nowhere" was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. This is really great movie theater!
DAGADANA / MOTION TRIO 18.07.2018 · 7:30 pm · Theatervorplatz Some musical theory beforehand: "The Polonaise is a Polish national dance in which dancing couples stride dignifiedly through certain peculiar figures in polonaise rhythm." Now this has nothing to do with "... Erwin touches Heidi from behind on her shoulder "- and yet we arrive at the concert evening with such an image of original German celebration culture. After all, not only two Polish artist collectives will line up this evening, the musical styles presented will also literally begin to dance. The Polish theme night will be led by exceptional accordionists Janusz Wojtarowicz, Paweł Baranek and Marcin Gałażyn. As a motion trio, they have set themselves the ambitious goal of conjuring notes from the accordion that have never been heard before - an intention that only appears to be like an easy exercise. Drawing inspiration from the elements of classical music, baroque, jazz, rock, metal, techno, house and disco, the trio - which quickly became known as the "Trio Infernal" - creates striking music that combines the fire of East European roots music with the precision of the great classic composers. The great thing about it is that they achieve their powerful, intense performances without using anything other than their accordions: no guitars, no drums, no samplers, no loops, no tricks, pure genius. They are followed by the Polish-Ukrainian band Dagadana, who has long since become too small to fit the label world music - that is, if they ever did so. Since 2008 the band has combined the elements of Polish and Ukrainian culture, jazz, electronics, dance music, pop and world music in elaborate arrangements with the beautiful voices of Dana (Bogdana Vynnytska) and Daga (Dagmara Gregorowicz). Their vision is to build bridges: between the two nations, the music and the whole world. This succeeds in a truly unique way - a polonaise party.
Portico Quartet 19.07.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz Jena The history of the Portico Quartet begins in 2005 on the streets of London's South Bank. That would be a good introduction to the text about the four innovative British musicians - if it would not hide essential background information. Let's take a look back a few pages: The true story of the Portico Quartet begins when percussionist Nick Mulvey first gets to know a hang at a festival. The sound instrument, which reminds of two welded woks, fascinates him immediately. He scrapes a few pounds and gets one. Together with his drum colleague Duncan Bellamy he explores its possibilities and soundscapes. A few months later, he meets saxophonist Jack Wyllie and bassist Milo Fitzpatrick, who are also thrilled. Finally, the four team up as Portico Quartet. Of course, the central importance of the Hang would allow an even earlier start of the story, as it was invented only six years earlier in the Swiss city of Bern. A mind-blowing experiment ... After all, the Portico Quartet adds further musical chapters to the sound of the hang: with elements from ambient, avant-pop, minimal music, film score moments, rock and dub step, the British bring the singing bowls out of their esoteric street music corner and lead it all the way into one catchy, atmospheric jazz mix that's reminds the listener of musical heroes like Radiohead, EST and The Cinematic Orchestra. For their debut album “Knee-Deep in the North Sea”, the band was immediately nominated in 2008 for the Mercury Music Prize. After further successful albums and in the meantime shrunk to trio size, the band with their current album "Art in the Age of Automation" has become a quartet again with cozy-loungy tones, hypnotic soundscapes and discreet grooves. By the way, at the center of the album is the following question: where does art go when machines take over our work? But that's a new chapter…
Freundeskreis 20.07.2018 · 7:30 pm · Theatervorplatz · Ausverkauft Martin Luther, a Swedish fashion chain, and even the bicycle were able to celebrate some kind of anniversary in 2017. Incidentally, the latter was invented 200 years ago in Baden-Württemberg and thus has – to find at least some kind of connection – something in common with the Stuttgart band Freundeskreis (Circle of Friends). In 2017, they celebrated the 20th anniversary of their legendary debut album "Squaring the Circle". But stop! As is typical with anniversaries, we take the remote control of history for a moment and rewind to the German music year 1997: It was when the last boxing match of a certain Mr. Maske washes a tearful "Time to say goodbye" on number one of the charts, pop star Michael Jackson is welcomed with his HIStorie tour, while MTV is broadcasting a German program for the very first time. And this is exactly the year when something happened, which nobody would have thought possible: Stuttgart - at that time still without “21” - overnight became the hippest city in Germany, at least musically. The Städtle is virtually killing the underground hip-hop scene with all their cool American gangster types. Instead, a neatly lanky, white guy walks through the music video and sings or rather berates lyrically his "A-N-N-A", whom he always has to remember when it rains. The "Circle of Friends", aka Max Herre, Don Philippe and DJ Friction, turns hip-hop into a sociable culture in this country within just one summer. The youth magazine Bravo puts the crown on the whole affair by naming Max Herre the "Jesus of Benztown". But the boys do not want to be like that, they complain and continue to work on their own design of hip-hop paired with soul, reggae and jazz as well as revolutionary rhymes. That meets widespread acceptance. Their most successful album "Esperanto" sells more than 300,000 times, "En Directo" more than 250,000 times. After long breaks and numerous solo performances, the Circle of Friends now celebrates its 20-year anniversary and is still celebrating even its 21st year with excelence.
