Featured Gig: Dimitri Monstein Ensemble, Live at the B-Flat, Berlin

Written by | Featured Concerts, News

September’s featured concert of month at the iconic Berlin club “B-Flat” sees drummer Dimitri Monstein and his ensemble take the stage to present music from his current release “The Cello Sessions”. The concert takes place on 13 September and features special guest Fany Kammerlander on cello.

Classical and jazz – two musical genres that, when they meet, can form both a sophisticated and impressive musical alliance. As a “wanderer between these two worlds”, Monstein has built an impressive following that has only been heightened by the release of his current album on the German label Unit Records. Dimitri is fascinated by the cello and although he doesn’t play the instrument himself, it’s the sound of the cello that are of central importance for his current new compositions. For Monstein, the cello is the instrument closest to the human voice. Perhaps that is why the cello touches every listener so urgently and emotionally.

Monstein used the lockdown time to work on the new concept of melodies, arches and grooves and once the compositional process was complete, immediately recorded the whole album in his own band room together with bassist Robert Pachaly and pianist Mischa Podstransky. After the rhythm section was recorded, the Swiss violinist Manon Leutwyler recorded and doubled the violin parts on certain songs and Sorin Spasinovici from Zurich recorded his viola parts.

Monstein’s music reflects and mixes melancholy with positive energy. “I felt like writing and playing something happy in times like now, such as the song “Step It Up”, a groove number that even encourages you to dance. On the other hand his “Sonate Adagio” is the 2nd movement to match the “Monstein Sonate”, which was released on the debut album “Landscape” and reflects the melancholy of the time.


As with the previous album Landscape, The Cello Session creates moods, spherical soundscapes in which the boundaries merge and dissolve, elements of jazz and classic meet and with each other. The drums, which are at the center of the performance along with the cello, play a double role. So it is not only the solo instrument of the program, but also serves as a rhythmic link between the members of the ensemble to lay an atmospheric carpet / vibe on which all other voices can be built to fly away. As before, Monstein’s music and his interaction with the ensemble result in individual, spherical sound worlds that are often reminiscent of film music due to their wealth of images and associations.

Dimitri Monstein learned to play the drums as a child, was a member of various youth symphony orchestras and shared the stage with stars such as Andrea Bocelli and Daniel Hope. Since studying music in Zurich and Freiburg, he has been living out his passion for jazz in well-known bands such as the Swiss Army Big Band, Zurich Jazz Orchestra, Swiss Jazz Orchestra and Nicole Johänntgen. When Monstein is not touring with the Monstein Ensemble, he also drums (among others) Salto Natale, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Pe Werner and Pirmin Huber’s Swiss Folk. The young, busy artist from Switzerland is one of the very few of his generation who are at home in the classical, jazz and pop segments.

The concert takes place on Tuesday the 13th of September at 9:00pm. Tickets are available at the B-Flat club’s website and at the door.

Last modified: September 7, 2022