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Monday, October 7, 2019


The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music will present renegade Swiss ensemble Le Rex on Wednesday (October 9), 2019.

Le Rex reinvents brass groove music with the improvisation-laced with beautiful and fiercely creative music for strange times. The album Escape of the Fire Ants announces the arrival of Le Rex as an international force: “street smart & road-tested, ferociously grooving & lyrically charged, a new millennium jazz brass band infused with indie rock energy & attitude.”

Harry Lime, the charming but dastardly anti-hero in the classic 1949-film noir The Third Man, famously dissed Switzerland saying "they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace - and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." The renegade Swiss quintet Le Rex isn't making up for lost time, but there's an urgency and creative ferocity to their music that would make Lime reconsider his unfair denigration. Featuring four expert horn players and drums, the band is a rising force on the European music scene, with an irresistibly grooving sound honed on the street and designed for maximum impact in clubs and concert halls.

Slated for release on Cuneiform Records on April 5, 2019, Le Rex's fourth album Escape of the Fire Ants is the band's most confident and cohesive, marked by consistently compelling compositions, careening melodies and thick, lapidary harmonies. It's cosmopolitan music drawing on far-flung influences and connections to Chicago, Belgrade, Cape Town, New Orleans, and Lagos. Rather than flaunting an eclectic palette, Le Rex transmutes its source material into seamless original works reflecting the group's singular collection of personalities. Featuring German-born alto saxophonist Benedikt Reising, tenor saxophonist Marc Stucki, trombonist Andreas Tschopp, tuba player extraordinaire Marc Unternährer, and drummer Rico Baumann, Le Rex reflects the fundamental strength that flows from musicians who've put in the time to forge deep ties on and off the bandstand.

Join Le Rex at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College Level 2, Denis Shepstone Building, on October 9 at 18h00 (doors open at 17h30). General admission R80 (R50 pensioners, R25 students R25).

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