15.03.2023 #classical #music

Gast Waltzing: an international programme in 2023

© Gast Waltzing Maggie Parke

As a trumpet player, composer, arranger and conductor, Gast Waltzing started 2023 with numerous concerts and artistic encounters that show the diversity of his projects and musical interests: a collaboration with the jazz musician Kyle Eastwood, a new CD release with Myles Sanko and the Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg, concerts worldwide with his long-standing artistic partner Angélique Kidjo, but also Shiho, the mythical band Alphaville, as well as Morgane Ji. All these international collaborations, that Gast Waltzing had with many other musicians such as Gregory Porter, Dionne Warwick, were all steps that paved the way to a Grammy Award winning in 2016.

Gast Waltzing was indeed awarded this outstanding distinction with Angélique Kidjo in 2016 for the album “Sings” recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg (429 Records). This project started years before, when the conductor suggested the Beninese singer to arrange her most successful tracks for symphonic orchestra. A crazy project, according to Kidjo, which won over the audience and is still filling concert halls today. The duo has just returned from a series of concerts in the south of France with the Orchestre national Avignon-Provence in January, and then in Tromsø and Bodø (NO) with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra in February, showing how this project has managed to conquer the whole of Europe.

This collaboration with Angélique Kidjo, coupled with the Grammy, allowed Gast Waltzing to gain a certain notoriety and to be increasingly identified as a conductor of his own arrangements and compositions. This is how the project “Eastwood Symphonic” was able to grow. Developed with the renowned jazz bassist Kyle Eastwood, it is described as a “musical road-movie” giving a tribute to the music scores of Clint Eastwood’s best movies, orchestrated by Gast Waltzing. “Eastwood Symphonic” premiered at the Nancy Jazz Pulsation festival in 2022, and will start its tour in May with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (NO), the Czech national Symphony Orchestra (CZ), the Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg (LU), the Orchestre régional de Normandie (FR), and the Orchestre national d’Avignon-Provence (FR). Many other concerts are to be announced soon.

Gast Waltzing also reinforces his identification as conductor and orchestrator through an upcoming release on which he contributed under both hats: the singer Myles Sanko is indeed to publish a recording of his concert with the Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg in 2020.

Beyond the international collaborations and the Grammy Award, which he considers more as a “facilitator” than as an end in itself, Gast Waltzing’s great strength undoubtedly lies in his openness and his involvement in projects with diverse musical aesthetics. He will for instance conduct the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg with the German band Alphaville, who celebrate their 40th anniversary and look back on their greatest hits, for a tour across Germany and Switzerland. On the jazz side, 2023 will punctuated by concerts with the singer Morgane Ji, and the development of the project “Peace, Drugs and Love” with the violinist Jean-Jacques Mailliet and the contemporary music ensemble United Instruments of Lucilin.

All this eclectism reveals Gast Waltzing’s willingness to differentiate, something he considers a pillar of his career, and which he intends to cultivate for the projects he is developing for the years to come.

Confirmed dates:
05.05: Eastwood Symphonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger, Norway
17.05: Eastwood Symphonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
20.05: Eastwood Symphonic, Orchestre Régional de Normandie, Coutances, France
27.05: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Konzerthaus, Freiburg, Germany
28.05: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany
29.05: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, KKL, Luzern, Switzerland
16.06: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Isarphilharmonie, München, Germany
17.06: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Meistersinghalle, Nürnberg, Germany
21.06: Eastwood Symphonic, Czech national symphony orchestra, Prague, Czech Republic
08.07: Eastwood Symphonic, Umbria Jazz festival, Umbria, Italy
15.07: Eastwood Symphonic, Orchestre de Cannes, Cannes, France
18.07: Eastwood Symphonic, Orchestre d’Avignon-Provence, Avignon, France
19.10: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, Germany
06.11: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Tonhalle, Düsseldorf, Germany
13.11: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, Germany
14.11: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Theater am Aegi, Hannover, Germany
04.12: German Film Orchestra Babelsberg & Alphaville, Philharmonie, Essen, Germany