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Musical World

Klazz Brothers

  • Instrumental Ensemble
  • Jazz


Klazz Brothers: With the exceptional CUBA PERCUSSION duo the ensemble recorded their first album "Classic meets Cuba". Rooted in very different musical traditions the musicians found a new language beyond common auditive experience. In the large concerthalls and international festivals they have become a magnet for audiences. Hollywood has put them into the soundtracks of its great films and recently they were nominated for the "Best of Classical Crossover" Grammy.
Latin, swing, salsa, son, jazz, classic- apparently irreconcilable?
The Klazzbrothers navigate around the stylistic border zone - their home ground, with great ease. And yet their jazzy interpretations of classical pieces keep close to the original. Often it is only a matter of small shifts of rhythmic accent and - as if of its own accord - the theme of a sonata is transformed into a bold bossa nova rhythm. Or the original fundamental bass line is retained and expressive rich jazz chords are superimposed. Trademark of their music is however a confrontation of complex forms, structures and harmonies - a further development and creation of new, innovative sounds, preservation of the 'old' within the 'new'.
It is naturally to the credit of the Klazzbrothers that they write their own arrangements for their jazz-hungry interpretations and that they always like to include their own compositions in the programme. After all, complex structures are created in the course of their style of handling musical material, structures which require mastery in the casual, exalted, expressive style of jazz.
The music-making moment is always in the foreground. That is what brings the Klazzbrothers close to other musicians. In joint projects, for example with the Dresden Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra, founded by the Klazz Brother Kilian Forster, where the common features of jazz and classic are extended in symphonic complexity. Or with well-known soloists, such as the Klezmer clarinettist Giora Feidman, King of the Gypsy Violin, Roby Lakatos or the exceptional Czech musician, Iva Bitova.
Kilian Forster
Kilian Forster is solo bassist with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra. While studying at the Musical Academy of Munich, he was also member of the Festival Orchestra of Schleswig-Holstein as well as of the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, working frequently with Leonard Bernstein. Kilian Forster was member of the Herbert von Karajan Foundation of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, then substitute solo bassist at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, before becoming solo bassist with the Dresden Philharmonic. Solo and orchestra assignments brought him into many of the world's music capitals with conductors such as: L. Bernstein, S. Ozawa, S. Celibidache and R. Muti.
Chamber music and solo work also took him all over Germany and abroad. Kilian Forster has been playing musical instruments in the two styles of classic and jazz, since his early childhood. His versatility finds expression in his activities as classical soloist, chamber and orchestra musician, jazz musician in duo to big band, as arranger, composer and conductor. His is founder of the Dresden Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra.
David Gazarov
From his childhood on, jazz music played an important role for the Armenian pianist and composer David Gazarov. Gazarov was taught in classical music by the Schostakovitch student Elmira Nazirova at the conservatory of Baku. Because of the expulsion of all Armenians from Baku, in 1989 he went to Moscow and finally studied at the well-known Gnessin State Musical College.

He won the first prize in the “First Russian Jazz Competition 1990”, the second prize in the “International Competition for Jazz Piano” and played together with his fellow student Aziza Mustafa Zadeh at the big jazz festivals in Moscow, St.-Peterburg, Tbilisi and Jerevan.

In 1991, David Gazarov was discovered by a German label and moved to Munich. He regularly gives concerts with international jazz stars as Chuck Israels, Bill Goodwin, Alvin Queen, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Charlie Antolini, Jimmy Woode, Jiggs Whigham, Keith Copeland and Martin Drew. Of his numerous recordings particularly “Mad Clowns Dream“ and “Black Vision“ captivate with mostly self-composed pieces as well as the crossover highlight “Don Giovanni Bad Boy“ with Beatrice Richter or “Lush Life“ with Karl Heinz Steffens.

As jazz and classical pianist he played at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Jazz Open Stuttgart as well as at the Wager Festival in Bayreuth and the International Chamber Music Festival in Jerusalem staged by Daniel Barenboim. Together with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the Grand Orchestra of Graz Gazarov performed jazz, crossover, classical music and his own works.

A new era is about to start with David Gazarov joining the Klazz Brothers as a pianist.
Tim Hahn
Tim Hahn studied playing drums in Dresden, Rotterdam and Los Angeles. He took part in numerous master classes and workshops, such as at the Drummers Collective in New York and the Musician Institute in Los Angeles. He is in demand as a session and studio drummer and has participated in many CD productions by well-known artists. Concert tours with his own ensembles took him to Austria, Switzerland, the USA and China. Apart form numerous television appearances with artists like José Carreras, Andrea Bocelli and Roger Whittacker, Tim Hahn is also founding member of the European Jazz Collective as well as drummer in Europe's most famous Queen tribute band, MerQury
Alexis Herrera Estevez
Alexis Herrera Estevez was born in Guantánamo, home of the Cuban soneros, began to play percussion at the age of 8, took lessons at the music school and made such rapid progress that he soon gave lessons there himself, also playing in the city's concert orchestra. Alexis Herrera Estevez gave concerts with many different jazz and salsa bands, before joining the Havana Ensemble in 1997, one of the best and most innovative Latin Jazz ensembles of Cuba. He was able to distinguish himself with his extraordinary talent as a timbalist with the Havana Ensemble. He simply astonishes the audience with his spectacular feeling for rhythm and his explosive style of playing. After a concert, Ralph Irrizary gave Alexis his own set of timbales as a present, a token of his admiration. He gave concerts with Tito Puente, Chuchu Valdez and Arturo Sandoval, he has made recordings with Ketama, Luis Enrique, Ana Belen and was invited by the legendary guitarist of the Buena Vista Social Club, Compay Segundo.
Elio Rodriguez Luis
Elio Rodriguez Luis was born in Camagüey, has been playing congas since his earliest childhood, already performing with diverse salsa and descarga bands during his days at school. He moved to the capital city Havana in the 90s. Elio Rodriguez Luis played with some of the most well-known bands of the Cuban music scene (Charanga Latina, Rumbavana and Octava Pesadilla), perfecting his knowledge of a whole assortment of styles of Cuban and international music. He too has been member of the Havana Ensemble since 1997, an excellent conga player particularly famous for his vigorous sound and his fascinating drive. Tours have taken him to New York, Miami, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Peru and France.
The CD with the Havana Ensemble (Mambomania with famous mambos of the 50s) was particularly acclaimed in specialist publications on account of the powerful percussion group (with Elio Rodriguez Luis and Alexis Herrera Estevez).