Olli Schulz 21.07.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz Well, there may be more sonorous stage names. Names that foreshadow grandeur, express sex-Appeal and let the stars rain from heaven by just mentioning them. But Olli Schulz? This seems a common name for a commonplace guy. And that's exactly how Olli Schulz wants to be at first glance. This guy, who has been so sympathetically crazy on television for a couple of years, singing along humorous borders with Joko & Klaas or Jan Böhmermann. As a goalkeeper at the Eimsbüttlel High School Federation in Hamburg, he did not gain world fame and spent his best years as a stagehand for various stars carrying their equipment and wiping their puke. The one who published records like "Break my heart and I’ll break your legs", "Waiting for the boomerang" or "Feelings from the ashes". This guy is back on tour. A tour that carries the melodious to poetic title "Shitty Life, well narrated", a statement which one simply has to accept immediately. Just because of this commonplace guy. After all, he is a really gifted singer/songwriter and musician who comes up with honest songwriting music and great life stories in his performances. Whether all these stories really come from the real life of Olli Schulz, does not really matter. You can imagine it in any case. In order to eliminate all clarity, quoting the press release of the artist is appropriate at this point: "With Shitty Life, well narrated by Olli Schulz, he reaches the apotheosis of his songwriting. Never before the birth of a god and enlightenment were so surprisingly close together, never before heartbreaking and spherically cheery cabinet pieces melted as supple as on this long groove. The format of the album, sometimes questioned by Schulz himself and pronounced dead in dark hours, now gains an unexpected new blossom under the Master's hand. "This leaves all questions open, but at least something big can be expected.
ArenAkustik im Volksbad
Kat Frankie 24.07.2018 · 8:00 pm · Volksbad Jena It sounds a bit like the story of Timm Thaler and his sold laughter: A young, musical girl moves from Sydney to Berlin, because she has heard from her favorite band that Berlin is the best city for musicians. This is where the melancholy-sad antifolk, in which punk-influenced musicians pick up and interpret American folk music, is just coming to a close. Singer-songwriter Kitty Solaris takes the girl under her wing and releases Kate's album debut "Pocketknife" (2007) on her own label. On the one hand a stroke of luck, but things did not really seem to fit: "I slipped into this scene, although that did not suit me at all: Antifolk always had something cute and superficial - I always wanted to be true and write songs with great feelings." But Kat Frankie frees herself. The two follow-up works appeared on her own label, are produced by herself. She refines her sound, emancipates herself from the acoustic guitar, writes dramatic piano ballads and discovers the loop station. She is constantly looking for more input and produces more output. Together with Konstantin Gropper from Get Well Soon she writes the theme tune of the talk show "Schulz & Böhmermann", she sings a duet with Clueso, she plays guitar in the band of Olli Schulz and together with Chris Klopfer she starts the indie pop duo Keøma as a side project, which brings out an album in 2016 and participates in the German preliminary round for the Eurovision Song Contest. All these weddings are influencing Kat Frankie, who soon has no desire anymore to be just "the sad girl with the guitar". On their new album "Bad Behavior" we still find all the qualities of their music – the melancholy, the drama and above all the passionate singing are still there. But you soon realize that she has taken another step forward. "The emotional heart has not changed that much," Frankie says. "It's is only arranged and produced differently."
CARROUSEL 25.07.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz France and the love ... what kind of movies do these words trigger in our mind? Movies in which elegant men wear delicate mustaches and crooked caps, where crispy baguette sticks and candy-colored macarons fill the shop windows, while charming, spiteful women daydream, chansons roar the streets, and the smell of coffee and lavender is everywhere. This script plays in 2007, when the Frenchwoman Sophie Burande and the Swiss Léonard Gogniat got to know each other. She was playing accordion on a terrace in southern France. He, who also had his accordion with him, first hid behind a tree and listened to her before sitting down and playing music with her. It was the beginning of CARROUSEL and a great love. Together they went to Paris for half a year (of course!), wrote their first songs and developed their own style of music. Since then, the musical artist couple lives in Switzerland. Sophie plays the accordion, Léonard the guitar, sometimes melodica and piano are added. Sometimes they sing in turns, sometimes in duets. However, they always write the French texts together – because, according to their philosophy, they also present them together. One definitely feels that they enjoy the word play and music played with original instruments. Especially live, the musical couple, supported by Mathieu Friz on drums, Thierry Cattin on bass and Christian Bron on keyboard, emerge from the smooth pop-cosmos. Funky bass lines meet warm guitar chords, folky melodies follow drum grooves. That's how the soundtrack of this love story sounds, from melancholy sadness to euphoric, ecstatic and childishly carefree. Four records were already presented – full of wonderful melodies sticking in the ear. Connection to the audience was established through more than 500 concerts. Which scriptwriter could have written such a love story in a more beautiful way?
Liniker & os Caramelows 26.07.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz How much do you have to talk about the frontwoman of a band being transsexual? A lot? A little? Not at all? "Deixa eu baguncar você" - "Let me confuse you", is part of the refrain of the viral hit "Zero" of the Brazilian band Liniker e os Caramelows. It is sung by Liniker Barros, who as a trans-black woman with dress, lipstick and mustache confidently combines queer attributes with her masculine soul voice. However, she does not see herself as a travesty artist, but wants to equalize the differences between man and woman by mixing the sexes – which is a significant topic which simply can not be ignored. But also a topic, that should not be in the focus all the time. After all, Liniker is linked to the wonderfully tough, sticky-sweet mass of the band Os Caramelows. And this mass encloses the richly inscribed songs of Liniker with a variety of influences: folklore, electro, ethno, MPB (popular Brazilian music), Pop, Samba Rock, Tropicalia, Punk and Black Sabbath. For the fusion that unites all these grooves, this unique juxtaposition of sounds, they even invented a word: Funzy. It's a genre that belongs to them all alone. A fusion with a lot of swing, ballads, love songs that are very danceable and have plenty of Afro-Brazilian samba in their blood. With this traditional African style of music, Liniker e os Caramelows also gives the black population, which makes up about fifty percent in Brazil, its rightful place. "I'm a fag – a black fag!", Liniker explains, ignoring all insults and challanging two stereotypes at the same time. In this way, his/her music is always a mouthpiece with which there is so much to announce: "We hope that in 20 years people will look back on Liniker e os Caramelows as a reference for something that has been a catalyst for change. Music has its role, culture has its role, that's why we are here for this future."
