JazzAhead 2016 was special for me this year! The international JazzAhead conference is a huge come together of many countries for jazz business in Bremen, north of Germany. I had a showcase with my german band NICOLE JO and all went very well. Days and nights were long and we had a great time there. Because of my flight I had to start my trip early in the morning back to New York after JazzAhead. My swiss musician friends and I took the train at 7 am to leave to Switzerland and me to USA. My flight back to New York was scheduled at 5 pm Frankfurt airport. I was about 5 hours away from the airport. No problem! But! We drove 45 min and then we had a train accident. It took some time until one conductor came and said we had an accident with cows. Poor animals! Ouuuh. Train stopped, conductor didn`t know when we go on with the voyage. If such accidents happen, the train doesn`t move for hours, and in my brain was only one mind: How do I catch my flight at 5? There was only one answer to that question! My friends talked to the conductor, another friend opened the train doors and I was jumping off the train. Around us only a huge field of nothing. Close to the train were 2 houses and a fast street. I was running over a field with my luggage and my saxophones. A man from the train shouted: Come back! Come back! I was thinking: Shall I go back? Noooo. I needed to run otherwise I might loose the flight and I had to pay for a new one..no way. I was running. Ringing the bell. It was sunday morning and nobody opened the doors. Still the man was calling: Come back, come back! Nightmare!! I was running towards the fast street, directly on the street and a car stopped luckily. Two women starred at me and I just said: “Good morning, I was jumping off the train, would you call me a taxi? I need to go to the airport in Frankfurt. A taxi came after 10 min and brought me to the next bigger railway station and from that point on I made it safely to the airport in Frankfurt. I forgot to write that my phone was crashed 2 days before and I had no way to communicate. I was supposed to meet my boyfriend at 1 and we met at 3 safely. In these days it is really helpful if there is still our good old system of using a telephone at the railway station. I put 2 euros in to speak for 30 seconds with my swiss boyfriend (this machine was hungry..coint food..). Is this now a true story? The one who knows me, they know the answer!
The flight to New York was relaxed. Arrived and already started to compose for my first recording session in USA. I wrote 7 songs for tuba, trombone, drums and saxophone. Inspired by my father Heinrich (trombone, guitar player, nick name Henry) and saxophonist Arthur Blythe I wanted to write for an instrumentation which is different than I recorded before. I tried to bring all compositions on a simple minimalistic structure. I went to New Orleans, spend some days there and invited local musicians to record with me the 7 songs. All in one room we played and recorded the songs. We played every song 3 times and that`s it. We never played before together. They didn`t know the songs and they came, played as their lives would depend on it and we had fun! What an amazing time! My boyfriend Daniel spend all day with us, filmed parts of the recording session and he was as me surprised by this flow. We needed 5 hours to record 7 songs. That was speeeedy Gonsalez! New Orleans is another planet. Everyday you can hear live music in different corners in the french quarter. I was playing twice with the Kids. These are the young musicians who played around 8 pm on a corner close to the frenchman street by every night. Young boys with their trombones, trumpets and drums made a huge show. They had a sound!! Waaaooww! Phenomenal. Maybe he was 18? His trombone sound was like fire came out of his horn! Wonderful to hear. The french quarter is beautiful. You can see many houses with lots of different colours. Beautiful colourful city! Did you ever see cockroaches? In german: Kakerlaken. Yammmy! They can be mini but the New Orleans version is 5 cm huge. They are active in the night on the street. Awefull! You have to be careful not to step on them. Very tasty! New Orlreans is beside that a very tropical city. Soooo hot! At that point I realized that I feel more comfortable in the north of europe. We had an air conditioner in our hotel room. This is now another adventure. I`ve never slept in a hotel where the matrace is covered by plastic. I`ve thought it is because the heat and people do sweat in bed. I did believe that for almost one week. When we checked out the guy at the reception stared at us and said: “You have been there for a quite long time!”….However that could happen, I was booking an hourly hotel for us. Ja, ja! Back to the music: I am impressed by this music scene. A power which you can feel! Great! And imagine, in these clubs where we were, the bands just got the tips of the people who were listening. And as we saw, this was not much. It is insane! And still they played with such a joy. Great musicians! It was a great time there. New Orleans speaks in music! More stories in the pipeline!
Photo by Daniel Bernet