spring 2007

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Spring 2007


read the first reviews here

Freistadt, May 1st
Freistadt, May 2nd
Freistadt, May 3rd
Luzern, May 4th
Luzern, May 5th
Luzern, May 6th
Wien, May 7th
Wien, May 8th
Wien, May 9th
Innsbruck, May 10th
Innsbruck, May 11th
Le Mans, May 12th
Sibiu, May 13th
Day off, May 14th
Mantova, May 15th
Waidhofen, May 16th

Travel day, May 17th
St.Veit, May 18th
Bad Aussee, May 19th
La Chaux-du-Milieu, May 25th
Kremsmünster, May 26th
Essen, June 1st
Essen, June 2nd
Essen,June 3rd
Graz, June 4th
Graz,June 5th
Graz,June 6th
Dornbirn, June 7th
Dornbirn, June 8th
Dornbirn, June 9th
Berndorf, June 10th
Merano, June 11th


May 1st, Freistadt - Kulturzentrum Salzhof   AMERICAN DREAMS

Hi VAO Fans!

Welcome to our 30th anniversary tour and our 5th anniversary of the VAO Tour Diary!
We are thrilled to be back together and looking forward to a great tour. Mathias has planned everything down
to the last tiny detail and we have all been practicing alone at home. Now it´s time to put it all together
before we hit the road.
We arrived in Freistadt on Monday from all corners of Europe to begin our four day rehearsal and warm-up
period. We have a new member of the trumpet section that has to learn all four programs and our almost-new
lead alto player and bass player have never played three of the four programs. A huge welcome to Stephan
Zimmermann, Hans Strasser and Nico Gori!
Our first two days were difficult but rewarding. We started out with a four hour rehearsal upon arrival
(after travelling all day, and in some cases all night).

the good looking sax-section

the fabulous VAO trombone-section









Afterward we had dinner and celebrated Adrian´s birthday at midnight. On Tuesday we rehearsed during the day and
performed American Dreams for a selected audience in the evening. For us it was a slightly terrifying situation. Even
though we recorded the CD last summer, seven months is a lot of time to forget everything. We made it through the
concert without anyone getting hurt, and several audience members said they didn´t notice anything. Even though, it
felt uncomfortable to many of us and quite of bit of small things did go wrong. After the encore we were presented with
a cake and the audience sang “Happy Birthday”. We then went for a couple of beers and some food to continue the
celebration of Adrian’s birthday.

the famous trumpet section of the VAO

the best dressed rhythm-section








Today we rehearsed European Visionaries and tonight we´ll have a run-through (also with audience).
The projections and lighting are looking really great and I should take this opportunity to also welcome our new
lighting expert, Michael Grundner.

the beautiful VAO-singer and the chief

and the very important VAO-crew









    During this first leg of the tour we will be travelling a total of 15,812 kilometres to perform 32 concerts. I´ll be keeping you up to date on what happens and will be asking some of my fellow VAO members to also contribute to the diary, so you get a few more opinions and so that you can find out just what musicians on the road think about and do during our long train trips and flights. Of course we´ll have pictures and we will give you a play-by-play of the concerts. I will print the names of great bartenders, waiters and companies as well as the bad and rude. If any band members get up to no good you´ll be the first to know. Of course, these days the band is very boring, with hardly anyone drinking and staying up late like in the old days. But I am sure that as things progress this horrible state of affairs will correct itself and I´ll have some good juicy stories about parties, indiscretions and STD´s to pass on (using fake names to protect the guilty band members and their marriages) to you, our loyal fans.



Juraj Bartos meets Marilyn Monroe in Freistadt for the first time


May 2nd, Freistadt - Kulturzentrum Salzhof    EUROPEAN VISIONAIRIES

Last night we performed European Visionaries for a great crowd. Since it was our dress rehearsal a few things went
wrong, but all in all it was a good chance to test out the transitions, preludes, projections and light show. The soloists
were all sweating as they have to play their features from memory. This is quite a feat considering we have three
completely new programs, and the complexity of these 39 compositions from mathias. As mentioned, everything went
more or less as planned and the audience was (also as mentioned) with us from the first note of our opener Light And


the four sections, ready for the 2nd program

We are also still trying to find our way and see where we need to push hard dynamically and energy wise, and to find
the places where we can back off a bit and relax. This is a matter of time, and every time we play the individual pieces
it gets much better. All three programs have one thing in common: They require tons of concentration. If your mind
wanders for even a second you risk being lost for the next ten minutes. This is keeping every one on their toes and even
though we had a few beers last night after the gig, most people were in bed relatively early (for VAO standards anyway).


We rehearsed program three today and now most of the guys are napping or just chilling out before our third and
final dress rehearsal/concert here in Freistadt. Our real tour starts tomorrow with a 5:30 departure for Switzerland.
The crew will have to drive all night to get there on time (almost a thousand kilometres) and I’m sure things will get
a bit more interesting once we are on the road.

Immanuel Kant: See the outside - understand the inside

Here are a few more facts about this first part of the tour 2007:
Average km per touring day  527 km
Average km per travel day  687 km
Total travel time 137h 14m
Average travel time per tour day 4h 43m
Average travel time per travel day 7h 21m
12 flights
18 train trips
Total flight time over 20h
Total train time 70h 46m
Total train km 6,253
Touring (concert) days 30
Travel days 23
Days off 1


May 3rd, Freistadt - Kulturzentrum Salzhof    VISIONAIRIES & DREAMS

Our four day stay in Freistadt ended on a high note last night (Tobias played a triple high C)
Just kidding...

The outfit of the third program

Our third "dress rehearsal" concert started out a bit shaky during the first number due to the trombone section losing
it’s nerve and simply not coming in after Andy’s solo break. I guess the only positive thing to be said is that we really
play (or don’t play) as a section. After we got through that trauma the rest of the concert went well, with a few
minor "misunderstandings". The audience was really great and the hall was filled to overflowing. They had to get 30 extra
chairs out of the back room to handle the overflow.


Little kids watching the reharsal

Afterward it was a fast breakdown and all night drive for the crew while we had a couple of beers with all our new
friends in Freistadt. Most of us got to bed at a decent hour, but a couple of guys stayed up late. Combined with our
5:30 departure this morning made for a few grumpy band members this morning and one forgotten minibar bill (Hank).
There has also been a slight stomach bug going around, with Adrian feeling dodgy yesterday and Tobias a bit last night.
The homemade schnapps that Dominik brought along helped and everyone seems to be feeling better today.
Once again a big VAO thanks to Uli and the whole crew in Freistadt - Thanks for getting our tour off to a great start!


Josephine Baker meets Albert Einstein and Mae West meets Niklas Kopernikus

We had a three hour bus ride back to Vienna this morning, followed by a flight to Zürich and train trip to
Luzern. We are in one of our favorite hotels, the Rebstock. We are also eagerly awaiting our luggage, s
o we can clean up and put on clean clothes before the soundcheck.
Tonight is the real thing. A big crowd is expected and we’ve got to be in top form. I’ll let you know how
things go tomorrow.
A personal note to my Mom:
Thanks for the e-mail. I’m fine. I’m eating my veggies and not drinking too much. I’ll have time to write
over the weekend.
Love - Ed

May 4th, Luzern - KKL  AMERICAN DREAMS

Lieber mathias,

alles Gute für die Premiere heute! Drücke die Daumen
für eine hoffentlich sehr erfolgreiche Tour und grüße dich

dein Robert

Robert Fischer
Dachstraße 49
81243 München
fon 0049 (0) 89 82 07 39 89

    Mathias, bonjour,
Bon anniversaire au VAO, 30 ans c’est magnifique !   
Merci d’être venu fêter nos 30 ans à nous à Souillac il y a 2 ans.
Le jazz se porte bien !
Je suppose que tu as lu les articles de
Jazzman et
Jazz Hot
Je te joins pour info le programme de cette année pour nous.
Je te souhaite et à toute l’équipe une belle tournée des 30 ans.
Bien amicalement.

Laborie        46200 LANZAC
06 87 57 69 92 ou 05 65 27 18 94



The amazing KKL by Jean Nouvel

During our soundcheck yesterday we noticed that the acoustical situation in the venue was very dry.
This made it very difficult for the band but was great for Ronny.
The (almost) capacity crowd was nice and appreciative in a reserved swiss kind of way and the
catering and KKL team very good and professional.

Devise from Adrian Mears

As I stand here before you all,
A duty I’m not sure I have earnt.
Moments before our first curtain call,
I tell you my brain is burnt.
Fried, poached and served with jelly,
The probable cause of that pain in my belly.
In Freistadt we have dared, all notes and page turns.
With some guys new to the ropes and solos that burns.
All those forms and changes by heart,
The soloist by law must know his part.
Harry, for one, has taken two months time,
yet for others 3 days was just fine!
So now the official world shall cast their eyes and ears in our direction,
Critics will write, hopefully excite and marvel at our perfection.
We did our very best to get this “Road on the Show”
But tonight in Luzern there is one thing you should know!
Don’t make any bloody mistakes!

