Highlights 2014

11th and 12th June: Kultursommer North Hessen
Burgberghalle, Battenberg/Eder
Schloss Berlepsch, Witzenhausen
Kicks & Sticks live on stage, together with the vibrant vocal talents of the Kicks & Sticks Voices

13th June: Hessentag in Bensheim


Kicks & Sticks live in an open-air concert at the GGEW Magic Lake, one of the most attractive locations of the “Hessentag”. Together with the great voices of guest soloist Dorretta Carter and the vocal group Kicks & Sticks Voices, the band together with their band-leader Wolfgang Diefenbach present a top-class charismatic James Brown programme. The British singer-star of soul and funk makes sparks fly over the Magic Lake!

22nd June: Jazz im Hof, Wiesbaden

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Courtyard of the Hessen Ministry for Science and Art, Wiesbaden

The popular series of open-air concerts in Wiesbaden “Jazz im Hof” (“Jazz in the Courtyard”) offers a fine opportunity for band-leader Wolfgang Diefenbach to present his ensembles. The LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen (Hessen State Youth Jazz Orchestra) – Kicks & Sticks, the Junior Band and the two vocal ensembles Kicks & Sticks Voices and Junior Voices perform a varied programme with magnificent swing classics from the Great American Songbook, smooth samba ballads and Latin jazz numbers. The top-drawer arrangements sound fresh and youthful, but also highly professional and full of character, with impressive improvisations – foot-tapping good!

31st August: Jazzgarten, Museumsuferfest, Frankfurt
LJJOH Jazzgarten 2010-42

The Jazz Garden of the historic Villa Metzler, Museum for Applied Art, Frankfurt

Every year, the “Jazz Garden” in the beautiful park of the classical Villa Metzler (Museum for Applied Art) is a regular part of the Frankfurt Museum Festival on the banks of the River Main. It features a varied programme of jazz music in a very special atmosphere: under the shade of centuries-old trees, jazz fans are treated to very best big-band sound.

13th September: Junior-Band plays in the Maximal Kulturprogramm in Rodgau

The culture promoters Maximal stage an unusual big-band concert in Rodgau, featuring the Junior Band of the LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen (Hessen State Youth Jazz Orchestra). Under the leadership of Dr. Holger Fröhlich, Hessen’s youngest and most promising jazz musicians play swing classics, funk, South American and Afro-Cuban rhythms in the assembly hall of the Georg-Büchner school.

Kicks & Sticks on Tour: South Africa from 21st September to 3rd October

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The band perform on tour in South Africa with their own vocal group Kicks & Sticks Voices and also together with outstanding South African vocalists.

Kicks & Sticks live at Joy of Jazz – Freedom Edition 2014 in Johannesburg – 20 Years of Democracy, Sandton Convention Centre featuring Mzanzi Golden Voices. Kicks & Sticks show own titles of their wide repertoire with overwhelming delight in playing, highest precision and stunning improvisations. Together with the South African soloists, the German singers and musicians present a special dedication to the late Brenda Fassie. The mercurial Fassie was the first musician of her generation to sing publicly about the then jailed Nelson Mandela in a stirring song that poignantly captures those dark days of apartheid fifty years ago when the people’s president was taken away by security men. Musical director of this outstanding project is Wolfgang Diefenbach. The German big-band leader and voice coach will create a virtuoso programme for the two stage appearances on September 26th and 27th.

Kicks & Sticks played in Townships and gave workshops and several concerts in Cape Town.

The tour was initiated by l’Association Musiquelaine, a non-profit organisation founded by Lainey Trequesser with the goal of establishing the basis for a better education and promotion of young music students in South Africa.

For more tour impressions, please see:  http://www.musiquelaine.fr/ > Projects 2014 > Kicks & Sticks

22nd–23rd November: Workshop and Concert with the Big Band of the Prälat-Diehl-Schule, Groß-Gerau

The musicians of the LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen (Hessen State Youth Jazz Orchestra) hold a two-day workshop session at the Prälat-Diehl grammar school in Groß-Gerau, coaching the musicians of the school’s own big-band. At the conclusion of the session, a concert is held on 23rd November in the school’s assembly hall, with the school’s own big-band under the leadership of Knut Eckhardt in the first half and Kicks & Sticks in the second half.

23rd December: Christmas Moments with Friends in the Kurhaus, Wiesbaden
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For the Christmas concert that has already become a tradition, band-leader Wolfgang Diefenbach brings out all his young musicians: Kicks & Sticks, the Junior Band and the two vocal ensembles. They perform music in a wide variety of styles in a breathtaking big-band Christmas programme. Christmas Moments with Friends adds a fresh sparkle, by turns symphonic, swinging, jazzy, funky and gospel, to your favourite Christmas classic tunes.

Handel’s Hallelujah from Messiah surprises with a funky, soulful arrangement by Quincy Jones, Beethoven’s Joyful, Joyful takes on a gospel-groovy flavour and Glenn Miller’s version of Jingle Bells suddenly turns into salsa and swing. Popular American standards such as Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Santa Claus is comin’ to town and I’ll be home for Christmas are also part of the programme. There are quieter moments in a fascinating setting of Rilke’s poem Advent and the intimate a-cappella vocal Away in a Manger.