2010 TAICHUNG JAZZ FESTIVAL SPOTLIGHT
Klangbezirk brings a cappella joy to Taichung
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Andy Tsao
Those who associate jazz performances with the saxophone, trumpet, piano and a spectrum of other instruments often overlook the most profound musical instrument of all--the human vocal cords. Fortunately, such will not be the case at this year's Taichung Jazz Festival. Among the special foreign guest performers will be a German quartet known as Klangbezirk, whose delightfully creative range of a cappella melodies promise to move and inspire local listeners.
Klangbezirk (whose name means "District of Sound") was founded in 2005 and is made up of four photogenic singers who all met while working together with the Federal German Jazz Orchestra. Berliner Tanya Pannier is joined by Kathrin Scheer from Cologne, Juan Garcia from Bremen and Matthias Knoche from Leipzig. In the relatively short time that this quartet has been together, they've toured extensively across the world, earning praise and awards wherever they perform. This has included two previous visits to Taiwan for the 2008 Taiwan International Contemporary A Cappella Festival, and the 2007 Taiwan International Chorale Festival, where they won first place. Other first-place awards have included the jazz category at Austria's 2006 Vokaltotal, and 2007's prestigious Jugend Kulturell competition.
Their repertoire of jazz, pop and rock songs combines a tight, impeccable harmonization with a relaxing, refreshing spontaneity that instantly pulls audiences in. Beyond the vocals, a large part of this appeal is their charming, unassuming stage presence, as they sing, sometimes improvise, their way through an English and German variety of both well-known and brand-new arrangements and compositions like "Shower The People", "The Nearness of You", "I Want You Back" and "Take 5".
To round out what promises to be a enormous spectrum of traditional and modern jazz at this year's Taichung Jazz Festival, don't miss out on this a cappella gem of a performance.
The 2010 Taichung Jazz Festival will take place from Saturday, October 16 to Sunday, October 24 at three stages along the JingGuo Boulevard parkway and on Civic Square (People's Park). For more Chinese and English information about performances, artists and other events, go to the official festival website at www.taichungjazzfestival2010.com.tw and/or read the October edition of Compass Magazine.