The concert went much better than the rehearsals but there were stil a multitude of small things that happened.
I spoke to a few audience members after the gig and nobody noticed (or they were too polite to say anything).


There were a bunch of students from the conservatory at the concert and it was nice to play for a slightly younger crowd
than normal.


Some important people were here like:Thomas Beck (SF), Peter Rüedi (Master of Jazz Critics),Bürli (Radio DRS) and Hannes Vogel (All Blues) and the Austrian Cultural Attaché.

After the concert there was a jam session in the foyer and Adrian, Nico, Joris and Jurai joined Mario &
Hannes for a nice 90 minute set of standards.
Hannes said he was thilled to just "play" and not have to think about tempo and time signature changes
every thirty seconds. Only one of the local students joined the session, maybe more of them will get
into it tonight.





The sessions happened in the foyer

We celebrated the birthday(s) of Ronny and Mario at midnight and most of the band was in bed by 1:00 after our long
travel day. Today we got to sleep in and since it’s raining most of the band is hanging in the hotel and catching up on
e-mails, reading or sleep.
Tonight it’s program two and another jam session. More as it happens...



It rained all day in Luzern yesterday, but it was a great excuse to nap and be lazy.


The concert was going extremely well until the second to last tune, when a chain of mishaps threw
things into chaos. Adrian was up front at the solo mic and just kept playing as things fell apart around him.
We finally recovered by the last chorus, but it shook everybody up.
As mentioned, otherwise it was a great concert. Solo highlights for me were Hannes and Hank.


Our youngsters working on the encore "La Tarantella".

There was another jam session and we ended up back at the hotel bar for a few more before falling into
bed. Once again thanks to Claudia Moser and the whole Rebstock team for a great stay and wonderful
breakfast. The were also a lot of old VAO friends and fans from all throughout Switzerland. I talked to
folks from Uznach,Schaffhausen and Ticino yesterday and many are in Luzern for the
whole weekend and all three concerts. The weather brightened up today and we are looking forward
to the third program tonight. More tomorrow from Vienna…


Devise by Hans Strasser



The concert went very well last night, with great duos from Harry & Hank and Robert & Adrian. Of course there
was another jam session and a few more of the students from the Luzern conservatory joined in
(and played great, by the way).


The crew had another sleepness night with breakdown and the drive back to Vienna. We got to have a few leisurely
drinks at the hotel bar and left Luzern this morning at 10 a.m. for our train ride and then Flight to Vienna.



By the time we got here to the venue the crew was hard at work getting everything up and running. We are filming
and recording the three concerts in Vienna, so there are over 50 people in the local organization, from camera folks
to recording folks to performing folks (playing, singing and dancing) to catering folks to merchandising folks to make
these three days an event to remember. The hall looks wonderful and the sound is excellent, so all that remains is
to play great and capture everything on film & tape (or hard drive, as it is these days).


A big thanks to Silke for doing a truly spectacular job of getting everything loaded, transported, unloaded and set up in
record time.  WE LOVE YOU SILKE!!!


There are a lot of surprises planned for the next three days and I don´t want to let the cat out of the bag, so tune in
to this station for the details or come on out to the “Gasometer” to experience the VAO for yourself live and in person.
I´m also hoping that since we´re in Vienna, some of the guys will get up to no good. I have to teach tomorrow and
Wednesday during the day so it´s early to bed for me. A note to my Jazz Theory II class: I hope you did your homework
for tomorrow!!!

After the concert (which I played perfectly, as always) my personal roadie cleaned and put away my instruments while
my butler poured me a chilled glass of champagne in my private dressing room. After signing the usual number of
autographs (about 150) I walked to my limousine for the ride back to the Schweizerhof Hotel. as I was about to get into
the back of the white stretch Hummer that I use while on tour one of the mob of groupies took my fancy and I invited
her to join me in my suite for a few glasses of bubbly and some of the excellent class A drugs I had ordered from south
america earlier and that had arrived by diplomatic courier earlier in the day (It´s great to have friends high up in the CIA).

I don´t want to bore you with ANOTHER tale involving a beautiful woman, cocaine, ectasy, viagra, handcuffs, leather,
hours of perverted & demented sex in every imaginable position, two thai lady-boys, a russian dominatrix named Olga and
a bass trombonist named Ed. I´ll leave that to your sick imagination. Needless to say I was feeling exhausted when we
borded the train the next day for the airport. It took me most of the afternoon to get my strength back and I´m still a
bit sore from the nipple clamps and spanking. Of course the review of the concert was glowngly fantastic and the critic
made 20 new friends because of his wonderfully positive statements about the band and the new programs.

After I checked in I went to the billionares lounge at the Zürich airport, where I had to literally fight off an
nymphomanic groupie/tuba fetishist that wanted to give me a "going away present" because of my excellent tuba playing the night before. I said hi to Bill Gates and thanked him for Windows. I was then escorted through security to my waiting private
Airbus 380 for the flight back to Vienna.

Since I´m a bit hazy on the details, this may or may not be exactly what happened on Sunday in Luzern...

Devise from Adrian Mears  
Although tonight there are no camera crews, exquisite classical interludes,
cute dancers, nervous 16 year old singers, friendly cooks, prominent gala superstars,
delicate recording engineers, backstage passes, great soloists and nation wide extravagant advertising.
What we do have is another chance to blow the socks off a great Luzern
audience that has supported us well, saved our leaders bank account and proved
that we are no fools of art or sexist pigs!
Enjoy the gig!



May 7th, Wien - Gasometer   AMERICAN DREAMS

Caro diario,
yesterday we arrived in Vienna where we are playing for 3 nights in the GASOMETER.









Before us there have been lots of bands performing in this venue, like Oasis, Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, but now we
turned the place upside down transforming it in a jazz club, with tables and drinks and cigarettes for the braves that
dare to break the rauchverbot law.On the first evening we performed the American Dreams program (ladies first...)
with a little help from few friends: our dear Thomas Gansch joined the band on the Marylin tune and sweet little sixteen
years old Nadine sang the Mae West song.



Special guests: Nadine Beiler & Thomas Gansch

As for the next two nights we had a dance group that joined us, on this first evening they were 3 females dancers
(Danie Schwarzbach,Sandra Müller & Cynthia Coffin)
and they danced great but I was the only one in the band that
saw it since during the rehearsals it was clear to all the musicians that they had to make a choice between playing
the music or look at the dancers which was HIGHLY distractive: too much beauty can be dangerous for intonation
phrasing timing reading and of course concentration.



Cynthia Coffin & the Daniecell mouvement company

The hall we are playing in is really very big, and normally this would be a real problem for the Ronny made a miracle
and the sound was fantastic in the room and on stage. If  we did not mention it before, we have a fantastic crew,
a mix between angels and magicians that make the impossible possible. And 900 people enyoed ist!!
We had a lot of musicians friends in the audience too, (Wolfgang Puschnig, Reinhard Micko, Aaron Wonesch, Martin Reiter, Werner Feldgrill,Aneel Somari, Johannes Herrlich,
Doretta Carter, Marianne Mendt, Karin Bachner, Beatrix Neundlinger, the writer Robert Menasse, the actor Wolfi Berger
and many many more..) and I personally always feel very honoured when musicians come to the concerts, and such
fantastic musicians…wow.To keep the spirit of this nice moments of music-brotherhood today I write the diary so Ed
can take a day off, and he surely deserve it: I wrote only this and I am already exhausted.
A domain, baci da Vienna.





May 8th, Wien - Gasometer   EUROPEAN VISIONAIRS 

my marathon of playing, teaching and coffee drinking continues...The concert last night was fucking awsome. The live
classical preludes wer killing and they inspired the band to perform at it´s best. There are still a lot of litle fuck-ups in
the ensemble work but the soloists are already all performing at a very high level. Mathias will add a list of all our guest
soloists and dancers, but I want to mention Paul Gulda for his superb playing and wonderful attitude.


Paul Gulda & Thomas Fischer


Daniecell mouvement company with Danie Schwarzbach, Rene Strasser & Marvin Dittmann



Linde Gansch

I have heard some rumours of band members staying out until 7 a.m., prowling the light taverns of the beautiful
Viennese night, spending thougts
on very rare things and singing and playing all night long. They may be true and
they may also just be rumours. I´ll try to get to te bottom of it and let you know.
My report of our third night in
Luzern got lost somewhere between the internet cafe where I wrote it and the VAO headquarters mainframe computer,
so I will now try to piece together Sunday night from my memory. This may or may not be 100% accurate. If anyone in Switzerland can confirm or deny any of this please let me know.


