German Jazz Philharmonic
Under the headline "Storms of Applause for Brenda Boykin", the WZ (Westdeutsche Zeitung) writes on February 9th 2005:
(...) "But the evening's highlight was the appearance of Brenda Boykin, the American singer now living in Wuppertal. Most delicately accompanied by the Wuppertal Symphony and their attentive conductor, Enrico Delamboye, she sang the Traditionals 'Deep River' and 'Swing Low' as well as popular songs by Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter. Her skillful performance got under the audience's skin and drew storms of applause."
Frank Becker writes on December 15th 2005 in the WZ (Westdeutsche Zeitung) under the headline "Big Orchestra with German Sound":
"Almost a year ago, Daniel Häker, timpanist and percussionist with the Wuppertal Symphony for ten years now, heard Brenda Boykin perform with the Ulrich Rasch Quartet. After the concert, his enthusiasm led him backstage. On the spur of the moment, he wanted to win the American Boykin, since 2004 a resident of Wuppertal, over to a project with the Wuppertal Symphony. 'Convincing Brenda was easy ('I'd love to!')', Häker says, 'and winning over Enrico Delamboye, who was our assistant principal conductor at that time, went equally quickly. We had the concert on Monday before Lent in mind.' Delamboye called the arranger Manuel Speth in. Their success encouraged the team.
Häker proposed to Boykin, Delamboye and Speth to continue their teamwork and to found a new Jazz Orchestra, based on the same classical orchestra line-up which he had comprised under the name of 'Members of Wuppertal Symphony' for the sensational participation of the Wuppertal-based Musical production 'Fiddler on the Roof' in the 2003 Hellenic Festival in Athens. The likeable Berliner's initiative and his excellent connections made the idea become reality.
The German Jazz Philharmonic's speciality lies in the fact that a full-scale orchestra with German symphonic sound - 'a sound you won't find anywhere else in the world: warm, soft, rounded, rich' (Häker) - is playing Jazz-arrangements, complemented by drum set, Jazz bass, guitar, saxophone and piano. That is what the attribute 'German' stands for, but this attribute also indicates that the members of the orchestra come from first-rate German symphony orchestras like the Wuppertal Symphony, the Berlin Radio Symphony, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the Dortmund Philharmonic, the Bochum Symphony and the orchestra of the State Opera Stuttgart.
On May 17th 2005, Brenda Boykin, Delamboye, Speth, 55 musicians, among them the Jazz pianist Ulrich Rasch, and sound engineer Thomas Müskens met in Wuppertal to record six songs for the - now available - CD 'German Jazz Philharmonic Featuring Brenda Boykin'. (…) The main purpose of this CD is to serve as a door opener to agencies and festivals. Daniel Häker has financed the production as an investment in the future and all the musicians have participated in the recording free of charge. 'Some promising contacts have already been established', the likeable Berliner confides with an optimistic smile."