You focus on your music
We will do the rest

Personal assistance for jazz musicians

MILA ART AGENCY

Is a Swiss personal assistant agency with a keen focus on jazz music. Our main goal is to provide artists with the help they need regarding any kind of administrative work, negotiations, promotion, bookings, and much more. 

Founders of Mila Art Agency are musicians themselves and they understand the hardships this profession faces every day. In addition to music-related jobs, they also work at universities and have many jobs that take them away from what they love most: making music.

OUR SERVICES

PERSONAL ASSISTANCE

We take care of your administrative tasks, scheduling performances and logistics.

MEDIA MANAGEMENT

We help you reach a wider audience and increase your chance for scheduled performances.

GRAPHIC DESIGN

We provide visually compelling materials for all your needs, from CD designs to portfolio, we cover it all.

MARKETING SERVICES

We create your branding and marketing strategies with suggestions on how to improve your overall marketing.

Why choose our agency?

You should choose Mila Art Agency because we are committed to our artists, passionate about music, and handle every task with the utmost care and dedication. We will make sure that all your needs are met. Our team is meticulous and observant, leading to extensive and personalized research for each of your performances and projects. Here at Mila Art Agency, we are a family and we treat our artists as such. We are consistent in our quality and affordable in our rates.

Biography

Robert Mansfield Rucker

Robert Mansfield Rucker (born Chicago, Illinois, raised in Miami, Florida) is a jazz drummer, music teacher, and composer.
 
Rucker has recorded and performed with Grammy award winning artists Wynton Marsalis, John Daversa, Scotty Barnhart and Ted Nash Robert has also shared the stage with notable musicians such as Marcus Roberts, Wessell (Warm Daddy) Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Philip Harper, Eric Lewis, Stephon Harris,and Sam and Dave. He has also produced music for Sony Pictures alongside Stephen Marley and Dead Prez, and performs with a jazz band called The Robert Rucker Project. Robert is endorsed by Bosphorus and SoulTone Cymbals and Canopus Drums
 
After graduating from Miami Douglas MacArthur North, Robert attended Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. He was a member of the notable “The Marching 100” Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble. Robert later moved to Jacksonville, Florida and transferred to the University of North Florida where he received his B.A in Music. In 1995, Robert moved New York to attend graduate School at Manhattan School of Music. After graduation, Robert began to teach music in New York and New Jersey Public Schools.
 
Robert appears on Wynton Marsalis “Amongst the People: Live at the House of Tribes on Blue Note Records. He also is featured on the soundtrack of the Movie “Black or White with hip-hop duo “Dead Prez”. Robert released and produced his debut Cd “Make Blue” featuring Philip Harper and Todd Williams. In 2002, his latest release “Blue York” featured the world-renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Biography

Melodrum Trio

Italy’s jazz scene has long boasted high-quality productions, but Melodrum, comprising Salvatore Spano, Salvatore Maltana, and Francesco Brancato, embarked on a unique journey a decade ago. Their aim was to blend tradition and avant-garde in a global music dialogue, avoiding clichés and experimentation for its own sake. Their latest album, “The Man, The Earth, The Sky,” showcases a remarkable balance of creativity and maturity. With seven concise yet profound tracks, they navigate spirituality and music, effortlessly melding mainstream jazz with innovative sounds. Each piece is a testament to their skill and shared vision. Additionally, the trio members—Spano, Maltana, and Brancato—bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, enriching their compositions with diverse influences. This trio’s evolution exemplifies the art of balance, seamlessly bridging seemingly disparate worlds to create something truly remarkable.
 
Salvatore Spano is a versatile pianist, organist, and composer, blending classical, jazz, and theater music in his performances and compositions. His extensive experience spans over three decades, collaborating with renowned artists both nationally and internationally. Salvatore Maltana, a proficient double-bassist, has graced stages worldwide, sharing his talents with luminaries of contemporary jazz. As an educator, he imparts his knowledge at prestigious jazz seminars. Francesco Brancato, a skilled jazz drummer and composer, brings a dynamic energy to the trio, drawing from his diverse training and international collaborations. His contributions to the group’s sound are both inventive and captivating. Together, they form a cohesive unit, pushing the boundaries of jazz while staying rooted in tradition.
 

Biography

Jimmy Grant

Jimmy Grant grew up in a household full of rich musical influences. While his early influences also included Russian Folk, Balkan, traditional Hungarian, Bluegrass, Celtic and Classical, from a young age he gravitated towards the music of Django Reinhardt. He plays a blend of musics from all over the world and his own compositions. He has studied with acclaimed guitarists Jim Nichols, Andreas Oberg and Howard Alden, and in addition to Django Reinhardt, his other major musical influences are Sandu Ciorba, Bach, Kovacs Andor, Roby Lakatos and Angelo Debarre. He has performed with artists such as David Grisman, Paulus Schaefer ,Tim Kliphuis, Gonzalo Bergara, Ludovic Beier, Velvet Caravan, Rhythm Future Quartet, Hot Club of San Francisco and more, and has played at the Savannah Musci Festival, Los Angeles Django Reinhardt Festival, Nor-Cal Jazz Fest, Djangofest Northwest and The New York Hot Jazz Festival. He has recorded two albums under his own name, and performed on several other albums. Jimmy’s original song “Insomnia” was a finalist in the John Lennon songwriting competition(in the jazz category). As Jimmy puts it, “We believe that Jazz, and the music of Django, is a piece of history worth preserving.”
 
In addition to performing, Jimmy teaches private students and has been on the faculty of the Django in June Festival in Massachusetts, and also is the artistic director of the Django Reinhardt Association. Jimmy also writes for “Gypsy Jazz Secrets Magazine”. He has been featured in Relix magazine and Acoustic Guitar magazine.

Biography

Gabrielle Stravelli

“Ms. Stravelli’s emotional intelligence coincides with a phenomenal voice that she wielded with an easygoing confidence and impeccable taste.” – The New York Times

Gabrielle Stravelli is a dynamic vocalist and songwriter celebrated for her ability to seamlessly fuse various musical traditions into a modern, genre-defying sound. Her artistry is marked by a rhythmic jazz swing that underpins her original compositions, while her interpretations of the Great American Songbook and contemporary works showcase her prowess as both an actor and storyteller. Known for her unconventional song choices, Stravelli’s performances are characterized by unexpected twists and highly individualistic renditions.

