Julia Hülsmann Quintet plays The Beatles

© Volker Beushausen
© Volker Beushausen

To attend this Elbphilharmonie concert, reservation must be made in advance.

Jazz pianist Julia Hülsmann’s works are known for being based on literary, usually poetic, works. Tasked with reinterpreting the songs of the Beatles, the musician, who was born in Bonn in 1968, found herself in something of a dilemma. On the one hand she “had always been a Beatles fan” – but on the other hand she was concerned that all attempts at a new interpretation were doomed to fail due to the overpowering presence of the originals. The solution lay in her colleagues.

In addition to the established trio, the ECM artist turned to vocal acrobat Theo Bleckmann, who she says understands how to “sing the Beatles’ songs in new ways”. The guitar sound that is so vital for the Beatles is provided by Werner Neumann. Rather than aiming for a cool virtuosity, Hülsmann’s arrangements seek to capture the emotional depth of the classic versions, which are just as moving today as they were fifty years ago. Julia Hülsmann is the festival’s Artist in Residence this year and will also be performing in two other exciting formations: with the Julia Hülsmann Octet and as a duo with vibraphonist Christopher Dell.