NEW SWING QUARTET & The Mood Swingers
Their musical journey has seen them follow the tradition of black and white gospel music and spirituals, sometimes sensitively enriched with elements of jazz. Their deeply felt interpretations have conquered concert audiences all over the world. They will appear in the line-up that has remained unchanged since 1988. Dare Hering, Oto Pestner, Tomaž Kozlevčar and Marijan Petan return to the stage after a ten-year break, to offer the audience songs from the Baptist churches of the American South, imbued with new energy. The New Swing Quartet was founded in Šentjur (near Celje) in 1968 and modelled on the legendary American vocal group the Golden Gate Quartet, with whom they later frequently performed. Almost immediately they conquered Slovene audiences with their repertoire of spiritual songs from the American South. Over the course of 40 uninterrupted years, they brought gospel music to stages all over the world and succeeded in establishing themselves as a leading gospel ensemble, achieving worldwide fame and the status of one of the finest gospel groups in existence.
Their extensive discography includes 46 albums in a variety of formats. They have performed thousands of concerts, appeared in prestigious concert halls and cathedrals across Europe and Asia, and sung at receptions hosted by the highest state dignitaries almost all over the world. They were the first performers of American spiritual music sung in English to appear in the Soviet Union, where they returned several times. Their appearances in churches and halls in the southern United States further refined their art and left a deep mark on them, since it was in these churches that they established their "southern jazz gospel" style of performing "solid gospel" together with local African American musicians, including appearances on popular TV shows. The New Swing Quartet also boast the blessing of Pope John Paul II, who in 1992 addressed them in Slovene at an audience in the Vatican. The quartet have appeared as the main guest on many world-famous television and radio programmes and at various festivals throughout Europe. They have won numerous awards and prizes, both at home and abroad, including a lifetime achievement Viktor.