In 2024, Stravelli kicked off the year with a headline performance at the prestigious Jazz on the Mountain Festival in New Paltz, NY, setting the stage for the release of her highly anticipated fifth album, “Beautiful Moons Ago.” Recorded at the legendary Van Gelder Studio, the album features collaborations with her longtime musical partners, pianist Michael Kanan and bassist Pat O’Leary.

The preceding year, 2023, was equally remarkable for Stravelli. She delved into recording a poignant new song cycle with world-renowned pianist Fred Hersch, offering reflections on the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic through music. Her captivating performances graced esteemed events such as the Cayman Arts Festival and the Delaware Water Gap COTA Jazz Festival, solidifying her status as a sought-after artist. Additionally, she headlined the acclaimed Lyrics & Lyricists series at the 92Y alongside pianist/vocalist Billy Stritch and embarked on a tour of Chile, sharing stages with esteemed vocalists Andrea Tessa and Fabiana Cozza.

The trajectory of Stravelli’s career is studded with notable achievements. In 2022, she appeared alongside jazz luminary Fred Hersch in his prestigious online masterclass and held a residency at the iconic Birdland Jazz Club. Her collaboration with pianist/singer Billy Stritch resulted in sold-out performances, demonstrating her magnetic stage presence and undeniable talent.

Beyond her accomplishments as a performer, Stravelli has also made significant contributions as an educator and ambassador for jazz music. She has toured extensively as part of the “American Music Abroad” program, spreading the rich heritage of jazz across international borders. Her commitment to nurturing emerging talent is evident through her role as a vocal teacher for the National Young Arts Foundation and her involvement with institutions like Singnasium and the Kaufman Center’s Lucy Moses Special Music School.

Throughout her illustrious career, Stravelli has been recognized with numerous accolades, including the prestigious MAC Award for Major Female Artist in 2022. Her dedication to the art form has earned her widespread acclaim, cementing her status as one of the most influential voices in contemporary jazz. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Stravelli continues to captivate audiences with her unparalleled artistry and unwavering passion for music.

Biography

Lekan Babalola

Twice Grammy award winning Nigerian percussionist, Lekan Babalola, is well known for his innovative musical style, using his native Yoruba tongue infused with traditional music, Afrobeat and funky dance overtones. Lekan started his career playing in the Yoruba Christian Church owned by his father. As custodians of Yoruba tradition his family taught him first hand Yoruba art and culture and this has influenced all his work. He also received a cultural and political apprenticeship from the late Fela Kuti. In 1980 he came to Britain and as his skills as a master percussionist grew, he was invited to join Gasper Lawal in 1982. He continued his career in New York as part of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and returned to the UK where he performed with the likes of Ernest Ranglin, Branford Marsalis, and recently African Jazz All Stars, Roy Ayers, The Kate Luxmoore Group, David Byrne, Joshua Redman, Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, The KLLB Band, Axelle Red, Pinse Saul, Queen Salawa Abeni and Jean Toussaint.

“For me, music is about crossing boundaries and finding commonality globally. I love combining ancient and contemporary and my work with ʻThe Afrobeat Messengers’ has given me another opportunity to take traditional vibes and give them a contemporary twist,” says Babalola. “Yoruba culture weaves its way through our modern lives through music and rhythm, and this gives me the chance to tell its story making it relevant to everyone today.”

Awarded his first Grammy in 2006 for performances on the late Ali Farka Toure’s album ʻIn the Heart of the Moon’, he was awarded a second at the 49th Grammy awards in 2009 for his work as Associate Producer on the American jazz diva Cassandra Wilson’s album ʻLoverly’. World press has given him rave reviews for his percussive ʻwizardry’ and infectious grooves. Lekan now devotes himself to his solo, contemporary and traditional projects with regular appearances at concert venues around the world and has his own album released on the Mr. Bongo label entitled “ Songs of Icons ”.

Lekan studied filmmaking at Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design, continuing his studies at Northern School of Film & Television, Leeds. In 1992 Spike Lee invited Lekan to be one of his assistants on the making of Malcolm X and he also spent six months on the postproduction of the film. This experience exposed him to a new expression of African Diaspora art and culture. In 1995 Lekan Babalola founded the Ifa-Yoruba Contemporary Arts Trust (www.ifayorubacontemporaryarts.co.uk), a UK based registered charity trust committed to fostering the development of Yoruba arts and culture. During this time Lekan worked with Arts Council England, regional and national arts funding agencies, local voluntary networks, and community groups and liaised with the private sector in the realization of community art projects. Lekan has produced many cross-cultural arts related projects. “ My objective was to provide a greater understanding of cross-cultural music and arts in the United Kingdom and to develop new partnership projects between artists in the United Kingdom and other international arts markets by creating new audiences and fostering more representative marketing perceptions. ” As Artistic Director of Ifa-Yoruba he has commissioned and Curated a series of visual arts works, including “ 16 Pieces ” – an exhibition of contemporary Yoruba paintings by artists throughout the African Diaspora and “Erindinlogun ”- a collection of 28 batik drawings by Nigerian based artist Taiwo Adediran.

In 2017 Lekan co-founded the annual Birchfield Jazz Festival (www.birchfieldjazzfestival.com), a celebratory weekend of free music in Birmingham, West Midlands. “ With these projects, I have expanded upon my network of art practitioners and administrators in the UK. These links have made the difference between bringing projects from the drawing board to reality and is the mark of a successful composer, arranger, performer cultural curator/producer. ” Babalola wants to bring Yoruba Sacred art and music that he was born into to another audience by producing for digital age.

Biography

Sebastian Prince

Singer-songwriter and a master’s student in vocal studies from Germany, Sebastian Prince, presents his debut album, “Prince,” comprising 10 original songs that traverse various genres such as pop, electronic, indie, soul, funk, rock, R’n’B, and jazz. The album serves as a reflection of his personal experiences, ranging from his school days to the experiences gained in his early twenties. Even though he did not come from a musical family, music has always played a significant role in Sebastian Prince’s childhood. He was fortunate to grow up in a family that strongly supported him, recognizing his talent from an early age and always encouraging him to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician. After many years of vocal training, he began his music education at the Maastricht Conservatory in 2018, where he completed his undergraduate studies with a major in jazz singing in the summer of 2022.

