Some projects can seem like haut cuisine recipes: the long list of ingredients alone can have chefs quaking in their boots. But then again, the mere thought of the delights to come can set the mouth watering …

Sebastian Krol and Rüdiger Ruppert, the two organizers of the Big Band of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, can easily bear comparison with any visionary culinary artist. To keep the metaphor going – gospel, blues, soul, jazz, funk, disco and hip-hop are all flavours of music that blend very closely together. Even though these musical styles come from the most diverse range of environments and eras, they are characterized by their similarities in groove, brass sections, wide range of distinctive voices, and in their harmonic relationships.

“This blend needs to be expressed and delivered on stage in all its complexity – and musically it has to be very entertaining!” That was Ruppert and Krol’s idea, and together these two creative chefs compiled their exquisite list of ingredients:

  • A big band with an exuberant brass section, plus Hammond organ, plus percussion – The Big Band of the ­Deutsche Oper Berlin! (BB of the DOB)
  • A complete choir specializing in soul and jazz – The Young Voices Brandenburg!
  • Three top singers with excellent voices who are happy to embark on this adventure – Florezelle Amend, Amber Schoop and Worthy Davis!
  • A clever arranger who can easily bring it all together – Manfred Honetschläger, musical director of the Big Band of the DOB!
  • Informative and entertaining lyrics which illustrate the history of the music and its stars – artists like Sam Cook, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, James Brown and Michael Jackson!
  • And last but not least, THE voice that can breathe life into these lyrics and lives, someone who can guide this musical and narrative odyssey – “The Voice” Christian Brückner!

The big moment arrived at the beginning of 2018 – the line up was complete, everything was “ready to serve”, and the Deutsche Oper Berlin was completely sold out! Kulturradio rbb’s outside broadcasting unit was there to record every note – the awesome sound and the unique arrangements electrified the audience and players alike …

A Soul Journey is the essence of this brilliant concert. Enjoy!