The Far East Band (FEB) started their journey as a reggae band called "Messer Banzani" in Leipzig, Germany. With the original line up of Joanna Järemo (Saxophone), Marco Baresi (Drums), Andre Heyer (Bass), Andreas Wendland (Guitar) and Matthias Falkenau (Keyboard), FEB started work as a backing band, playing background music for vocalists.
In the late 1990s with German Reggae still in the developing stages, FEB found they had little work. Some of the first artists they worked with were Tolga, Back Yard Crew, Dr. Ring Ding, Natty Flo, Nosliw, Mono + Nikitaman amongst others. The new millennium, far kinder to FEB saw collaborations with Red Rat, Buccaneer, Sean Paul and a performance at the Splash Festival 2000 with General Degree and Chico.
In 2001, Gentleman, an upcoming German Reggae vocalist asked FEB to accompany him as his backing band. Gentleman knew the band from previous collaborations, and just prior to the release of his second album, "Journey to Jah," Gentleman and his former backing band split due to a dispute.
With the addition of a new guitarist, Pete Fischer, Gentleman and The Far East Band underwent hundreds of performances in Europe, California, Jamaica, Bermuda, Morocco and Surinam, as well as TV appearances and a Live DVD that was released all over the world.
In 2003, Matthias Falkenau left the band due to family reasons and was replaced by Peter Hirsch. Now with six members, the band kept busy touring with Gentleman, but also performed at festivals with Tanya Stephens, Ce’cile and Red Rat / Buccaneer. The summer of 2008 saw the addition of Steffen Zimmer (Trumpet) and Rob Gutowski (Trombone). Steffen and Rob were both members of a sister band in FEB's early days.
The band, encouraged by their reception around the world decided to create their own album and in 2007, the band released 'Tough Enough.' The album featured various artists, including, Tanya Stephens, Moneybrother, Gentleman, Daddy Rings, Pete Fisher, Mamadee & Tamika. One could say, the album's name is much deserved, considering it took three years of labor to complete, and the studio in which it was stored burned down. Clearly adhering to Murphy's Law, the band kept back up copies, and none of the music was lost.
Current Line Up:
Johanna Järemo Saxophone
André Heyer Bass
Marco Baresi Drums
Andreas Wendland Guitar
Pete Fisher Guitar
Peter Hirsch Keyboard
Steffen Zimmer Trumpet
Rob Gutowski Trombone
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