The Musicians
The Music

USA 1998
Bruneck 1999
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The way it really was

4.10. Sunday, Munich - Chicagochicago city flag
At 6.40 a.m., flight LH5017 left Munich airport for Frankfurt with five tired musicians, 3 wives and 8 fans. And no Müso. Christian was worried. Change in Frankfurt for UA945 to Chicago. Still no Müso. Christian was very worried. At 7 p.m. an exultant Müso appeared in the hotel in Chicago recounting the tale of his odyssey through diverse German and American airports. And immediately joined the hard core of the band in a blues bar. The others turned in to nurse their jet lag.
5.10. Monday, Chicago
Breakfast in the Bakery, and then sightseeing: skyscrapers from above (John Hancock Center or Sears Tower) or below (Chicago River architecture cruise). Once round "the loop" on the elevated (railway), and the first attacks of shop till you drop. To Andy's Jazz Club in the evening. The jazz was modern but top notch.
6.10. Tuesday, Chicago - ColumbusFlag of Ohio
The sightseeing continued in spite of the rain. Taxi to the airport at midday for flight UA578 to Columbus, OH. Somewhere the weather was boiling over, and the flight was delayed. When we reached Columbus the entire Toll House Jazz Band was waiting (with almost all the "groupies" we had met in Unterbrunn) to welcome us with music, coffee and the delicious and famous Toll House Cookies. In the evening, a joint gig with the THJB in the bar at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Lane Avenue. The audience’s enthusiasm swept away Christian’s biggest worry: would the band go down well with American audiences.
7.10. Wednesday, Columbus
Mike & Linda Evans organized some volunteers to convoy the band and fans through the countryside around Columbus. Visited the Longaberger Basket factory and the historic Roscoe Village on the Erie-Ohio canal. Unfortunately it rained cats and dogs from midday on.
8.10. Thursday, Columbus
A whole morning in Columbus with no rehearsals. And they’re off! To the museum in the Historical Center, or the German Village, for example. We took careful note: Ohio was the 17th state to join the Union, on 1st March 1803. A concert in the evening at the Heritage Country Club in Hillard (Holes: 18. Yards: 6,278. Par: 72. Rating: 70.6. Slope: 128). The American fans surprized the Charivaris with T-shirts depicting the tour schedule as a rock group’s tour. Mike Evans was made an honorary lifetime member of the Charivari Jazz Band, and Poldi became so excited he broke one of his double bass strings.
9.10. Friday, Columbus - IndianapolisFlag of Indiana
We head West – though in a rented coach rather than a covered wagon – together with the combined THJB and CJB fan club. The buffalo sighted on the prairie proved to be a model. And in Indianapolis there weren’t even any Indians. Instead, waiters dancing to the sound of YMCA in the Johnny Rocket's in the Mall. After a brief pause to check in to the Best Western Waterfront Hotel, Müso and Gerhard accompanied their drummer Rolf to the Drum Center of  Indianapolis. There to seek counsel from a famous drum kit archaeologist so knowledgeable he has written a book on the subject. Rolf was in seventh heaven, and the author so flattered he insisted on presenting Rolf with a signed copy of his book and giving each of his guests a T-shirt. After that, the concert in the Jazz Club of Indianapolis couldn’t help but be a success. Around midnight, half the band, the fan club, and a number of alcoholic beverages gathered in (or in front of) Rosy’s comfy chairs.
10.10. Samstag, Indianapolis - Columbus
On the way home, driving past the Speedway obviously motivated the driver, shortening the journey time by 30 minutes. In the evening we were back in the German Village in the Columbus Maennerchor’s clubhouse to celebrate their 150th anniversary. Although normally dedicated to more classical music the audience clearly enjoyed the experience. Which is more than can be said of the singers’ feelings about the microphone.
11.10. Sonntag, Columbus
One of the things we Germans hadn’t realized about American houses: the bricks on the outside are just another way of cladding the wooden frame. In the afternoon a concert for the Central Ohio Hot Jazz Society in the ballroom of the Holiday Inn. Full picture (33kB)The THJB opened the proceedings as warm-up band, with the CJB, in the blue jerseys, the main attraction. The blaze of the flashes after the concert was a new experience for the CJB. The two bands were put up against the wall and photographed by all and sundry to their (the photographers’) hearts’ content (photo, 33 kB). Then, fond farewells to Müso, Rolf, and some of the fan club who were off on their own early the next morning.
12.10. Monday, Columbus
The newly-formed travel groups swarmed out of the hotel to seek hire cars. In the afternoon the band and fan club were invited by Ginny Wise to a leaving party at her summerhouse on Buckeye Lake, where she treated her guests to boat trips and a fabulous buffet. We discovered that Buckeye Lake is an artificial lake dug in the 18th century as part of the Erie-Ohio canal system. Afterwards, the remaining musicians gathered in the nearby Country Club for a massive jam session and a somewhat emotional farewell.
13.10. Tuesday - 15.10. Thursday, travel to Rockville, MD
Flagge von MarylandTrying to keep musicians together is like trying to herd cats. So the CJB split into a number of different groups. The extreme sports fans Rolf and Müso and the long-distance travel specialists Manfred and Poldi headed northwards towards the Niagara Falls and Toronto. Flagge von West VirginiaThe less ambitious group centred around Christian and Gerhard chose the more relaxed route via the Olentangy Indian Caverns and the West Virginian forest Flag of Virginiato the Blueridge Parkway, then on to the Shenandoah National Park. The common goal for all the groups was the Park Inn Suites Hotel in Rockville, near Washington, where not even the inevitable traffic jams could prevent our intrepid travellers meeting again on the Thursday evening.

