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Projekt CHARME presents Leah Suárez & Friends (Haldensleben-Hundisburg, Germany)

May 28, 2016 - May 29, 2016

Plakat-Suarez-WebPRESS RELEASE – Haldensleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, May 9, 2016

World Premiere

On the weekend of 28/29 May 2016, the world premiere of a new work of music rooted in the jazz tradition will be performed by Leah Suárez and Friends in Haldensleben, Saxony-Anhalt as part of Haldensleben’s 1050th anniversary celebrations and the launch of Projekt CHARME 2016.

The community of Haldensleben will welcome the composers, Leah Maria Suárez and Alex Admiral Collier from Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A., and musicians Joel Holmes (piano) from Berlin, Germany/ Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. Martin Buhl (bass) and Kuba Gudz (drums) to the town for two special performances of the piece.

The first event is a concert, to take place at 7pm on Saturday, May 28th, in the Schinkel double-church (Simultankirche), Althaldensleben. The world premiere commemorates the lives of nine African-American members of the congregation of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston who were killed during a Bible study session by a lone gunman on 17 June 2015. The concert program will also feature the ensemble’s arrangements of classic jazz, folk, blues and popular repertoire.

The second event is an open-air performance, to take place at 11am on Sunday, May 29th in the parkland between Hundisburg and Haldensleben. This will begin with a performance by Leah Maria Suárez and Friends of the new work, followed by breakfast with musical accompaniment from local musicians, and the official naming and blessing of a new monument which has been constructed over the past two summers by students of the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA), Charleston as part of Projekt CHARME.

Charleston and Haldensleben-Hundisburg

The new structure has been named “Charleston Place”, as a gesture of thanks to the students of ACBA and of solidarity with the town of Charleston, as it dealt with the consequences of the Emanuel AME killings with dignity, forgiveness and a spirit of unity which was set a stunning example to communities around the world.

The singer and composer, Leah Maria Suárez, spent time at “Charleston Place” and in the enriching natural surroundings of the Haldensleben-Hundisburg park during a visit to Hundisburg in the summer of 2015, and it was this experience that inspired her to begin the composition of the new work.

“Charleston Place” itself was built on the site, and as an echo, of the remains of a glasshouse built in the early nineteenth century by the then-owner of the Schloss and parkland, Johann Gottlob Nathusius. Nathusius (1760-1835) is known as Germany’s first industrialist, and the industries he established in the region included breweries, flour mills, a sugar factory, a brickyard, machinery production and a stoneware and porcelain factory. His activities were accompanied by a particular love of nature and environmental diversity. In the glasshouse in Althaldensleben he hoped to grow an example of every known plant species on the entire planet. A particular source of specimens was America, a country he admired enormously for its political and social values and to which he reputedly considered emigrating, after the return to the old order at the end of the Napoleonic rule in the region.

Many people with family and work ties to Charleston live in Hundisburg, Haldensleben and the surrounding towns and cities. IFA Rotorion, which has a large plant in Charleston, is just one example.

Musician, Leah Suárez, says: ”I am deeply grateful to be invited to participate in such a joyous occasion. I found profound peace in the natural landscape of Haldensleben-Hundisberg and I look forward to returning with the gift of music. It is a special privilege to represent my home of Charleston, South Carolina and to humbly honor the lives of our brothers and sisters who died in the massacre of 17 June 2015 at Mother Emanuel A.M. E. church. Where we find common ground is where we heal the world. My colleagues and I look forward to being a small part of that energy and we are especially grateful to the von Nathusius Family for providing a bridge for our worlds to connect.”

Co-Organizer, Caroline von Nathusius, says: “It is a joy and privilege to welcome world-class musicians like Leah, Alex and Joel to our town. Events like this one remind us that over the 1050 years of its existence, Haldensleben has been part of a community of creativity, innovation and friendship which stretches across oceans and borders. Project CHARME, and these concerts with Leah Suárez and Friends, are just the latest episode in this story.”

Co-Organizer Nicole Job, says: “ We are deeply grateful to our sponsors for these concerts, IFA Rotorion, the von Nathusius family, Kreissparkasse Boerde and Rotary Haldensleben for enabling this exciting event to take place, and to our supporters Foto Doermer and Manus Konzepte for their contributions.”

Project CHARME

CHARME stands for Charleston Haldensleben Hundisburg: American Restoration Art Meets Europe.

Since 2011, students of the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, South Carolina, have been spending their summer internships in Hundisburg-Haldensleben as part of Project CHARME, undertaking projects in Schloss Hundisburg and the surrounding parkland while learning new building skills, some of which are not taught in the United States.

