Jazz Ahead Meets Dracula

The Heinz von Hermann Quintet on tour in Romania

Jazz Ahead in Malaysia
Jazz Ahead Meets Dracula
Jazz Ahead in Mexico
The South-East Asia tour
The Vietnam tour

The Heinz von Hermann Quintet toured Transylvania last October. It was a 13 hour drive from Austria in a bus provided by Renault. First stop Sibiu—previously called Hermannstadt (no relation!)—in Romania. Jazz Ahead - click to enlarge

The quintet played that same evening, the occasion being the final concert of the Sibiu Jazz Festival. On this tour Heinz took with him Erich Bachträgl, drums; Erwin Schmidt, piano; Uli Langthaler, bass and Judy Niemack, vocals. The Sibiu Jazz Festival has been enormously popular in the east for 40 years, and was, as usual, completely sold out.

Jazz Ahead had been invited to the festival by the Austrian Embassy in Bucharest, who organised three other concerts for the quintet, plus a Charity Workshop in the German-speaking Brukenthal-Lyceum.

One of the concerts took place in the Transylvania Nightclub before an invited audience—they were warmed up by a genuine Romanian quartet before the main event. The group went on next day to appear in yet another festival  in the Theater des “ArCub” in Bucharest. This concert was transmitted live on television, and included an outstanding band from Moldavia.

The final concert was at a Jazz-Brunch in the Athene Palace Hilton Hotel in Bucharest—then followed another long, 19 hour bus journey back to Vienna. This took place on Heinz’s 65th birthday, a big occasion for him, and he really Jazz Ahead - click to enlargecouldn’t understand why nobody made any mention of it. He found out why when they arrived the next evening in Vienna, because there was a big surprise party waiting for him, organised by his wife Katrin. Seventy musicians turned up to celebrate with him (many more had been invited—Katrin had put practically the whole of the European musical world on alert for this party, including myself), and they jammed until the early hours. Next day it was back to Klagenfurt, then Salzberg in the Austrotel, where the tour ended. It had been a tour of long journeys, many warm, human memories, great jazz and a lot of fun playing it.

Did they really meet Count Dracula? They weren’t saying…



Tour dates:

13. April 02 EU-Jazzfestival CNA Mexico City
14. April 02 Konzert Cuernavaca, Huitepec, Hacienda de Cortés
15. April 02 Konzert Morelia,Instituto Michoacano de Cultura
16. April 02 Workshop Escuela de Superior de Musica + Conzert
17. April 02 Workshop
18. April 02 Konzert Museo Amparo Puebla
19. April 02 Mexican Institute Radio Broadcast