Musica 2014 has opened new frontiers through a partnership with the Zimbabwe-German Society to bring in a wider variety of music and culture that will see a German band, “Feindrehstar”, perform at this year’s festival. Feindrehstar will share the stage with Jam Signal, a jazz band that was formed by former Prince Edward students in a one-off show at the Zimbabwe-German society Pavilion in Harare on Friday October 24.
Renowned for their live gigs, Feindrehstar play danceable and eclectic “Krautclub” mix of club and world music.
The band that has a busy tour schedule will be playing in Africa for the first time at Musica 2014.
“The finest moment at a concert is when you get the feeling that there is a shared energy between the audience and the band, and it all comes from the beat, the shared groove,” says drummer Friedemann Ziepert.
The seven members of Feindrehstar, all of whom hail from the city of Jena in Thuringia, are a self-styled live band and play at a wide range of venues – whether right up close to the audience in clubs or at open-air festivals.
“It’s pretty simple,” says Ziepert, we want people to dance and we want to have a good time together. They play an intricately mixed bag of different styles and their songs carry elements of jazz, funk, hip -hop, Afrobeat and world music on electronic samples of everything from house to techno and they keep jamming away till the various elements dovetail.
“We’re a pretty big ensemble, we’ve heard lots of different kinds of music, and that’s how the influences come together for our music,” says Ziepert.
The band has been playing together for about seven years with the same line-up: Trumpeter Kalle Mille, saxophonist Johannes Haschke, DJ Thomas Schläfer, bassist Boris Nielsen, drummers Krishan Zeigner and Friedemann Ziepert, and keyboardist Lars Mäurer.
Feindrehstar released their first album, “Vulgarian Nights”, in 2010 and this will be followed by “Love & Hoppiness”, which is set for release in later this year.
“We live in three different cities, and when you’re such a big ensemble, it simply takes a little longer,” says Ziepert, explaining why it has taken them years to get back to the studio, adding that the tracks have to be rearranged for studio recordings.
He said, “In a group conceived as a live band, it is not that easy to transpose that onto a studio album, which is a different kind of energy and a special challenge.”
Ziepert is delighted that the band succeeded in winning over three guest vocalists from various continents to sing on the new album: Ebo Taylor from Ghana, the Croatian Tina Keserovic and Dave Aju from San Francisco.
The band was upbeat about their first Africa tour and was looking forward to opening new frontiers in the experience.
“We are really looking forward to it, after all, that is where many elements of our music come from,” says Ziepert, for whom the Africa tour is also something of an experiment.
There are many differences between individual countries. So what does that mean for us when we play there with a sound that has roots in African styles of music? How will it go down?”
Musica 2014 presents a variety of musical genres and influences including folk, jazz, ethno music, R‘n’B, Rock, Afro-pop, rock and fusion.
The festival was made possible through the support of its generous partners and sponsors.
These include FBC Bank, Salini Costruttori, Freight World, Ethiopian Airlines, Meikles Hotel, Progressive Insurance Brokers, Sontine Travel, the Zimbabwe German Society, Econet Wireless, MedLog (Private Limited), Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Just Doors, Peroni, Only Italian and Fiat.