Monday, January 14, 2008


The Joe Zawinul Syndicate @ Wiener Festwochen (May 2007) featuring Senegalese bassist Alune.

Josef Erich Zawinul (7 July 1932 - 11 September 2007) was born in Landstra├če, Austria, and studied classical music at the Vienna Conservatoire. At 27 he received a scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music in the U.S. There he was advised by his teacher to go out and play professionally as he was already so accomplished a musician there was little he could learn from further academic studies.

Prominent jazz musicians with whom Zawinul has been associated include Maynard Ferguson, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, and Jaco Pastorius. Together with Wayne Shorter, Zawinul formed the jazz fusion group Weather Report in 1970. Zawinul is widely regarded as the main thrust behind the jazz fusion movement that blurred the boundaries between pop, rock, funk and jazz. His eclectic group, the Joe Zawinul Syndicate, was a pioneer of the world music fusion sound and served as an excellent showcase for musical talents from Africa, Brazil, Cuba, and India. On August 7, 2007, Zawinul was hospitalized just one week after he concluded a 6-week European tour. About a month later one of the greatest innovators on keyboard the jazz world has known was reassigned to Eternity.

Joe Zawinul and friends celebrating his 75th birthday on stage in Lugano, Switzerland on July 7th, 2007.

The Joe Zawinul Syndicate: Allegre Correa (guitar); Linley Marthe (bass); Jorge Bezerra (percussion/voice); Paco Sery (drums); Aziz Sahmaoui (percussion/voice); Sabine Kabongo (vocal); Joe Zawinul (keyboard & vocal).