OVB Online, 02. April 2019

50. Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen

Töging. – The 50th Burghausen International Jazz Week has experienced another highlight, characterized by South American music, with the performance of old master Al Di Meola and the Latin-Jazz Sinfónica with Ramón Valle.

A double concert that lasted until long after midnight and elicited standing ovations from the audience not just at the end. The start was made by old master Al Di Meola, who already gave a guest performance in Burghausen for the third time. The 65-year-old guitarist, who has made a name for himself over decades with his mixture of jazz fusion and Latin music and has gained an enthusiastic following, came to Salzach with his current chamber music “Opus & More” project – and fired the enthusiasm of the audience.

Al Di Meola, his partners Fausto Beccalossi (accordion) and Kemuel Roig (piano) as well as the Hungarian string quartet of Gabor Csonka, Gergo Kuklis (both violins), Gyula Benk (viola) and Andras Sturcz (cello) took the audience on a dense, sometimes lyrical, sometimes expressive, but always virtuoso, intense and exciting journey into musical worlds: journeys that took inspiration from a music festival in Morocco, a beautiful chord at five o'clock in the morning and homage to old friends.

The Italian-American on the guitar was the center of an ingenious trio that complemented, inspired, and brought out the best of each other while leaving each musician enough room to express his own talent. The expressive Fausto Beccalossi on the accordion was especially brilliant here. The experience became more and more exciting as the concert progressed: The Double Concerto by Astor Piazzolla was the first grandiose highlight. It was followed by many others which got the audience up off their chairs. The encores were “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles and a trio interpretation of Al Di Meloa's hit “Mediterranean Sundance”. A brilliant ending for a grandiose first part.

The Latin-Jazz Sinfónica with Ramón Valle then provided a different kind of musical experience. Formally also coming from Latin music, the 66 musicians on stage created their own powerful, interesting and intense interpretation, which pointed significantly more to contemporary sound and arrangement worlds.

The composer and percussionist Julia Diedrich originally had the idea for this project and was quickly able to fire the enthusiasm of the violinist, composer and arranger Christoph König for it. With the “Neue Philharmonie” from Berlin conducted by Andreas Schulz, they then found the right partners: the Latin-Jazz Sinfónica was born.

In Burghausen, the Cuban pianist Ramón Valle joined the formation with his trio, which includes Omar Rodriguez Calvo (bass) and Jamie Peet (drums). Together they gave the audience a colorful journey through the world of experience inspired by Latin American music: from more classical pieces and interpretations such as "Guantanamera" and "To Brenda with Love" to works by Valle and all the way to new, modern pieces such as "Lupo”, “Meran” and “Little Waltz in Five" composed by Julia Diedrich and Christoph König. It was a journey into diverse, challenging, but also exciting sound worlds.

And so an exciting evening again ended well after midnight with standing ovations, an evening that ranged from tradition to modernity. It was fun, exciting, enabled new experiences and simply enraptured the audience. An evening that, coming from tradition, pointed to the future. What could be better for a 50th anniversary?

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