From 2014 to 2016, the students have worked on the Charleston Place structure in the parkland between Hundisburg and Haldensleben. This year’s work will include the construction of two stone benches, partly using stone salvaged from Schloss Hundisburg, which will complete the landscaping of Charleston Place, so that it can be used by walkers and gatherings of families and friends for picnics.

The project has been supported from the start by IFA Rotorion, Schloss Hundisburg (Kultur-Landschaft Haldensleben-Hundisburg e.V.), the City of Haldensleben (Nicole Job), the von Nathusius family, the Kreissparkasse Boerde, Schubert Motors and Rotary Haldensleben as well as Foto Doermer and countless other local supporters.


Leah Suárez

Leah Suárez is a multilingual singer, valve trombonist, composer and bandleader, creating her own cool alloy genre that’s jazz-tempered, but fused with a range of other roots traditions.

After studying as a euphonium player at Brevard Music Center and George Mason University, illness forced her to set her horn aside, and find her voice. She went on to earn her undergraduate degree in music performance with an emphasis in jazz studies from the College of Charleston, and has pursued continuing study with master instrumentalists and vocalists at home and abroad.

With over a decade of professional experience includes years of performing and producing, including as a bandleader for her own ensembles and as vocalist for Charleston’s resident big band, she is the founder, owner and creative force of De La Luz Global. She also returns frequently to the land and culture of her familial roots for inspiration: Mexico.

The co-founder and former executive director of Jazz Artists of Charleston (a non-profit dedicated to preserving, presenting and advocating for jazz in one of America’s most important cradles of the genre) and co-producer of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, she was featured by Charleston Magazine among the city’s top “40 Movers & Shapers” (1975-2015).

In 2007, upon returning from a catalytic stint in Copenhagen, Denmark, she released her debut EP, Found Freedom. She is currently in production for a 2016 release of her first full- length album.

Alexander A. Collier

Alexander A. Collier is a composer, music manager and multi-instrumentalist from Charleston, South Carolina and co-owner of Sunday Entertainment and Eastward Music. Collier attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachussetts with a focus on film scoring and music business. Upon leaving Boston in 2006, he worked at Gold Mountain Entertainment, handling day-to-day management for artists such has Duncan Sheik, New York Dolls, and The Books. Later that year, he co-founded Sunday Entertainment as a music house for composers, artist, and strategic thinkers. Sunday Ent and original music house Eastward Music have written the scores for several commercials, film trailers and documentaries. Collier currently also runs and manages Bedlam Music management with offices in Nashville, Los Angeles, and Toronto. Collier spends his time between Charleston and Nashville, working with his roster of bands and Film // TV clients.

In 2011, Collier joined the rock band The Weeks and toured extensively throughout the world opening for acts such as Kings of Leon, The Meat Puppets and North Mississippi Allstars.

Joel Holmes

Joel Holmes is a pianist.

He began teaching himself tunes by ear at age 10 and  grew up playing with local bands and primarily in church. His family soon moved from Virginia to Baltimore so that he could attend the Baltimore School for the Performing Arts, where he later became the Director of Jazz. He attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music at John Hopkins University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance.

Over the years, Joel has received numerous honors including 2 Grammy Nominations, a gold medal in the Act-so competition of the NAACP, and an honorable mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, a finalist in the fifth annual Independent Music Awards and an honorable mention in the VH1 Song of the Year Awards.

Over the last few years, Joel has toured the world with Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove and vocalist Nnenna Freelon. He is currently in the Quartet of the great Saxophonist Javon Jackson who is an ex jazz Messenger with Art Blakey.

Joel Holmes has performed all over the world solo, in duos and with his trios touring Italy, France, Taiwan, Japan, Ukraine, Kazakstan, Krygystan, Russia, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Holland, England, Spain, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Canada, USA,Colombia, etc. Joel Holmes has played with Curtis Fuller,Terrace Blanchard, Gary Thomas, Jimmy Cobb,Roberta Gambarini, Azar Lawrence,Tim Warfield, Greg Osby, Tim Green, Butch Warren, Reggie Workman, Cecil Mcbee and many more.

With such a diverse educational and performing background, it is no surprise that his music blends so many styles and influences. From contemporary jazz to gospel to funk to R&B, Joel can be heard fusing these genres and traditional jazz piano stylings such as Art Tatum, McCoy Tyner and Oscar Peterson.



Caroline von Nathusius

+49 3904 463 995

+49 160 753 9906





May 28, 2016
May 29, 2016