Tocotronic 27.07.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz They did it! Since March 2017 at the latest, the four band members of Tocotronic have definitely achieved star status. It was then, when the celebrity magazine "Gala" in its category "What happened to … ?" wondered what the four Hamburg musicians were actually doing at the moment. Well, generally speaking the colorful yellow press magazine is primarily known for its more or less unrealistic reports of royal houses, as well as home stories of politicians and the latest news of celebrities and their affairs. And these people are really interested in the Hamburg-trained indie pop rockers? So what… After all, Tocotronic had already released eleven studio albums and looked back to 25 years of band history. Since "K.O.O.K." (1999) each of their albums also reached the top 10 of the German album charts. The album “Schall & Wahn" (2010) was the very first work of Tocotronic and even reached the pole position. Furthermore, the band regularly ranks among the first in the lists of critics and readers of the German music press. The interest is therefore justified and ennobles the aristocratic magazine. The reaction of Tocotronic came immediately, and the band announced on their facebook profile: "The recordings for the 12th, TOCOTRONIC 'album are finished. It's getting big!” According to this announcement, the title of the new work may well be understood. In "The Infinity", front man Dirk von Lowtzow unfolds nothing less than his own life story with usual lyrical storytelling: It ranges all the way from the bourgeois desert of the Baden towhouse province all the way to the punky-rocking electric guitar universe Hamburg, where Tocotronics was founded with bassist Jan Müller and drummer Arne Zank, only to finally find itself in the bizarre microcosm of Berlin. The whole thing is a musical autobiography in 12 chapters, a tribute to growing up - dark rocking, tempting open and vulnerable like a fairy tale by Oscar Wilde. This is how the very personal live songs seamlessly blend into the Tocotronic oeuvre. Not only gala editors will be happy!
kulturarena club im kassablanca
ORPH 27.07.2018 · 11:30 pm · Kassablanca Gleis 1 "A gigantic tear that everyone follows from now on - weeping and laughing with it. Outstanding in love, crime and at breakneck speed. All radios play the heartbeat. Revolution! It is almost a pity that it does not take place on our earth, but in the capillaries and veins of our solar system." One suspects it with these lines already, imagination rattles: Nothing ordinary is waiting for admission. Instead, you slip through the rabbit hole and land in Wonderland, probably on the most colorful floor of music. Orph are playing - a band and visual art form at the same time. For ten years this "Planet Orph" already exists, whose inhabitants are currently Marco De Haunt, Steffi Narr, Krishan Zeigner, Martin Bosch and Hendrik Winter. Born in Weimar, the band moves between pop, folk and punk appeal - and lets all these styles flow together in a wonderfully zeitgeist dreampop. The five members artistically balance on a thin rope between eccentric pop and imaginative art, and one can not help but create one's own pictures while listening - no matter how eccentric. At a time when indie is mostly synonymous with ascetic intellectualism, Orph releases opulent paradise birds. In 2012 the Weimar musicians released their debut album "Poems For Kui". This was followed by concerts at well-known festivals as well as support shows for Casper and Phillip Boa And The Voodooclub as well as a Rockpalast Spezial. "The Pyramid Tears of Simba" is a new pop science fiction marvel that continues the thrilling debut. Orph plays through meandering song cycles of a cinematic journey that knows neither space nor time and that takes us on an enraptured journey into an elaborate and fantastic world. The mixture of pop, folk and punk appeal shows its magical effect. All in all, Orph is an exuberant gift to imagination. However, the wonderful thing is that while their music gets so close, it is so hard to grasp.
Tel Aviv Sounds
JonZ · The Angelcy · Lucille Crew 28.07.2018 · 7:00 pm · Theatervorplatz Jerusalem is praying, while Haifa is working - and Tel Aviv is living. That's what they say. The spring hill has the reputation of a party metropolis and is considered the most tolerant city in Israel. Around 400,000 people live here, immigrating from more than 100 nations. Modern, vibrant, cosmopolitan: Tel Aviv is a soap bubble of the art of living. This is also reflected in the lives of musicians, who always have in mind how easily the thin shell can burst ... For one full evening in the arena, three bands show the different spectral colors of the shimmering bubble Tel Aviv - from optimistic-peaceful to courageous-honest to extroverted hip-hop funk soul fusion. The evening is like a walk through the heated streets of the city, starting with the duo JonZ in singer-songwriter garb. Jenia Vasilenko and Yoav Or draw the first tender green pictures of Tel Aviv with cello, bass guitar and double bass, brass, accordion and flute arrangements. But above all with their voices reminiscent of Cat Stevens and Joan Baez, Love and Peace. In their songs they sadly and happily sing about relationships, hopes, questions and our place in the world. Warmed up in this way, the red-revolutionary light of the setting sun continues with the alternative folk band The Angelcy. Through their directness and openness, they became the hope of a critical youth in their home country. The personal, witty and politically honest songs of the six-headed band are poetically presented with impressive voices and melodically accompanied with viola, clarinet, a lot of double bass and drums. The last part of the evening, Tel Aviv-typically is called "Lisromm" - "Get loose". Accordingly, the Lucille Crew uses the full color spectrum of the Tel Aviv range and leads into the city's dense, crowded clubs. Here, the international collective, consisting of ten members, mixes hip hop elements with funk, soul and the humid atmosphere of Balkan parties. Tel Aviv lives and dances.