Biography

Hurricane Trio

The Hurricane Trio, featuring Chris Collins, showcased a fusion of Detroit and Italian jazz at the 2023 Detroit Jazz Festival. This quartet, composed of Milan-based Roberto Mattei on Double Bass, Lorenzo Blardone on Piano, and Massimiliano Salina on Drums, joined forces with award-winning Detroit saxophonist Chris Collins. Together, they epitomized a cross-cultural exchange, delivering refined, dynamic, and modern jazz performances. Their music, born from cultural fusion and extensive study, presented original compositions and sophisticated improvisations.

Biography

Aaron Shragge - Whispering Worlds

Whispering Worlds is an electronic-acoustic ensemble that connects four musicians with two AbletonLive systems to deliver global music that stretches from the depths of ambient landscapes to Raga-based compositions and interactive experimental Jazz.

Their debut performance paid homage to Jon Hassell at the Festival of New Trumpet Music in NY drawing praise from the artistic director/trumpeter/composer.


“Delving deeply into the sonic and spiritual worlds of Hassell’s work, Aaron Shragge presents a deeply felt homage to the trumpeter and composer. This meditative set demonstrated focus and passion, with beautiful and precise playing. A fantastic vision of what the trumpet can do and be…” -Dave Douglas

Biography

Luís Figueiredo

Luís Figueiredo is a versatile Portuguese musician known for his work as a pianist, composer, arranger, and producer.
 
He was born in Coimbra in 1979 and received his musical education at various institutions including the Coimbra Music Conservatory,, and the Hot Clube de Portugal in Lisbon. Figueiredo released his debut album “Manhã” in 2010 and has collaborated with numerous notable artists and ensembles. He is also recognized for his contributions to the Eurovision Contest in 2017 and his original soundtrack for the 2018 edition.
 
He released a solo album “A Deriva” in 2021, and his latest project “Text of Sound” was released on October 26, 2023. In addition to his solo projects, Figueiredo is involved in various musical ventures, including Círculo, Kintsugi, Songbird, and others. He holds a PhD in Music from the University of Aveiro and previously served as a visiting Assistant Professor in jazz studies until 2019.
 
Figueiredo, along with Rita Maria and Mário Franco, co-founded Roda Music, a record label focused on jazz, improvised music, and 21st-century classical music.
He cooperates also with Christina Branco as a pianist and producer.

Biography

Matthew R. Smith Trio

Matthew R. Smith is a bassist, composer, and educator from West Long Branch, New Jersey. He began his musical training at 11y/o playing the trumpet in the school band. At 13 y/o he began to play the electric bass and studied with bassist Buddy Savino, who introduced him to jazz. After graduating high school, his love of jazz grew and he began studying and playing the double bass.
 
He auditioned and was accepted into the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he earned his B.M. and M.M. in jazz performance. While living in Philadelphia, he studied with many of the city’s top musicians, composers, and educators such as Dr. Donald Chittum, David Bennett Thomas, Don Glanden, Dr. Evan Solot, Dr. Norman David, Kevin MacConnell, Micah Jones, Steve Beskrone, Tony Micelli, John Swana, Chris Farr, Josh Lawrence, among others.
 
He performs professionally as a bandleader and freelancer with a variety of musicians and ensembles throughout the tristate area at venues ranging from restaurants and clubs to festivals and concert halls. He is a composer of multiple styles and has three albums to his name. As a professional educator, he is a senior adjunct professor and teaches lessons, classes, and ensembles at various schools throughout New Jersey. 
 
Matthew R. Smith Trio has been pushing the boundaries of modern jazz since 2018 with a blend of deep grooves, strong melodies, rhythmic complexity, abstract textures, and dynamic contrasts. They have recorded two albums, the first of which was released in 2019 entitled Vernal Equinox and their second, Action Brings Good Fortune, was released on June 17th, 2022. They have performed in NYC and New Jersey clubs such as Feinstein’s 54 Below, Williamsburg Music Center, Made in NYC Jazz Cafe, The Watt Hotel, The One 16th, and The Wyndham.
 
Member of Matthew R. Smith Trio:
 
– Matthew R. Smith
– John Sheehy, a pianist and composer from Middletown, NJ, holds a B.M. in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music. Influenced by pianists like Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans, he added his own touch to the jazz legacy. In the trio, he invigorates Matt’s compositions.
– Eric Ficarra, Associate Director of Bands at Jackson Memorial High School, NJ, excels as a freelance percussionist, especially in theater, jazz, and symphonic realms. His audio engineering prowess enhanced the trio’s albums, and his diverse skills enriched their sonic landscape. A University of Delaware Music Education graduate, Eric’s contributions are multifaceted.

Biography

Pat Belliveau

Pat Belliveau is a JUNO Award nominated and 3-time YYC Music Award nominated saxophonist, and, has an extensive performing background which has involved numerous performances at international jazz festivals and venues in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Montreal, Montreux, Switzerland, and Boquete, and Panama City, Panama. In addition, he has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Japan, with numerous groups, including, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Vic Damone/Diahann Carroll, the Mills Brothers, “Jazz Vibraphonist” Terry Gibbs, Maureen McGovern, and Mel Torme.
 
As well, Pat has done numerous concert performances with many artists and groups including; Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Harry Connick Jr., Bobby Shew, Clark Terry, Pat LaBarbera, Rob McConnell, Phil Woods, Bill Watrous, Mike Tomaro, Jeff Jarvis, Kenny Wheeler, Doc Severinsen, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Temptations, Joan Rivers, Bernadette Peters, David Foster, Colin James, The University of Calgary Jazz Ensemble, The University of Lethbridge Jazz Ensemble, The Brandon University Jazz Ensemble, The Abilene Christian University Jazz Ensemble (Abilene, Texas), The Canadian “rock group” Lighthouse, The Canadian Tenors (Now “The Tenors”), The New York casts of A West Side Story and
A Chorus Line, The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra among others.
 