Devise from Adrian Mears 
Although tonight we do have multiple camera crews, dynamic dancers, nervous 16 year old singers,
guest soloist of great distinction, familiar friendly cooks of catering as well as delicate recording technicians,
backstage passes to pin on, and a extravagant advertising campaign
that Austria has probably never seen before for this hometown Premiere
and 30th Birthday party, not to forget glamorous Prominent stars and merchandising memorabilia.
What we don’t have are swans swimming swiftly on a swiss sea, swiss Sopf for breakfast,
paranoid feminist organisers and critics with ears like a record producer. (Perfect – no holes!)
So forget all the fuss about tonight,
Let us play swinging and tight.


May 9th, Wien - Gasometer   VISIONAIRIES & DREAMS


Hello everybody, this is Stephan Zimmermann writing to you because Ed is going to retire. He is too old and tired of
writing those dirty storys in the diary every day. I will try my best to give you all infos of the day and work a little on
my english language. Someday I will get old too.
 Yesterday we finished our stay in Vienna with the third program
Visonionaries & Dreams. The concert was great and the gasometer was packed with people.





                                                                            Marvin Dietman, Rene Strasser, Sandra Müller
                                                                               Naima Mazic-Rüegg & Danie Schwarzbach



All three days together there were over 2900 !! people listening to our performance, wich is pretty good. I heard
a lot of statements about the concerts from Musicians and none Musicians. Everyone was enjoying the music and
the performance of the dancers, the classical interludes and the video projection. And last but not least the Jam
Sessions after the concerts. The applaus told this itself.
Some people mentioned that it would be interesting to put
a „Monsterprogramm“ together, including the best tunes of all three programs. I don´t wanna be the one who decides
wich are the best tunes. It would be  very hard to say , but actually it is a good idea.
So, thanks alot to everybody
who was involved in this pruduction.

It went pretty good and everybody did his best to make it happen. To many names to mention. We are happy, so far.

Now we have to flaten our asses  at the next trainride for 572 kilometers to Innsbruck where we play in the Treibhaus

Stay tuned till tomorrow.


Von: Renald Deppe []
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 10. Mai 2007 09:09
An: Ruegg Mathias
Betreff: renaldorix und die helveter

o mathiasbertbert,
du holder sohn des zeus.
von solchem wert
wie hölderlin samt beuys.
sei bedankt für deine freien karten,
für die geilen klänge und die zarten.
wo soll ich denn in wien noch musizieren-
gar in schönbrunn bei fresswilden tieren...?
solch ein feuerwerk, das brennt gewaltig
und mein arsch wird grau und faltig...
drum schaff ich bald in hausen
viel märchenhaftes grausen...
und schreib ein übergeilen opernstuff,
der törnt mich an und macht dich baff...
sei umarmt beherzt wie cool - aber nicht geküsset!
ich bin nicht schwul - was ihr doch wissen müsset.
ganz fest grussherzlichst : grossartig, eine tolle capelle, davor ein
wirklicher meister: dein renaldo.

And thanks to Wolfgang Lampecht (Leisure Communication) who did an incredible job in promoting the
Gasometer - Concerts!


May 10th, Innsbruck -Treibhaus  AMERICAN DREAMS

After the five hours trainride we arrived ”flatassed“ in our hotel in Innsbruck. The journey was pretty comfortable.
We travelled first class and in the train there was room enough for everybody sitting in the big leather chairs. Most
of the members took their time to relax or watch movies on their laptops. I went to the Boardrestaurant and picked
my favorit fishmeal wich is a sweetwaterfish named pangasius. It was very good.


           Matthieu Michel                                    Robert Bachner                                      Herwig "Hank" Gradischnig



The Penz Hotel in Innsbruck is brandnew and is surrounded by the mountains, nice view.
Before the concert we had a rehearsel for the Ellington Program wich we have to perform couple of days in front in Sibiu/Romania. The concert in the
Treibhaus went well and the audience freaked out. The room takes 200 people only, but their applaus noise was
loud like 500. We look forward till tomorrow where we have to play Visionaries and Visionaries & Dreams with one
hour brake in between. I will  use my free time today to buy some bloody steaks for my
friends in the trumpetsection to put on their sore lips over night to heal the wounds. I will tell you tomorrow if it worked



May 11th, Innsbruck -Treibhaus  VISIONAIRIES & DREAMS

After we heard that the concert was announced at 8.00 pm instead of 9.00 pm we played both programms
European Visionaries and Dreams and Visionaries with one hour intermission in between. The trumpet section gave
everything in this concerts so the steaks were really necessary. Mathias mentioned that he and the organizer of
the Treibhaus Norbert Pleiffer worked together since 1978. The band played the concert very good and the audience
enjoyed it. We were surprised to meet Bernhard Nolf, who is joining the band at the new years concerts in Vienna.
Thanks again to the Hotel Penz fort he nice breakfast wich was outstanding.


 romantic moments in the dressing room of the Treibhaus

After the concert all the members went to bed pretty soon because we had to leave the hotel by bus to  the airport
Munich at 6.00 am. An iron would have helped to iron the knittered morningfaces of the bandmembers after this short
night. While I am writing this I am sitting at the airport in Munich to wait fort he plane to Paris where we have to catch
the train to Le Mans where we are performing tonight. I will let you know tomorrow how the concert was.
By the way, Mathias did a great job making the tour rider. This is a book for everybody in the band with all the informations
like traveldetails, hoteladresses, train and flightschedules, rules, dresscodes, program setlist, contact adresses, etc.
Nobody can complain now about missing informations.
Once in a while I will put some pdfs of some pages of the tourrider online, so you can see what I mean.





Devise by Adrian Mears 

It is HOT, I cant stand zis. Cant ze du somzing about it, so HOT.
Surrounded by mountains, closed in from every side. We hug tight and sweat together.
If only we were in the Bahalmas with our girls on our side.
Wir treiben im Triebhaus and hope the worms of torment leaves us alone.
Death speaks to the whore
Lovely maiden of the night,
May your soul now get some rest.
Let us leave your sinful life behind.
And dance to this sweet song of mine.    
whore’s answer
Oh,why did I live such a life of sin,
And I never raised my eyes before Gods Face
Only was seeking pleasure of the flesh.
And now it all means nothing more I stand before the Judgements door.
Fear not my friends the time has come,
Lets go sweat and have some fun.




As I wrote yesterday we left the hotel in Innsbruck at 6.00 am by bus to drive to Munich airport to take the flight to Paris to catch the train to Le Mans.We arrived in Le Mans
and went straight to the hotel. Everybody went to have at least a little nap which was needed after this trip.
Then we
went to the concert place wich was a very old huge building.
As I wrote yesterday we left the hotel in Innsbruck at 6.00
am by bus to drive to Munich airport to take the flight to Paris to catch the train to Le Mans.
We arrived in Le Mans and
went straight to the hotel. Everybody went to have at least a little nap which was needed after this trip. 
Then we went
to the concert place wich is a very old huge building.






L’Abbaye de l’Epau, the beautiful concert venue


After the nice dinner we played the concert very well and went back to the hotel, where the bus left at 1.30 am.

We drove all the way to Paris through the night. Ed invited the band for a couple glasses of wine to create the travel time a little.

We arrived at 4.30 at Paris CDG Airport where we had to wait for the plane for 3 hours. I tell you I have never met any people at any airport in the world who where as unfriendly as the waitresses in the coffee place there. I can only say "have fun with you job for the rest of your life, bye, bye". Spock would say "live long and prosper" We took our flight at 7.15 am to Vienna, then the next flight to Sibiu Romania where we arrived at the hotel at 2.00 pm. I will tell you more about Sibiu tomorrow. Bye for now.

May 13th, Sibiu - SOUND OF LOVE



After the check in at the Hotel Continental in Sibiu we had a rehearsal of the Ellington Program at the big Tent of
the Jazzfestival. The Wetter was very nice and sunny so it was very chot in the Tent, just about 40 C.  After the
one hour rehearsal everybody went to his room to chill out for a while. I slept for one hour and had terrible nightmares
wich I can not write down here, sorry that would be toooo much.
Sibiu is the European Capitol of Culture and the
Concert was suported by the Institut of Culture. For technical reasons there are no pictures from the beautiful old
town but if you want to check it out you can visit Before we started our concert there was playing
another Jazz Group from Vienna.

The concert was good and the audience, about 600 people, were screaming. Of course we had to play an encore
wich was Tarantella played by Nico and Joris as a duo on the clarinets.

Thanks again to the people in Sibiu who organized all the catering and drinks for us. It was great.





Devise by Adrian Mears


It was quite hard to say when this day started, after a sweating hot French gig we parted.

With bottles of wine that were sadly not so divine we drank and thanked Ed for his good gesture of will.

(we all know his our friend when he pays the bill)

So on buses and planes we are finally here. Romania is going to get something different to hear.

We leave the Trilogy behind us tonight and take Ellington to hand,

You can feel the excitement spreading throughout the band.