Asaf Avidan 31.07.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz In the character portraits of relevant feature articles on Asaf Avida, the contrasts almost overturn: from sensitive, fragile and shy to egomaniacal, eccentric and self-loving, the spectrum ranges at least as wide as the four-octave voice of the Israeli exceptional artist. However, if you dive deeper into the story of this young man, you not only suspect where the reasons lie – but also why Avida sings the way he sings. He effortlessly swings from the low registers to the falsetto, where he forces his voice to hoarseness, all the way to the pain threshold. He cheers, croaks and screams as if there is no tomorrow, at least not for him. Asaf Avida lives in the here and now and has always done so. He grew up in a diplomat's parents' house, marked by countless movings, constant changes of school, language and friendships, as well as separation and homelessness. At the age of eleven he was thrown out of school and came to an art-oriented educational institution in Israel. Here is where he expressed his lostness for the first time. As a teenager, he painted cartoons, began to study animation and film. But, again, fractures followed: The conscription to the Israeli army, in a fighting unit, he escaped only after months of nightmares and insomnia, when he was retired by the military psychologist. The symbiotic relationship with his first girlfriend broke down, at 21 he fell ill with lymph node cancer. In the end, singing and the guitar perhaps served as a kind of therapy, perhaps as a steady personal companion. The uniqueness of his androgynous voice, which earned him comparisons with Janis Joplin or Robert Plant, quickly helped him to first appearances. In the opening act he played for Bob Dylan, Ben Harper, Morrissey and Lou Reed. Today, Avida travels the world as a solo artist, for months, without a break and with sounds that go under the skin and sometimes to the bones. Because something seems to explode from the very deep.
Tom Walker 01.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz One of the most popular poll questions is probably, "Who would you like to go for a beer with?" So we're looking for a straightforward, honest-casual buddy. One who does not take himself too seriously and still has something to say. In male variant maybe in this style: full hair, full beard, full-bodied and at the same time witty, friendly, musically - so ratzfatz the vision of Tom Walker appears. Born in Glasgow in 1991 and raised in Manchester, the singer and songwriter is one of the shooting stars of the music scene. He has been playing it big since 2017 - when he landed his first hit song "Just You & I" and was put on the British BBCs "Sound of 2018" list with the song "Leave A Light On". On the one hand, success is based on his abilities, but on the other hand, he is just a guy who simpy stands for what he's doing - one who does not need a medial glitter bubble to survive, but simply makes good music. It does not really sound surprising when he says, "I was interested in nothing else but music, but I was also not good at anything else." I had only three,s fours, and fives in my diploma. "Only in music I got a one plus. This is the story of my life.” His moment of awakening: Nine-year-old Tom accompanies his father to an AC/DC concert in Paris, which encourages him to teach himself guitar, drums, piano and bass, and soon he plays in several bands - on the London College of Contemporary Music he finally discovers his talent for singing. Influenced by his father's extensive record collection, the multi-instrumentalist has now heard everything that is rank and file. Based on Bob Marley, Ray Charles and The Police, he developed his own style between singer-songwriter, soul-voice, reggae-feeling, electronic sounds and hip-hop-beat. All this mixes in Walker's music to raw, yet extremely sensitive songs that unfold their full potential, especially live.
Dub FX 03.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz When Benjamin Stanford enters the stage, one might well ask oneself at the first moment, if there really is something to come. Because there is actually not much to be seen: there is a young man, a few electrical boxes with buttons and lots of cables, that's it. And that suits him perfectly, because for Stanford, this setup, which also includes a foot-pedal looping machine, is what Spiderman Peter Parker calls his spider suit. It turns him into Dub FX, one of the best representatives of the looping generation. The endless, electronically generated, sound loops enable him to build his music layer by layer – and with truly breathtaking results. He creates a hum, snapping, puffing, singing and turns it into a song that wafts out of the speakers with a lot of bass and combines into diverse sound scape of reggae, dub, hip-hop and drum'n'bass threads. With pressing the first key and the first beat blown out of his jaws, the singer, rapper, toaster and beat boxer develops into a one-man dub step orchestra, which shows what is possible at the interface of electronic effects devices and the human voice. The story of Benjamin Stanford, born in Melbourne in 1983, is the typical modern Cinderella story that can be found here and there in contemporary music history. For five years, the Australian earned a few cents and pennies as a one-man dub step orchestra in the shopping streets of the world. Quickly, the crowds he lured with his skills clogged busy pedestrian streets. Then a friend started posting videos of his shows on YouTube. And – what a surprise – Dub FX became a viral hit. Today, his clips have millions of clicks – his song "Love Someone" alone over 25 million. His performances fill large halls and festivals. But one thing is definitely different: Dub FX still does not care about the backing of a manager, label or promo agency. One way or another: When Dub FX gets into tune, the party starts.
