The jazz band next to the open Sharan - some of the instruments are already inside the Car.

Tour de jazz – to the rhythm of the night

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Tour de jazz – to the rhythm of the night

Words by Jan Schlüter
Photography by Robert Grischek

Three Hamburg-based musicians want to perform a live concert in the lively Sternschanze district. But how do you get the band and their instruments conveniently and securely from the rehearsal room to the trendy neighbourhood? Sharan to the rescue. It offers ample space and even proves itself to be a mobile concert hall over the course of the evening.

It’s fairly easy to find the rehearsal room. As I enter the rear courtyard full of nooks and crannies and check around me for a moment, I am instantly able to get my bearings with the rhythmic sound from the basement. I have to head over there. Just keep following the bass drum and I’ve found the way in. The rehearsal room is located at the edge of Hamburg’s Sternschanze district in a small, quiet side street. The red brick that northern-German builders so enjoy using glows in the setting sun. In the rear courtyard, there is a dance school, the obligatory car repair shop and a photo studio, where a fashion shoot is currently taking place. It’s pretty clear that I’m in the trendy Sternschanze district, where Hamburg’s creatives live, work and party. Of course, the entrance has no doorbell. And with the loud drumming, there isn’t any point trying to get the drummer on the phone. So I knock several times on the cellar window. During a brief break in playing, he hears me and opens the door. Christoph Kähler isn’t very easily separated from his instrument. He got his first drum kit as a child, diligently took lessons for years and has remained true to the drums to this day. During this time, he has been earning a living as a studio or live musician for bands like Fettes Brot and Die Fantastischen Vier, or working with artists such as Nneka and Wolf Mahn. He is currently a drummer at the Altonaer Theater for the stage production of the film Absolute Giganten.

Singer Jamie Watson in front of the Sharan
Singer Jamie Watson has already played at legendary Hamburg club Birdland with her band Jupiter 7.
Band beim Verladen der Instrumente in den Kofferraum des Sharan
Band beim Verladen der Instrumente in den Kofferraum des Sharan
We wait chatting in front of the door in the late afternoon sun for another two musicians that Christoph has invited.
Jamie Watson in the passenger seat of the Sharan

Fabio Papais, a former band member with Christoph who plays guitar and electric bass, and singer Jamie Watson should be arriving shortly. The trio have arranged to jam together and to play whatever they feel like on the spur of the moment. The three of them see these kinds of evenings as creative balance for career musicians. Those who play music professionally and make their living that way find it pleasant and relaxing to play songs that don’t otherwise appear in their repertoire. Just as competitive athletes will practise a recreational sport. But the jam session won’t be taking place in the rehearsal room. There will therefore be a change of location.


Deceptively spacious.

Travelling to the venue with instruments is always a logistical challenge for bands. Once everyone is together, attention therefore immediately turns to the transport preparations. Christoph’s drum kit is the first thing that needs loading. The other equipment, Fabio’s guitar and electric bass, as well as Jamie’s stage clothes, are almost odds and ends by comparison. I’m at a loss as to how the band are going to get anywhere with the material currently lying in the street. I also understand better now why pop bands always travel with a huge tour bus and several lorries for their equipment. But Christoph reassures his fellow musicians; he has parked the solution to their logistical problem around the corner – a Sharan Comfortline. 

The Sharan from behind against the backdrop of the evening harbour of Hamburg
View of the road from the cockpit of the Sharan
A lot to see and a lot to hear. The clearly laid-out cockpit design doesn’t detract from the outside world. The essentials are still readily in view. The optional Dynaudio Contour sound system provides studio quality background music.

For a drummer – and one with children, too – a private car has to be very spacious so that everything fits. The seats are thus quickly folded down – which presents no problem thanks to the practical EasyFold fold-down function – and loading can begin.


A long night and short journeys.

The trio selected their favourite spot in Hamburg’s Sternschanze district as their venue. It’s a converted trailer where concerts take place at the weekend. The perfect location for the gig because there’s a large car park next door. It could hardly be any more convenient.

The left rear light of the Sharan