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Austrian promoter Erich Zawinul passes aged 55

Erich Zawinul, a concert promoter, booker and tour manager who was a fixture of the Austrian live music scene for three decades, has died after contracting Covid-19. He was 55.

The son of jazz legend Joe Zawinul (Weather Report), Zawinul began his career as a tour manager for Jimmy Cliff with George Leitner Productions (GLP) in Vienna. In 1990, with GLP colleague Richard Hoermann, he co-founded promoter Artist Marketing, and served as a partner in the firm until 2002.

Encouraged by the success of Artist Marketing (AM)’s first shows (Bonnie Tyler and the Chippendales), the pair left GLP to focus on AM full time. AM went on to promote Austrian shows by the likes of Kiss, Barry Manilow, Carlos Santana, Bryan Adams, Deep Purple, ZZ Top and Aerosmith.

In 2008, Artist Marketing became part of Barracuda Group (now part of CTS Eventim), where Zawinul worked as a booker until 2015.

“He loved music and he lived for the music biz with all his heart”

After leaving Barracuda, he became a brand manager for Austrian tequila company Padre Azul, although he continued to organise shows occasionally on the request of “close artist friends”, according to Hoermann.

An ILMC member, Zawinul also continued to work pro bono for Vienna’s Life Ball, the charity concert in aid of people living with HIV or Aids, booking artists and DJing.

“He loved music and he lived for the music biz with all his heart,” says Hoermann. “I personally, but also many friends all over the world, will certainly miss him.”


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