Street smart and road-tested, Le Rex bring their free-flowing sounds on tour to South Africa
CAPE TOWN 1-6 October 2019
1.10 Hanks Olde Irish
2.10 House of Machines
3.10 Olympia Cafe, Kalk Bay
4.10 Mercury Live
5.10 Norval Foundation
6.10 Guga s’Thebe, Langa
DURBAN 8-11 October 2019
8.10 TVET College (workshop) & Zuri Beach Lounge, South Coast
9.10 UKZN Jazz Centre
10.10 UKZN (workshop)
11.10 The Chairman
12 October – Jazz Gallery, Mbabane eSwatini
JOHANNESBURG 13-16 October 2019
13.10 Roving Bantu Kitchen
14.10 Just Badela, Soweto
15.10 WITS (workshop) TBC
16.10 Moral Kiosk TBC
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Founded in 2009 by Bernese saxophonist Marc Stucki, the band Le Rex took its name from a snapshot of a dilapidated cinema in Corsica. Initially all compositions came from the pen of the bandleader, along with some cover-versions of favourite songs. Over the years however, the band has evolved into a collective whose members all work for the ensemble. Le Rex is alto saxophonist Benedikt Reising, tenor saxophonist Marc Stucki, trombonist Andreas Tschopp, tuba player extraordinaire Marc Unternährer, and drummer Rico Baumann,
An important part of the music of Le Rex is improvisation, especially collective and free improvisations. Playing with different meters, rhythmical superimpositions and metric modulations and a strong rhythmic component in general characterise the band’s unmistakable sound.
Over the years Le Rex have played numerous concerts in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, France, Italy, the USA and Ireland. In January Le Rex released their fourth album Escape Of The Fire Ants on the US label Cuneiform Records, The album has been well-received by audiences and critics alike. In October, Le Rex will be on tour for the first time in Mali before heading to South Africa
The South African leg of the tour arises out of a longstanding network of connections between the members of Le Rex and the South African music scene. South African musicians have taken part in the festival Jazzwerkstatt Bern since 2012. Andreas Tschopp (with Skyjack) and Marc Stucki have engaged in active cross-border projects, Benedikt Reising spent three months in South Africa in 2018 and continues to work with numerous artists that he met during his residency. Rico Baumann toured with Thandi Ntuli during her Scheiz Residence.
This lively network of exchange inspires the band and is reflected by the presence of Afrobeat and Cape Jazz influences in the music of Le Rex. During the South African tour, the band will also pay homage to the legendary South African band “The Bluenotes” with covers included in their repertoire. In addition to performances, Le Rex hope to interact with new and emerging musicians through workshops and collaborations.
Marc Stucki (born 1979) studied music at the MHS Lucerne Faculty III and received his Master’s degrees in pedagogy (2004) and performance (2005). After his studies he spent 3 months in New York to study with the saxophonists Ellery Eskelin and Tim Berne. Marc is a prizewinner of the Friedl Wald Foundation’s sponsorship prize and a scholarship holder in the studio of the Canton of Berne at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. He has also been the organizer of concerts, such as the Jazzwerkstatt Bern, since he was 20 years old, Marc is head of the didactics for jazz at the University of the Arts Bern.
Benedikt Reising (born 1978) studied saxophone at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden and at the Bern University of the Arts. In 2006 he founded the musicians collective Jazzwerkstatt Bern. Benedikt works with many Swiss bands including King Pepe, Pape Djiby Ba and Hildegard Lernt Fliegen, with whom he won the 2014 BMW World Jazz Award and was nominated for the Jazz Echo in 2015.
Andreas Tschopp (born 1979) completed his studies at the Hochschule für Musik Basel in 2003. Andreas plays a wide range of improvised and written music in very different styles and musical constellations. He is in great demand as a freelancer and has played with Bob Brookmeyer’s New Art Orchestra, Dick Oatts and Gary Smulyan, Nils Wogram, Hans Feigenwinter amongst many others.
Marc Unternährer (born 1975) completed his music studies in Lucerne in 2000. Since then he has worked as a versatile freelance musician on the road. In 2002 he participated in a studio residency at the Sister Cities Lucerne-Chicago in Chicago, which resulted in ongoing intensive improvisational collaboration with Chicago musicians. In addition to playing with Le Rex, Marc regularly works with Albin Brun’s NAH Trio, Erika Stucky, and Roberto Domeniconi’s Big Bear among others.
Rico Baumann (born 1983) completed his studies at the HKB with Billy Brooks, Jan Fabricky and Fabian Kuratli in 2007. In 2015 Rico received the New York Scholarship of the City of Bern, and regularly plays with bands such as True, Swiss Jazz Orchestra, James Gruntz, Michael Fehr, Weird Beard and many more.