In addition, he is presently on faculty (teaching saxophone, improvisation, and jazz ensemble director) at Ambrose University in Calgary, is a former faculty member of the University of Calgary Music Department (1995-2008), teaching jazz saxophone, jazz harmony, and jazz improvisation. As well, Pat has been a private saxophone instructor since 1986, has several private students, and is active as a clinician/adjudicator for festivals, schools, and various adult groups throughout Canada. He can be heard on over 55 recordings as a sideman and leader, and has been heard on numerous television and radio jingles.
 
Pat is an Artist/Clinician for “Yamaha Canada Music Ltd.” endorsing the Yamaha “82Z Custom Mark II” design professional tenor and soprano saxophones, and the “875EX Custom” design alto saxophone, for “BG Woodwind Music Products” (France), for “Theo Wanne Saxophone Mouthpieces”, and for “Marca Saxophone Reeds” (France).

Biography

AC JAZZ

AC JAZZ: A Brazilian Saxophone Virtuoso

Prepare to be captivated by the daring (powerful) sounds of AC, a Brazilian saxophone player with an impressive musical journey that spans continents and eras.AC’s musical odyssey began at the prestigious Berklee School of Music, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Performance in 1991. His exceptional talent was recognized with the Berklee Performance Achievement Award upon graduation, a testament to his extraordinary skills and dedication.

AC’s quest for mastery took him to the California Institute of the Arts, where he pursued a Master’s degree in Jazz Reeds in 1993. There, his original composition graced the CD “Cal Arts Jazz-93” by Capital Records, introducing his presence in the global jazz landscape.

A thirst for knowledge led AC to the University of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), where he completed his PhD in Music in 2005. His groundbreaking doctoral thesis explored the intricate world of improvisation within the Brazilian jazz repertoire, featuring insightful interviews with some of Brazil’s finest instrumentalists.

AC’s musical interest beyond academia, took him to North America, where he collaborated with luminaries like George Garzone, Hal Crook, Charlie Haden, and Ernie Watts. He lent his artistry to diverse projects, including soulful collaborations with talents like Matt Johnson in Boston and Thom Teresi in LA..

Back in Rio de Janeiro, AC became a prominent figure in the jazz scene, leaving his indelible mark alongside icons like Alaíde Costa and the legendary Zimbo Trio. He shared stages with esteemed drummers Robertinho Silva, Paulinho Braga, and Claudio Infante, saxophonist Nivaldo Ornellas, pianist Weber Drummond, trumpeter Marcio Montarroyos, guitar player Fernando Vidal and bassists Adriano Giffoni, Andre Rodrigues, and Ronaldo Diamante.

AC’s personal projects are a testament to his creative spirit. From the captivating sounds of Solari Jazz and the innovative “Brazilian Acid” collaboration with producer CDC to intimate sax-piano duets and soul-baring solo saxophone ventures, his discography is a kaleidoscope of musical exploration. AC’s musical journey continues to evolve, with recent releases including “A.T.A.C,” a surprising sax-drums duet, and the 2022 gem “Quartets,” a reinterpretation of Chick Corea’s iconic “Three Quartets.”

Beyond his virtuosity as a performer, AC has embraced the role of educator and mentor. He has shared his profound knowledge through private lessons and master classes imparting wisdom on saxophone mastery, jazz improvisation, and harmony. He holds a  tenured professor  at  the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) Scholl of Communication teaching Audio Technology, Soundtrack, and E-Puc  for the undergraduate program and Music Technology and Market tath the Graduate Program.  In 2022, as a result of a research project AC released,an eBook about Jazz Composition and Jazz History available on  Apple Book.  His next research project is based on the music of Astor Piazzola to be conducted in Argentina with local musicians bridging the musical universe of Piazolla to the jazz idiom.

A dynamic academic and a relentless advocate for Brazilian jazz, AC has presented his insights at international conferences and holds faculty positions at UFRJ’s PPGMC (Master’s in Creative Media) and UNIRIO PROEMUS (Master’s in Music Education) programs. Step into the enchanting world of AC’s music—a journey of passion, innovation, and relentless pursuit of excellence. Discover the saxophonist who harmoniously bridges the realms of performance, education, and scholarly exploration.

Biography

David Cauchi

Coming from a music family, David’s exposure to music was natural, and at the age of 6, he started taking piano lessons. After graduating from the London College of Music at the age of 20, there was always a desire to apply his music knowledge into something more contemporary.

Having been involved in di­frent music projects with other local and foreign musicians, David started to experiment di­frent music styles including rock, blues, reggae and jazz.

X-Factor participant both in Spain and in Malta, David launched his debut single as a sole artist – I’m Gonna Be Your Lover a mix of reggae with tints of jazz, blues and swing. A live acoustic version of the song was performed and transmitted on Spanish

National TV Station La2 de TVE during the tv show D‑esta, aired in December 2018. David’s second single Gone, is a classic rock ballad speaking about an old love now gone. More music followed in 2018. His latest single Viaje al Paraiso is a song in the Spanish language which speaks about the parallel life of a musician and a migrant. This song was recorded in Madrid and produced by Fran Rivera, formerly guitarist of Italo-Spanish sensation Miguel Bose.

Apart from his own music projects, David performs as sole artist or with fellow musicians in di­erent venues and events bothlocally and abroad. His soulful vocals accompanied by his piano or guitar playing, as well as his varied genres of adapted coversand originals, will take you to a unique music journey and experience.

Biography

Gunter Wehinger

Günter Wehinger (Flutist, Composer, Arranger) was born in 1961 and currently resides in Arlesheim, Switzerland. He earned a teaching diploma for classical flute at the Feldkirch Conservatory (Austria), followed by a jazz studies program in St. Gallen (Switzerland). He received private lessons from James Newton in Los Angeles from 1987 to 1989. He also pursued postgraduate studies in composition and conducting at the Zurich University of the Arts.
 
Günter Wehinger has performed concerts in various countries, including Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya,
Yokohama) and the United States (New York, Boston, San Francisco, Denver). He has played with various ensembles, covering jazz, classical and free improvi-sation genres. He has released eleven jazz albums as a leader or co-leader on renowned labels such as Minor Music and Polygram, collaborating with musi-cians like Art Lande, Paul McCandless, Pheeroan AkLaff, Peter Herbert and Anthony Cox. He has also released a solo album featuring meditative flute music.
 
