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UNIQUE MOMENTS
JOE ZAWINUL - THE ART OF CELEBRATING YOUR BIRTHDAY
 

What is the best way to celebrate your birthday, when you are a celebrity in Jazz? When we mused about this question with Jazz-legend Joe Zawinul, the plan for his 70th birthday in July 2002 became clear very quickly: Joe would want to visit his home town Vienna and he would himself give a concert on that occasion!

A remarkable carreer
Joe has a remarkable carreer to look back at: from humble beginnings of a youth in pre-war Vienna to first ties with the legendary Jazz scene of New York City in the 1960-ies to a leading and formative role in Miles Davies' Band - for whom he wrote pieces like "In a silent way" - and an ongoing endeavour of musical innovation in World-Fusion-Jazz with his own bands "Weather Report" and then "Zawinul Syndicate" up to the day.

The best setting
The best setting for such a special night in Joe Zawinul's honour was evident - the Town Hall of Vienna, offering a wonderful courtyard, an island of relaxation and atmosphere in the heart of the city. The neo-gothic ambience of the Town Hall adds to the flair of the space and up-to-date facilities guarantee the comfort of both artists and their audience.

Joe Zawinul (c: W. Gonaus)
     
  Joe ZawinulJ. Zawinul & S. KabongoJ. Zawinul & F. ThomTh. KlestilJ. Zawinul & M. Häupl
     
Joe Zawinul (c: W. Gonaus)

The audience was quite special
Well, in Joe's case the audience was quite special: it included the President of Austria, the late Thomas Klestil, who had been friends with Joe Zawinul since their childhood days spent together in Vienna. The reunion of the two men moved everyone present at this very special occasion. The Mayor of Vienna, Michael Häupl, both music lover and host at this location came to honour Joe onstage.

The artist thanked all his guests and his huge audience from all walks of live with an outstanding solo performance and then concert of the "Zawinul Syndicate", featuring the remarkable vocalist Sabine Kabongo. Joe pointed out later that night, that no other location and no other setting than the Jazz Festival of his home town Vienna could have served better for celebrating his 70th birthday in an unforgettable way.

     
 
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