No visionaries, great women or meetings together. Ihope we play tight and light as a feather.

Let us overcome our tired bodies and minds and make beautiful music of all different kinds.



May 14th, travel day

The Bus to the Airport left the Hotel at 1.00 pm. After we checked in the plane, wich was a Dash 8, we left
Sibiu Airport at 3.20 pm. Arriving at 4.10 pm at Vienna Airport we had to change the plane to Milano at 5.25 pm.
Arriving in Milano we were picked up by bus to drive another 3,5 hours to Mantova. We got to the Hotel around 10.30 pm.
After the whole day eating junkfood in the planes and airports we finally got some Italian food in our screaming stomages.
After days like this I am thinking about some conversations with people of the audience wich I met at different gigs.
It sounded like that: Oh, you are Jazz Musician. Thats great, my mother plays the flute too. What is your real profession.........what do you make for a living? ????????

So, this day may have been boring for you. I will try to entertain you a little. So lets play a game.......The winner
will get 2 tickets for free to any concert of his choice on this tour.
I asked the Bandmembers about their second surname. Here are the guys who have non second surname, they are
not part of the game. This are: Mathias, Herwig, Hans, Nico, Anna, Andy, Martin, Juraj and Robert.

Now here the guys with a second name: Harry, Tobias, Dominik, Mario, Joris, Stephan, Mathieu, Ingrid, Adrian,
Edward. And here are the second names in any order: Anthony, Berthold, Werner, Maria, Leopold, Anton-Helmut,
Jasper,Marcel,Trevor, Carlo.
Now the game is, to put all the second names in the right place where they belong to the first names of the
Bandmembers. For example: Harry-Carlo etc.The first who get it right will get the two concert tickets for free.

Just send a mail with the right solution to and I will let you know if
you are the winner.

Good luck..........!!


the arrival at the hotel in Mantova



May 15th, Mantova DREAMS & VISIONAIRS 

The day in Mantova was super nice. Everybody exept me (I had to write the diary) slept in a little longer, because
of the late soundcheck at 5.00 pm.
The weather was sunny and most of the guys spent their time walking around
the beautiful old town, went shopping or had lunch in one of the retaurants there.
The food was excellent and I
recognized again that the Italian people are living a different style.
We started the concert after an invited dinner,
wich was great again, at 9.15 pm.





The concert place was at Teatro Sociale di Mantova, a very old theater , like a opera place.

The audience was a little shy with the applause but later we got them and they didn´t stop applauding and we
had to play two encores.

After the concert I went straight to my room because the bus to the airport was leaving at 6.30 am. Some
of the other guys stayed late in the town, so I had to make four wake up calls five minutes before departure
in that holy morning. By the way, Mathias gave me two wonderfull jobs. The Tourdiary and the last call !! This
is one way to make the other members love me very much as a new bandmember, because I have to kick asses
everyday when the bus is leaving or we have a meeting or whatever ......!

Finally now we are sitting in the bus driving back to the Milano Airport wich takes us 3 or more hours. 

I will let you know more tomorrow. Stay tuned. Yours Stephan Berthold Zimmermann.




May 16th, Waidhofen - AMERICAN DREAMS

After the flights Milano-Vienna and the trains Vienna-Waidhofen we arrived in the Hotel at 5.00 pm. After the
soundcheck we played the concert wich was maybe the best concert we did on this tour. The acoustic in the
Schlosscenter was very good and the band played very well and relaxed. The solos were amazing and everybody
in the band was ok with ou performance. This time we had our video projections on the big screen again wich we
could not use in the last three concerts. Tomorrow we will travel straight to St. Veit because the concert in
is cancelled and moved to the 2nd of November check .

Thanks to the organizers for their excellent work to the audience for the good vibes!




Von: "Prof. Stephan Zimmermann" <>
Datum: 18. Mai 2007 09:36:05 MESZ
An: "Tobias Sager" <>
Betreff: Re: name game

Hallo Tobias,
folgende Namen sind richtig:Mario Carlo, Matthieu Marcel ,Ingrid Maria
ich gebe dir einen tip.verfolge einfach die homepage noch ein paar tage und probiere es nochmal
gruss Stephan

Am 18.05.2007 um 08:53 schrieb Tobias Sager:
Hi Stephan,
my very (very!) wild guess.. ;-)
Harry Leopold
Tobias Jasper
Dominik Anton-Helmut
Mario Carlo
Joris Berthold
Stephan Werner
Mathieu Marcel
Ingrid Maria
Adrian Trevor
Edward Anthony
Thanks for the great tour diary and the great gigs in Vienna!
Cheers, Tobias
Devise by Adrian Mears
These last days, with the Roma Romance. I didn’t really have a ghost of a chance,
To clean my teeth as goo as I could, occupied by all the fucking long bus trips and flights when I should.
So there is something that I should say, and Im not gay.
Oh I wished Id looked after me teeth when I spotted the dangers beneath,
All the toffee I chewed and the sweet sticky food, oh I wish Id looked after me teeth.
I wish I´d been that more than willing to buy something else with my schilling.
My mother she told me no end, “if you’ve got a tooth you’ve got a friend”
I was young then and careless, my toothbrush was hairless.
So I showed them the toopaste alright and flashed it about late at night,
Poking and fussing, it didn’t seem the worth I could bite.
So I lay in the old dentist chair and gaze up his nose in despair.
His drill it does whine in these molars of mine,
Amalgan he says for in there.
How I laugh at my Fathers false teeth as they foam in the waters beneath,
But now comes the reckoning its me they are beckoning
Oh I wished Id looked after my teeth…..
May 17th, Travel day instead of the concert in Munich 

the little old train in Waidhofen
A beautiful rainbow was waiting for us in St.Veit


As I said before the concert today in München is cancelled and moved to the 2nd November 2007.




Thats why we are travelling today by train straight to St. Veit were we have to perform tomorrow.
The distance Waidhofen- St. Veit is about 460 kilometers.

Yesterday night I shot a nice picture of our lead trombone player Adrian Trevor Mears......

Check it out. To Cordula: We will remove Adrians make up before he will show up at home, don´t worry.


Here is Adrian Trevor Mears:




If everybody have a funny picture with his dog etc. or some poetry, feel free to mail it to me:

We will put it on the VAO Homepage. It is time to get a little more crazy.



A little late night party at the "Burg" in St.Veit


WATCH OUT!!!!!!!!: tomorrow is the birthday party of he orchstra. The first concert was

given on May 19th 1977 in Vienna, at "Gittis Jazz Club". Therefore we will celebrate

in Bad Aussee, at Kurhaus Lewandowsky (Tel:03622-52511) at With a  special concert set,

a 2nd set presenting the small line ups and a jam session.




Hi mathias,

Wie geht’s? Ich lese mit Vergnügen den Tourrider und habe mich sehr gefreut,
daß die drei Abende im Gasometer ein Erfolg waren. Ich gratuliere Dir von
In Graz kommen wir natürlich. Am zweiten Abend (5. Juni) lade ich hiermit
die gesamte Band zu uns ein zu einer Chill-out Party (Drinks and Snacks warm
& cold guaranteed!:-) ein.
Ich freue mich auf ein gemeinsames Wiedersehen und einen gemütlichen hang.

Herzliche Grüsse - natürlich auch All About Eve!


heinrich von kalnein - saxophonist/ composer/ producer
Glacisstr.3 - A-8010 Graz / Austria
visit my website:




May 18th,  St.Veit - AMERICAN DREAMS

St. Veit is a very nice town and the people there also.

Thanks very much for the nice time.

We had the chance to visit the beautiful castle and had wonderful day with sunny weather.

The concert in the Ernst Fuchs Palast was very good and the band was cooking.

The audience was great, thanks alot again.




The "Burg" in St.Veit with the court, where most of the cultural events happen.



The Game about the second surnames is over.

I got alot of mails but only one person nailed it.

Here are the right names:


Harry Werner

Tobias Anton Helmut

Dominik Leopold

Mario Carlo

Joris Jasper

Stephan Berthold

Mathieu Marcel

Ingrid Maria

Adrian Trevor

Edward Anthony


The winner is Herta Hofkirchner. Congratulations. You won 2 free tickets.


Today we have to travel to Bad Aussee where we have our big Birthday party at 8 pm in the Kurhaus.

I will let you know how it went tomorrow.




May 19th, Bad Aussee, Birthday party



 The view from the Hotel at the "Grundlsee".


After changing trains four times and taking the bus because the track was closed we arrived in Bad Aussee
around 4 pm. At the trainstation there was a warm welcome of a typical traditional austrian band with
Lederhosen and the played and sang some songs for us. Hans our bassplayer had to sit in to play a jodelsong
with the band. Fantastic. Now we know his real talent.After arriving in the great hotel we were invited for dinner, wich was great. The people here are real friendly.