As a composer, Günter Wehinger has created numerous jazz compositions and works that bridge the gap between classical and jazz. In 2001 he premiered the three-movement composition “Double Entendre” for jazz quartet and orchestra at the Festspielhaus in Bregenz, Austria. This composition was also performed in Feldkirch (Austria) and Bydgoszcz (Poland). He serves as a lecturer for flute, improvisation, and ensemble at the music universities in Basel and Zurich and has conducted masterclasses at various institutions in Europe and the United States. He is the author of the book “Die kleine Geschichte des Jazz” (The Little History of Jazz).
 
The music of ENSEMBLE DELYDIOUS has evolved from several years of collaboration as the trio “Wiesner-Wehinger-Buser.” The project’s focus includes original compositions, reimagined works by Claude Debussy and Erik Satie, and their interpretation from a new, jazz-specific perspective. It also involves the challenge of reimagining this music with vibraphone, flute, electric bass, and the addition of the Koto, a Japanese string instrument. They enlisted the Koto player Karin Nakagawa for this purpose.
 
The goal was not to simply jazzify classical music but to reinterpret it with a fresh sonic palette. Instruments like the vibraphone and electric bass did not exist in Debussy’s time, but a sonic
magician like him likely would have incorporated them. Additionally, the inclusion of the Japanese Koto is not merely an embrace of “ethnic” sounds but a nod to Debussy’s fascination with Far Eastern music (from Indonesia, China, Japan), which he first heard at the 1889 World’s Fair.

Biography

Fernando Otero

Fernando Otero is a two-time GRAMMY®-winning Argentine composer, pianist, and vocalist based in New York City. He has been described by many critics as a classically-trained virtuoso pianist and composer who developed his own style by blending elements of classical contemporary music and improvisation while acknowledging Tango as a starting point. He found his voice when he began to incorporate the indigenous sounds of his native Buenos Aires into his work. Otero’s pianism displays song-like melodicism, expressiveness and a wide palette of colors. He possesses a particularly strong rhythmic intensity when performing up-tempo pieces, playing notes repeatedly with piston-like precision that contrasts with sudden detours into daydreamy pastels. Otero has recorded 16 albums as a solo artist and performs more than 100 international concerts yearly. His works are published by Warner Chappell Music and his albums have been released by Nonesuch Records, Warner Music, Harmonia Mundi, and World Village. He has received commissions from performers and institutions worldwide and has written music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, string quartet, and choir, as well as for solo instruments including piano, violin, and cello, and movie soundtracks.
 

Biography

Tatiana Alamartine

Born in 1988, Tatiana Alamartine initiated her musical journey at the age of five, swiftly mastering classical and jazz piano. Studied under Chantal Lamarre at Bourgoin Jallieu Conservatory and Chrystel Saussac at Lyon’s Conservatory, specializing in classical piano. Obtained Musical State Diplomas from both Bourgoin Jallieu and Lyon. Also trained in jazz piano under Mario Stantchev and Frank Avitabile at Lyon Conservatory.
 
Chamber music graduate with a “very good” mention from Bourgoin Jallieu Conservatory.
Won the ‘3rd prize’ at the international competition of Montrond-les-Bains in 2011.
Performances in France (Le Havre, Trouville-sur-mer, Paris, Lyon, Rhône-Alpes region, Vienne, Chamonix, Chirens), Italy, China, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.
Featured at the Festival Lumière de Lyon at the Institut Lumière for a cine-concert.
 
Collaborated on five documentary film scores with director Caroline Puig Grenetier, contributing to various productions.
Contributions to original music for several projects like ‘A l’école des scaphandriers’ and ‘Arktic’.
 
Released albums in 2017 (Vox’xoV label) June 2021 (GAM) and October 2023 Morning Views.
 
Currently teaching at Copperfield International School in Verbier since August 2022, serving as a music teacher and overseeing the music department.
 

Biography

Haruna Fukazawa

Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Haruna Fukazawa’s musical roots trace back to her classical training at the Musashino Academia Musicae. It was during her formative years that she developed a deep connection to the art of music. However, her path took a transformative turn when she began visiting New York City to study with the legendary Frank Wess. Encouraged by her esteemed mentor, she made the pivotal decision to relocate to New York.

Haruna’s musical expression is a testament to her inspirational teacher, Frank Wess. Her playing style is characterized by its straightforwardness, joyfulness, and powerful delivery, all of which echo the teachings and influence of the jazz legend, Frank Wess.

Her musical prowess has earned her recognition on various platforms. Haruna has lent her exceptional skills to numerous albums, TV shows, and movie recordings as a valued side musician. Her career continues to evolve as she collaborates with an array of musical groups. Notably, she is an integral part of Karl Berger’s Improvisers Orchestra, a group that has been honored six times with the Downbeat Critics Poll award.

Haruna’s performances have graced some of the most prestigious venues in New York City, including the Blue Note, Carnegie Hall, The Stone, The 55 Bar, The Bitter End, Joe’s Pub, and The Rubin Museum of Art. In 2010, she made history as a member of the first Japanese band to perform at the Trieste Summer Rock Festival in Trieste, Italy.

The Haruna Fukazawa Quintet, which she leads, is a regular performer and released its debut album through Summit Records in 2019. The album achieved a significant milestone by ranking in the top 50 on the Jazz Week, an airplay chart for jazz and smooth jazz radio stations. Haruna’s achievements in the field were further celebrated when she graced the cover of the Hot House Jazz Magazine. In 2021, her band was chosen as the featured performer at the 19th NFA Convention.

 

Biography

Soren Bebe

A leading pianist on the European jazz and contemporary music scene, Danish pianist Søren Bebe is most often compared to fellow Scandinavians, Tord Gustavsen and the late Esbjörn Svensson.
 
Born in the Danish city of Odense in 1975, Søren had his first piano lesson at the age of eight. In 2004, after seven years of study with, among others, the highly respected Swedish jazz pianist Lars Jansson, Søren graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus (Denmark) with an advanced postgraduate diploma in music for exceptional soloists.
 
Says the US jazz journal, All About Jazz: “Bebe certainly belongs to the tradition of lyrical pianists that goes from Erroll Garner and Bill Evans through Keith Jarrett. What Bebe adds to the lyrical tradition of the piano is a sense of folk-like simplicity, with mourning melodies blossoming like shy night-flowers”.
 
