Archive for March, 2008

The Zawinul Legacy Project and Other Tributes

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

With Joe’s passing last September, there have been a number of one-off tribute concerts commemorating Joe’s contributions to the music world. In January, Vince Mendoza conducted the Metropole Orchestra in Amsterdam, featuring Peter Erskine, Alex Acuña, Victor Bailey, Amit Chatterjee and Jim Beard. Plans call for a repeat performance at this summer’s North Sea Jazz Festival. The Jazzinec International Jazz&Blues and Funky Festival, currently underway in Trutnov City, Czechoslovakia, is dedicated to Joe’s memory, and the festival finale will be a tribute to Joe performed by Victor Bailey and Amit Chatterjee.

One of the more interesting tributes is that being undertaken by the UK band Curfew, which plans to take its Zawinul Legacy project on the road this summer. You can get a sneak peek by viewing their YouTube video.

The band’s keyboardist, Martin Lawrie, told me, “I have been a lifelong fan of Joe’s here in the UK, and now that he is gone, we have to keep the music alive. Whilst I’ve always included some of Joe tunes in my fusion band’s set, I would like to do a more specific tribute. I particularly want to keep the music in the style of the Syndicate, as Joe always looked forward and the Syndicate was the current showcase for his genius and I think, the most exciting and enjoyable (and I include 7 Weather Report concerts that I went to when I say that!).”

The band is planning a set that includes the classics “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and “Birdland,” as well as gems from the Weather Report and Zawinul Syndicate books. Zawinul fans in the UK and Europe should keep an eye out for the Zawinul Legacy this summer.