Here are some groups that I never heard on the radio or TV, but who impressed me a lot when I heard them after they had been recommended to me; check them out!

Quadro Nuevo

Quadro Nuevo is a small group from a small town in Bavaria/Germany; they play a mixture of Jazz, Tango, Flamenco and a few more styles, all mixed up. They have a very original repertoire, and are real masters of their instruments. This is especially impressive at live performances. Be sure to get your tickets a month early, at least, or you won't get good seats.

If you want to give them a try, listen to Mocca Flor (especially 5. Mocca Swing and 11. Tango Gosselin), which is music like you'd expect it in an Arabian coffee house. Or Canzone Della Strada, which has a more Italian influence. The CDs sound much better than the music on the web site, of course.

You can buy them through Amazon or directly at their site. I'm not affiliated with them, and I get no money by promoting them, but I want to make sure they get lots of money so they can eat enough to play many more years. :-)


Montag... very thoughtful and wonderfully depressing songs in their debut album (less so in the second one though, unfortunately). A relatively unknown band from Hamburg; singing in German, but sounding quite different than other German bands.

Dream Theater

Not a German band, but the reference for progressive rock/metal. They consist of five musicians: James Labrie - vocals, Mike Portnoy - percussion, John Petrucci - guitar, Jordan Ruddess - keyboard, John Myung - bass. Each of them, especially Portnoy, Petrucci and Ruddes, count to the top of the crop in their field. Some say Ruddess is the "best" technical keyboard player and composer (for technical keyboard music) on the world today. They have excellent classical and modern music education, are themselves music teachers, and they apply their knowledge to quite loud music. I suggest their album Octavarium (2005) for a start, and then you can walk back to their older (and, for some people, less accessible) stuff.