Besides leading his own projects, Søren is also a highly sought-after pianist frequently touring as sideman with artists like Cæcilie Norby and Benjamin Koppel.
 
Søren’s recording catalog to date includes seven albums with the Søren Bebe Trio, the most recent of which is the critically acclaimed Here Now (17 Nov 2023).
 
“Here Now” follows the critical acclaim of their 2019
release ‘Echoes’ and marks a new era for the trio,
welcoming Norwegian drummer Knut Finsrud
into the ensemble for the first time alongside bassist Kasper Tagel.
 
Seeking inspiration from his heroes of past and present including Tord Gustavsen, Espen Eriksen, Misha Alperin, and Jan Johansson, Bebe explores narrative themes of slowing down and seeking presence and gratitude through delicate melodies and a folk-like simplicity.
 
Having recently moved to a small village in Denmark with his family surrounded by woods, lakes, and farmland, the quiet, contemplative, and spacious tone of ‘Here Now’ is reflective of Bebe’s newfound pace of life and surroundings.
 
Founded in 2007, the Søren Bebe Trio have cemented themselves as a cornerstone of European jazz with performances at leading festivals and venues in Hong Kong, South Korea, Morocco, Brazil, Poland, the USA, and Denmark.

Biography

Sandhya Elizabeth Asirvatham

Sandhya’s musical journey is a story of reinvention and passion. After earning a BA and MFA from Columbia University, she embarked on a successful career as a freelance journalist and nonfiction author. However, at the age of 33, she returned to an old childhood dream, immersing herself in the world of jazz as a pianist, singer, and unique interpreter of standards and pop/rock hits.
 
Her artistic evolution continued as she transitioned into a composer and lyricist, earning critical acclaim for her original collection MEMOIR 2007. Renowned historian and critic W. Royal Stokes hailed it as one of the year’s best jazz debuts, marking the beginning of Sandhya’s exploration of the intricate intersection between songwriting and storytelling. More recently, Sandhya’s fierce art-rock sensibilities came to the fore in INNOCENT MONSTER 2021–ten songs featuring a wide palette of sounds and emotions. Rolling Stone magazine called it a “soaring” album that “balances darkness and mirth.”
 
Live Performance Experience:
 
As a charismatic soloist, featured guest, or bandleader of small- to medium-sized combos, Sandhya has a rich history of live performances, captivating audiences throughout the mid-Atlantic and beyond. Her shows are often organized by theme and always characterized by a unique blend of jazz, pop, and rock, creating an immersive and unforgettable experience for the audience.
 
Notable Projects:
 
Sandhya’s ambitious projects include MOBTOWN MOON, a genre-defying homage to Pink Floyd THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON that she conceived and orchestrated. This collaborative effort featured over 50 Baltimore-based musicians and received global acclaim, demonstrating her ability to blend genres seamlessly and turn dream concepts into reality. She has also created and participated in thematic shows featuring songs about love and heartbreak, songs about money, and compositions by women.
 
Sandhya maintains a broad interest in all forms of creative expression, including forays into TV commercial production (for which she has an Emmy), personal and political writing, and now a new venture in film and media composing. A knack for compelling stories and a sense of worldly wisdom are what tie everything all together.

Biography

Ellen Warkentine

Ellen Warkentine is a theatrical composer and jazz performer with an MA in immersive music theatre from NYU. Her melodic work is inspired by avant-pop and early jazz. Her most recent production, “Nin Descending a Staircase” was a site-specific immersive adaptation of the works of Anaïs Nin staged in the historic site of Nin’s old printing press. Ellen is a long-time collaborator with the award-winning “junkyard opera” company Four Larks Theatre. She is co-creator and composer of the absurd “fauxpera” LOLPERA and has written music and music directed for Kinetic Cabaret Productions, 7 Stages Theatre, Sacred Fools, The Garage Theatre, The Long Beach Playhouse, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Four Clowns, among others.

Ellen performs traditional jazz on voice, clarinet, and piano, currently performing with The Naughty Doings, an LA-based trad jazz band. She hosted a monthly residency and jam session at Young Ethel’s in Park Slope with her Brooklyn-based collective The Small Dog Jazz Society. Recent notable gigs include playing for the swing dance group The Findyhoppers at The Coney Island Mermaid Parade, and for a swing dance event at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in Manhattan.

Biography

John Korbel

John Korbel’s songwriting combines the accessibility of contemporary pop and country with a decidedly Jazz song structure and phrasing technique. He also incorporates bossa nova and Latin influences into much of his work. The result is something unique and engaging.
Over the past several years, John has released a number of other recording projects. In partnership with producer Art Ward of Century Music Group in Nashville, he completed two EP length projects. Expertly mixing Bossa Nova, and incorporating rich and vibrant Latin influences, John’s debut EP, ‘Earthlight’, released in 2017, showcased sheer talent and musical brilliance. “Bourbon Street Taps”, rooted in Jazz and released in 2020, was accompanied with an award-winning video of the title track. With his unique and engrossing musical compositions, that feature strength of emotion and characteristic vocal prowess and delivery, the “Bourbon Street Taps” EP included another well-received Christmas song, “December 10th (She Made The Most Of Christmas)”. John has also secured numerous accolades for his “Bourbon Street Taps” music video including recognition from the Queen Palm International Film Festival, New Hope Film Festival, Richmond International Film Festival, among others.
Stressing themes of ‘longing’, John Korbel’s musical compositions remain woven beautifully thematic threads of expressive desire for love, a better future, and for a clinging sense of permanence in the face of life’s losses.

Biography

Axiom Jazz

Self-Evident Truth in both concept and application best describes the realization of the musical goals of brothers Peter Templer and Phil Templer.  The road towards that realization has been one of many twists and turns often encountered by professional musicians striving to explore their own artistic expressions, while at the same time responding to the ever changing demands of both the national and international marketplace.
 

