Zawinul to Receive the jazzahead!-Škoda-Award

The Zawinul Syndicate’s Spring tour begins on March 8 at the jazzahead! conference and festival, where Joe will be presented with the jazzahead!-Škoda-Award. From the jazzahead! press release:

After successfully introducing the German Jazz elite last year, jazzahead! presents some of the most interesting European artists from Thursday, March 8th until Sunday, March 11th, 2007. Musicians from six countries will come together in the Congress Centre Bremen with backing from “Culture 2000”, the support programme of the European Commission, and a profile of the new Jazz scene in Europe will be heard. Along with new tones, there will also be world-famous stars to experience: Joe Zawinul will be distinguished on March 8th with the jazzahead!-Škoda-Award.

“In the previous years, the question was how independent is European Jazz in relation to the American model; now it’s hardly asked,” explains Professor Ul-rich Beckerhoff, artistic director of jazzahead!. “In the meantime, young musicians have – with fascinating ease and ability – mixed the various styles of Jazz with Rock, Pop, Classic or Ethno. And actually they have succeeded with it – not only to capture the experts, but also the hearts of the fans.”

One of the style-shaping fathers of this ability will be honoured with the jazzahead!-Škoda-Award: Joe Zawinul. He was born in Vienna in 1932 and, in the late 1950s, he had to decide to make a detour to the USA so he could become a star. As a scholarship holder at the renowned “Berklee College of Music”, he honed his skills as a pianist, keyboarder, composer and arranger so successfully that, after a short time, he worked with legends such as Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis. World fame arrived for Zawinul with Weather Report and their hit “Birdland”, which he composed in 1977. This mixture of modern Jazz with Rock and Pop elements cleared the way for a generation change. Later the border-crosser provoked the tradition-keepers again and, with the Joe Zawinul Syndicate, he also mixed World Music and Dance Grooves into his compositions. In doing so, he always follows his very simple yet very profound ideal: “Music, which is not dorky.” After several Grammies and his own postage stamp, he now receives the jazzahead!-Škoda-Award 2007. “For his special services for Jazz,” says Hans Peter Schneider, the managing director of the MGH Messe- und Ausstellungsgesellschaft Hansa GmbH, which arranged jazzahead!. “The event will be crowned with a following concert from the Joe Zawinul Syndicate and the Startalk.”

I’ve updated the Tour Dates page with the latest touring information I have received. I also understand the Paul Shigihara, guitarist for the WDR Big Band, will substitute for Alegre Corréa on March 8.

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