Denmark Tour

Romania Tour


China Tour (24th September – 5th October)


Greece Tour (2nd – 9th July – Junior-Band & -Voices)

Canada Tour (30th Mai – 6th June)


Lithuania Tour (7th – 12th September)


Kicks & Sticks On Tour – New York (13th – 20th September)

Inspirations from the capital of jazz
In New York, jazz is available around the clock, from the very best musicians and most innovative bands, in the most famous clubs. Kicks & Sticks were part of it for a short time as cultural ambassadors of the state of Hesse.

The band performed with guest soloist Christopher Klassen at the German Consulate General New York, the ShapeShifter Club and Flushing Town Hall. The main focus of the trip was the cultural exchange between the State Youth Jazz Orchestra Hesse and students of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York City. Workshops and a joint concert with musicians from the college, one of the most renowned jazz training centers in the world.

For the first time, Wolfgang Diefenbach presented the orchestra on a foreign stage with pieces dedicated to the German language and, for example, let Joachim Ringelnatz have his musical say in a composition by Nicolai Thärichen. The audience was very enthusiastic, which is a real honor, especially in New York and with so many jazz concerts taking place every day.


South Africa-Tour (21st September – 3rd October)

Kicks & Sticks on tour with the vocal group Kicks & Sticks Voices in South Africa

The tour came about as the result of an initiative of Lainey Trequesser, the chairwoman of the non-profit organisation Association Musiquelaine. Performances in Johannesburg in Alexandra Township (outreach concert with the Alexandra Youth Fieldband), in the Tshwane School of Music and on both festival days in Joy of Music 2014 with the Mzansi Golden Voices. Other artists who took part in the festival included great jazz stars from all over the world, such as Dianne Reeves, Ann Hampton Callaway, Christian Scott, Gregory Porter, Billy Ocean in addition to some of South Africa’s best jazz artists.

In Cape Town, cooperation with the CMI (Cape Music Institute), youngbloodafrica (performance in the youngblood gallery) and the Delft Community Centre; workshops with showcase concert in Delft Township; concluding concert in the Grand West Casino.

Brenda Fassie’s charts, specially rehearsed for this tour, and a brand-new arrangement of the South African national anthem by the American star jazz trumpeter and big-band arranger Mike Mossman were appreciated by a very enthusiastic audience. The South African singer was one of the voices of the disenfranchised black majority of her country during the apartheid regime. Mossman’s sign of sincere reverence to the South African culture was met by standing ovations at every performance.

In Cape Town, Jonathan Butler, native of South Africa and internationally famous singer and songwriter for Stevie Wonder, was so impressed by one of Kicks & Sticks‚ performances that he spontaneously joined in with the band with two of his pieces during the gala closing concert in the Grand West Casino. 


Cyprus and Greece Tour (27th June – 3rd July)

Kicks & Sticks on tour in Cyprus and Greece with guest soloist Jasmine Klewinghaus. Kicks & Sticks live and open-air in the Olive Grove, Delikipos/Nicosia and in Plateia Paramana, Thermi/Thessaloniki.

The tour came about as a result of an invitation from Björn Luley, the director of the Goethe-Institut in Nicosia and erstwhile director of the Goethe-Institut in Damascus and Kyoto, as a direct result of the hugely successful tours to Japan in 2005 and the Middle East in 2009. Mr Luley was fortunately able to gain the cooperation of the Pharos Arts Foundation, one of the most important Cypriot art organisations. In Greece, the Goethe-Institut cooperated with D.E.P.P.A. Thermi to stage our performances.

Workshops and performances with diverse Cypriot and Greek musicians.

Jasmine Klewinghaus had prepared a popular Cypriot folksong „To Jasmin“, which she sang in Greek. Moritz Wesp, a member of the big-band, not only wrote the arrangement but also played the trombone solo. The audience showed its gratitude during and after this song with enthusiastic applause and shouts of joy, culminating in thunderous applause at the end of the concert.


Brasil-Tour (28th September–4th October)

Kicks & Sticks gave outstandingly successfully performances at the Curitiba Jazz Meeting in the Centro Cultural Teatro Guaíra, one of South America’s most famous concert halls.

