The oldest jazz band in Upper Swabia “Old Town Dixie Promenaders” mourns the loss of its founder Gunter Stotz, who died at the age of almost 87.
The band was formed in Ravensburg in 1958 and the first concert took place in the Hotel Hildenbrand in the year it was founded. Countless performances followed, including in the Liederhalle in Stuttgart.
Gunter Stotz, an engineer with a passion for jazz, came from Giessen and found a job at Escher-Wyss Ravensburg in paper machine construction in 1957, where he worked for 42 years before retiring.
On some business trips he had his clarinet with him. So he always took the opportunity to play in jazz clubs all over the world, for example in New Orleans.
Gunter Stotz played the clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophone, arranged the jazz pieces for his band and managed the performances.
His commitment brought him the name “Johann”, which is typical for a butler. In artist circles he was therefore called Gunter “Johann” Stotz.
He liked to support young talents and gave the musicians the opportunity to play in his band. That’s how the career of today’s professional jazz drummer Gregor Beck began in the 80s in what was then the “Dirty River Jazz Band”.
Numerous concerts with his band made him known regionally and nationally, according to the statement. In the 1970s, the band performed regularly at Milka carnival evenings in the Konzerthaus. Gunter Stotz also played jazz in various formations at many Ravensburg events.
According to the announcement, great moments were performances with the well-known “Dutch Swing College Band” or “Oscar Klein’s European Jazz Band”. Another highlight of the career was the concert for the band’s 50th stage anniversary in the Konzerthaus. The 60th anniversary was celebrated in 2018 in the Zehntscheuer with the “Old Town Swing Promenaders” cast.
He gave his last official concert on November 23, 2019 at the Gasthof Ochsen in Ravensburg at the age of 84.