Quotes and Opinions

Excellent references for the young and talented musicians, provided by spectacular soloists.

Michael Abene

„This is a high level of so-called student playing. These guys are serious.“

Darryl Pitt, Manager of Dianne Reeves

After the general rehearsal in the night “before” the concert: “Wolfgang, I received a phone call from Dianne a short time ago for which I owe you a debt of gratitude. Rarely does Dianne inform me she was moved to tears as a result of the preparations made on the part anyone with whom she’s collaborating…and you succeeded in providing such a sensation. I want to thank you so much for the work you’ve done to inspire such an experience for my friend…and actually, not only on Dianne’s behalf, but on behalf of everyone who benefits as a result of your commitment to excellence. As I said, it’s all too rare to receive this sort of phone call. Dianne could not stop singing the praises of all involved, and I am so very, very grateful”.

Manny Albam

Comment on the recordings of his exclusive arrangements on the CD Kicks and Sticks: “I thought the results were just great, I wish some of our youth groups here had the professionalism of your group. I feel in a sense that I might have underwritten a bit for them.”

Charlie Mariano

Excerpt from the book Tears of Sound by Lothar Lewien (Hannibal publishing house): “I felt reminded of the lads in the summer camps, when I recently worked with the Hessian youth orchestra for three days. Absolutely amazing, one cannot believe, how good they are. And no one is older than twenty-four years, as with twenty-five, they have to quit the band. Fantastic chaps.”

Bill Ramsey

“… whereas I could notice, that Kicks & Sticks already at that time — after only one workshop — had a nearly professional standard.”

Don Burrows and Nat Adderley

“This is a great band.” “Yes, really a great band, a great concert and how nice that we are able to play together again.”

Randy Brecker

After hearing a recording of Kicks & Sticks: “Is this really a youth band?!?”

Jiggs Whigham

“… Not only the professional level of the ensemble, but also the striking merits of its different soloists qualify Kicks & Sticks to rank among the best youth jazz orchestras in Germany.”

John Clayton

“What a good band! The talent I hear there makes me smile. If the guys do their homework they’ll have no problem being world class musicians.”

Bob Florence

Comment on the CD Magic Morning: “Please congratulate everyone and tell them what a fine job they did.”

Jimmie Smith

After the concert in Tokyo: “One of the best young big-bands I ever heard.”

Herb Geller

After one workshop session: “They are eager to learn, well disciplined and talented so that it is not only more fun than actual work but it is also a learning process for my communication skills and pleasing to hear the results. Wolfgang deserves the credit for his ability to mold these young musicians into a cohesive and fine sounding phase.”

Steve Gray

Comment on the CD Happy Birthday: “The CD is wonderful. The concert where it was recorded must have been a fantastic experience. Please would you give my congratulations to your musicians and tell them it was an honour for me to have my music so beautifully performed. I am sure you are very proud of them! I am very impressed with the dynamic shading, color and sheer accuracy. They can produce on the one side and then they just let fly with the power. Very impressive.”

Bob Mintzer

After his solo part at the gala concert and the live recording: “I had a wonderful time working with Wolfgang and Kicks & Sticks. The band plays on such a high level for young musicians, and they have a beautiful attitude towards the music and each other. Not only do they bring a fresh approach to the music, but they also swing like crazy! I’ll play with this band any time. Wolfgang is providing a valuable service for up and coming musicians to gain the experience of playing in a polished ensemble, and getting to hang out with the multitude of great musicians he invites to guest with the band. Keep it up! Jazz is in good hands.”

Ack van Rooyen

Kicks & Sticks is a bunch of talented young musicians who play with the right conception and with roots in the tradition. Keep on on keepin’ on.”

Madeline Bell

“It is always a great pleasure for me to perform with Kicks & Sticks. We have travelled many miles together and the musicians’ enthusiasm is wonderful. These young men and women inspire me. I hope they will continue with ‘Live’ music. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the ‘Happy Birthday’ concert, and what a night that was. The atmosphere was electric. I call them ‘my children’ and Wolfgang Diefenbach is my brother. If this sounds like we’re a family … then, I’ve made my point.”

Thomas Cremer

“First of all it is impressive to see, how quickly the young musicians have become a really good functioning team.”

Silvia Droste

“… I have so much fun working with this orchestra, that also I will not abandon them.”

Axel Jungbluth

“… the musicians’ enormous pleasure in studying finally led to an output that is remarkable in its musicality and technical perfection.”