Wednesday Night Prayer Orchestra

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September 2024

Since the beginning of the year, the Wednesday Night Prayer Orchestra has been pursuing its plan to create a top-class evening of big band music every week. Sixteen musicians from different corners of the Viennese improvisation scene founded a permanent orchestra outside of the short-lived project mechanics and are developing their dynamic sound from traditional big band literature to collective improvisation.

Charles Mingu’s song “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting” gives the new big band its name and is groundbreaking. The name comes from the fact that the regular workshop concerts always take place on Wednesdays. Groundbreaking because Mingus captures the intense interplay between choir and congregation from the gospel music of his childhood and places it in the burgeoning free jazz of the 60s.

The Wednesday Night Prayer Orchestra takes its hat off to the greats of the big band cosmos, Jimmy Lunceford, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Gil Evans and Carla Bley. It reinterprets their classics, breaks them up in energetic play, improvises in a sixteen-part collective and performs new compositions and arrangements from their own pen.

The new Viennese big band brings together three generations of well-known soloists from the Viennese improvisation scene. The foundation of piano, baritone saxophone, bass trombone and double bass is firmly in female hands. (press release)

Program and cast

Ludwig Bekic, Robert Schröck, Jakob Gnigler, Christian Gonsior, Monika Geyer: reeds
Markus Pechmann, Walter Fend, Thomas Berghammer, Lukas Hartl: trumpets
Phil Yaeger, Karel Eriksson, Mario Vavti, Christina Lachberger: trombone
Stephanie Weninger: piano
Helene Glüxam: bass
Lukas Aichinger: drums

PORGY & BESS Jazzclub

Porgy & Bess (actually, Jazz and Music Club Porgy & Bess ) is a jazz club in the Riemergasse 11 in the 1st district of Vienna. The club , founded in 1993 is considered " the most important jazz organizer and trendy meeting point " of the Austrian capital .

The program of Porgy & Bess speaks to a very large audience , about 70,000 guests a year ; is accordingly Jazz " understood very pluralistic ," and the program " even in fringe areas , such as electronic music , contemporary music and world music penetrated . " Many international artists , particularly from the U.S. space , see also Austrian musician here an opportunity to perform . The club also offers the stage for events, such as the award of the Austrian World Music Award.

Musicologist Christian Scheib According to the Porgy & Bess " at the same time essential for the development of the musical ( jazz ) reality of a City" and needs and uses ' plain commonplace as urban space music. " It creates itself " through artistic preferences, acoustic quality , capacity and real capacity, the necessary exclusion of other clubs. " Here, the different areas of the jazz clubs allow - the area in front of the stage with tables, upstairs gallery , a lateral area with a bar at counter - different intense concentration on the concert scene . For Jazzthetik Porgy & Bess is even a " traditional club . "

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