what's the racket?


February 07, 2009 — by Pete York

One thing every old drummer knows, it’s the Centenary of the first Super Drummer, Gene Krupa, born January 1909 in Chicago. He went on to become a pop idol for his time, during the swing Era of the late Thirties.

His good looks made him a star in Hollywood movies where the story lines had him drumming on whatever was handy at the slightest provocation. He remained a respected figure in the drumming fraternity until his death in 1973 and his life was filmed once with scant regard for the true facts. The real story is far more thrilling and heart-warming and we hope to tell it one day in a theatre musical. If I should live so long !!!!

But for now I have to be content with playing a few shows with the fine trio of Claus Koch and Kuno Kürner and paying tribute to this great musician as best I can.

The first dates will be on Mar 20 in Fürstenfeldbruck, March 21 in Seefeld (Ammersee) and April 24 in Eisenach. We hope to meet some of you there.


— by Pete York

In the past some of my musical highlights have been with orchestras of one kind or another. Back in 1973 I was part of Jon Lord’s Rock Meets Classic concerts. Brave onslaughts against the entrenched conservatism of some European orchestral audiences. I still remember sensitive violinists rushing weeping with horror and pain from the stage when the guitars made their first entry with a deafening KERRANNGGG.

They were French and it was in Luxembourg so perhaps it was only to be expected.

Since then there have been happier meetings of musical styles. The best for me have been my shows with the Bayerischer Kammerorchester. This year we’ll be together again for a „Beatles Go Baroque“ evening.

Along with the orchestra we will have Sandy Patton singing with Stephan Holstein, Martin Schrack, myself and others doing the group bits.

It’s scheduled for July 17 in Bad Brückenau in the Open Air and July 18 in Fürth, also Open Air. It should be fun musically and otherwise and I hope I’ll be allowed to tell some first-hand Beatles anecdotes.

Is it really fifty years of the Beatles this year?


October 12, 2008 — by Pete York

It is very hard today to put together good jazz gigs in a row but my agent, Christiane Stingl has cooked up a lovely five day run for John Crocker, Rossano Sportiello and myself beginning on the 7 October. Any fans in the South of Germany should try to make this show because it can’t happen often and both John and Rossano are world-class players. Rossano is doing very well in the US right now and this is a great achievement for a young Italian musician. He has to be heard to be believed, embodying many of the classic jazz piano stylists in one pair of hands.

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