On On Thursday, March 18, Jazz am Rhein e.V. presented its first Euro Jazz 21 live concert of the year at Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn. For this occasion Hans-Jürgen von Osterhausen, chairman of the jazz society, had invited the Laia Genc Liason Tonique Trio from Cologne with special guest Bo van de Graaf.
Laia Genc is a young promising jazz piano player. Before she decided to work as a freelance musician (2006) she studied at the Cologne College of Music and played piano – amongst others – in the BuJazzO (Federal Youth Jazz Orchestra) and LJJO NRW (Youth Jazz Orchestra of North-Rhine Westphalia). She is also sidewoman of the Terrence Ngassa Afro-Jazz-Funk Band and moreover winner of the Cologne Jazz Prize 2007.
The Laia Genc Liason Tonique Trio – Laia Genc (piano), Sebastian Gramss (Bass) and Niels Tegen (drums) – mainly performs Laia’s own compositions, powerful modern instrumental jazz influenced by Bill Evens, Keith Jarett, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau and many others, as well as works by the popular american jazz musician, composer and bandleader Carla Bley and newly arranged versions of contemporary jazz standards.
Some months ago the Laia Genc Liasion Tonique Trio started collaborating with Dutch musicians. One of them, namely Bo van de Graaf, saxophone player (alt, soprano and tenor sax) from Nijmegen, supported the band during their performance in Bonn last Thursday. Since his introduction, over two decades ago, Bo van de Graaf is one of the most promising musicians in the experimental jazz scene of the Netherlands. Since the beginning of the 1990ties he also initiates very successfully community art projects, for example: „Klaxon Concerts“ (1993-2003), „Symphonie Poubelle“ (2005), „Bicycle Bells Concert“ (2006 & 2009), „Plasic“ (2006) and „SMS in Concert“ (2008).
The 2-hour performance of the Lai Genc Trio & Bo van de Graaf at Rheinisches Landesmuseum was an exciting combination of swinging contemporary jazz compositions and dazzling improvisations, initiated by the Dutch saxophonist. Above all the spontaneous improvised interactions between Bo van de Graaf and piano player Laia Genc met the approval of the Bonn public.
Unfortunately – as well as the others contemporary jazz performances organized by Jazz am Rhein e.V. at this location – the concert by Lai Genc Liaison Tonique & Bo van de Graaf, only attracted a few listeners. A real pity, in consideration of the exceedingly good performance of the musicians. Under these circumstances, I think, it’s only a matter of time before Hans-Jürgen von Osterhausen will capitulate and announce his retirement from Bonn. To save the EURO Jazz 21 concerts series in Bonn, fans of contemporary jazz music should come en masse to the next 3 upcoming concerts at Rheinisches Landesmuseum in May and June. Otherwise these concerts will probably also be the last ones at this location. Hello jazz fans, where are you?