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The Strong Contenders | The Art of Contention

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Rock: Funk Rock Rock: Progressive Rock Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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The Art of Contention

by The Strong Contenders

Funk Rock
Genre: Rock: Funk Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Post
3:49 $0.99
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2. This Song
2:58 $0.99
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3. Film Clip
0:32 $0.99
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4. The Friendly Skies
6:27 $0.99
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5. Glasnost
6:09 $0.99
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6. Such A Long Time
5:49 $0.99
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7. Now Is The Time
5:01 $0.99
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8. D-45
3:58 $0.99
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9. 20 Seconds of Silence
6:35 $0.99
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10. She`s Coming Home
4:38 $0.99
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11. Peace and Harmony
4:04 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Strong Contenders
www.thestrongcontenders.com

The very first C.D. from the Rock...Funk...R & B Band,
„The Strong Contenders"!!! On sale around
the middle of
November 2005!!!

Produced and Released by: NLBF music

Performed by:
Olando-James Bethel: Guitar, Lead and Background Vocals.
Olaf Seidel: Drums und Percussion.
Stefan Jacobs: Bass.
Justice Kweku: Bechstein Grand Piano, Yamaha Organ,
Roland-Rhodes Piano
and Vocals on "She´s Coming Home".







Olando-James Bethel


Olando-James Bethel: I was born in New York City, New York USA. I studied at St. Thomas Apostle School, Louis D. Brandeis High School, and majored in Accounting and minored in Music at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, Long Island. Because of my interest in Music and also for the fact that my Grand Father and Grand Mother, Joseph and Else Ann Brown were very musically inclined I started at an early age to develop myself as a musician and a composer. I first started with the piano, at about the age of 5. I received a small piano from my Mother Sarah and my Uncle Calvin Brown for Christmas. Outside of playing that piano, I had an Aunt named „Tanti", who had a full size piano in her apartment, when I was over for a visit I often played piano at my aunt's place. Around that time I also started to get interested in Studio recording. This came into being because my Mom bought me a Grundig 2 speed tape recorder for my Birthday. With that of course, I started to automatically go in the direction of music and production with out really knowing it. At that time outside of my growing interest for music and composing, I was very active in sports. At the age of 14 I was being scouted by the New York Yankees Baseball Team. So I had my hands full with activities.

At that time in New York, fortunately for me and for other New Yorkers it was mandatory for each student to learn an instrument. Outside of the normal fundamental musical training you had to learn a Musical Instrument and not necessarily the one of your choice. I wanted to at first, when it wasn't permitted that we learn guitar, that I learn the Trumpet. My music teacher who was at that time the „First Flutist" in the New Yorker Philharmonic, said that, „You should play the Concert Flute." So I then started to learn the Concert Flute in the High School Orchestra, I also started to learn how to play the electric guitar in our neighbourhood band. My Uncle Calvin bought my brother Dominic and I our first guitar amp. It was a „Harmony". A year or so later, Uncle Cal bought us both each even bigger guitar amps. I believe that they were called „Univox". The amplifiers also sounded really good. I took on some temporary employment, working before and after my daily High School Classes to buy some guitars. A couple of months after High School, I joined the U.S. Army. I was in the service for three years and at that time I also started to learn how to play the drums.

As a music minor at Hofstra University I also learned Orchestra percussion which consisted of Piano, Drums, Tympani, Cymbals, Bells, and Chimes. A year and a half after finishing College I moved to Germany, and I started to play with several Jazz and Show Bands. I did a bit of studio work as a bassist, guitarist, and drummer. That was done with bands in Frankfurt am Main and later here in Berlin. For example I did sessions with Wilbur Little who was the bass player in Rashan Roland Kirks Band, with Taj Mahal, Joachim Kühn, Anita Boländer, The Mike Müller Show, Mike Naylor from the Brecker Brothers Band, etc. I then took a few years off from the Jazz and Show Bands to develop my skills as a Rock Guitarist. In this period I learned the guitar day and night around the clock. Besides learning the guitar I discovered the Fountain of Composition. I started to compose music as if there were nothing else in the world but that.

I moved to Berlin in 1984 and started to look for musicians to play the music that I had composed. I also spend quite a bit of time, over several years off and on, assisting the Studio Sound Engineering Students at the HDK Conservatory for Music in Berlin. Of course to make ends meet I had several different forms of employment. This ranged from working in kitchens, washing dishes and cooking, as cleaning personnel in government and commercial buildings,


also as a stage hand (Roady), (Local Crew) for Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Sting, Brian Adams, André Rieu, Metallica, Phil Collins, Deep Purple, Rod Stewart,
Peter Frampton, AC DC, Neil Young etc. I worked some times off and on in my studied profession Accounting again. I did different types of Administrative work and Photography, Photo-Labour technique, I assembled computers, I carried Heating Coal. You name it.

