Max Neissendorfer

An evening for Ella Fitzgerald

Barbara Mayr & The Max Neissendorfer Band


100 years of the “First Lady of Song”

Barbara Mayr (voc) – Max Neissendorfer (voc,p)



The Band

Franz-David Baumann (tp) –Stefan Schreiber (sax) - Volker Giesek (p) - Karsten Gnettner (b) –Stephan Eppinger (dr)

25 th of April 2017 marks the 100 th anniversary of the birth of singer Ella Fitzgerald. Ample reason for Barbara Mayr to celebrate the „First Lady of Song“ with a very personal concert program.
„Her relaxed scat solos show the strength of her voice in a charming way“, ....what a creamy voice“, ....her voice is so perfect it gives you that tingling feeling“!
That's what the press says about Barabra Mayr's concerts.
„When I heard Ella's songs for the first time I was electrified. Her special way of interpreting songs ranged from simple to highly complex. I was particularly thrilled by the effortless easiness and the enormous joy in her voice.“

It's exactly this kind of passion the charismatic singer Barbara Mayr shows in her music.

Ella Fitzgerald's duets with Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra or Mel Tormè gained cult status. These little gems occupy a special place in Barbara Mayr's homage. Together with her duet partner of many years, the wonderful singer, pianist and bandleader Max Neissendorfer, the interpretations of these songs are inimitable and unique.


Barbara Mayr

Barbara Mayr was born in Murnau am Staffelsee. She grew up in a musical family, and received her diploma in jazz singing at the New Jazz School München and the Richard-Strauß-Konservatorium München. She studied classical singing with Barbara Wanninger, and participated in workshops with, among others, Sandy Patton. Studio work with her own productions as well as film music. Barbara teaches jazz singing at the Hochschule für Musik München.
Audiences rave about her wonderful voice – be it as a soloist or in a duet with Max Neissendorfer. Both have been working together for many years and trust each other blindly. Since 2015 she is a featured soloist in the SINATRA TRIBUTE BAND & MAX NEISSENDORFER.

Barbara Mayr


Max Neissendorfer

Born in Munich, Max Neissendorfer showed his talent as a virtuoso pianist at a very young age by playing with some of the greatest jazz musicians like Pony Poindexter, Thad Jones, Hannibal Marvin Peterson, Archie Shepp, Franco Ambrosetti and Charly Antolini. But pretty soon the piano was not enough for him as a means of expression. That's why he transferred his uncanny feel for timing, phrasing and improvisation to another instrument: his voice. With that, Max Neissendorfer can be counted among the most versatile jazz pianists and vocalists in Europe these days.
His diverse projects combine jazz standards and originals as well as pop music – swinging, funky and bluesy – with acrobatic scat singing, expressive vocal arrangements and virtuoso piano playing!. But Max Neissendorfer also draws inspiration from crossing stylistic borders and the cooperation with young artists and composers.
„My goal is to combine the aura of the Sinatra era, the virtuoso vocal art of the likes of Bobby McFerrin and the pop productions of somebody like Elton in a way that the general public with a penchant for handmade, high quality music feels pleasantly surprised, something that is and has always been possible when listening to live gigs of these immortal greats of showbusiness”.



Franz-David Baumann (trumpet)

studied trumpet and composition at the Richard-Strauss-Konservatorium (with R. Quinque and P.J. Korn 1977- 1984) and at the Musikhochschule München (with W. Killmayer 1984-1989)
1988 Music Award of the City of Munich
1989 starting the PANAMA-ENSEMBLE of Munich music for children
1998 German Music Award for „Der Inspektor Maus“ DG Junio 457372-2/4 (mouse detective story)
2000 German Music Award for „The Pied Piper of Hamelin“ DG Junior 459-847-2/4 played with i.a.. Panama-Ensemble, ICI-Ensemble, Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Philharmonisches Orchester Ludwigshafen, MH Big Band Linz, Lumperjack Big Band Composer's commissions for i.a. Klavierfestival Ruhr, Philharmonie Köln, ICI-Ensemble, Lumperjack Big Band, Vereinte Versicherungen
since 2007 Head of the Berufsfachschule (training college) für Musik, subject area rock, pop and jazz „Neue Jazzschool München

Stefan Schreiber (saxophone)

studied saxophone at RSK München
plays in styistically diverse formations
concerts, recording sessions and touring i.a. with Barry Guy, George Lewis, Alienensemble, Johannes Enders, Endersroom, Tied&Tickled Trio, The Notwist, Monika Drasch, Franz Lucas Niggli, ...
theatre music at the Münchner Kammerspiele, Münchner Volkstheater, Stuttgarter Staatsschauspiel i.a. with Carl Österheld, Schorsch Kamerun

