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Max Raabe & The Palast Orchestra

By: Stephen Benak / Photographs Courtesy of Max Raabe & Palast Orchestra

  • The Debonair and Dashing Max Raabe

The Debonair and Dashing Max Raabe

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The suave and sophisticated gentleman pictured above is none other than the tremendously popular German Max Raabe, singer, composer, and leader of the Palast Orchestra. His unwavering elegance and style are reminiscent of another era and is one of the driving forces behind his popularity. This panache combined with his catchy, foot tapping, swing/jazz/big band music is becoming all the rage in not only Europe but here in the United States and around the world. Influenced heavily by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Raabe has brought back melodies that were popular in 1920’s Berlin and giving birth to his rising star. Max Raabe has melded his love of comedy, opera, and fascination into the quintessential incarnation of Weimar Cabaret with a new twist.

  • Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra

Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra

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Max Raabe was born in Lünen, West Germany in 1962. As a child, his parents introduced him to a variety of music styles, including big band, retro-swing and a hint of jazz that was popular in pre-World War II cabarets and dance halls during the 20’s and 30’s. While attending the Berlin University of Arts to pursue a singing career as an Operatic baritone, he and his friends formed the Palast Orchestra. With a penchant for vintage music, he re-worked the old songs while incorporating his unique style. With its elegant flair and retro style, the orchestra’s first public performance was in 1987 as a secondary lobby act at the Berlin Theaterball and was an immediate success.

  • Max Raabe at Carnegie Hall

Max Raabe at Carnegie Hall

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Taking Europe by storm, Max Rabbe, and the Palast Orchester’s popularity grew exponentially. They were quickly becoming a phenomenon due in part to his rich baritone and tenor vocals. Many of Mr. Raabe’s interpretations of the old classics became hits again in Germany and Europe after fifty years of dormancy. The orchestra's image of a 1920’s era band, replete with cultural iconography made their appearance in period films highly sought after. Max Raabe was also becoming a commodity in his own right with important roles in several movies, the most noted was Werner Herzog’s Invincible and also performing live on stage in Brecht's & Weill’s Threepenny Opera.

  • Max Raabe & Palast Orchestra Backstage

Max Raabe & Palast Orchestra Backstage

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With an eye to the future and the transatlantic market, Raabe began to write and perform increasingly in English. Entering the Millennium, another unique Max Raabe trait emerged and flourished - his flair for reworking modern pop tunes such as Super Trouper by Abba, We Will Rock You by Queen, to name a few. In 2004, Raabe and the Palast Orchester performed live for the first time in Los Angeles. The following year, 2005, marked their first performance at Carnegie Hall. Later this year they will return to the United States for another epic tour. You can expect them to treat us all to another dose of luxurious nostalgic accompanied by a remarkable and the unique stylings of Max Raabe & Palast Orchestra. See 2018 season here.

  • The Quintessential Incarnation of Weimar Cabaret

The Quintessential Incarnation of Weimar Cabaret

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Singer, composer, and talent extraordinaire, Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester have a nostalgic blend of panache and a unique retro sound that is gaining in popularity. Their symphonic ensemble has created its own niche and genre, of toe-tapping tunes to delight everyone. Further, the debonair and dashing Max Raabe’s ability to meld the nostalgia of Weimar cabaret with a refreshing twist of 21st Century pop is truly remarkable.

Watch Video: Max Raabe Palast Orchestra

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