Dashing and dapper, Max Raabe and the members of the Palast Orchester might have walked straight out of the Golden Age of Berlin in the 1920s. Together, they have built up an acclaimed international reputation due to their sophisticated recreation of timeless tunes by legends like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Kurt Weill. The music has a special charm and elegance, but there is an unexpected quality—German humor. Raabe is the driving force behind the orchestra, which was founded in 1986. While his peers were heavily into punk music, Raabe sought out other college-age aficionados who were similarly obsessed with the music of old Hollywood and the legendary cabaret heights of the Weimar Republic. At the time, pianist Ian Wekwerth studied to be an aeronautical engineer in college. But Raabe roped him into the orchestra during its formative years, and Wekwerth has been playing with them ever since. In the early 2000s, the orchestra began touring North America and Wekwerth, as English native speaker, was soon asked to hold lectures on the history of the band and the Weimar Era.
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester will perform on March 11, at 7:30 pm at Benaroya Hall. One day earlier, we welcome Ian Wekwerth to the Cloud Room Lounge where he will play a few tunes on the baby grand piano and discuss the orchestra’s performances that embody the high style and musical glory of the '20s and '30s and the contributions of Jewish composers and lyricists.
The event is free and seating is limited. Reserve your ticket here!