Jan 152009
 

This is my first post from my mobile phone so I’ll make it short. Went out to Canal Room (one of the few NYC venues with good sound system and good enginners like Sean McFaul) to see a showcase of NY-based Swiss artists organized by the Swiss Consulate. The opening act was jazz singer Beat Kaestli from Bern, who warmed up the growing crowd with some originals, some standards and some covers in English, French and Swiss German. Very skilled singer with a smooth and experienced voice backed by a great band also featuring the unique Chris Howes on violin. After another less notable act whose name I can’t neither remember nor google from a moving subway car with no WiFi/3G, Geneva’s expat Leo Tardin and his Grand Pianoramax project took the stage and lifted the spirits and the tempo with a powerful set made of his signature keys-centric sounds (moog, rhodes, piano, synth leads) and the incredible drumming of Zurich’s Jojo Mayer, subbing for usual drummer Dominik Burkhalter. A mixture of funk, acid jazz, drum’n’bass, dance and hip hop and as always Leo spiced the set up with some poetic, empowering and funny MC action provided by his usual collaborator Celena Glenn and special guest Mike Ladd. Last but not least the stage was graced by one of the most incredible harmonica players I’ve ever heard: Geneva originary Gregoire Maret, who, just like Tardin, has records out on the French/Italian Ameeican-based label Oblique Sounds who also co-sponsored the night and the cool swag bags filled with Swiss chocolate, t-shirts, CDs and hats.
Who said the Swiss don’t know how to party? ;-)

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