kulturarena club im kassablanca
KID SIMIUS & KILNAMANA 03.08.2018 · 11:30 pm · Kassablanca Gleis 1 How fast you can make a name for yourself ... "The Spaniard with the sideburns" - that's how José Antonio García Soler aka Kid Simius likes to be called by the press. After all, the media always and almost desperately seek special attributes in order to distinguish one from the other in the sea of musical bubbles. Especially if these, just as Kid Simius, have settled in the shark tank Berlin, which is densely populated by well established musicians and those trying to reach such a status. To live here - a dream for the young Spaniard, who during a semester abroad in Oslo had met Chris Berndt from Berlin, manager of the rapper Marteria. So he decided to quickly rush to Granada to learn a little German and let mom and dad know that he intends to give up his psychology studies to become a professional musician. Soon after, José found himself with "nothing but a guitar and a Serrano ham under his arm" in the beautiful city of Berlin. He quickly became the house and yard DJ of hip-hop musician Marteria, played at big festivals and went on tour. In addition to commissioned work for Marsimoto, he also released two solo EPs in 2010 and 2012 ("Who The Fuck Is Kid Simius" and "El Classico"). Both are long gone - and for good reason. Kid Simius has managed to create his own style to stand out from a swirling trendy mass. He skilfully mixes dubstep and bass music elements, creates the surf'n'bass, combines flamenco guitars and house. On stage, he impresses as a one-man band thanks to his multitasking skills. Here he scurries around energetically with various instruments that he, in his humble opinion, always masters only to the extend his musical ideas require it. For one important thing he has learned from a concert of Lou Reed in Granada: "It's about fat songs and not about how you play them." His current album "Planet of the Simius" shows the ability to create such fat songs - including "The Flute Song", a remix with the legendary Paul Kalkbrenner and an absolute must-have!
STÜBAphilharmonie & Alin Coen Band 04.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz Butt on bucket, pot on lid, fist on the eye ... with this collaboration you could try many phrases familiar in Germany. One thing is for sure: everything really fits here. We are talking about the singer-songwriter Alin Coen and the STÜBAphilharmonie as well as the Kulturarena. Yes, also the Kulturarena, because sometimes it takes a well-meaning matchmaker to bring together two, who evidently perfectly harmonize - especially since both of them are anything but strangers in the Arena scene. Past year, for example, a meeting was unanimously initiated between the musician, who often worked solo or with her with three-headed band and the big orchestra. For what could be better than rediscovering what is already beloved and familiar? Alin Coen is familiar and loved especially for her intelligent lyrics and enchanting melodies, supported by her clear, soft-powerful and sometimes melancholic sounding voice. With this she creates an intimate poetic story cosmos - telling of loving and letting go, the little observations of everyday life, but also of some disturbing situations in this world. The Hamburg native, who in the meantime spent some time in Weimar to study environmental protection technology, has plenty of narrative material. She has released four albums since the band was founded in 2007. Coen, who grew up bilingually, sings both in English and sometimes in German. Now, together with the STÜBAphilharmonie, her clever folk-pop music songs will be accompanied by arrangements of symphonic depth. Founded 19 years ago in the Thuringian town of Stützerbach by young music enthusiasts, the ensemble is now known far beyond Thuringia. Especially with young fans of the Arena, the orchestra is well remembered because of its ingenious musical arrangement for puppet theater pieces. In addition to its classical orchestral repertoire, the adventurous STÜBA, who found its home in the Erfurt Zughafen, collaborated with artists and bands such as Clueso, Pentatones, Ulver or Anna Mateur. And finally in 2018 with Alin Coen.
ArenAkustik im Volksbad
Elif 07.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Volksbad Jena "Ben böyleyim – I am the way I am," Elif explains in a clear, soft voice on the first single of her new album "Doppelleben". After her debut "Under My Skin" in 2013, when she was only 21 years old, she worked on it for almost three years. It has become an album she developed with and grew up with – and an album that reveals so much about the young artist. Because in it, Elif directly and radically sings about her home, her childhood, with love and its problems. So far, so good, one may say, but with the additional information in mind that Elif is a German-Turkish artist, one develops a faint idea of what the singer-songwriter probably means with "double life": a life that was divided into an outside and an inside world, demanding a completely different Elif at home than the one to which the student had already developed in the everyday life of Berlin. In her early years she sings in the school choir, starts playing the guitar at the age of 13, hears the songs of Silbermond and Juli. Strong women fascinate her. "At some point I realized that I could no longer be who I am with the people dearest to me. That's why I had to break out, "says Elif in an interview. At the age of 16, her search for liberation leads her to a television casting show looking for pop stars. The manager of a major music label observes her and recognizes her talent. Elif sees her chance. She ends school at the eleventh grade, signs a record deal, wants to become an artist. These were her first steps into the pop business and a good decision, as she emphasizes today. After all, she had learned what she does NOT want. This includes performing on stage dance choreographies, sing in English and be patronized in her work. So today she musically packs her fine observations and insights into melancholic chansons, German pop and (yes, also) oriental melodies. Elif is just as she is.
