The Zawinul Syndicate Live At The North Sea Jazz Festival (1997)

The Zawinul Syndicate can be considered the main successor of the legendary American jazz rock/jazz fusion band Weather Report which was co-fronted by Austrian-born fantastic keyboardist Josef ‘Joe’ Zawinul and American saxophonist extraordinaire Wayne Shorter between 1971 and 1986 (even though, briefly, Zawinul performed with a couple of ‘reporters’ under the moniker ‘Weather Update’ in 1986, shortly after the disbandment of Weather Report).

Joe Zawinul on stage with The Zawinul Syndicate, performing live at the 1997 edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Image source:

Just like Weather Update (a very short-lived musical successor to Weather Report), the band’s line-ups consisted, in the passing of time, of former musical collaborators of Joe Zawinul in Weather Report. One such prominent example is great percussionist Manolo Badrena (who had wonderful contributions most notably for Weather Report’s iconic 1977 studio album ‘Heavy Weather‘).

The main addition to the sound of Weather Update compared to Weather Report is the more pronounced world music influence, mainly from Africa. Formed in 1988, two years after Weather Update, The Zawinul Syndicate managed to release 4 albums during Zawinul’s lifetime and a fifth additional one in 2008 after Zawinul’s passing. In total, The Zawinul Syndicate released 5 albums.

Below is a great live performance of The Zawinul Syndicate at the prestigious and well known North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands. The concert took place and was recorded on 13 July 1997. The tracklist of this concert is as follows:

  1. Waraya;
  2. Patriots;
  3. Eyala;
  4. Indiscrations;
  5. My People;
  6. Carnavalito.

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

  • Josef ‘Joe’ Zawinul – keyboards, synthesizers, and vocals;
  • Gary Poulson – guitar;
  • Richard Bona – bass guitar and vocals;
  • Manolo Badrena – percussion;
  • Paco Sery – drums.

Therefore, that being said and without any further needless ado or unwanted spoilers on my behalf, I wholeheartedly recommend integrally watching and listening to the following great live performance of jazz fusion maestro Joe Zawinul along with his band The Zawinul Syndicate at the 1997 edition of the North Sea Jazz festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Enjoy and all the best!

Documentation sources and external links:

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