Klazz Brothers jazz up Mozart with Cuban salsa

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Klazz Brothers jazz up Mozart with Cuban salsa

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The Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion, a group that combines sounds from three continents, are coming to Korea to hold a concert at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
This is their third visit, and this time they will play new compositions from “Mozart Meets Cuba,” which will be released next year to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birthday in 2006.
The Klazz Brothers, a German trio of bassist Kilian Forster, pianist Tobias Forster and drummer Tim Hahn, met Cuban timbale player Alexis Herrera Estevez and conga player Elio Rodriguez Luis in Havana in 2000. When the Klazz Brothers listened to the two Cuban percussionists, they were so impressed that they invited them to Germany to record an album together. Since then, the two groups have toured together several times. Mr. Estevez and Mr. Luis have lived in Germany for one and half years already.
Just ahead of their Korean show next week, the Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion recently released a new album only for the Korea market titled, “This is Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion.” Some of the music is from their previous three albums and some pieces are new. One of new works is “Spring in Hometown,” a Korean song that the group arranged for jazz and augmented with Cuban colors while featuring Korean singer Jeon So-young.
“Actually, we’ve never met Ms. Jeon,” Kilian Forster said in a phone interview with the JoongAng Daily. It was recorded “over the ocean.” The Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion received the original composition, arranged it and sent their recording to Korea, where Ms. Jeon added her vocal track. Ms. Jeon is scheduled to join the group on stage at next week’s concert.
“After playing ‘Arirang’ [a Korean folk song] at our last concert in Korea, we found that the audience loved that. So, we thought it would be good to include a Korean song in the new album.” At first they thought of recording “Arirang,” but they decided it has been covered ad nauseum, so they chose to try something new.
“I’d love to play more Asian music,” said Mr. Forster. He added that one day he wants to make an album consisting of one song from each Asian country.
When composing, the Klazz Brothers first adapt classical music for a trio and then play it in another style ― usually jazz, salsa or cha-cha-cha. When playing with the Cuban duo, the group plays a lot of different styles after considering many different ideas.
When asked what set they would play this time, Mr. Forster said, “I don’t know. Usually, we choose the music spontaneously.”


by Park Sung-ha

Tickets cost from 30,000 won ($29) to 70,000 won, and are available at www.ticketlink.co.kr and ticket.interpark.com. For more information, call (02) 751-9607~9610.
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