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The 105 Lenz-Kubach-Johnson Jazz Trio: 22 Nov. at Gemeinschaftshaus Gropiusstadt

collageAs cozy and welcoming as their 16 November performance at the Kellergalerie was, though the “love” was great, seating was limited. Upcoming on Friday, 22 November, however, there is a larger opportunity for jazz lovers to see the trio in a venue where their music can truly echo!

Located in the Neukölln district of Berlin, Germany, Gemeinschaftshaus Gropiusstadt is a center where cultural development is advocated and encouraged, and the music of The 105 would certainly qualify at culturally enriching and appealing to people from all backgrounds, ethnicities and countries.

Entry begins at 7:30pm and concert begins at 8:00pm.Tickets are 10€ at the door, 8€ in advance, and they usually go fast! Infos und Tickets: 030 90239-1416 oder www@tickets-gemeinschaftshaus.de.

From their website http://kultur-neukoelln.de/gemeinschaftshaus-gropiusstadt-programm.php

From their website

For more information please visit their website: http://kultur-neukoelln.de/gemeinschaftshaus-gropiusstadt-programm-veranstaltung-1766.php

About past performances:

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Music/Event Review: “The 105 Lenz-Kubach-Johnson Jazz Trio at Luisabad Bibliothek”

Bibliothek Ceiling by Red Haircrow

Bibliothek Ceiling by Red Haircrow

In some ways, as you might imagine, Berlin is a city of contrasts. You have staid Germans, whether young or old, going about their lives and business, primarily interacting with those who look and act like them, besides the Germans who are eclectic, whether young or old, who reach out to and enjoy peoples of all kinds: different cultures, different languages, differences of thoughts and behaviors (among other things). Not knocking the former at all, you have those who can combine and/or appreciate their own culture and music, and those of others. And of course, you have a huge multi-cultural mix of people otherwise.

You also have a distinct slice of ageism here. You see it is advertisements for employees or business partners, start-ups, and projects of all kinds: “We are a hip young team searching for other young people to______.” Fill in the blank, as you will. But the primary attitude prevails in that set that only young people, and usually those under 25 and no older than 30 at most (!) cannot be knowledgeable to trends, or be hip, cool, smart, funny or anything else. If you are older than 30? You are to be dismissed, ignored or blinked at owlishly.

Whatever your ethnicity, your background, your age, or how you felt at the moment…for I came to this venue straight from work and was rather worn-looking, and felt out of place in the crowd of, by majority, “proper” Germans, stylishly dressed, the kind that, unless forced to, never look at or acknowledge you at all if you are not like themselves: The jazz Trio at Luisabad Bibilothek were vivid in a moment outside of time.

The music played by the trio of Uli Lenz (piano), Gerhard Kubach (Bass), and Zam Johnson (Drums) soon took me beyond b, but oundaries, most especially because most of the others didn’t interest me at all. Art transcended comparative age, and the trio were hip, cool and happening, even if the younger crowd have their new slangs and phrases to describe the same.

Mural by Red Haircrow

Mural by Red Haircrow

It was an undeniably beautiful venue, an intimate venue, with probably no  more than seventy-five chairs (at the most) fanned out for the pieces of the trio: piano, bass and drums. Playing jazz favorites like “Morning Star” and “I Cover the Waterfront,” I recognized almost all the music, and on row three, aisle seat, I had a very good view of Zam and the other two players.  The performance was superlative with the musicians clearly displaying, without words, their love for their art and craft, as well as the players who’d gone before them. If you had the “soul,” you could feel the music in the different way than politely nodding.

Seated next to me, on the left, were two older gentleman who obviously “felt” the music.  One was obviously a former drummer whose staccato finger and hand movements on the top of his brown-trousered thighs showed his knowledge of the pieces being played, shadowing Zam’s alternatively slow, hypnotic movements in one set… contrasting to the high energy moves in another. On the old drummer’s farther side was a gentleman with nails carefully trimmed and rounded on long, eloquent fingers which almost perfectly followed Uli Lenz’s playing.

