The Grandmothers & The Yellow String Quartet feat. Ed Mann (US/DE)

The Grandmothers & The Yellow String Quartet feat. Ed Mann (US/DE)



In August of 2002, legendary former members of Frank Zappa's “The Mothers of Invention” were invited to perform the music of the MOTHERS OF INVENTION/FRANK ZAPPA at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany for a one time only performance.

It would be the first time that these esteemed "Mothers of Invention” alumni would be getting together to rehearse and perform classic Frank Zappa material.

On March 27th 2003, after 6 months of intensive rehearsals in Los(t) Angeles and Hamburg, they took the stage to a standing room only audience. The event was recorded, filmed, and released by Warner Classics in Europe, and has been broadcast repeatedly on European television via the ARTE channel. 

Due to overwhelming demand they have since performed more than 500 concert events where anything and everything can (and does) usually happen  across America, Austraila, Canada and Europe, including performances in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales

BUNK GARDNER (with the Mothers of Invention from 1966-1969) tenor sax, CASIO DH-100, flute, bar walking, straight man, food critique/commentary and vocals

DON PRESTON (with the Mothers from 1966-1974) piano, keyboard synthesizers, electronic wizardry, gongage, wigs, exploding devices, cycles adjuster, magic hands, Mr. MOTO, and vocals

CHRISTOPHER GARCIA drums, percussion, EAST LA (isms), invisible Mexican announcer, Art Laboe(isms), marimba, and vocals


"Then we hired Don Preston, who plays keyboard instruments - electric piano, electric clavichord, etc. We also hired Bunk Gardner who plays several various horns, and Jim Fielder on bass. I had known Don Preston and Bunk Gardner several years before I met the other guys. We used to play experimental music a long time ago. We got together in garages and went through some very abstract charts and just entertained ourselves. Anyway, we finally had a very workable ensemble. The second album was recorded with those eight guys. We just added a trumpet, string quartet and contrabass clarinet on one song." (FRANK ZAPPA interview 12/22/66)



Fried Dähn & The Yellow String Quartet meet The Grandmothers of Invention

The first team play happend in autumn 2014 at the ZappaUnion festival in Oslo, and from the very first moment it's been obvious that they got along well and all involved parties and the audience as well were thrilled.  When to the surprise of all Wolfhard Kutz appeared backstage that very same night and declared that he would like to take this project to Zappanale, it's been a done deal for the course of this cooperation.

A lot of new arrangements will be created for Zappanale, but the bands will present themselves as well solo in short sequences: The Yellow String Quartet will showcase G-Spot Tornado, Sofa, Uncle Meat and an absolute specialty: Live with the original Yellow-Shark- Walk-On Music, which formed the opening of the legendary show and where the musicians started to improvise on Frank's signal, a show that has never been published but for a TV documentation.

As cellist Fried Dähn was a member of Frank Zappa's latest project: The Yellow Shark with Ensemble Modern. After intensive rehearsals in Zappa's Home Studio and in Zappa's Studio Joe’s Garage in Los Angeles more practices followed one year later in Frankfurt as well as the performances of ‚The Yellow Shark’. Since adolescence Fried is a big Zappa fan and he is working in the most different areas of music: Classic and New Music, Rock, electronic and experimental music. As cellist he is represented on several sound carriers, he is art director of the Camp-Festival for Visual Music and is working as composer, from electrocello to orchestral works.

The Yellow String Quartet has been founded in the beginning of 2011 and consists of soloists of the Württembergische Philharmonie. Expeditiously the quartet established itself, caring for the traditional repertoire, but also for new music and popular styles. Especially the unusual combination of works from different eras, presented at the highest stage, is very inspiring.

Actual CD: ‚YSQ’ with works of Frank Zappa, Igor Strawinski, Erwin Schulhoff, Dmitri Schostakowitsch, Terry Riley and Joseph Haydn

Yellow String Quartet

Timo de Leo – Violin
Konrad Balik – Violin
Benjamin Hartung – Viola
Friedemann ‚Fried’ Dähn – Cello

Additional Info

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Zappanale #31

17. - 19.07.2020
The Torture stops in 103 days!
17. - 19. July 2020
The Torture stops in 103 days!