The welcome party at the train station

We started our concert 8 pm at the Kurhaus. The concert was totally sold out.
We played in the first set a mixed selection of tunes with the whole band.

In the second set there where features of many soloists with the rythm section and Ingrid with a solo
performance on percussion. For the last tune the whole band came together and we played Diminuendo in Blue.
Harry was the featured soloist. After that another encore and bows again.



                Joris Roelofs & Nico Gori                             Andy Scherrer & Matthieu Michel                 Barbara Paierl & Ronny


Thanks again to Bad Aussee. It was great and we are looking forward to come back.
Now we will take a break for a couple of days. Everybody will go home tomorrow to do his laundry and charge
the batteries again. 7550 people listened so far to this part of the tour and I will tell you more about when we
continue next friday. Have a good time.

Yours, Stephan





May 25th, La Chaux-du-milieu - Corbak Festival, ELLINGTON

Hi there again. The tourdiary continues..........
After travelling from all over Europe we met in La Chaux-du-milieu for the Corbak Festival. The organizer tried since 5 years to hire the orchestra and this year it finally worked.


La Chaux-du-Milieu is a little town in the Jura in the french part of Switzerland with only 400 people living there.
This festival is really special. It’s actually a rock festival. The concert room is pretty tiny and there were 800 people 
listening to the concert, 4 people every square meter. Not many room to move, but they were all moving. The audience
was great by screaming and really appreciating our Ellingon-versions, a program which works even at a nonjazz festival!
After our band there was Emilie Simon, a very popular singer from Montpellier living in Paris, performing with her band. She accepted the invitation only because she knew
we were playing the same night. Quel honneur! After walking around and
having dinner I have to say that there are not many festivals which kept the spirit of the early 70ties with an eye
on beeing up to date. Thanks again to Martial Rosselet and all the volunteers from the great team of the Corbak Festival.




The no1 audience on this tour till now..





May 26th, Kremsmünster - Gulda Festival, EUROPEAN VISIONAIRIES

Today we left the Hotel very early at 6.45 am to catch the train to Zürich Airport. Then with the plane to Vienna and
with the bus to the Westbahnhof and with another three different trains to Kremsmünster.
At the Vienna Airport we couldn´t get our luggage because of an technical error at the airport in Zürich. We talked to
the guys in the office and they said that the luggage will not arrive before 10.00 pm at the hotel in Kremsmünster:

That’s why we were not able to change our clothes for the concert. The band looked pretty awful: Adrian for example had to play in his shorts and  Hank in his famous 17years old "Trainigsanzug".Harry’s splendid devise (see below) came up at the right
moment. Some of the instruments and  equipment were missing and we had to deal with it, especially Martin who had
to play without his electronics and his volume pedal. 


Paul Gulda & mathias rüegg, two possible friends..

The Festival is organized by Paul Gulda. He is a son of Friedrich Gulda who was a very famous classical piano player
and composer. Paul  played the classical interludes with different duo partners on our new CD and also live at the
concert tonight.
And here is the new generation of young and gifteted classic musicians with a different approach to music..


Sabine Nova

Linde Gansch

Vasile Marian

Jelena P.

Claudia Nöhammer

Klaus Meyer

Ernst Weissensteiner

Clemens Böhm

Martin Angerer

Thomas Fischer

Othmar Gaiswinkler

Hubert Kerschbaumer

The band played the 2nd program (which was not played for one week) very well and precise and the audience liked it again.
Tomorrow everybody is travelling home and we will meet again next Friday at the Philharmonie in Essen where the tour continues.




Watch Harry’s incredible devise here

Devise Harry (Theaterstück Outfit of VAO 2007)

Outfit 1:....Lammettahaare, Schwimmflügerln,  Cheerleaderwedel, Flossen, 
(Harry  zieht sich hinter dem Paravant um und redet verwirrt.... Des gibts ja net ...
der Kummerbund der passt net ...wo sand denn die weissen Schuhe ...
Mist... den einen hab ich im  Klo vergessen....was für Draufgab?...
Hergott wo sand denn die Noten …wenn harry sagt „jetzt hab ichs...fertig“)
(Harry erscheint)

Ansage Tobias: sehr ernst und laut und mit Spracheinschlag (wie im Bundesheer):
„DRESSCODE“ Programm 1 "American Dreams"
Black Tuxedo  White Shirt (no T-Shirt)
White Breast-Pocket Handkerchief
White Scarf
Black Cummerbund
White Tennis Shoes / White completly silver Sneakers (no Street-shoes! new ones!)-
White Hair

Outfit 2: ...Taucherhaube Schwimmbrille, Fischerjacke von Ronnie, Skaterschützer
Harry verschwindet und zieht sich wieder um hinter dem Paravant
harry redet verwirrt beim umziehen : was hat er gsagt?  ....hat er net gsagt Programm 3 und Outfit vom
Programm 2?......oder Programm 2 und outfit von Programm 3?....
.....der Kummerbund geht net auf....So eine Sch......
Und welche Draufgab schon wieder?...Was hat er gsagt?..... Des gibts ja net......
wenn harry sagt „jetzt hab ichs...fertig“)
(Harry erscheint)

Ansage Tobias:
„DRESSCODE“ Programm 2. "European Visionaries"
Blue Jeans in every fit and style (colour range from medium blue to dark blue)
Top: dark and muted colours, no bright colours or white;
Style: New York Street Style and Hip Hop
Be creative with Accessoires (hats,...)

Outfit 3... Lamettahaare, Radhelm, Schwimmflügerln, Knieschützer, Flossen
(Harry verschwindet wieder und zieht sich wieder um hinter dem Paravant
harry redet verwirrt beim umziehen: oben New York und unten loose? oder...
unten New York und oben loose? Hilfe wo sand den meine Noten ......
Mist ...bei die weissen Schuh sand jetzt ah no die Bandln grissn.....
wenn Harry sagt „jetzt hab ichs...fertig“) 
(Harry erscheint)

Ansage Tobias:
„DRESSCODE“ Programm 3. "Visionaries & Dreams"
Blue Jeans in every fit and style (colour range from medium blue to dark blue)
Top: like in the first program, but loosened up
(open fly, loosened tie, if you like open shirt with white T-Shirt underneath,...)
White Leather Shoes
„White Hair“

(nachdem Harry seine Verrenkungen gemacht hat sagen wir gemeinsam im Chor:
nicht mehr mit der Stimme wie im Bundesheer - sondern normal)

„Thank you very much Guys we hope you had a nice time in Kremsmünster!“



June first, Essen - AMERICAN DREAMS


Hello again,

this is Ingrid writing, taking over the business to inform you about whats going on at this next part
of the tour. A womans voice in a me-he-he-ns world (17 guys!! Anna and me ... quite a lot of men ...).

So we met after a 6 days break in Essen where we stay for the next days, playing all three programms.

The first surprise for us was Adrian appearing with a quite new "hair cut". Totally shaved by our
























New haircut, new identity: Adran Mears

star-figaro Tobi he is completely bald, looking like a buddhist monk (in a smoking when he did the
concert in the evening). So people change their hairstyle mostly für two reasons. One could be for
beauty, another is thinking about changing their life ... lets say Adrian did it for beauty reasons.

But lets talk about the music. The huge hall in Essen was not really crowded, but the guys and Anna
sounded great and the people enjoyed it in a german way.



















At the soundcheck the guitar did not work anymore, so he had to play with the guitar of Ronnie. Then in the middle of the concert a string cracked and inI think they did not really notice that Nicoand Joris played the third tune without the score, which they could not find. It was also a hard time for Martin and Ronnie. At the end his whole technic sayed good bye.
But if you know Martin you also know that he stayed of course cool till the bitter end.



























Our gentleman from Bratislava,Jurai Bartos

After concert our new "minister for punishment" Sir Ed Partyka had to make sure that Hans payed a
round for the entire band as a fee for beeing once late at the soundcheck and leaving the stage
to get a forgotten score at the concert in Kremsmünster. A lot of drinks for a lot of people,
and a totally stressed barkeeper...

Hairdresser Tobi

At the end let me tell you a very interesting nightmare, that mathias had the night before:

mathias had (for some reasons we do not think about) to go to jail for one year. When he
got out he knew that he had to go immediately to the band, playing this evening. He did not
enter the stage but was brought to a special seat in the audience. When the concert started
he realized that someone had made a musical out of this production! The music was changed
dramatically. For mathias it was nearly unbearable to hear that and after the second tune
mathias ran out, crying ...

So, if someone has an interpretation (of course only based on research and serious science)
or this dream let us know ...







This sunny day in Essen started relaxed with a nice breakfast (for those who made it in time, others
really slept long).  This is one of the very fine things when  we play all three programms. We don´t
have to travell that much and can rest a little bit in between. So when I met some guys in the main
shopping road in the afternoon it seemed to be a different band. Everyone looked fresh, shaved, healthy...

