Andrej Hermlin, son of the well-known East German author Stephan Hermlin, heard his first jazz record at the age of four. After that, swing never lost its hold on him. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification, he and his Swing Dance Orchestra have also  toured the concert circuit in the western part of Germany  as well, delighting fans with the “good mood” evergreens of Goodman or Glenn Miller. This week one of Hermlin’s dreams will come true: his band will perform at the “Midsummer Night Swing” at Lincoln Center.


With his double-breasted suit, his forties tie and Bogart fedora hat, Andrej Hermlin embodies the aura of the Cotton Club. He takes the music of the swing era seriously without lapsing into nostalgia – like in his new CD “Life Goes To A Party“ (BMG) –swing music to really get your feet tapping.


Extraordinarily precise arrangement work, like with the top swing bands of the ‘30s. Along with that a number of excellent solos, all driven by an immensely swinging rhythm group. This is what makes this band unique in Germany.

Jazz Podium

The Swing Dance Orchestra has received high accolades in the kingdom of swing: The troupe of Andrej and Bettina Labeau performed in New York’s best swing clubs – and was widely acclaimed.


Andrej Hermlin receives BZ Culture Prize for "swinging” Berlin and the world – long before Robbie Williams did.


Andrej Hermlin likes it lively. The German ambassador of American swing is enjoying tremendous success with his Swing Dance Orchestra in New York. Now the jazzy Buick driver has finally made it to swing heaven.


Dan Levinson plays clarinet. Darned well and somewhat like his idol Benny Goodman.
His phrasing, sleek tone and relaxed swing: all that has bravura. Not only that the band sounds so great and so differentiated without any amps, in the end, just like back then, the audience enthusiastically calls for two encores. Perfect.


The Swing Dance Orchestra gets people of all ages tapping along with the music. Swing – at least since its rediscovery – is a pleasure for all generations.


Andrej Hermlin doesn’t romanticize the period as such in which he feels musically so at home. But maybe when he and his Swing Dance Orchestra strike up to dance, he’s trying to recapture a feeling from back then – something of the lust for life and euphoria which can be felt in the CD “Life Goes to a Party“.

Berliner Morgenpost

Amazing woman, amazing voice: Bettina Labeau sings – deeply, clearly and with lots of sex appeal.


Hermlin’s band is the most successful in Germany. Even American critics are impressed with Hermlin’s new CD…


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