STEVE BAKER & JULIAN DAWSON
Harmonica maestro Steve Baker and singer/songwriter Julian Dawson have known each other since the late 1970s. Though they have rarely worked together “officially”, a powerful personal chemistry and mutual love of great songs ensure that their duo performances are memorable occasions which bring out the best in both. In November 2017 they gave the closing concert at the World Harmonica Festival in Trossingen, Germany, to a rapturous reception from a packed crowd delighted to hear the harmonica in the role of tasteful accompaniment after a week of frenetic virtuosity.
Long term, few musicians succeed in making a living from the harmonica. Even fewer have been able to play such an influential role in the development of their instrument as Steve Baker has done during the past four decades. Born and raised in London, England, he now lives near Hamburg, Germany and has been a full time professional since 1975. His work as a live and studio musician, groundbreaking author of instructional books, teacher and workshop instructor has inspired and influenced a generation of harmonica players in many different countries. He has worked as a consultant to harmonica manufacturer Hohner since 1987 and was instrumental in the re-establishment of the legendary Marine Band series as a flagship brand through his role in the development of successful new models including the Marine Band Deluxe, Crossover and Thunderbird.
Both in Europe and beyond, Baker is regarded as one of those musicians who have revitalized the instrument, and as one of its leading exponents. Characterised by subtle, rhythmically accented phrasing, his unique sound draws on the blues harmonica tradition and combines it with elements from country, folk, funk, soul and jazz to create an exciting and individual fusion, with an emotional intensity which finds its way straight to the hearts of his listeners.
After a lengthy career as a sideman working with artists including Tony Sheridan, Chris Jones or European blues legend Abi Wallenstein, Steve finally recorded his first album as singer, songwriter and bandleader in 2017. “Perfect Getaway” features 14 original compositions and was released on Timezone Records in February 2018 (TZ1473).
Singer, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player Julian Dawson has been performing on stage for the past 40 years and has written literally hundreds of songs in the course of a career which has led him to work with artists including Little Feat, Can, Plainsong, Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, German rock legends BAP, Gerry Rafferty, Ex Byrds cult figure Gene Parsons and many more. He has released over 20 albums under his own name and enjoyed chart success in the 1990s with the hit single “How Can I Sleep Without You?” as well as touring both solo and with a band in Britain, continental Europe and the United States, where many of his productions were recorded.
As well as recording and producing his own material, Dawson recently also produced two solo CDs for BAP frontman Wolfgang Niedecken. “Niedecken in New Orleans” was recorded there in summer 2017 and features some of the Crescent City’s finest musicians. On release in November 2017 it went straight into the German album charts. His own most recent release “Living Good” (2015) was produced in Nashville by songwriter legend Dan Penn and Julian recently also put out a retrospective compilation entitled “Life And Soul”, a collection of his songs from the years 1982 – 1995.
A sensitive and soulful singer with a huge repertoire of classic songs in addition to his own compositions, Dawson is a consumate entertainer renowned for his humorous stage performances, interspersing his songs with anecdotes which can be both funny and touching without becoming trite. Armed only with a guitar and his voice, he soon wins over every audience.
Together, Baker and Dawson present a relaxed show which moves effortlessly between folk, blues, rock and soul and includes original compositions from both men as well as a wide-ranging selection of covers from over five decades of popular music. Spontaneous and varied entertainment from two old hands whose infectious enjoyment of playing together is impossible to ignore.
The “Harmonica-Quartett Austria” is the one and only professionally performing harmonica quartet in Austria. It was founded from a former Trio in 1993.The four young musicians from Upper-Austria in the unique constellation of four different harmonicas (lead-, bass- and chord harmonica), performing with professional electronic equipment, are a real rare attraction.
Gerald Seyr (chromatic harmonica),
Johann Ortner (chromatic and diatonic harmonica),
Andrea Fränzel (bass harmonica),
Thomas Stockhammer (chord harmonica, harmonetta)
Their large repertoire consists of music for the young and the old, from classical masterpieces (Johann Strauss, G. Rossini, W.A. Mozart, etc.) international folkloristic music, “Alpin” Austrian folk music to Dixieland, film soundtracks, country and western music.
The “Harmonica-Quartett Austria” has done very successful music tours to several European countries (Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, France, Italy, Israel and Estonia) and won the second place at the Harmonica World-Championship in Detroit/USA. They were a special guest of the concert tour to Japan and participated in the frame-program of the Alpine Ski World-Championships in Morioka.
Many radio- and television performances in Austria lead to a huge popularity also in their home country.
The group can offer two hour concert evenings with classical music up to modern pieces.
This group can be a sensational supplement for your event!
CD & MC “Grenzenlos”
CD & MC “Impressionen”
CD “I feel good!”
“We must welcome Jens Bunge to the growing ranks of chromatic harmonica players in jazz.(…) Jens has a round tone and technique, supported by musicianship. Good luck, the road is not easy but you’ve got the conviction and the equipment.” (Jean “Toots” Thielemans)
Jens Bunge was born September 24, 1963. At the age of 18, he began to teach himself to play the chromatic harmonica. Influenced by the recordings of Toots Thielemans, he soon found his passion for jazz.
In the mid 80’s he began to perform with local big bands and jazz groups, receiving more and more acknowledgement for his melodic improvisation style.
In the following years, Jens Bunge played with the German Jazz Youth Orchestra “BuJazzO” (conducted by Peter Herbolzheimer) and jazz musicians such as Art Farmer, Barbara Dennerlein, Emil Mangelsdorff, Judy Roberts and Patricia Barber. Concert tours and guest performances brought him to Spain, Italy, Prague, Krakow, Rio de Janeiro, Chicago, Bangkok, Shanghai and Wellington/New Zealand.
As a “Master of Harmonica” he was invited to perform and conduct jazz workshops at the World Harmonica Festivals in Trossingen/Germany, the Asia Pacific Harmonica Festivals in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Merate Musica in Italy and the SPAH Convention in St. Louis/USA.
Alternating with Jamey Aebersold, he was a long time regular writer for the jazz column of the magazine “The Harmonica Educator”.
By now, Jens Bunge has recorded eight albums under his own name and appears as a guest on recordings of Peter Lehel („Ballads“), Chantal (“Live At The Cavern”, “At Abbey Road”, DVD “Chantal Meets Tony Sheridan”), Ruth Ling (“Simple Love Song”), Rick Smith (“The Liminal Man”), Kai Tse (“Slowness”), Jeremy Monteiro (“Christmas In Our Hearts”,“Gong Xi”, “Brazilian Dreams”), Melissa Tham (“Falling In Love Again”) and many other musicians around the world.