Fiva x JRBB 08.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz “She is beautiful, she is intelligent, she is cute, she is eloquent, she can rap, she is constructive, she is optimistic, she is a wonderful Artist” – so far the comment of a YouTube fan. What a candy! The taste is definitely sweet and feels soo good. It maybe enjoyed by Munich-born Fiva, who is a rapper, poet, author, poetry slammer, radio/TV presenter and label boss who has been rapping through concert halls and clubs since the 1990s, and counts as one of the few constants in the German-speaking hip-hop Scene. By now, six albums were brought out by the Grimme Award winner, the newest is entitled "Do not be afraid of legends". It embeds Fiva's poetic lyrics in the seemingly infinite sound facets of the Jazzrausch Bigband – sometimes in the warm sound of a string quartet, sometimes in the hymnic splendor of the winds, sometimes in the fat groove of drums and bass. This is by no means Fiva's first collaboration. Already a few years ago she was traveling with the Phantom Orchestra and has licked blood: So she just grabbed in a new opulent arrangement this time with twenty enthusiastic musicians – including a big band, a string quartet, a DJ and an MC. They take the audience by the hand and lead it through Fiva's wonderful musical past to a new shared adventure. Here is where Fiva raps with her usual self-reflective and intelligent lyrics through the pop, jazz, soul and hip hop universe. However, in addition to all the beautiful accessories, one thing becomes clearly evident: Fiva’s heart and passion is language. She knows how to handle words so that they can hit the heart, go through the stomach, and yet arrive in the head. Fiva has never been the baggy pants-wearing rapper who rhymes with nasty beats. German hip-hop works with her without racist and sexist texts, without obscenity and violence – and without hatred or provocation. It's hardly surprising that she was already German Poetry Slam winner.
Nils Wülker 09.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz "Those who are claimed to be dead, live longer," they say. "Patient jazz" has been the subject of so many obituaries in its more than 100 years of history. Particularly collaborations with musicians from other genres have diluted it in the eyes of some critics - which is why they smell misleading labels or impostures at all time. But Nils Wülker is totally unaware of such reservations. On the contrary: the German musician and producer, who is decorated with the jazz echo, sees the essence and potential of jazz in its openness. According to his opinion it has begun as a melting pot, which has always absorbed all sorts of influences. According to Wülker, Jazz is also not a closed art form with sharp genre boundaries, but simply the center of his music, and for 16 years he has been exploring this ever deeper and more comprehensively. The germ of this approach was planted into Nils Wülker at the age of 16. At that time he came to the US as an exchange student - right in the middle of the acid jazz wave. He also got in contact with the music of Miles Davis - for him an awakening moment. Since completing his studies at the renowned Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin in 2002, he has published ten albums. Already his debut album was considered a bang: not only US stars such as Gene Calderazzo and Orlando le Fleming played "High Spirits", it also appeared as the first album of a German jazzer at Sony. But right after came the next blast: Wülker left the Major and founded his own label "Ear Treat" - which gave him the needed freedom. While in 2015 he sought the alliance with funk, soul and pop with his album "Up", in 2017 he opened another sound door with his latest album "On". Together with The Krauts and Marteria, he increasingly puts hip-hop into the focus, plays with synths and programming, turns the jazz through the Beatwolf without fear. According to Wülker, the result is "a dense, redeemed, fascinating and flickering soundtrack of our time." And: a strong sign that the jazz is still alive.
Von Wegen Lisbeth 10.08.2018 · 7:30 pm · Theatervorplatz · Ausverkauft Everyday life every day. Between getting up and going to bed and the attempt to forget the once beloved "Bitch", the virus database is updating, a dove dies through the U6 and the ICE once again is plagued by its failing the air conditioning. At the same time “Penny” is offering your dreams as an XXL package. No wonder, then, that most stars and starlets sing about the big things in life: the great love, the big argument, the great separation, the great reconciliation ... But the five boys of the indie-pop band "Von wegen Lisbeth" display an unusually different polarity. Somehow they start playing where others either listen up or do not even listen at all. But that's all a question of perspective anyway and that's probably how it is when you grow up in hip Berlin – the place, where creative young people pile up to dizzying sculptures and business people sell the inspiring air in bottles to the newcomers and tourists. It was in 2012 when in this atmosphere of unlimited opportunities singer/guitarist Matze, guitarist Doz, bassist Julian, synthesizer man Robert and drummer Julian founded the formation "Because of Lisbeth" – which was the name of Robert's grandma, but should actually only sound as meaningless as possible. All of them knew each other since elementary school, followed by the first, bumpy experiments on guitar and drums. With hardcore punk, they make their first musical steps from about 2005 until they find out that the girls prefer to dance to ska (and seem to do it in a more nude way) and decide to switch to synthetic game-boy 8-bit music before finally reaching at indie pop. After Von wegen Lisbeth had played in almost every club in their hometown, they moved out into the big, wide world. AnnenMayKantereit did not really need to persuade them to support her tour. It was at that time, when they probably got stuck in the memory of some sports arena visitors of 2015. But they remained an insider tip for a limited time only, because for quite some time now, the band is on tour with their debut album "Grande", a contract of a major label and their usual hand-made music.