It was a little bit disappointing that in the evening there was the same situation: this very big hall with
not to many people. On the other hand the band was really on top. The concert was nearly perfect;


Andy Orels projections

relaxed, exact, great solos. The people listening really seemed to like it so that we had to do two encores.

After concert we were invited for dinner and I started to ask myself what I will write about this day,
because everything went well so far, nothing really happened. But somehow mathias´ nightmare seemed
to come true and for some reason the biggest three men (Ed, Ronnie and Michael, boss of the light)
started to sing Musicalsongs like "Maria" from Westsidestory.  It was sooo sweet, you maybe can imagine
if you know this three guys. It turned out that  only 4 people out of 22 (including crew) never played
musical. And ... mathias himself was musical director for 1 month at the "Vereinigte Bühnen Wien", the
musicalmekka in Vienna.


                                                                        Michael Kaufmann, the oustanding director of the Philharmonie Essen.     

Back at the hotel the barkeeper meanwhile had accepted his fate and worked very hard to serve the
band, especially Harry. It seemed that Harry seriously was working on finding out the best mixture for
the ultimate Caipirinha.  He succeeded and the result was a drink that was really strong. I mean really,
really strong... we will see what Harry looks like this evening. I will let you know ;-)

Tobi, Mario, Anna, Hans and Stefan listening to Tobis never ending list of music in his i-pod where the
last ones going to bed. And what else happened in this night in Essen we never will know ...


Devise from Adrian Mears in Essen,
sung to melody of Charlie Parker`s "Ornithology" 

I hope that everybody`s feeling groovy

Because were gonna play in such a short time.

The music Matthias calls his.

Waving his arms to try to give us the beat,

 we blow our horns and push em back in their seats.

The audience is constantly pleased,

 that Matthieu stylishly plays up a storm.

and Hank blows us away with his horn. 

And Harry gets the prize for acrobatics

Our Andy blows around with such a great sound.

Or Tobias is parting our hair.

 Juari does his best to get the music out there.

Mario Gonzi has incredible flair,

to swing this band the way that it should.

 there’s much more to say about this band but we must play, so that is all.




June 3rd, Essen -  VISIONARIES & DREAMS

So, another day in Essen.

What shall I say, nothing happened exept:

Tobi left the band and joined the musicalcompany in Essen where he sings the male main role in
"Tanz der Vampire". Accompanied by Ronnie, Silke and Michael that signed up for the dancers group.

Robert, Jurai, Stephan and Harry (by the way, he is fine) decided to throw away their computers
and live their future life far away from technic stuff like Amish people at a farm near Essen.

Hank visited a workshop at "Volkshochschule Essen" : How to stay calm and relaxed. Afterwards he
decided to become a monk.



Joris and Nico confessed never again to cast their eyes at young ladies and decided to accompany Hank.

Anna bought a ticket to India. The last words that I could hear where: I will never again travell
with unpolite men!
Hans took a plane to Romania in search of a new cheap bass.

Martin and Matthieu were last seen 32 kilometers out of Essen, constantly discussing their
future career as drummers.
Andy retired in Art Orchestra because he got a senior partnership
at Taittinger champagne company.




Adrian went back to Australia. He said that he wants to live in the Outback and change his life.
Ed was finally kidnapped by aliens to another galaxy.Dominik also stayed with the musicalcompany.
He wants to get mentioned in the Guinness Book of records by playing the 7.289 th show of "Elisabeth".

Mario catched the next plane to Las Vegas where he wants to marry Christiane. Afterwards he
takes the job as a governor of Gmunden.

Mathias went back to Swizzerland, signing a contract as a conductor for the alphorn-ensemble

So this evening in Graz I am doing my first soloprogramm ... enjoy!


devise from Adrian Mears


As you know recently Ed has received the new position of Minister for punishment (well suited indeed)
Meaning he keeps track of the delegated “ROUND to Be Paid” which is the consequence when a band
member commits a band sin.

I have come up with some new job suggestions, what do you think?

Ministry of Warm Up Sins – Joris. (If someone is caught playing the same melodic patterns when
warming up – ROUND)

Ministry of Cocktail Ingredient Supervisor – Harry

Ministry of Cheap Haircuts – Tobias

Ministry of VAO Repertoire Reminder – Robert (Anybody caught whistling, tapping or singing a melody or
phrase from any of the 3 programs before sound check – ROUND)

Ministry of Hot Sauses and Chilli – Hank

Ministry of Sauna Excursions – Stephan (Please register before 10am with Stephan for the following day)

Ministry of Monetry Excess – Ed. (Those caught teaching during the day or travelling separate to do a

little extra work on the side)

Ministry of Disorientated Logic – Jurai  (Those who pay round when they have not done anything wrong)

Ministry of Perversion – Dominik. This requires a weekly Pay TV report and those with the highest viewing quota – ROUND.

Ministry of Sloppy Kisses – Mattheiu. (Anyone caught drinking too much and giving un-needed sloppy kisses – ROUND

Ministry of Bad breath – Anna (Must conduct test before entering the stage)

The Principle Director of the Fuck Jazz Institute – Martin & supervising authority – Ronnie

Ministry of Background Removals - Adrian




June 4th, Graz - AMERICAN DREAMS


We left Essen at 7:45 leaving for the airport to take the plane to Vienna.

Tobi confused some at the gate waiting people by imitating a totally being stressed conservative man
speaking very loud with a kind of eastgerman dialect and constantly complaining.

In Vienna we catched the train to Graz. All laptops and i-pods were working, as all people at least
slept about 5 hours. Too much for beeing really tired.
When we arrived at the venue in the evening
Ronnie told us that the PA gave up. But anyway he managed it somehow, like he always does.
Thank you!


                                                    Hans preaching his devise

There was a good atmosphere at the concert and the band sounded great. I know that I wrote
that before but that´s the way it is every evening. Some of you might know that I only play at
second and third program, so I can listen to the first from outside and I always do with great fun. 
My favourite part of this program is the beginning of the Marilyn Monroe-tune when Jurai plays the
theme very soft, very charming and exiting.  There I am almost lying on my knees. The same happens
to me when Adrian plays "Somewhere over the rainbow" at the end of his solotune in an extraordinary
and very intense way. I really enjoy listening to this program. Its Big Band-Music at its best,
making you feel good.




                  Adrain Mears                             Harry Sokal                               Jurai Bartos


After hanging out a little bit at Generalmusikdirektion some of the guys took another "goodnightdrink"
at the hotelbar. There a new barkeeper began to realize that a hard working time is about to begin
and that he has to put more "Weizenbier" in the refrigerator for the next days.

Some members of the band went to bed early because Ed hired them for a special job in the morning
of the next day. Ed, teaching in the Jazzkonservatory of Graz is about to examine his students in
composition. As the two Big Bands of Graz are also on tour there is a lack of musicians. So about
5 or 6 people from the Art Orchestra will help playing the tunes of the students. They will have a
very special Band today.





                                                   Tobi and Ed, thinking of Ed’s mother..

By the way, Ed sends greetings to his mother. We don´t know each other but also the best wishes
from me. Maybe we meet someday. And sorry for my Englisch. I am Austrian ...

At the end another interesting dream that Adrian had last night:

Harry did the soundcheck for his solotune, then went back to his place in the section.
Everyone saw that he was tumbling, nearly falling. Then the band started to realize that it was
because of the High-Heels (!!!) he wore. Harry started to cry ...

So in the dreams our hard men do a little bit of crying and other female stuff ... sweet ;-)


Devise from Hans Strasser




De  visen   nix!

Val  uten   Devisen,  de  v[w]isen nix!

De  v[f]isen  V[f]aluten, de  v[w]isen  val  uten Devisen  nix!

Valu[ou]ten  de v[w]isen  V[f]aluten  Devisen,

De  v[f]isen  V[f]aluten  de v[w]isen val  uten  Devisen  nix!


         De  vis  en  V[f]al:  !!UTENDE!!!

       vi  s’en  V[f]alut  ende:
       vi’s  e[i]nval  Ute  ’nd   Evi

                   sev[β]a  lu[ou]tende visen -
                    valu[ou]ten(!),  vá  luten,  de  !vísen!!!


D’Evi   sen   v[a]l,   Ute — ’Nde.

"—Vi—sen!",  "Va-lut!"

 En de v[f]isen V[f]aluten, de visen val uten Devisen nix.

Val uten Devisen,  de visen nix!

De visen gar nix!




A relaxed day for most of the people.

Robert, Dominik, Hank, Joris and Stephan left the hotel early for playing at Ed´s students examination.
I wanted to listen a little bit but came too late because I had to write the tour diary. Therefore,
I just joined them for lunch. It seemed that the students were very impressed by listening to them,
realizing what it means to be really professional. I think it was an inspiration for them.