I started The Strong Contenders about 1993 this came to past because of the fact that several other bands never took form. For example the band „Slädger" which was formed by Geoff Bohn, Dieter Herzog, and myself in July of 1986 actually was a good Rock and Blues Band. „Slädger" had some good gigs and tours and television appearances, in and around Germany. We played covers and originals. Before the „Contenders" were formed came the bands named „The Olando Band" which was renamed into „Radical News". This band started to get off the ground. The band members were Hjalmar Stecher: Bass, and Joe Di Carlo: Drums and myself on Guitar and Vocals. Later on came the pianist named Wolfgang Obrecht in the band. We were also signed by World Wide Records, Uk. And Germany.

The „Contenders" got off to a good start, the new band consisted of Frank Immervoll: Drums, Hans Peter Vogel: Bass, and Peter „Bio-Rhythm us" on the Keyboards. The only problem was, I myself I had spend too much money for the previous band, I was actually bankrupt. I had to take time out from the music to earn other money to pay all of the bills that had accumulated from the first band called „Radical News". I put the Contenders on ice till around late in 1995. I took the Original Drummer from „Radical News" Joe Di Carlo, Bassist Ramani Krishner and the Saxophonist Ben Perkoff who had also played with the first Contenders band. Our Video „D.S." was shown often on television in Germany. Between 1997 and 1999, I had to take another break to earn money to support my band. The band started again, in the winter of 1999, this time with some altogether new faces. Justice Kweku on Piano and Organ, Harold Mahl on Saxophone, Olaf Seidel on the Drums, Stefan Jacobs on Bass and myself of course. In the mean time we have a Quartet with out saxophone and Lionel Haas is the Pianist. Justice Kweku has left the band on his own request.

I have now a very thick Catalogue of original music that I have composed and this realms from Rock, Funk, Jazz to Classic. My Catalogue contains approximately 166 titles, I also have a title as a Composer here in Germany.

Since August of 2003 we have completed our First Album. The Album is titled "The Art of Contention".
The Art of Contention was premastered in August 2003 and further Mastered in September 2005. It is scheduled for release in November 2005.






Olaf Seidel

Olaf Seidel, Already at an early age I knew that I was going to play a musical instrument. In my childhood in Berlin, when I was about 4 years old I started to dance to all types of rhythms and sounds. It took me till around 1979 to acquire my first instrument.

It was difficult for me to decide because I first liked the Trombone because of its many tonal qualities and it's optical presentation. I was also interested in playing the guitar. I had a visit to our church congregation where the guitar was being played in the church choir but for some reason the demonstration of the guitar on that day convinced me to to look for a different instrument to learn. I finally decided for the piano. I started to take lessons and I played piano for the next ten years. I was primarily involved in Classical Music. Around 1989 I discovered my intense love for Jazz Music. I began to become more involved in different Melodies and Harmonies and I liked the wide use of improvisation.

Two years later I borrowed a tenor saxophone from a good friend and started to teach myself how to play the Tenor saxophone. At that time I found it necessary for me to have my own instrument. The big question was, „How much could I afford to spend?" In the beginning of 1992 I bought my first set of Drums. Soon after that I started to advance my rhythmical skills. This also included going to several jam sessions and jamming with many different types of musicians. We played all different types of music. I started to broaden my musical horizon. I played the drums for three years in the Rock-Pop-Funk band called "Current Constellation", after that I joined the Jazz-Funk band named "Anzio"untill that band broke up. After taking part in an audition,

I was selected out of a group of about 20 different Drummers to become a member of "The Strong Contenders". That audition took place in April of 1999.







Stefan Jacobs

Stefan Jacobs, I was born in Dortmund, Germany. At the age of 16, I started to learn how to play the bass, this happened after I had learned to play Classical guitar. At the age of 20, I started to study music at the Conservatorium in Enschede in Holland. I played in about 20 different bands with in that period of time. Everything that I found to be interesting in the music field. Blues, Rock, Punk, Funk, Soul, Hip-Hop, Jazz you name it I played it. I toured through Europe; France, Spain, Belgium, Scandinavian, for a period of 2 years consistently.







Justice Kweku

Justice Kweku, When I was about ten years old I started playing music on several different musical instruments and I use to play with and try out all of the musical instruments that I could get my hands on. My biggest interest though, came as I started to learn to play the piano, and organ. Being a Native of Ghana, Africa I had a big chance to play with many of the cover bands which toured through Africa. This sought of travelling helped me to meet and also to learn from many other well accomplished musicians.
I still travel a bit doing session work. I do a lot of studio work here and around in Germany also. I go often to the different Jazz jam sessions here in the country. I love sitting in on a standard session.

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