Wednesday Night Big Band

Wednesday Night Big Band

The “Wednesday Night Big Band“ ensemble with saxophonist Magnus Mehl as bandleader is Cologne’s latest big band project, existing since autumn 2004. They were soon able to win over the international audience of the renowned performance location “Alter Wartesaal” in the Cologne Central Station (noted for “Bio’s Bahnhof” and “Mitternachtsspitzen”), where they perform regularly on Wednesday evenings. Hence the name “Wednesday Night Big Band”. The orchestra consists of young musicians of the Cologne music scene. They have come to know and respect each other during their study period at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne and while spending time in the “BuJazzO” with Peter Herbolzheimer. The young and dynamic sounding body of the “Wednesday Night Big Band” makes you feel their overwhelming energy and due to the elegant, precise movement performance they provide a rousing and diversified listening experience. Again and again the band realises special musical projects with arrangers and composers from Cologne, like Steffen Schorn or Frank Reinshagen. During new talents at the Kölner Rheinauhafen there will be classical big band hits on the programme first. Catchy songs of Mel Lewis/ Thad Jones Big Band go hand in hand with arrangements by Bill Holmann and Bob Brookmeyer as well as unforgettable classics of the Count Basie Orchestra. As homage to the all-round musician and singer Prince, the “Wednesday Night Big Band“ will be performing their special “Jazz meets Prince” programme a day later. Prince combined rock, funk, and soul elements and created his own, completely new and explosive musical mixture like no one did before. Since the middle of the 1980s he has been one of the pop icons, his recordings have been sold a million times worldwide. Hits like “Kiss”, “Sexy Motherfucker” or “Diamonds and Pearls” are perennial favourites; you can’t imagine pop music without them. His most popular songs have been artfully rearranged by the “Wednesday Night Big Band“ arrangers Frederik Köster and Heiner Schmitz.


Magnus Mehl, born 1980, started his musical training in his domestic city Rottweil when he was nine. Soon he decided to play Jazz Saxophone as main instrument. At the age of 17 he attended the International Saxophone Seminar in Marktoberdorf, with reputable lecturers like Lee Konitz, James Moody, Roman Schwaller and Jürgen Seefelder. Mehl continued studying at the school of music in Nürnberg with Klaus Graf, Steffen Schorn and Hubert Winter, later with Ferdinand Povel at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and finally graduated at the school of music in Cologne (with Heiner Wiberny and Claudius Valk). He rounded off his studies during a recent stay in New York, where he took lessons with Dick Oatts. In between he participated in “Landesjugend” Jazz Orchestras in Baden Wuerttemberg, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia and became member of “BuJazzO” in 2003. The explosive mixture of styles of the “Magnus Mehl Quintett” is highly admired in Cologne and far beyond. In 2006 they won the Young Talent Competition at the Getxo Jazz Festival in Bilbao, Spain – and were allowed to perform a concert together with the Jazz and Salsa star Eddie Palmieri. They were Second Prize recipient in the International Hoilaart Jazz Contest in Belgium.
“Due to his fundamental studies, great talent, provable expertise and various activities it will soon be impossible to imagine the German Jazz scene without him.” (Jazzzeitung)

Participants 2008 A-Z