Denny Walley

He has been acquainted with Frank Zappa since childhood. Back then he was friends with Frank's brother Bobby and sometimes they listened to the band rehearsals. He has also known Don Van Vliet and Jim Sherwood since then. He started his own musical development in the early 70's at Geronimo Black, the formation of ex Mothers Jimmy Carl Black, Don Preston, Bunk Gardner and Ray Collins. Evidence of this collaboration, which existed for two years, is the only album Geronimo Black from 1972. In 2008 a compilation named Welcome Back with demos, studio and live recordings has been made available via download.

In 1975 he joined Frank Zappa and the Mothers as guitarist on the Bongo-Fury-Tour. His old mate Don Van Vliet, by now Captain Beefheart, was very impressed with Denny's singing and guitar play and so he asked him if he would like to accompany him on his tour in the US and Europe. This was the beginning of a two years lasting liaison, and unfortunately only very few material exists from this time. Merely the track „Hoboism“ and the original recordings of „Bat Chain Puller“ bear testimony to the Blues which Denny brought into the Magic Band.

In the fall of 1978 and spring of 1979 he toured again twice with Zappa. Furthermore he participated in the recordings of Joe´s Garage and You Are What You Is and he can be heard on the album Tinseltown Rebellion and other live compilations.

After Zappa's much too early death Walley continued to play music. With several formations (Mats & Morgan amongst others) he made Zappa's work living on. In 1997 his CD Spare Parts was published, and besides Suicide Chump and Bamboozled By Love he recorded also pieces from other interpreters which have had influence on him. This CD is considered an outstanding Blues release.


Studio Dan (AUT)

When four years ago Studio Dan, a band consisting of 17 musicians together with their instruments entered the stage, the audience attended a highly acclaimed concert. That's why we absolutely wanted to present this orchestra, equipped with amongst others cello, violin and contrabass combined with electronically amplified music again to you... and now they even are going to play twice.

The name of the band, Studio Dan, doesn't come out of the blue: The ensemble of 17 deduced it from Frank Zappa's album Studio Tan (1979) and it's a major bow to him. Frank Zappa's totally open-minded attitude against all kind of music, together with his humor inspired the band from the beginning. The combination of any „light music“ and all possible ways to play the so-called „art music“, is probably still unique and maybe hasn't still achieved the relevance yet which it really has. The line-up is offering both personally and instrumentally everything necessary to feature this „unlimited“ kind of music.

The formation Studio Dan was founded by Daniel Riegler in 2005 within the line of the first festival of JazzWerkstatt Wien. The ensemble started as Big Band and in the meantime they are performing in several large formations. The band is moving around between advanced ranges of experimental and contemporary music – between improvisation and new music, jazz and prog rock, to name only a few keywords.

During their second perfomance on Mystery Stage Studio Dan are going to perform works from Varèse, Stravinsky and Zappa.


Zappa plays for Bach, Hamburg, St. Katharinen


This year’s program „Baby Snakes bis Jesus Joy“ offers an extraordinary instrumentation for extraordinary music: an international Duo plays works of great composers like Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 to 1750) i.a. and especially tracks by the US musician Frank Zappa (1940 to 1993) on double bass and vibraphone. The acoustically played instruments will unfold their very own magic in the 26 meter high nave of St. Catherine’s Church with a reverberation time of about seven seconds.

Valentina Ciardelli was born in 1989 in the Tuscan Pietrasanta near Lucca of a German mother and Italian father. Initially a pianist like her mother, Valentina started to study double bass graduating with Honours from the "Instituto Musicals L. Boccerini" in Lucca in 2014. She continued her education in London as a "master of performance" at the Royal College of Music until 2016. Ciardelli has won several awards i.a. with the "Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra", the "Gran Teatro Giacomo Puccini", the "BBC Symphony Orchestra" and the "Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" in London. She also delivered brilliant performances as a soloist and in smaller ensembles such as "The Girls in the Magnesium Dress" or a project for the music of Giacomo Puccini. At the Prague Double Bass Festival in 2016, Ciardelli's original compositions on "Madame Butterfly" were part of the program. "The music of Frank Zappa, who was absolutely free and composed in a disciplined manner nevertheless, has occupied me since long ago" the arranger and artist says. "Here in London I have found extraordinary and smart musicians with whom I can play such works".

Benjamin Boo was born in 1989 in the Far Eastern city of Singapore as the son of a symphonic musician. Already at the age of three he began his musical education under his father's instructions. At the age of nine, he drummed in the Chinese orchestra of his elementary school and remained faithful to drumming during his further education as a western percussionist. From 2014 to 2015, he was appointed to the BBC Symphony Orchestras Program in London. He completed his studies at the Royal College of Music, which included vibraphone and marimba, with Honours in 2016. Both instruments play an important role in the compositional work of Frank Zappa. Benjamin won the first prize for Marimba Solo in the "Chinese Art Festival Percussion" competition in 2014. In Singapore, he is engaged in diverse multicultural ensembles.

String Bass, Double Bass / London

Vibraphone, Percussion / Singapur


Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 8.00 p.m., Hamburg, St. Katharinen

pre sales € 19,- + advance booking fee
box office € 22,-


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Zappanale #31

17. - 19.07.2020
The Torture stops in 245 days!
17. - 19. July 2020
The Torture stops in 245 days!