Hazy Osterwald (born February 18, 1922 as Rolf Erich Osterwalder in Berne, Germany , February 26, 2012 in Lucerne , Switzerland ) was a Swiss musician , singer and orchestra conductor . His most famous pieces include the « Kriminal-Tango » and the «Wirtschaft-Cha-Cha»
Osterwald, the son of football national player and bookkeeper Adolf Osterwalder , who was also nicknamed Hazy, was a fan of football and was excluded from his piano lessons because of his lack of practice. However, schoolmates urged him to become a pianist in the school orchestra. In 1939 he became its leader. From 1940 on, he attended the Conservatoire and studied composition and theory with Albert Moeschinger . In 1940, one year before his matura, he arranged for the orchestra conductor Teddy Stauffer and others. In 1941 he played trumpet in the band of Fred Böhler , from 1942 under the artist name "Hazy Osterwald".
In the "Original Teddies" by saxophonist Eddie Brunner , the successor to Stauffer, he played the piano and trumpet in 1944, but in the same year he founded his own eight-headed combo with the singer Kitty Ramon . On 1 September 1944 the first engagement took place in the Dancing Chikito in Bern. The expansion to the big band turned out to be too expensive, and on the 1 st of May 1949 Svend Asmussen set up his sextet , with whom he played the same year at the International Jazz Festival in Paris, where also greats such as Charlie Parker and Sidney Bechet .
After appearing in Europe in 1951 the Americans engaged the sextet as Hazy Osterwald USO-Show (O for Overseas). Shortly thereafter, a six-month contract for Beverly Hills was rejected in 1952 by the American musicians' union. The sextet again concentrated on Europe and played in Stockholm, Lisbon and Arosa. In 1953, the first German radio production took place at the NWDR in Hamburg, followed by the first recordings for the Austrian Austroton. In 1954 the Hazy Osterwald-Sextet appeared in the German television film A small, big journey .
In 1955 he received a record contract with Polydor and made recordings with the Cologne producers Heinz Gietz and Kurt Feltz . In 1957 and 1958 they played in the Olympia in front of sold out house. They were very successful not least because of their funny stage show. Big record successes were the tracks "Kriminal Tango" (1959), "Panoptikum" (1960) and "Konjunktur Cha-Cha" (1961).
In 1961 Franz Josef Gottlieb produced the Hazy Osterwald story with Gustav Knuth , Eddie Arent and Peer Schmidt . It is based on a 1961 biography by Walter Grieder . Osterwald acted as a trumpeter, pianist, vibraphonist, bandleader, composer, lyricist, choreographer, arranger, director and producer at the Sextet in Personalunion.
Then followed in the ARD the TV show «Lieben Sie Show?" Directed by the young Michael Pfleghar , which was broadcast for the first time on 24 November 1962 and has remained one of the most successful international TV shows in Germany, broadcast in 35 countries. Here Osterwald was presented in its own show. The last episode ran on 16 March 1963.
Osterwald toured 1979, now under the name Hazy Osterwald Jetset . Amongst others they were an official band at the Olympic Games 1972 in Munich and 1976 in Innsbruck as well as in numerous television broadcasts. At the height of his career in the 1970s, Osterwald had his own record publishing house and a series of nightclubs ( Hazyland ) in Switzerland , which he had to sell when the public taste ( discos ) changed. He then set up a performance break until 1984, then acted as a vibraphonist with Hazy Osterwald and the Entertainers , turning back to jazz.
In 1999, he published his autobiography . On the occasion of his 90th birthday, it became known that he had been dependent on a wheelchair for a long time because of Parkinson's disease , which had existed since 1992 . Until his death in February 2012, Hazy Osterwald lived in Lucerne. (Info edited from Wikipedia translation.)