FESTIVAL ROUND-UP/ PHOTOS: Bingen Swingt! 2015



Hildegard lernt fliegen at the Binger Bühne

Bingen Swingt! 2015
(Bingen-am-Rhein. 26-28 June 2015. Festival Round-Up and photos - All Rights Reserved -by Ralf Dombrowski)


The Rhine town of Bingen celebrated 20 years of "Bingen Swingt!" and struck lucky this year: the dark clouds that had emptied themselves over Mainz, never quite made it as far as the river Nahe. The result was that this open air festival - it has just one indoor stage in a club - the Binger Bühne - made it through to the end virtually rain-free.

China Moses


The programme was an eclectic mix. There were the acts who knew how to entertain, such as Roger Cicero, Jasmin Tabatabai and China Moses. They made their impact with showbiz style and big gestures, China Moses in particular, with her young band, built her show towards a rousing soul-jazz climax. Others, such as Emil Mangelsdorff played dependable jazz from the tradition. There were fledgling bands, such as Jugend Jazzt and the Boehringer Ingelheim Big Band, and there were the more seasoned outfits like the NDR Big Band working away at their familiar, extensive coal-face.


Christof Lauer


There were sounds for dancing, and for linking arms and swaying in time... (zum Schunkeln). There was also modern, engaging, innovative music. I heard the young guitarist and blues bard Jesper Munk, detached, serene, in his own world; there was Michael Sagmeister who had captured and absorbed the best of Wes Montgomery, and saxophonist Christof Lauer, who proved in his Trio - as he always does - that he is one of the greats when it comes to conjuring with the abstract. Another saxophonist Nicole Johänntgen showed her worth as a skilled and assertive newcomer.

Nicole Johänntgen

But right out in front of the pack were the sextet Hildegard lernt fliegen, around the Swiss vocalist Andreas Schaerer. They are a bunch of oddballs, but they offer complexity and the art of association. They may go deliberately mad, but their collective humour is not just planned, it is also, and on many levels, extremely funny, and just the right thing for a festival in the recently canonized St. Hildegard's home town.

Bingen Swingt website

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