A group with Cuban flair, and European sensibility

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A group with Cuban flair, and European sensibility

Germany is not often associated with swinging hips and seductive rhythms.
Nevertheless, it’s home to three-fifths of Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion.
This musical organization got its start when Tobias Forster, Kilian Forster and Tim Hahn travelled to Havana and linked up with two Cuban percussionists, Alexis Herrera Estevez and Elio Rodriquez Luis. These musicians from radically different backgrounds were able to come up with a sound that blends classical music, elements of swing, Latin jazz and an endless multiplicity of Cuban rhythms.
And so classical music, a touch of jazz, and plenty of samba and salsa rhythms can be expected when the Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion take the stage for performances in Suwon and Seoul next week.
A German newspaper described their music as a “new synergetic bombshell, combining the spontaneity of jazz with the richness of classic.”
Korean music critic Choi Gyu-yong had this to say: “A profound and mutual understanding of classical and jazz created something completely new.”
Forster plays contrabass and is a bass soloist in the Dresden Philharmonic. He founded the Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra of Dresden, for which he is arranger and conductor.
Tobias Forster is the arranger for the Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra of Dresden, and plays piano for the Klazz Brothers. Tim Hahn is a founding member of the European Jazz Collective as well as drummer in MerQuir, a European Queen tribute band.
Both Estevez and Luis have been members of the Havana Ensemble, a well-known Latin jazz ensemble in Cuba.
Estevez will play the timbales and Luis will play the conga drum.
Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion enjoy followings in Europe and Asia; this is the group’s second visit to Korea, following a stop in April to commemorate the release of their albums “Classic Meets Cuba” and “Jazz Meets Cuba.”
The two-hour concert, reflecting the themes of the two albums, is divided into a classical-influenced segment and a jazz-influenced one, both with Cuban influences.
The program includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Beethoven’s “Fur Elise,” music from Bizet’s “Carmen,” Schubert, Bach, Brahms and George Gershwin.
Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion received the Echo Klassic award in Germany last year in the Classics Without Borders category and the Jazz Award for the “Jazz Meets Cuba” album.
The ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Gyeonggi Arts Center in Suwon, and again at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the COEX Auditorium in southern Seoul.
Ticket prices range from 20,000 won ($13) to 50,000 won for the concert in Suwon, and from 20,000 won to 80,000 won for the COEX Auditorium concert.
For ticket information, call 1588-7890 or visit the Web site www.classicmeetscuba.co.kr.

by Limb Jae-un
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