​Through AXIOM, Peter and Phil feel that they are indeed establishing their own special place on the contemporary music scene.  When recently asked “What is AXIOM all about and what are you trying to say, musically speaking?” Peter responds, ‘As the name implies, this is the self-evident truth in music for us!  I grew up playing tunes by Jr. Walker, James Brown, the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, etc.  I love that stuff and always will.  Then, put that together with my affinity for Jazz and Latin music through people such as Miles, Wes, Bird and Jobim.  Now I have this fantastic opportunity to express all of that here with AXIOM!” Phil adds, “There’s that certain spark of creative spontaneity inherent in all of the music we love and that’s what I’d like to think we’re achieving in AXIOM.  There’s a strong element of teamwork here as all the players get the chance to really be involved from performing as well as from a compositional standpoint

Biography

Muffy Styler

Muffy Styler is a New York City based jazz singer and musician (clarinet, percussion) who previously performed across Europe in various musical theater productions as an actress and singer.
 
She currently has a biweekly jazz residency at Bathtub Gin one of the most popular speakeasies in New York City, frequented by many celebrities. Muffy sings and hosts variety shows at the famous Slipper Room. Her band consists of many top award-winning players including guitarist Joe Cohn, son of famous alto player Al Cohn, Kerry Mackillop, trumpet player with the Artie Shaw big band and pianist Matt Kanelos as well as many others.
 
She is influenced by mid-century jazz singers and musicians including Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Chris Conner, John Coltrane.
 
Her sets include standards, swing and Latin as well as ballads and crossover. She also has a set dedicated to Peggy Lee and her collaborations with Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Muffy was nominated for a MAC Award (Manhattan Association of Cabarets) and a Broadway World Award. She has performed jazz programs in Italy and Germany. 
 

Biography

Runar Norsett Trio

Runar Nørsett Trio started to work together in 2017, as a result of my dream of putting together a band. Having played piano in numerous settings over the years, including the jazz band Whisper Not!, Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, and as an accompanist, I didn t have an arena where I could perform my music. Fredrik Sahlander, my good friend and an associate professor at the University in Agder, and with a ph.D. in bass playing, asked the young and talented drummer Tobias Solbakk, then a master’s degree student at the same university, if he wanted to join them in a trio. He accepted, and Runar Nørsett Trio was born.

Fredrik has a broad background as a bass player both in jazz music and popular music. He has his own band Sah! with Bernt Moen on piano and Kirk Covington on drums, and together with Tobias, he plays in Bernt Moen’s trio Dualistic. He has played with a variety of jazz musicians, among them Mike Stern, Olga Konkova, Petter Wettre, Hans Mathisen, Shaun Martin, Bendik Hofseth, Echard, and Egil Kapstad.
 
Tobias is a versatile freelance drummer, playing with such different artists as the metal band In Vain,the Eurovision Song Contest winner Alexander Rybak, and the American pianist Shaun Martin.

Runar Nørsett Trio released its first album From the Ashes in 2019, but it was the first. With our second album My Funny Quarantine in 2021 we received international recognition. We have received positive reviews from Allaboutjazz in the USA, Jazzviews, and Jazzjournal in the UK, from SKjazz in Slovakia, Discoryxeion in Greece, and Nettavisen In Norway.

We love to play together, and I hope our joy is transferred to those who listen to us. I try to write music that reaches the heart and emphasizes the importance of melody in music. At the same time, music can be complex, with numerous layers of technical, rhythmical, and harmonic challenges, and in that way, intellect and curiosity can be stimulated. Music must speak to the heart, and it must be fun!

Biography

Ramsay Rawson

Ramsay Casadesus Rawson is a Paris-based musician currently performing classic bossa nova and international standards in intimate settings with voice and guitar. Inspired by classic microphone singers from the radio era of the mid 20th century, he sings in multiple languages and performs around the Paris area with his group Paris Bossa Nova. As co-founder and producer of the Brazilian lounge group Luxo 100, he has been a long time collector and connoisseur of Brazilian, Latin and African sounds and DJs as one half of the global beats and electronica duo World Class International with DJ KindB. He has also produced numerous electronic lounge and disco albums under the pseudonym Armando Pelli.

Biography

Mark Saltman and William Knowles

Anchoring the rhythm section, bassist Mark Saltman and pianist William Knowles compose and arrange music for their jazz quintet SaltmanKnowles.  Based in Washington, DC, the ensemble plays a combination of primarily original music and standards, as well as original arrangements of a few 80’s tunes.

Saltman and Knowles have recorded and released seven original jazz CDs together over the past 20 years. Originally known as Soulservice, they now record as SaltmanKnowles. Their most recent release Almost peaked at #23 on the Jazz charts. Together they have spent time as Artists-in-Residence for the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, received two grants from the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities, and won the Best International Jazz Song Award in 2007 from Toronto Exclusive Magazine. Their fifth release, Return of the Composer, was in the top ten on the Jazz World Week Radio Chart.

Knowles and Saltman met while attending the composition program at the University of Massachusetts, and their similar affection for the music of Billy Strayhorn, Horace Silver, Cedar Walton and Charles Mingus led to their musical relationship. When live performance became impractical during the pandemic, SaltmanKnowles began posting weekly videos using JamKazam, a new technology that allows musicians to play over the internet in real time. The posts can be found on Facebook and Instagram at @saltmanknowles. 

Mark Saltman was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and now resides in Washington, DC. He holds a BA in Music from Western Connecticut State University and an MA in Composition from University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied with musical pioneer and mentor Dr. Yusef Lateef. Over the past couple of decades, he has scored independent films, played numerous jobs on the double bass, and also taught music in the public and charter school systems.

Saltman has written scores for the award winning feature length film Dante, a remake of the original inferno as well as for short films including The Hard Sale, Perchance To Dream, Bells For Her, Jedis From Dallas and currently is working on Sci-Fi trilogy episodes of Paradox.

William Knowles is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and lives in College Park, Maryland. He received a BA from Howard University (emphasis Jazz Studies) and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During the past twenty-five years Mr. Knowles has amassed credits as a Composer, Arranger, Musical Director and Pianist for many shows at regional theaters around the country, including Dallas Theater Center, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Northlight (Chicago), CenterStage (Baltimore), Indiana Repertory Theater, and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, where he has performed in eight different productions.