Volker Giesek (piano)

Volker Giesek studied jazz piano and composition at the Neue Jazz School and the Richard-Strauß- Konservatorium in Munich.
apart from stylistically diverse activities like live concerts, recording and touring he has been musical director of the E.T.A.-Hoffmann Theater in Bamberg.
he composed a musical („The Playboy of the Western World“) and a piano revue (OH MAMA!) and writes music for his band COLORBOX and diverse art projects.
For six years Volker Giesek has been instructor for music theory at the Middle European Jazz Academy in Meran. Currently, he's teaching at the Berufsfachschule (training college) für Musik, subject area rock, pop and jazz.

Karsten Gnettner (bass)

Born in 1959 in Bremen bass player Karsten Gnettner is living in Diessen am Ammersee. He studied at the „Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz“ and is involved in all kinds of musical and cultural activities on the international scene.
He played with a never ending list of musicians like:
Uli Beckerhof, Heinrich Hock, Ed Kröger, John Surman, Dusko Goykovich, Erich Bachträgel, Erich Kleinschuster, George Gruntz, Howard Jones, Bobby McFerrin, Max Kienastl, Sheila Jordan, Stjepko Gut, Charly Antolini, Oscar Klein, Philip Catherin, Hugo Strasser, Joe Pass, Red Holloway, Gianni Basso, Danny Moss, Alan Barnes,Peter „Banjo“ Meyer, Thilo Wolff, Allotria Jazzband, Bibi Johns, Die Jungen Tenöre and many others, participating in concerts, festivals, club dates, recording sessions, radio, television and film productions

Stephan Eppinger (Schlagzeug)

Born 1962 in Reutlingen.
Studied classical and jazz drumming in Graz (A) and Hilversum (NL).
Living in Munich since 1990
Since 1990 teaching at the NEW JAZZ SCHOOL MÜNCHEN

Credits (selection):


Ack van Rooyen, Bart van Lier, Erik van Lier, Jim Hall, Roman Schwaller, Johnny Logan, Dado Moroni, Ferdinand Povel, Sal Nistico, Dusko Goykowich, Milt Jackson, Al Porcino, B. Dennerlein, Ray Anderson, Andy Sheppard, Philippe Catherine, Jerry van Rooyen, Thilo Wolf, Joe Kienemann, Allan Harris, William Galison, Mulo Francel, Paul Kuhn, Bill Ramsey, Joy Flemming, Max Neissendorfer, Thomas Stabenow, Stephan Holstein, Bob Mintzer, Martin Schmitt, Eddy Miller, Chuck Berry and many others.

What the press says:


„...the man behind the drums doesn't just bang away, he plays the drums with superb timing.
His playing gets by without the cheap show effects typically associated with a lot of his colleagues, and concentrates on taste and imagination.
Stephan Eppinger is a very special drummer.“ (Süddeutsche Zeitung)


Ella Fitzgerald:

Ella Fitzgerald


She made her singing debut at age 17 at the Apollo Theatre. She had originally intended to go onstage and dance, but intimidated opted to sing a song instead. Soon after that she was asked to join Chick Webb's Big Band. In 1936 they made their recording debut with „Love and Kisses“. In 1938 they had their first hit song.The joyful „A Tisket A Tasket – originally a nursery rhyme – brought both of them public acclaim. When Chick Webb died in 1939 she took the role of nominal bandleader, and the band was renamed Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Orchestra. But being unable to read music it was difficult for her to lead a band. That's why she started a solo career in 1941 and became one of the greatest jazz singers. In 1946 she toured with Dizzy Gillespie and appeared in Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts who also let her perform in the music film „Improvisation“ (1950).
Her repertoire ranged from Swing to Bebop, Blues, Bossa Nova, Samba Gospel, Hip-Hop to jazzy Christmas Songs. Often she was called the „First Lady of Song“. Her trade mark was a way of singing that helped her to gain international acclaim: scat singing. The youthful charm of her voice and her mastery of phrasing allowed her to improvise like a jazz instrumentalist using a considerable range of three octaves.
Fitzgerald's most notable recordings are the song books of the most important American composers of the first half of the 20 th century, tributes that gave all younger singers a textbook example of the perfect interpretaion of a song.
She won 13 Grammys. In 1987 she was honoured with the National Medal of Arts.
In 1993 she had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee due to the effects of diabetes. Her eyesight was affected too. Three years later she died as one of the most important jazz singers of the 20 th century. She was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.