You don’t have to be 20 to be cool or happening. Just because you’re over 3o doesn’t mean you have no appeal, energy or can’t truly “feel the love” anymore. Even if “they” say at Der Spiegel magazine that Leipzig is the New Berlin for hipsters, and that all the young artsy, German musicians are headed that way? I say let them go, if you can’t appreciate the vibrant scene that is still here or if only those who are young are to be considered as worthy.

Sure, I would have felt more comfortable in some basement or backstreet lounge with lowlight, a drink in one hand and perhaps a cigarette in the other, among people willing to look you in the eye and acknowledge you as human just like themselves, but these three guys played their hearts, souls and fingers out, and rocked the venue. They transcended the venue. Lovers of classic jazz mixed with jazzed contemporary? Don’t miss them next time. Check http://105lenzkubachjohnson.com/ and Facebook pages for next.

The Three by Red Haircrow

The Three by Red Haircrow

 

*All photos were taken by and are copyright to Red Haircrow.

 

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Music/Event Review -“Making Beautiful Music Together”: The 105LenzKubachJohnson Jazz Trio at Martinique Bar

Jazz Players by Red Haircrow

Jazz Players by Red Haircrow

For events like this, it’s always better to get there early, and on March 2nd I was glad I did, for although Martinique Bar at Monumentenstraße 29 in Berlin is housed in a series of interconnected rooms, in the main one: it was virtually and quickly standing room only.

With a moderately sized yet loyal following: Uli Lenz (piano), Gerhard Kubach (DoubleBass), and Zam Johnson (Drums), the members of the jazz trio, mingled with the guests, seeking out old friends and welcoming newcomers, in a venue I would call both intimate and open; directed in tone but slightly chaotic as staff hurried back and forth to resupply beer and wine and dish out appetizers.

There is a special dynamic about this trio, from its charismatic leader to its flamboyantly friendly drummer and the quieter yet no less intense bass player. To be a performer, a pre-requisite is being comfortable in the public eye, the centerpiece of a crowd but there’s a big difference discerning fans can sense in those who crave the spotlight and those who are willing to be there to simply “share the love.”

At Play by Red Haircrow

At Play by Red Haircrow

And it’s love you can feel in every stroke of the sticks, ever strum on the strings, every brush and tap of the keys. You can feel the love of the music, the special rhythm and anti-rhythm that is jazz, and how the guys go to their instruments with a curious mixture of joy, anticipation and pride.

Their enthusiasm becomes your enthusiasm, and soon the house was jumping. Even when the tenants upstairs complained of the noise, Zam gave a particularly strong flurry on the drum and a decisive clash on a cymbal that was happily applauded, and he was backed up by Uli and Kubi who only laughed.

When the performance was finished, you could see a kind of reluctance in the players, an apology and disappointment at having to stop for the moment, to let the spirit they had invoked settle down until the next time. And there will be a next time….

Truly giving meaning to the phrase, “For the love of it….” The Jazz Trio of Lenz-Kubach-Johnson, will be playing at the WABE, Danzigerstr. 101 on Friday, April 12th. Entry at 19.00, concert begins: 20.00. Tickets: 15€ / 10€, please call to  make reservations as seating is limited 030 902953850.

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Like them on Facebook or Visit their website http://105lenzkubachjohnson.com/.

From their website.

From their website.

About

105 Lenz Kubach Johnson: Uli Lenz – piano, Kubi Kubach – doublebass, Zam Johnson – drums. Since 2007 the trio is playing around the world.
Biography

Uli has taken the style of all the old masters of piano and has developed a unique personal style that deals with tradition and the future of modern jazz.

Kubis is one of the few bassists to come to a music situation and read the music down and make it his own.

Zam is about the swing and the groove.

*All photos were taken by and are copyright to Red Haircrow.

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