Mighty Oaks 11.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz Ever heard of the psychologist Kurt Lewin and his field theory? No? Does not matter. Put in simple words, it can be summed up as follows: If a person has a specific need, he will focus all his energy on it until he can satisfy his desire. This means, a hungry person and a cook have a high probability of meeting one another. This – and only this – is probably the explanation why three music-hungry guys from Washington, South West England and Italy were drawn to each other like a magnet in Germany and founded a band in Berlin. The story itself is quickly told: The American Ian Hooper, who left his homeland of unlimited possibilities to study German and politics in Munich, first meets bassist Craig Saunders from Bridgewater, England during a traineeship in Hamburg and a little later the Italian Claudio Conzelli. All three are masters of their musical discipline and are drawn to each other by their love for handmade pop songs based on the great North American folk singers. The Mighty Oaks are born. The newly formed formation wins their first fans in 2010, as they spread their EP "Driftwood Seat" - recorded in the living room of Conzelli – via Soundcloud. Two years later, the successor "Just One Day" climbs from zero to the 17th place on the iTunes charts. Meanwhile, the globetrotters - how could it be otherwise - live in the Neukölln quarter of Berlin. From there they spread their three-part harmony singing, accompanied by their typical combination of drums, guitar and bass, supplemented by mandolin, tambourine and banjo. Their first album "Howl" is followed the eagerly awaited sequel "Dreamers". And again, the three meet the spirit of the times with their mix of folk, pop and singer/songwriter ballads about their love for nature, friendship and personal issues. Which brings us back to field theory because: Anyone looking for good music will also find it.
ArenAkustik im Volksbad
Elina Duni 14.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Volksbad Jena "We are all on the move, destined to be carried away by what we love," explains Elina Duni. The topic of departure is central to the life and music of the Albanian-Swiss artist. Her own, probably biggest break occurred in 1981. At that time Elina is ten years old and moves with her family from Albania to Switzerland. Since she was five years old, she sang at children's festivals as well as on Albanian national radio and television, learned the violin playing. The departure to Switzerland rips the girl out of her world. But the love of music remains. At the age of twelve, she learned classical piano playing at the Music Conservatory in Geneva. At age 18, she discovers the American jazz trumpet player Miles Davis and his legendary album "Kind of Blue" – a revelation: "That was the sound I loved. Modal Jazz has always driven me. Then I started to learn standards and so on, until I started my jazz studies at the University of the Arts in Bern, where I met Colin and we started this musical adventure.” Colin Vallon is also the one who suggested Elina Duni in 2004 to explore her musical roots more closely. For Duni this was anything but self evident. Albanian folk music and folklore was not exactly the musical spectrum with which she grew up. All too often it was used in Albania for propaganda purposes, from which intellectuals and their parents distanced themselves. But that does not stop her. Duni combines Albanian and Balkan folklore with traditional jazz pieces, creating a quartet project that allows her to combine two worlds of life and show the positive sides of the awakening. This is also the starting point of Elina Duni's new solo creation "Partir" - "Leaving": nine sketches accompanied by songs in nine languages. Carried by music and lyrics, we go from pain to joy. Accompanied by a guitar, a piano or sometimes a Daf, her voice achieves the miracle that makes this journey between the worlds unique.
DAARA J feat. Faada Freddy 15.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz Hip Hop is not just a genre! No, HipHop is a living organism. Like a creeping plant, it penetrated the musical ecosystem powerfully in the 1980s, where it developed optimally in the African-American ghettos of New York and has since then spread extensively in our urban spheres of life. The roots of this plant lie in the soil of the African continent. At lest that is what the pioneering African hip-hop band DAARA J. emphasizes again and again. In their internationally probably most successful song and album "Boomrang" they declare confidently: HipHop was born in Africa, grew up in the USA and now comes back to Africa. This cannot be dismissed. There is a long tradition in the practice of chant – derived from the Griots, the West African storytellers who underscored their wealth of narratives with various instruments. As inheritors of this culture are DAARA J feat. Freddy modern Griots, whose energetic hip-hop in dedicated texts transports concerns such as education, ecology and child protection. Rivalry and gangster platitudes are completely alien to them – not only in this aspect they are well ahead of their American counterparts. Instead, the hope for a better world is invoked with unflinching optimism. Thus, the roots of the Senegalese hip-hop plant weave between Africa and the rest of the world – between archaic sounds and James Brown's funky soul, Pink Floyd's psychedelic rock, American hip hop, Public Enemy and Bob Marley's reggae. In order for the socio-critical, political and spiritual content of their rhymes to arrive, the trio raps either in their native language Wolof, in English or in French. That is well accepted worldwide. Meanwhile, there are more than 20 years of band history behind DAARA J. Durint this time they played over 1000 concerts in Germany and abroad and released five albums. There is really power in the roots.
Curtis Harding 16.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz Everyone carries them with himself: the packages of his childhood. They contain a colorful hodgepodge of memories and impressions that we often place in the back corner of our emotional wardrobe as we step into adulthood. But some ingredients will determine our further life. This is also the case with Curtis Harding, whose childhood was strongly influenced by his singing mommy. According to his memory, she was singing almost everywhere: at home, in church and on the street. That rubbed off. The young Curtis himself sang in the gospel choir of his church in Michigan and played drums. As a teenager, he dealt with rap and hip-hop. As a young adult, he fell under the sweltering soul of his namesake Curtis Mayfield. First he worked as a background singer of multi-seller Cee-Lo Green and the hip-hop combo "Outkast", later he developed his own garage rock vision with musicians from the punk'n'roll band "Black Lips" until he finallysomehow stumbled into a solo career. Having grown up so diversely, it is no wonder that Curtis Harding today uses all the musical elements and artfully mixes them into something new. This musical stew can best be described as a contemporary retro soul, from which you can virtually taste Harding's musical role models of the 60s and early 70s such as Serge Gainsbourg, Al Green, the Rolling Stones, Jimmi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye and Lee Moses. Doing so, Harding does not reinvent the wheel. But he lets it roll uniquely well. That this is the case, is probably also due to his collaboration with the ingenious producers Sam Cohen and Danger Mouse, with whom Curtis Harding recorded his current, second album. That his childhood still plays a role, is shown in its title "Face your Fear". It was inspired by a nightmare that Harding repeatedly dreamed as a child and that he could overcome only in adulthood. The next step is done.
