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Abendzeitung München review

Abendzeitung München review, Redtenbacher's Funkestra ft. Rumer, Jana Varga, Georgia Van Etten, Connor Selby, Ottobrunn/Munich
Abendzeitung München review, Redtenbacher’s Funkestra ft. Rumer, Jana Varga, Georgia Van Etten, Connor Selby, Ottobrunn/Munich

Abendzeitung München review

Abenzeitung München reviews day 2 Ottobrunn | Munich singer-songwriter festival ‘Imagine’ with Redtenbacher’s Funkestra ft. Rumer, Jana Varga.

3 days in Ottobrunn | Munich for the 1st singer-songwriter festival ‘Imagine’ with the Funkestra rhythm section (AKA Masterlink Sessions studio band) and Connor Selby, Georgia van Etten, Jana Varga and Rumer. What fun and nice surprice – lovely press support and reviews. Here is Dominik Petzold’s review for the Abendzeitung Munich describing his experiences of the 2nd day. Thank you for a thoughtful and well researched review. Much appreciated by all.

Boston, London, Ottobrunn

A wonderful concert in the Munich suburbs with Rumer and Jana Varga.

As we all know, contacts are everything: four acts from Great Britain came to the first Ottobrunn singer/songwriter festival “Imagine!”, including the singer Rumer, whose debut album from 2010 sold millions of copies. Cornelius Claudio Kreusch, who organized the festival with his brother Johannes Tonio Kreusch, has known the Austrian bassist Stefan Redtenbacher since he studied music at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He now runs a recording studio south of London – and is currently producing Rumer’s new album.

So Redtenbacher traveled with the singer to the Munich suburb and brought three more of his acts with him – Connor Selby, Georgia Van Etten and Jana Varga. And his excellent studio band, “Redtenbacher’s Funkestra”, also traveled to Upper Bavaria for a long weekend, including drummer Mike Sturgis, who played with Steve Winwood and Jack Bruce and was a long-time member of Asia and Wishbone Ash.


The studio musicians gave workshops in Ottobrunn and accompanied all four acts of the two-day festival, which took place in a club atmosphere in the council hall in the Wolf-Ferrari-Haus. To prepare, they only had a single eight-hour
rehearsal. That’s why they had to constantly look at the music on their tablets – and still play at the highest level.
They smoothly envelop Rumer‘s velvety, beautiful voice on songs like “Am I Forgiven” or “You Just Don’t Know People”, which revive the sophisticated easy-listening pop of Burt Bacharach, or soul-pop numbers like “Aretha”, which pays homage and at the same time to the person being sung about Dusty Springfield’s Memphis recordings remembered. The cover of Todd Rundgren’s “Love Is The Answer” and the ballad “Blackbird” with four-part vocals are also nice.

Jana Varga

Jana Varga, who leads the band as a singer, also contributes to this.
Guitarist and flautist stepped up after opening the evening. With a “killer set,” as Rumer praises her colleague on stage.
And that is no exaggeration. Jana Varga, a Slovak singer-songwriter living in England with a classical background, only has to sing a few bars on the acoustic guitar to evoke associations with Joni Mitchell: with her phrasing, the control the voice over several octaves, the effortless transition into falsetto, the unusualness of some chord changes. And Redtenbacher’s Funkestra accompanies them in a similar way to how the band L.A. Express converted Joni Mitchell’s music to pop jazz in the mid-seventies.

And so it only makes sense that they play their “Free Man In Paris” together and, in an original arrangement, “River”. Both sound predictably excellent. What’s even more remarkable is that Jana Varga‘s own song “Free To Grow” doesn’t drop in between, like no other song on this wonderful concert evening. And the next morning, Upper Bavarian musicians had the chance to make musical contacts with her and Rumer at a workshop.

Dominik Petzold
ABENDZEITUNG, TUESDAY, 20. February 2024,

Veranstaltungen Abendzeitung München, Rumer with Redtenbacher's Funkestra, Wolf-Ferrari-Haus
Veranstaltungen Abendzeitung München, Rumer with Redtenbacher’s Funkestra, Wolf-Ferrari-Haus, Ottobrunn/Munich