The invitation to this, one of the most important jazz festivals in South America, was the response to an idea born by the world-famous Brazilian jazz guitarist Nelson Faria. Faria was so impressed by the highly professional interpretation of his very demanding piece „Dindi“ on the band’s CD Corazón Latino Especial, that he invited the band to join him at the Curitiba Jazz Meeting to play „Dindi“ and more of his original compositions and arrangements. The pieces were rehearsed in Brazil under the direction of Wolfgang Diefenbach and Nelson Faria. Another highlight: The rhythm group was augmented by Vina Lacerda and Priscila Graciano, two top-class Brazilian percussionists and drummers.

The programme of Latin-American numbers with Nelson Faria’s improvisations and jazz guitar chord soloing, combined with the young German jazz musicians‘ enthusiastic performances, brought forth copious applause with standing ovations.


China-Tour (18th February–1st March)

Kicks & Sticks on tour in China with concerts in the mega-cities Beijing, Tianjin, Wuhan and Wuxi and also in Changsha, the capital city of the province of Hunan (twinned with the German state of Hessen).

Hugely successful concerts in houses such as the Forbidden City Concert Hall, Tianjin Concert Hall, Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall, Wuxi Great Hall of the People and Hunan Grand Theatre, with guest soloist Josee Koning and the jazz vocal ensemble Kicks & Sticks Voices.

Lots of applause and standing ovations at all concerts for the very demanding solos and very varied vocal interpretations, performed by various combinations of singers accompanied by the big-band, and also for the specially rehearsed items in Chinese.


Middle East-Tour (1st–16th July)

Kicks & Sticks on tour in the Middle East with guest soloist Elke Diepenbeck: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian Areas, with concerts in Byblos, Aleppo, Damascus, Amman and Bethlehem.

Appearances in major festivals: Byblos International Festival, Lebanon; „Jazz Lives in Syria“, Syria; and Amman Summer Festival, Jordan.

Concerts in the Arabic Cultural Center (Sabea Bahrat), Aleppo and in the Bethlehem University, West Bank.

Workshops and performances with Syrian musicians and international jazz musicians in Damascus.

Recordings of concerts and interviews were broadcast in Radio Syria Al Ghad, Al Dounia TV and MBC Channel.

Workshop sessions with music students in Ramallah.

Recordings of concerts and interviews were broadcast in Deutschland Radio Kultur.


Vietnam and South Korea-Tour (8th–25th September)

Kicks & Sticks on tour in Vietnam and South Korea with guest soloist Jule Unterspann.

Official contributions representing the German State of Hessen at the ceremonial opening of the Vietnamese-German University and at the Hessen exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City.

Featured in TV programme RTL.

Performances with the best-known Vietnamese saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan in the jazz club SAXn’art, and on the premises of the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) Villa, the residence of the German General Consulate.

The orchestra was rewarded with frenetic applause after every performance. Highlights of the tour: concerts in the jazz club Moon Glow in Seoul with the star Korean jazz pianist Shin Kwan-Woong; in the Aram opera house; in the HyoJa Concert Hall in Pohang with the Korean jazz singers BMK and Bobby Kim; and in the GuemSan Hall, Guemsan, with Woongsan, the Korean vocalist of the year 2008.


Lithuania-Tour (13th–17th July)

Performance at the XIVth international Klaipéda Castle Jazz Festival in conjunction with the German Culture Festival in Klaipéda, Lithuania and in the Vandenis Club in Palanga with guest soloist Jule Unterspann.

The orchestra played in the evening programme on the main stage, alongside top-rank musicians such as Randy Crawford, Joe Sample and Rigmor Gustafsson.

Frenetic applause for the orchestra, for the singer and for the bandleader!

France-Tour (1st–4th October)

Official receptions on the occasion of the Day of German Unity in the Palais de la Bourse, Bordeaux and in the Capitol, Toulouse.


Romania-Tour (23rd–29th November)

Kicks & Sticks on tour with guest soloist Ken Norris in Romania. Concerts in Bucharest, Vâlcea, Sibiu and Craiova.



Official representation of the German state of Hessen during the high-class cultural programme Germany in Japan 2005–2006 with overwhelming concert events in Aichi, Tokyo, Kusatsu, Osaka and Kyoto.

Musical opening of the German cultural programme of the World Expo 2005 at World Expo 2005, Aichi.