Pam Pam Ida 17.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz "Dreams are but shadows," is what they say and they are usually quickly forgotten. Some dreams, however, stay in our mind for a while. Among them the classics: suddenly being naked, falling from a bridge or being able to fly. Only very seldom the following types of dreams occur to us: We are being followed by a crazy guru, who follows us while mantra-like repeating the words "Pam Pam Ida". Drummer Julian Menz had just this dream, which was immediately chosen by the members as a perfect name for their band. The humor behind it and the fact that the band sings in their native language Bavarian would cause one to expect a funny Bavarian style band - something like a proper Bavarian Thigh Knocker. But far from it. The six guys around band leader Andi Eckert cast a truly melancholic optimistic view of the world. Their musical themes and intelligent lyrics keep revolving around the subject of life itself: The not always easy moments of love – excursions into doomsday moods that sometimes orbit like vultures around our heads. It is about the loss of loved ones and xenophobia, also in connection with the German refugee issue. The band, which is heavily armed with a variety of instruments and thanks to its opulent live cast can even enhance their music with the string quartet "Silberfischen" alters between great instrumental bombast and sudden minimalism. Sometimes the violin or cello sound like deliberately set accents, while at the next moment powerful wind soundtracks sound and underpin the expressive vocal capabilities of Eckert. In doing so, Pam Pam Ida make free use of the musical buffet of Georg Ringsgwandl, Paul McCartney and Bilderbuch. Sometimes you seem to hear the 80s, sometimes you are moved to 2017, often the classification does not work at all, neither does it have to. The young project is well on its way to becoming an absolute insider tip.
Dresen | Prahl & Band mit Alexander Scheer & Filmpremiere „Gundermann“ 18.08.2018 · 7:00 pm · Theatervorplatz · Ausverkauft! The clock is ticking. In only one year, the fall of the wall will be celebrated for the 30th time. This will also cause the commemorative carousel to turn everywhere. In recurring reliability, it presents Kohl reports, banana dreams, "freedom" songs, Trabbi stories, Gerhard Gundermann biographies. Stop, stop, please who? Gerhard Gundermann – the singing excavator driver, coal buddy, songwriter, rock poet. Only few are probably aware of the East German artist. One of them is the successful director and screenwriter Andreas Dresen – east German as well, born in Gera, grew up in Schwerin. Another Gundermann fan: Axel Prahl – actor, west German, Tatort inspector. In 2008, the two friends got together for a tribute concert to celebrate their musical idol. At this time, both already knew each other for a few years of joint film projects. At some point back then, during the filming, they both discovered their enjoyment of playing music together, their love for German-speaking music, Rio Reiser, Gisbert zu Knyphausen and Gundi Gundermann – a man who was always too contradictory to make it big. Who loved the GDR, who supported the Stasi in his interest and yet got in conflict with it repeatedly. The one who could have turned his music into a profession, but instead continued driving an excavator in the Lausitz mining area. And who, with his earthy-spun, warm and harsh songs, attracted thousands to his concerts, released four albums, wrote numerous lyrics for the band Silly and their successful "February" album, and appeared in the opening act of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez at their GDR Guest performances. The comrade, rebel, family man and songwriter who died in 1998 at the age of only 43. At the Kulturarena, Dresen brings this Gerhard Gundermann back to memory – together with braid and huge GDR box-office glasses. He will do so in concert and the subsequent Gundermann film premiere – with band and exciting guests, who will not be mentioned and therefore not be revealed at this point.
The Excitements 19.08.2018 · 8:00 pm · Theatervorplatz It is a good old tradition in the culture arena: At the end, there will be a lot of celebration, sweating and, above all, dancing. Some People, who do not really associate ecstatic dancing with their own selves, may already be twitching inwardly. But they can rest assured: in the crowd nobody will notice it anyway. After all, a band like The Excitements, which is actually an invitation to dance – or move your butt, to call it as it is, has become truly rare. Their music – a blend of early soul, R & B and 50s gospel – is like a resounding thunder that truly touches everyone. No wonder that this band surrounding front woman Koko Jean Davis is considered – nomen est omen – one of the hottest stage acts on this side of the Atlantic. Born in Mozambique and raised in the USA, Koko Jean Davis evidently found her true vocation in Barcelona, home of the Blackcelona Soul and Funk movement. Inspired by the music of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and last but not least the early James Brown, the exquisite voice of soul together with the Excitements created a successful update of the classic R & B and soul of the black America of the 60s. Not withholding praises after praises, the press also comes up with comparisons to the Grammy nominated Sharon Jones and sees the stage power and vocal power of a young Tina Turner on stage. But also the six guys, who perfectly tailor their sound costume to her liking, deserve thunderous applause for their live qualities. Rough and pulsing, they underpin the exceptional presence of their charismatic front woman with technically perfect deep funk and rock'n'roll generated by lead and rhythm guitar, alto and baritone saxophone as well as bass and drums. In this way, true soul musicians present classics by Little Richard, Barbara Stephens or Nathaniel Mayer as well as explosive own compositions, which let you experience first-hand: sometimes too much is not enough.