The Zawinul Syndicate Live At Jazz Open Stuttgart (1997)

The Zawinul Syndicate can be perceived as the main continuator of the legendary American jazz fusion band Weather Report which ceased its musical activity in 1986. The Zawinul Syndicate was formed in 1988, two years after the disbandment of Weather Report and the short-lived musical project Weather Update which included several Weather Report band members in its line-up. Both Weather Report and Weather Update were fronted by Austrian-born extraordinary keyboardist and bandleader Josef ‘Joe’ Erich Zawinul, a pioneer of the jazz fusion genre during the late 1960s and 1970s and tremendously experienced musician since his childhood days in his native Austria.

Joe Zawinul performing live with The Zawinul Syndicate at Jazz Open festival in Stuttgart, Germany in 1997. Image source:

The Zawinul Syndicate had a lengthy musical activity from 1988 until 2007, the year in which Joe Zawinul passed away in his native Vienna. After Joe’s passing, members of The Syndicate continued to play his music. Zawinul chose this name for the band given that he had successfully assembled a musical family rather than a professional syndicate. Still, the moniker is professional.

Below is a great concert by The Zawinul Syndicate performed at the Jazz Open festival in Stuttgart, Germany in 1997. The concert has a very special and quite interesting story as the drummer of the band, Paco Sery, missed his flight for Stuttgart. The band was ready for the gig as it had arrived nearly in complete line-up but there was no drummer to be found. Then Joe asked the audience if there was any drummer interested in performing on stage with them. Astonishingly, Prince’s drummer David Haynes said yes and he did marvellously afterwards, keeping up with Zawinul himself and The Syndicate which must have definitely not been an easy task.

Therefore, the line-up of The Zawinul Syndicate for this concert was the following one:

  • Josef ‘Joe’ Erich Zawinul – keyboards and vocals;
  • Gay Poulson – guitar;
  • Richard Bona – bass and vocals;
  • Manolo Badrena – percussion and vocals;
  • David Haynes – drums.

That being said, I wholeheartedly recommend integrally watching and listening to the following great concert by The Zawinul Syndicate at the Jazz Open festival in Stuttgart, Germany in 1997. Enjoy and all the best!

Documentation source:

  • The main documentation source was the affiliated information found on Youtube regarding the concert

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