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Where are the Comedian Harmonists from?

The Comedian Harmonists were a wildly popular German vocal group active between 1928 and 1934. They rose to international fame with their unique blend of close harmony singing, witty humor, and sophisticated musical arrangements. But their story is also one of loss and struggle, as they were forced to disband in 1934 due to the rise of the Nazi regime.

Origins in Germany:

The group formed in Berlin in 1928, the brainchild of singer and entrepreneur Harry Frommerman. Inspired by American close harmony groups like the Revelers, Frommerman sought to create a German equivalent. He assembled a sextet of talented singers.

Musical Triumph:

The Comedian Harmonists’ repertoire was diverse, ranging from traditional German folk songs to popular hits of the day. They were known for their impeccable vocal blend, precise timing, and playful stage presence. Their innovative arrangements incorporated elements of jazz and folk music, creating a sound that was both familiar and fresh.

The group quickly gained popularity in Europe and beyond. They toured extensively, performing for royalty, heads of state, and sold-out audiences. Their recordings were bestsellers, and their music was broadcast on radio stations worldwide.

Forced Disbandment:

However, the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany in 1933 cast a dark shadow over the Comedian Harmonists. Three of the six members were Jewish, and the group was increasingly targeted by the Nazi government. In 1934, they were forced to disband.

Despite their forced separation, the Comedian Harmonists’ legacy lives on. Their music continues to be enjoyed by fans around the world, and their story serves as a reminder of the dangers of intolerance and discrimination.

Remembering the Comedian Harmonists:

Today, several groups keep the Comedian Harmonists’ spirit alive. The Berlin Comedian Harmonists, founded in 1997 after the release of a popular film about the group, continue to perform their music internationally.

The Comedian Harmonists’ story is a testament to the power of music to transcend borders and bring people together. Their legacy reminds us of the importance of artistic freedom and the dangers of intolerance.

The Musical about The Comedian Harmonists

Starting performances on Broadway on October 18th is the first and only musical about this singing group – Harmony: A New Musical.


The complete Broadway cast includes Chip Zien as Rabbi, Sierra Boggess as Mary, Julie Benko as Ruth, Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey as the Comedian Harmonists, Allison Semmes as Josephine Baker, Andrew O’Shanick as Standartenfϋhrer, Zak Edwards, Dan Hoy, Bruce Landry, Rhonni Rose Mantilla, Daniel Z. Miller, Benjamin H. Moore, Matthew Mucha, Constantine Pappas, Kayleen Seidl, Kyla Stone, Bronwyn Tarboton, Kate Wesler, Stuart Zagnit, and Lee Zarrett. 

To learn more about Harmony: A New Musical, click here.

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