In the evening we met at Generalmusikdirektion, had a short sound check, afterwards a nice catering
and good mood until right next to our dressing room a HeavyPostpsychedelicNewageBlackmetalband
started to rehearse shockingly loud ... darkblack depression for about 8 minutes. It seemed that they
wanted to tell us that Apocalypse starts right now. For heavens sake the organizer saved our lives by stopping them.

The house was full; the audience great, the band in best form and it was fun to play.

After the concert, Heinrich von Kalnein invited the whole band and some friends to his beautiful flat.
There was a lot of good food and a never-ending source of drinks. People were laughing, singing,
listening music and even dancing. One or another also a little bit flirting around, but no details...

It was 4 a.m. when I left the party (I was not the last one).

This morning at the breakfast, I did not see too many people...



Devise von Dominik Stöger


es garatulieren zum Geburtstag:
Italien, Frankreich,Irland,Spanien
die Schweiz, Agypten, Transjordanien
Finnland, Polen, Slowakei,
Japan und die Mandschurei
Kanada und Argentinien
Tansania und Brasilien.

Kurz gesagt die ganze Welt,
hat sich zum Glückwunsch eingestellt.

Die Königin Elisabeth,
Allah und auch Mohammed,
der Papst mit seinen Kardinälen
sie möchten ebenfalls nicht fehlen.
Der grosse und der kleine Mann
schliessen sich als nächstes an.

Radio Moskau, Radio Wien,
der Sender Rias in Berlin.
Schneewittchen und die sieben Zwerge,
das Heurigen- und Gastgewerbe.

Astor Piazolla spielt einen Tango,
Glückwünsche übermittelt Inspektor Colombo.
Es gratulieren mit Hurra,
die ananoymen Alkoholiker.

Gusenbauer, Molterer, Haider,
und auch der Hinterser Hansi - leider!
Weiters grüsst das ganze Porgy
und statt dem ich spiel, der Georgy.

Zum Schluss sagen Servus alle Grazer
Hoffentlich gibts heute keine Patzer!




The day after the Party was mostly used for recovering. Many people slept long, some guys went to

the Sauna, Joris and me to the Gym.
In the evening we met again for the last concert evening in Graz.
I have to mention again the catering. We always got a very delicious warm meal

(what a refreshing change to the sandwiches we usually get). Thank you Sigi and Herta!!!
Some little things happened during the first tunes due to a certain lack of energy that was maybe

lost at the party.




                                                                          The art of ZEN

But soon the Band again gained the concentration that was usual for the last

days and began to heat up.
The place was packed again, the mood was very good and we played two encores.
It happened that the taxi driver (David) that took some of us back to the hotel was a good friend
of our barkeeper (Matthias) in the hotel. He already knew that the band was in town...By the way:
Thanks to Matthias for doing a great job.
What a difference to
our barman in Essen ...
People went to bed somehow early. In the morning at 8:35 we left for Dornbirn. Jurai was at the
train station  at 6:35 because he did not realize that it was only the crew that had to travel that

early. He went back to the hotel to take another short powernap.
PS:  The total truth about what happened at the Kalnein Party.


   Herwig Gradischnnig

Special Service: "Pay Diary"
At the party after a few drinks you could see Leopold (baritone sax) [piiep], followed by 2nd trumpeter

Josef who also tried to [piiep] the green Lady. He would not be the last one. Then trumpet player

Wladislaw came along and [piiep]. Meanwhile John (trombone) had started to convince the green

Lady to [piiep]. Late in the evening Jean Pierre (trumpet) confessed that he was kidnapped to this

party and [piiep]. In the kitchen you could see Klaas (sax) and Susi (crew) [piiep]. Leopold locked

Josef in the bathroom while hugging Roswitha (percussion).

Meanwhile the barkeeper in the hotel was forced to work till 3 a.m. Leopold, Josef and John went to

Josef´s hotel room for [piiiep]. They [piiep] and went to bed at about 8 a.m.    THE END (???)


Guten Abend aus Deutschland,
vom 1. - 3. Juni war ich bei allen Konzerten in Essen dabei und muss sagen:
Die Kompositionen und Arrangements wirklich klasse und  abwechslungsreich.
Die Spiellaune des VAO perfekt.
... und die Einladung von den billigen Plätzen nach vorne zu kommen: Danke an Mathias Rüegg :-)
Jeder Abend war für sich betrachtet ein Erlebnis und trotzdem der 3. Abend noch ’ne Steigerung.
Als (Hobby)Posaunist hat mich natürlich der Posaunensatz am meisten begeistert. Aber jetzt muß

ich auch mal fragen, wie Tobias Weidinger an der Lead-Trumpet - trotz oder wegen  Kaugummikauen

 - diese Töne herausgeholt hat? ;-)
Wirklich schade, dass so wenige da waren. 
Ich fand die Stimmung trotzdem klasse und unter Verweis auf Euer tour-diary: ich habe keine Erklärung

für den Alptraum von Mathias Rüegg





... es kam bestimmt nicht rüber wie ein Musical!!! Aber gespannt bin ich mal auf die erste CD vom

Alphorn-Ensemble "Edelweiss"!
So, jetzt wünsche ich Euch noch ’ne weiterhin gelungene Geburtstagstour.
Herzliche Grüße
aus Mönchengladbach
Matthias Aretz



June 7th, Dornbirn - AMERICAN DREAMS


We left Graz in the morning for a 9 hour (!) train ride to Dornbirn.
Quite a long time. People were sleeping, sending short messages, photos or special ring tones from
mobile phone to mobile phone, watching films on their laptops, listening music, telling their lives ...
We arrived at about 5 p.m. in Dornbirn, where Peter Füssl gave us a warm welcome.
The "Spielboden" is a very special place. Everything is done for the musicians to feel well.
Great concert room, nice backstage area and outstanding catering. So everybody was feeling
good although it was a hard travel day. Thanks to this team!!!






              Part of our incredible crew: Agnes, Jony & Silke                                     Mastermind Ronald Matky


  Ingrid & Agnes

Then again first program (you already know that I can listen to it from outside and really can feel
what’s going on in the audience). I don’t want to say much. Just that: Although Martin’s guitar
gave up again and Ronnie had to get the problem managed (what he did of course) the band
played absolutely, completely, incredibly good. No words for that, you just have to listen.
We had a great audience and the mood was getting really enthusiastic for both, musicians
and people listening. What a concert! Due to Tobis Devise:






People might think that after such a concert the feelings backstage are cheerful, but the musicians
were somehow quiet for a while. They gave everything they had on stage. It was really kind of a gift.
Thank you guys for that! Afterwards some of us got another special show in the "Wirtshaus" where
we went after concert for a few drinks. For quite a while we listened to some famous Big Band Music
and could watch Mario, Tobi, and Ed playing in a pantomimic way all instruments, every kick, every
brass fill. They know every little single movement in these tunes.
And this was the end of a long day. Might be that somewhere around some things happened that
I do not know and if I knew maybe I would not tell ;-)
So we are looking forward to the next concert evening, hoping to have a good time again.



Lieber Herr rüegg

Ich habe im KKL den ersten Teil Ihres Programms gehört und war sehr begeistert!
Das erste Konzert das ich hörte war Art&Fun im Schiffbau Zürich und von
da an gehöre ich wohl zu den Fans des Vienna Art Orchestra.
Für mich sind Ihre Konzerte das musikalisch Genialste was ich je erlebt habe
und obwohl ich sicher nicht jeden Aspekt Ihrer Kompositionen und Arrangements verstehe
(da mir die nötigen Kenntnisse fehlen)sind sie für mich grossartig und bewirken ein
beständiges Kribbeln während des ganzen Konzerts!!

Ich spiele Sopransaxophon und war früher in der "KantiBänd" Zofingen, unser Bändleader
zählt auch zu ihren Bewunderern. Nun bin ich aber im Vorkurs der Hochschule für
Gestaltung und Kunst in Luzern und habe nach dem Konzert bei der Jamsession im Foyer Lust
bekommen zu skizzieren. Mir ist nicht alles gelungen, aber ich wollte es Ihnen doch nicht
vorenthalten einen Blick in mein Skizzenbuch zu werfen. Ich hatte noch die Aufnahmeprüfung
in die Fachklasse Illustration zu bestehen, -deshalb meine Verspätung.

Ich bewundere Sie sehr, finde ihre dezente Art sehr sympa und hoffe Ihnen eine kleine
Freude zu bereiten.

Herzlich, Maria Stalder




June 8th, Dornbirn -  EUROPEAN VISIONARIES

Today I have to confess that I run out of inspiration a little bit. So this time I just tell you the facts:
The first fact is that maybe my lack of inspiration is a consequence of staying quite long at the bar
after concert ...Sunny day in Dornbirn.Some people went for a walk.