16.10. Friday, Washington, D.C.
Flag of Washington D.C.First thing in the morning we put on our glad rags for a reception by the (Franconian) cultural attaché at the German Embassy. Without realizing it, we have apparently made a not insignificant contribution to cultural exchange between Germany and the US. Wilda, Frank and Stu, our friendly hosts from the local jazz club drove there with us and then took us on a quick reconnaissance of the town. Equipped with this overview, we began the standard training programme for visitors to Washington: Capitol Hill, the Mall with the National Museum of American History (and Bill Clinton’s first saxophone), the White House (no comment) and finally the capital’s good subway system to White Flint Station. In the evening, Mike, Linda and Marianne were welcomed from Columbus like long-lost relatives.
17.10. Saturday, Washington
Another day’s training: to Arlington – where America is very American – Alexandria, or the National Air and Space Museum on the Mall. Then some work for a change. Frank drove ahead to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Silver Spring, Maryland, to prepare a concert for the Potomac River Jazz Club. In the ballroom a wedding was being celebrated enthusiastically and noisily. Nonetheless, the CJB was apparently the first band ever to get the audience to join in (with Everybody Loves Saturday Night). Marianne’s efforts to maintain the supply of beer for the band were a major contribution to this success. We would like to put our especial thanks to her on record. Thanks also to the Federal Focus Jazz Band who lent us their cunningly designed music stands and a sound system which operated perfectly.
18.10. Sunday, Washington - New York
Flagge von New YorkThat’s really the end of our US tour. Mike and Linda drove home to Columbus, and Christian, Ulla, Manfred and Birgit flew home to Munich. The rest of the band took the train to New York, after all it’s a must. A mad taxi ride from Penn Station to the Hemsley Hotel, right next to Grand Central Station. Long treks to Broadway, the Flatiron Building and Times Square. Dinner at Hoolihans.
19.10. Monday, NY
The standard sights: view from the Empire State Building (recommended), subway to Chinatown (interesting) and lunch in Little Italy (excellent). Then to Central Park and a minute’s silence in front of the Dakota Building where John Lennon was shot. Gerhard, Margot and Poldi booked a table for the evening in the Carlyle Cafe, where Woody Allen was due to perform with Eddie Davis’ New Orleans Band. This turned out to be a disaster for lovers of jazz. Woody plays clarinet excruciatingly, and the whole thing was over in an hour: not worth a fraction of the $50 they were asking for the tickets.
20.10. Tuesday, NY
Today’s programme: Brooklyn Bridge (worth visiting), Wall Street (weeell), Statue of Liberty (enormous queue, and muscle cramps), and Ellis Island. Then exhausted back to Hoolihans.
21.10. Wednesday, NY - Munich
Quick dash to the United Nations building, then taxis or shuttle bus to the airport. Density of air traffic delayed take off till 3.30 p.m. but we were still well in time for UA962 to Munich at 5.30 p.m.
22.10. Thursday, Munich
At 7.10 a.m. the last travellers finally reached Munich.