Main act on the occasion of the German week at Roppongi Hills, Tokyo. Joint stage appearances with the Japanese jazz star Dr. Kazutoki Umezu.

Big-band jazz concert „LJJO meets SJS“ as part of the programme of the German Year in Japan at the Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu.

Concert together with the Winds Jazz Orchestra of Osaka College of Music at the fantastic Opera House.

Official start of the German Year in Kyoto at the futuristic Kyoto Eki with 2,500 enthusiastic viewers.



Stage appearances at some of the most important jazz festivals worldwide in Winnipeg, Medicine Hat, Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Moose Jaw and Montreal.

Joint concerts with world stars including Canadian jazz singer Dee Daniels, star bass player Steve Kirby, and Joey DeFrancesco, one of the best organists of the current jazz scene worldwide.

Highlights of the tour 
Unforgettable concert at the first-class Vancouver International Jazz Festival (Gastown Steamclock Stage) with the Canadian jazz singer Dee Daniels.

The LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen received a lot of attention on the main open-air stage at the world’s biggest jazz festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival.


The LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen was Germany’s cultural ambassador for the Year of German culture in Russia, with outstanding concerts in Engels and Saratov.

Spectacular concert together with the local jazz club’s own big-band in Engels as part of the Jazzfestival Wolga 2004.

The audiences in the jam-packed concert halls paid tribute to the LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen with frenetic applause.



France tour with concerts in the Mairie du Toulouse, one of the world’s most beautiful council chambers, and in the impressive 17th-century cloisters Cour Mably, Bordeaux.

The audience was completely enthusiastic due to the professional performance of the youth orchestra.



Guest performance in Hessen’s Polish partner region Wielkopolska.

An outstanding highlight for the orchestra in 2002.

LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen with star soloist Madeline Bell as the highlight of the big band festival in Nowy Tomyśl: terrific event with thundering applause.


South America-Tour

The tour led through Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Bolivia with a total of 16 concerts.

Highlights with standing ovations: San Juan, Mendoza, Montevideo, Canoas, Belo Horizonte, La Paz, São Paolo, Valparaíso and Santiago.

Two TV recordings with nationwide broadcasting: 
Uruguay — Jazzfestival at the Radisson Hotel — excellent realisation of the first release of two compositions by Beledo.

Other festival participants: Diana Krall, Marcus Miller.
São Paolo — Three broadcasts of the Serviço Social do Comércio (SESC).
Three television interviews with Wolfgang Diefenbach.
Four radio interviews — broadcasting of considerable parts of the CD Touch Of Lips.



Concerts in Sinaia, Bucharest, Craiova and Vâlcea.

Live TV production in the big Bucharest studio with Madeline Bell (broadcast on Saturday, 1998-11-21 20:00 in TV Româna’s first programme).

Stage appearance in Craiova together with the philharmonic orchestra Oltenia — Jazz at the Philharmonic with two orchestras — standing ovations.


South-East Asia-Tour

The tour led through Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Highlight in Singapore: Concert at the botanical garden „Concerts in the Park“ with a large audience.

Further outstanding concerts at the Town Hall, Saigon — one of the most euphoric concerts in the history of the LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen — and a matinee at the Regent Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.



Concerts in Budapest (hall of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music and council chamber) together with the Dohnányi Sinfony Orchestra Budapest and guest vocalist Sylvia Vrethammar.

Stage appearances at the jazz events in Szeged and Miskolc.



Australian tour performances were given in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Portland.

Both the band’s attendance as part of the Sydney Domain Park Jazz Festival before an audience of 80,000 (guest soloist: Jiggs Whigham) and the performance at the Montsalvat Jazz Festival in Melbourne with Nat Adderley and Don Burrows as soloists were unique experiences. The LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen was the only foreign band to play during the festival.

The unforgettable concerts were broadcast by Australian TV all over the continent and could also be heard on the radio in stereo.


East Africa-Tour

With the support of the German Music Council, the LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen travelled to Madagascar, Mauritius, Kenya, Rwanda, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Highlights of the tour: 
Reception given by Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, concert at Rosehill Theatre in Mauritius, TV production for Zambian Television and the final concert at the Cairo Opera House.

The joint performance of the LandesJugendJazzOrchester Hessen with a native African drum orchestra in Zimbabwe and Madagascar was also a great experience.