hr big band

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Logo of the hr big band
HR Bigband ( German Jazz Festival 2013)

The hr-Bigband ( Big Band of the Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt am Main ) was founded in 1946 as the “Dance Orchestra of Radio Frankfurt” (later the Hessischer Rundfunk). Initially, mainly for the production of popular music and the accompaniment of radio and television shows (such as the Frankfurter clock used), the ensemble has since the 1970s to jazz -Bigband focusing concerts developed. With around 50 concerts per year, it covers a broad stylistic spectrum within jazz and dares to cross borders with classical music, pop, foreign musical cultures and electronics. After three years as artist-in-residence , Jim McNeely became chief conductor of the hr big band in 2011.

Chief conductor

Jim McNeely ( German Jazz Festival 2013)


The hr big band has remained a purely male ensemble to date (as of October 2018):


The album Money Jungle: Ellington re-orchestrated , a reinterpretation of Money Jungle , received the German Record Critics' annual award in 2010 .

Selection discography

  • 2019
  • Play the Music of Nino Rota - Simone Zanchini & Frankfurt Radio Big Band
  • 2017
Saluting Sgt.Pepper - Django Bates & HR Big Band
The Behemoth - Phronesis & hr-Bigband
  • 2015
Let It Be Told - Julian Argüelles & hr-Bigband
  • 2014
Songs We Like a Lot - John Hollenbeck , Kate McGarry , Theo Bleckmann & hr-Bigband
Into the Mackerel Sky - Axel Schlosser & hr-Bigband
  • 2013
Wunderkammer XXL - Michael Wollny , Tamar Halperin & hr-Bigband; Director: Jörg Achim Keller
Rise & Arrive - Christian Elsässer & hr-Bigband
  • 2012
composed & arranged - Oliver Leicht & hr-Bigband
Songs I Like a Lot - John Hollenbeck , Kate McGarry , Theo Bleckmann & hr-Bigband (nominated for the Grammy 2014 )
  • 2010
Out of the Desert Live at Jazzfest Berlin - Joachim Kühn Trio & hr-Bigband (under the direction of Ed Partyka ; awarded the ECHO Jazz 2012)
It's Only Love - Tania Maria and the hr-Bigband live (directed by Jörg Achim Keller )
  • 2009
Money Jungle - Ellington reorchestrated (reworking of Duke Ellington's Money Jungle by Jörg Achim Keller ; German Record Critics' Award )
Viva o Som! - The Music of Hermeto Pascoal , arranged by Steffen Schorn
A single sky , comp. Dave Douglas , cond./arrang. Jim McNeely, with Christian Jaksjø
Visions of Miles , arrang. Colin Towns
  • 2008
music for bigband vol. 1 , feat. Jonas Schoen
Limbic System Files , feat. nuBox , DJ Illvibe and Ed Partyka (arranging, conducting)
  • 2007
hr-Bigband feat. Jack Bruce - arranged and conducted by Jörg Achim Keller , feat. Jack Bruce (bass, vocals, guitar, piano, composition)
  • 2006
Meeting of the Spirits - A Celebration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra , feat. Billy Cobham (drums), arranged + directed by Colin Towns
Once in a Lifetime , feat. Joey DeFrancesco (Hammond Organ), Jeff Hamilton (Drums), Jörg Achim Keller (Ltg.)
Here's to Life, Here's to Joe , Jörg Achim Keller (lead), Bill Ramsey (voc.)
  • 2005
Pictures at an Exhibition / Echoes of Aranjuez , Jörg Achim Keller, Bill Holman (Ltg.), Clare and Brent Fisher
  • 2004
Do It Again - Three Decades of Steely Dan , Fred Sturm (Ltg.), Ryan Ferreira (Git.)
  • 2003
Two Suites: Tribal Dances / Cottacatya , Ralf Schmid , Martin Fondse (Ltg.)
Scorched ( Mark-Anthony Turnage ) with John Scofield , John Patitucci , Peter Erskine , Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt under Hugh Wolff (cond.)
¡Libertango! - Homage to Astor Piazzolla , Enrique Tellería ( Bandoneon ), Fred Sturm (Arr.), Jörg Achim Keller (Ltg.)
  • 2002
Swinging Christmas , Marjorie Barnes (voc.), Frits Landesbergen (vibraphone), Jörg Achim Keller (lead.)
  • 2001
American Songs of Kurt Weill , Silvia Droste , Jeff Cascaro (Voc.), Jörg Achim Keller (Ltg.)
The Three Sopranos , Buddy DeFranco , Rolf Kühn , Eddie Daniels (clarinet), Kurt Bong (cond.)
Food for the soul , Jazzkantine , Laith Al-Deen , Rolf Stahlhofen , Edo Zanki

See also


  • Wolfgang Sandner: The glorious seventeen. The hr big band. Frankfurt am Main: Societätsverlag, 2018, ISBN 978-3-95542-304-9

Web links

Commons : HR BigBand  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. See Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , June 28, 2011
  2. ^ New edition 2015 with DVD and bonus tracks under the title More Jack Than Bruce .