The terrific audience of Dornbirn

I bought some really nice new shoes.
Mario, Hans and Adrian went to the sauna, fell asleep afterwards at the roof. Naked as god created them.
As I already said: it was a sunny day in Dornbirn. So we have three men with us now that are red on one side.
Stephan took some nightly photos that you never will see and believe me you don’t want to.
The Band took over the hotel bar in their special charming and sophisticated way so that the other
guests soon ran for the door.


The top catering in the top club "Spielboden"

The whole rhythm section lost 9 bars of music on the way through Adrian’s solo tune but it
was not really a problem for people that are used to improvise.
Standing ovations at the end.
Love, Peace and Happiness ;-)




our crew on the way to a model career: Agnes & Jonny


June 9th, Dornbirn - VISIONARIES & DREAMS

Our third day in Dornbirn turned out to be a very lazy one. Most musicians showed up around midday or
early afternoon, having breakfast/lunch at the Pizzeria next to the hotel. Some others went to a
swimming pool. The sauna boys did not use the sauna this day, their bodies are still "hot enough"
and need a little recovering.
As far as I know only Barbara, our woman for merchandising (and saxophone player) made a trip
to some nice spots around and went up the mountain with cable car.

















                                                                                       Nico & Adrian


                                                        There is always a younger musician than you: Laura (12)
                                                                         plays saxo
fone since two years

In the afternoon most people went to bed again. It’s really kind of a funny lifestyle on tour.
In the evening the "Spielboden" was packed again, the Band played fabulous and the audience was
great as it was the days before. Quite a lot of people were listening to all three programs. A lot of
clapping, two encores, great mood. It was pleasure and fun to play there and we really had a good
time. Thanks to the organisation and the audience of Dornbirn!
You sure will not believe that after
concert some musicians showed up again at ..., what do you think?
Right! At the hotel bar. But as we have to leave tomorrow morning it did not last too long.
PS: Dear Ed, have fun writing the tour diary;-)

Ed Partyka’s comment:
I´ve really enjoyed the diaries of Ingrid and Stephan, but mathias has allowed me to throw in my two
cents worth again, just like in the old days...Our days in Dornbirn were filled with fun in the sun
(and a bit of booze). The crowds were terrific and the band was burning on all three nights of our
stay. After playing so great the first night after our nine hour train trip, it was weird to have so many
fuck-ups on the second night when we were fully rested. Someone suggested that even on non-travel
days we should be made to sit in a train for a few hours to keep our spirits up. We recovered fully
for the third concert and I can only say one more time what an incredible audience we had in Dornbirn.
The soloists were all great and I won´t even begin to name favorites because everyone is playing so
wonderfully now.

Dear Mr rüegg, Dear VAO Musicians

Thank you, thank you very much for three wonderful evenings that by far exceeded our expectations!
Wonderful atmosphere and an absolutely superb performance by all the musicians, technical staff
and by you "maestro" mathias rüegg.
Congratulations also to the excellent website (listening to «channel one» right now)
We are happy and proud to own the collection of cd’s that were available.
Please come back another year!
We are privileged having been among the audience.
All the best for all of you
Anita & Reto

Anita and Reto Bon
61 Schneebergst


June 10th, Berndorf - VISIONARIES & DREAMS

On Sunday we finally got to travel again, this time to Vienna and then onward to Berndorf. the con-
cert was in an old factory with our "dressing room" beinf outside next to a pile of junk in the rain.




                     nostalgic moments:  the dressing rooms and the backstage aera

We made the best of it and ended up playing another very good concert for a nicely appreciatice
audience. Former VAO trombonist Christian Muthspiel stopped by and the crew did a great job under
difficult conditions to get everything up-and-running on time. Ronny also did an especially good job
with the sound in a "complicated" aural environment (old factory).




                                                                  Kunsthalle Berndorf AG

Afterward we took the bus back to Vienna while the crew drove (once again) all night to Italy.
Since Dornbirn is almost in Italy, the had to drive exactly the same way back they just drove the
night before. They  also got to drive this route back to Vienna today - poor kids!


                                                                   Gentlmen prefer more fun

Some of the smarter band members went straight to bed and some of the not-so-smart band members
(including myself) couldn´t resist the call of the wild and headed out into the 7th district of Vienna for
a couple of refreshing beverages. This resulted in a couple of very hungover trombone players
(Ed & Adrian) and Tobias missing the train to Merano on Monday morning.

Ed Partyka

June 11th, Merano - DREAMS & VISIONARIES

The trip was uneventful (for me at least - I slept the whole way)and we arrived in beautiful Merano
with time to visit the spa, eat delicious pasta (or sleep some more). We started to gather for our
planned soundcheck just as it started to pour down with rain. After an hour of crisis management
with mathias and the concert promoter it was decided that we would perform accoustically in the
the hotel lobby/bar. Silke moved everything and we were able to start on time. The audience was
fine, but after the enthusiasm of Dornbirn it was a bit of a let down. There was one last room party
that went pretty late resulting in Hank missing his train this morning. The good thing for me was that
I had company on my way to Graz.





                                                                           a lot of work for nothing



                      the crew and the chief taking a decision after a heavy rain and a wet and unuseful equipment


                                                We finally played in the bar of the amazing Steigenberger Hotel,
                                                with the help of saxophone player Helga and the bar crew. They all
                                                were perfect improvisers! Anna, mixed up by too many Italian friends,
                                                forgot obviously to take pictures of the 450 people who were in
                                                this room!

All in all the first part of the 2007 tour was a success. Of course we had some ups and downs, but
now we have a couple of weeks to recharge our batteries before our summer festival concerts begin.
Thanks to everyone that has supported us so far this year. If we haven´t gotten to your town yet,
maybe the fall portion of the tour will get us near you. Thanks to the band. Thanks to the makers of
red wine and the brewers of beer. And of course thanks to mathias for making this all possible.

Ed Partyka


Monday, 11.6.07
As I did not play in Berndorf I took one day off from diary and band and spent a night in Innsbruck.
By chance I met Florian Bramböck, whom VAO fans of course know very well. He seems to do great,
plays and composes a lot and was charming and nice as always.
On Monday I joined the band again for travelling to Merano Jazz Festival. As we had rooms in the
"Thermenhotel" next to the open air stage where we were supposed to play, it first seemed to become
a nice afternoon. People went to the spa and sauna or for a short sleep (they came from Vienna and
already had to get up at 5 am).
At 6 pm there should be a sound check, but: at 5:30 it began to rain!! At 5:45 Ronnie told us that
some speakers and the guitar amp will not work anymore.
For a while there was "Italian chaos", no one knew what to decide, who should decide, who is responsible,
what to do now, where to go and so on .... Then finally we moved to some place inside the hotel.
This is not correct: Ronnie, Silke, Michael, Agnes and Johnny moved everything inside and managed
it to get ready so that we could start more or less in time. They did an incredible job!!!
A few more words about our fabulous crew: They get up before us, set up before us, work during
the concert, work after concert, sometimes travel during the night afterwards. We can rely on them
every second, and it could not work that way if they would not do this absolutely professional work.
Thank you!!!
For different reasons we only could use a few microphones for the soloists. The rest of  the band
had to play acoustically. For some of us it was quite hard to hear enough and to play, but somehow
it worked. The hall was more then crowded and people seemed to like what they heard.
Later Stefano Pollani and Paolo Fresu played a wonderful concert. Many of us were listening.
In the end our virtuouso Italian clarinet player Nico joined them.
Meanwhile the band started to celebrate a little goodbye party, for it was the last concert of the
first part of the tour. In the bar mathias wanted to test the Italians in being serious with fulfilling
the non-smoking rules and began to smoke inside. After a short while a waiter came with an ashtray
... victory for mathias!  After the bar closed we went to Stephan’s room, going on with what we
were doing before. Stefano Bollani showed up too. A lot of wine, a lot of fun, some flirting, little sleep ....
Tomorrow everyone goes back to wherever and whatever.
But the tour soon will go on!



Devise from the chief to:

Miss perfection - Ingrid
Mr down to earth - Hans
Mr space & sound - Martin
Mr time - Mario

Mr high note - Tobias
Mr incredible - Matthieu
Mr trumpet - Jurai
Mr Germany - Stefan

Mr trombone - Adrian
Mr pluncher - Robert
Mr silence - Dominik
Mr low note - Ed

Mr darling - Nico
Mr talent - Joris
Mr "Harry Powers" - Harry
Mr President - Andy
Mr big heart - Hank

Miss Lyrics - Anna


The tour was long
the end is near
the band played strong
and without fear

The mood was good
drinks and much food
were always there
and we took care
about each other
and the sound
which is the heart
of music and its art

We call it jazz
some call it trash
but let bit be
and take the cash

Good luck tonight
go out play tight

Thanks to Ingrid, Ed & Stefan for the texts, to Anna
and Christiane for the pictures.
And thanks to the 11.550 people, who came to our concerts
on the first part of the tour 2007!









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