Drumming 5.0

Torsten Zwingenberger



Drummer Torsten Zwingenberger and the band NEW ORLEANS SHAKERS demonstrate with each concert why music with a band playing traditional instruments is still superior to IT programmed counterparts.

Zwingernberger’s dynamic beat has SOUL, which is something that cannot be duplicated by a digital console.

With the music by NEW ORLEANS SHAKERS, Zwingenberger shows that he is at home with many styles of jazz. He founded the band with Thomas L'Etienne and Kurt Tomm in 1977, before turning to other projects in 1980. Pieces from the "Golden Age" of Jazz are on the program; pieces where emotional intensity and captivating simplicity are predominant. The band happened to reunite 2009.

To bring back the feel of early jazz, skilled clarinetist Thomas L’Etienne knows that jazz has to be played in a seductive, sexy manner. In order to accomplish this he doesn’t use musical scores but improvises in the time-honored tradition of jazz. The band often mixes the exciting and bold cadences of traditional Caribbean styles with New Orleans jazz. Zwingenberger shines here with his virtuoso percussion technology “Drumming 5.1” to create a light swing feel.

For a New Orleans band it is quite an unusual line-up to perform with only one brass instrument instead of three. This is a particular challenge considering the virtuosity and love for experimentation of the individual band members. Their curiosity leads them to modern, contemporary interpretations of old jazz tradition. Therefore, it is no surprise that the inspiring pleasure and thrill you experience at a NEW ORLEANS SHAKERS concert is one not unlike the music that can be heard in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.


Thomas L’Etienne: clarinet, saxophone & vocals
Jan Hendrik Ehlers: piano
Kurt Tomm: double bass
TEASY/Torsten Zwingenberger: drums / percussion

NEW ORLEANS SHAKERS: TEASY/Torsten Zwingenberger, Kurt Tomm, Thomas l'Etienne, Jan-Hendrik Ehlers Foto © Christa Brockmann_1
NEW ORLEANS SHAKERS: TEASY/Torsten Zwingenberger, Kurt Tomm, Thomas l'Etienne, Jan-Hendrik Ehlers Foto © Christa Brockmann_2


Thomas L'Etienne started to learn clarinet in 1971, followed by saxophone a little later. In1982 L’Etienne quit working on his doctorate in German literature, and instead, joined the band of Lillian Boutté as a professional musician. During the years in which L'Etienne was a member and bandleader of Lillian Boutté and her Music Friends, he appeared on stage of almost all major jazz festivals in Europe, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Besides recording numerous records and CDs, L'Etienne has played with Lloyd Lambert, Doctor John, Jeanette Kimball, Humphrey Lyttleton as well as the brilliant New Orleans pianist Edward Frank, who happens to have been his mentor for years. L'Etienne
has also made a name for himself as a successful arranger. Many of his compositions have been recorded on CDs and interpreted by other artists. He is highly respected among musicians within the New Orleans community. While his clarinet style is influenced by the Creole School of Barney Bigards, Albert Nicholas or Jimmie Noone, his saxophone playing is influenced by Ben Webster, Charlie Parker, Gene Ammons and "Lockjaw " Davis. Even the great New Orleans Rhythm & Blues saxophonist Lee Allen and David Lastie with whom L'Etienne often played, have strongly impressed him. Later, L'Etienne discovered his love for the traditional music of Martinique, especially the Brazilian Choro music which has thoroughly inspired his playing.

Jan-Hendrik Ehlers, born in 1975 in Bremerhaven, is one of the most experienced stride and ragtime pianist of his age. His musical heroes are Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson and Fats Waller among others. Ehlers is one of the most popular traditional jazz pianists in Northern Germany. He also directs his own formations and teaches piano.

Kurt Tomm is one of the most experienced bass players of the traditional jazz scene of Hamburg. The sound and pulsating beat on the natural strings of his bass have accompanied numerous bands in best "slap technique" for over four decades.

The drummer TEASY/Torsten Zwingenberger is one of the busiest personalities on the German jazz scene. On his agenda are more than one hundred concerts per year, international tours and numerous projects as a bandleader and sideman. In his twenties he was already working with jazz legends such as Buddy Tate, Harry "Sweets" Edison and Joe Pass.

In addition, he developed a special technique of drumming called Drumming 5.1, for which he extends the classic drum kit by adding a wide variety of percussion instruments that can be played by all four limbs with artistic precision.