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Max Raabe & Palast Orchester gear up to take audiences back to the ‘Roaring Twenties’


Three weeks until debut UK Tour for million selling German singer

Tour visits Eastbourne, London, Birmingham and Manchester

Sussex-born musician looking forward to revisiting his UK roots

In just three weeks, million selling crooner Max Raabe and the hugely talented Palast Orchester from Berlin will present their debut UK Tour.

The internationally acclaimed singer and musicians promise to take audiences back in time on a musical journey of romance and sophistication, revisiting the ‘Roaring Twenties’ a century on from what was an exciting new era for music, dance, style, and fashion.

Now it’s the turn of the UK to experience the warmth, charm and elegance of Max Raabe & Palast Orchester first-hand with tour dates in Eastbourne, London, Birmingham, and Manchester which form part of a wider international tour.

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester open their UK tour on Tuesday 3 March 2020 at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne; followed by London’s Cadogan Hall on Wednesday 4 March 2020; Symphony Hall in Birmingham on Thursday 5 March 2020; and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on Friday 6 March 2020.

The UK tour is extra special for one member of the orchestra, Ian Wekwerth who was born in Sussex – and is looking forward to performing on home soil.

Formed in the 1980s, the then group of college friends have since grown into a hugely successful 13-piece ensemblebecoming one of Germany’s biggest selling acts, winning praise, rave reviews, and a legion of fans across the globe.

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester are well-respected in Germany, having dominated the music charts for many years while staying true to their unique style and genre.

They recently released a new MTV Unplugged album which went straight into the Top 10 in the German pop charts – reaching Number 2 in early January 2020, alongside Robbie Williams, Coldplay and Leonard Cohen with places at the top of the charts.

Stylish 57-year-old Max Raabe is famous for performing while impeccably dressed in white tie and tails, and is joined by 12 musical maestros from the Palast Orchester.

Dashing, dapper and debonair, Max believes the timeless melodies and songs of the 1920s and 1930s have an inherent magic. He combines nostalgic flair with pop-star appeal, along with a good dose of self-irony and dry comedy.

The tour is timely given the nation’s fascination with all things vintage, including Downtown Abbey, Gosford Park and Brideshead Revisited.

Together, Max and the orchestra present the most stunning classic and timeless repertoire in their original arrangements. With a distinctive sound, audiences will be captivated by Max Raabe & Palast Orchester as they are transported to yesteryear to experience high style and musical glory in the most sumptuous way – making this show one of a kind, and the hottest ticket in town.

Max Raabe explained: “This style of music is popular across the world. You understand the message regardless of language – you feel the music, it’s powerful. As a child, I completely fell in love with this music. My aim is to entertain the audience during the concert and transport them out of reality. Music was written to take the audience away from their everyday problems. And it still works today.”

Pianist and accordionist, Sussex-born Ian Wekwerth is a founder member of the Palast Orchester. Born in Cuckfield, Ian has fond memories of visiting the seaside at Eastbourne, Brighton, Newhaven and Hastings as a child – and especially London to see his grandparents who lived in Golders Green and were jazz music enthusiasts. An early sign of where his love for music may have come from.

Ian commented: “My grandfather was a huge jazz fan and used to play records on his huge 1950s record player. The sound was tremendous! That’s where I heard Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman and pianists Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner, Earl Hines, and Fats Waller for the very first time. The music fascinated me as a child, I sensed vibes that I didn’t have with classical music.

“As a teenager I taught myself improvisation from a book I discovered in a shop just off Oxford Street – strange the things that stick in your memory. That’s what kept me interested in playing piano, and is what I draw from to this day. And I still always make a point of visiting Golders Green when in London.”

Ian moved to Berlin in 1974 at the age of 11. He later went on to study aeronautical engineering at university, during which time he met Max and his fellow musicians. Ian’s career in engineering continued until 1995, when the orchestra turned professional. Berlin remains home for Ian, who is married with three grown-up children.

Ian continued: I have been with the band since the beginning in 1986 – and we’ve continued to grow together sharing marriages, births, and life. I couldn’t wish for a better job. To be part of the orchestra’s growth from a student band to what we are today is a huge gift. In moments of reflection I am still fascinated by our path.

“We are blessed with Max at the helm. At the start, he didn’t see himself as the ‘front man’. We all had a go at introducing the songs to see who should take the role. I went first, and purposely did it so badly that Max immediately stepped in. His dry humour and wit are key elements of the show, and people leave our concerts with a huge smile on their face.”

Max Raabe was born 1962 in Lünen and has always sung – from the youth choir to even on his bicycle. He moved to Berlin in his early twenties to study opera. He financed his studies with small performances, and in 1986 he founded the Palast Orchester with a number of fellow students. They are now the worldwide leading band of music from the era of the Weimar Republic.

Max has received numerous awards for his commitment to remembering the music of the 1920s and 1930s, including the ECHO Classic in 2000 for his interpretation of Mack The Knife; Paul-Lincke-Ring Of The City Of Goslar in 2005; the cultural prize of his hometown Lünen in 2007; and the Order Of Merit Of The State Of Berlin in 2012.

Their appeal is diverse and far reaching. Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester performed at the star-studded wedding of singer Marilyn Manson and model Dita Von Teese at a castle in Ireland in 2005.

The show will feature diverse range of music and songs including the hilarious Rosa, Reizende Rosa (Rosa, Ravishing Rosa); romantic tune Tonight Or Never; the classic Kurt Weill’s Mack The Knife; alongside standards including I Won’t Dance, Night And Day, and Sweet Sue.

These first UK tour dates will give music fans the opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and atmosphere of this very special show and era before Max and the musicians continue on a worldwide international tour visiting Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United States Of America – including the iconic Carnegie Hall in New York this April.


‘We are in a nightclub somewhere in Weimar-era Berlin, just before things go to heck. The air dances. The world is in love.’

Los Angeles Times

‘Stylish, grace and vitality, his comic timing is flawless.’

The New York Times, Carnegie Hall

Website:         www.highfieldproductions.com/max-raabe-and-the-palast-orchester

Facebook:       /maxraabepalastorchester

Twitter:           @Max_Raabe_PO

Videos:            Official trailer – youtu.be/ealIG0KGik4





Tuesday 3 March 2020 at 7.30pm

Carlisle Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4BP

Website:          www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk

Box Office:      01323 412000



Wednesday 4 March 2020 at 7.30pm

5 Sloane Terrace, London, SW1X 9DQ

Website:          cadoganhall.com

Box Office:      020 7730 4500



Thursday 5 March 2020 at 7.30pm

8 Centenary Square, Birmingham, B1 2EA

Website:          www.thsh.co.uk

Box Office:      0121 644 6140



Friday 6 March 2020 at 7.30pm

Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3WS

Website:          www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk

Box Office:      0161 907 9000


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