Other notable productions include Tambourines to Glory, directed by Kenny Leon at the True Colors Theatre Company, and the 2001 regional theater tour of Dinah Was. Mr. Knowles has collaborated with playwright, lyricist, and director Thomas W. Jones II on a number of projects. Their original works include: Slam, Pearl Bailey…By Request, Cool Papa’s Party, Fool In Love, Ladies Swing The Blues, Billie’s Song, Blackberry Daze, and Shake Loose. The Knowles/Jones collaboration has yielded a Helen Hayes Award for musical direction 2010 for Knowles (MetroStage), and Helen Hayes musical direction nominations for Gee’s Bend (MetroStage, 2014) and for Slam (Studio Theatre, 2000).

The eighth SaltmanKnowles record is titled Native Speaker.  The album will be primarily original music, mixed with a few arrangements of tunes that strike us.  The concept of the album is two-fold: First, we are practitioners of the African American music art form called jazz, and we’ve committed our lives to it.  Second, whether you are a native speaker of my language or not, you are welcome here.  You’re in my country, my land, my music, my clothes, my home, my dreams, and in my art.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Saltman and Knowles bring the experiences of their independent projects to their recording projects, and their shared philosophy has contributed to their musical partnership:  Write songs that stick to your bones.  Ear catchers that remind you of a person, or coming of age, or a place, or a tune that pulls you through a dark patch.  Selfishness is monochromatic, and we like color.

Biography

Courtney Freed

 Strong, passionate, vivacious and daring, Courtney Freed is a dynamic vocalist in a class all her own. She is a Portland based singer, songwriter, creatrix and educator. She has been called a “whirlwind of excitement” as well as “effervescent” and “breathtaking.” Whether she is belting out a Queen classic or a sultry standard, she is sure to captivate many a listener. She has performed in many prestigious venues in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles as well as Portland, where she resides. Her sparkling and smooth tribute through the Great American Song book is not to be missed live. She also sings lead with local swing band, The Courtney Freed Five. Her new album, “Big Crazy Love,” a delicious combination of jazz inspired originals and covers was released in early 2022.

 

Biography

Pritesh Walia

Pritesh Walia is a virtuoso jazz guitarist, accomplished composer, and dedicated educator hailing from the vibrant city of New Delhi, India. His musical journey began at the age of 13 when he immersed himself in the rich traditions of Indian Classical Music. Fueling his insatiable curiosity for music, Pritesh sought Western influences, initiating a lifelong pursuit of mastering diverse musical styles.
Armed with an Associates of Arts Degree from the Musicians Institute College
of Contemporary Music, a Bachelor’s Degree from Berklee College of Music in Contemporary Jazz Performance and Jazz Composition, and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory, Pritesh has honed his craft alongside some of the finest jazz musicians in the United States.
Not only has Pritesh showcased his exceptional talent on global stages, but he has also formed collaborative partnerships with prestigious brands. During his tours of India from 2015 to 2017, he proudly represented leading musical instrument retailers. Sponsored by these industry giants, Pritesh conducted master classes and clinics across India, South America, and the United States, including two appearances at the esteemed Panama Jazz Festival. Pritesh’s instructional prowess is further exemplified by his lessons and packages featured on renowned guitar instructional platforms such as Licklibrary.
Currently endorsed by elite brands like Gruvgear, Chicken Picks, Collings Guitars, and Antelope Audio, Pritesh continues to push the boundaries of his
musical exploration. His passion for education is evident in his role as a Jazz educator at institutions such as Bunker Hill Community College, Brookline Music School, and Excelsia College Sydney, where he guides  master’s students in the art of jazz.
Pritesh is poised to make significant waves in the music scene with the upcoming release of his debut album, “Hope Town,” scheduled for a fall 2023 release on all streaming platforms. This album, meticulously mixed and mastered by multi-Grammy winner engineer Dave Darlington, promises to be a testament to Pritesh’s artistic vision. Additionally, Pritesh is set to unveil his organ trio, “PSA,” in mid-2024, followed by a Big Band record featuring the Henry Godfrey Jazz Big Band and a modern Brazilian project with strings, both slated for release in late 2024.

Biography

Santi Debriano

Santi Debriano is acclaimed as one of the most interesting and original voices on the international jazz scene today. His lifelong creative jazz explorations are grounded with a vast knowledge and respect for many diverse cultures and traditions.
As a soloist, he has performed at many of the world’s most renowned festivals and concert halls,
often presenting his own compositions with his
band. His jazz group, Flash of the Spirit, is a band of virtuoso musicians who move easily through modern jazz, latin jazz and the avant garde jazz idioms. Santi Debriano has been playing the instrument since he was a teenager. Born in Panama, he has lived in New York City for many years, serving as the leader of his own groups and as a sideman for others. In the city’s community of
jazz musicians, he is like an oak tree, with roots that
stretch into many different idioms and styles practiced by some of the most accomplished musicians in the indisputable jazz capital of the universe. Santi has realized concerts and albums with such diverse jazz masters as Kenny Clarke, Mal Waldron, Archie Shepp, Kirk Lightsey, David Murray,
Pharaoh Sanders, Oliver Lake, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Elvin Jones, Randy Weston, Roy Hanes and many others. His two instruction books of Jazz Bass Studies, The Bass Players Toolbox 1 and 2, are for sale on amazon.com
Santi’s newest release, Ashanti, is on JoJo Records. Several of his concerts have been broadcast by WBGO, WNYC and National Public Radio.

Biography

Jakob Bänsch

The award-winning German trumpeter and composer Jakob Bänsch is one of the fast rising stars in the European Jazz scene. Already being compared to a young Wynton Marsalis. ʻPowerfully and confidently following the footsteps of the masters in his field’ (Süddeutsche Zeitung) he released his debut-album ‚Opening’ on the label Jazzline (Delta Music GmbH) in April 2023 that generated overwhelming reviews in Germany and beyond.
Growing up in southern Germany as the son of classical musicians, he started playing piano and trumpet at an early age, playing in several orchestras and being immersed in classical music before he discovered Jazz at the age of 12.
Now, being equally proficient in both classical and jazz, he has played at
the most renowned German jazz venues and festivals (e.g. Leverkusener Jazztage, Jazz Baltica, JazzOpen Stuttgart) as well as some festivals abroad (International Jazz Festival Dobrš (CZE), Jazz Ô Palais Albi (FRA), Vicenza Jazz (ITA)). Besides, he has worked together with international jazz greats such as Nils Landgren, Bob Mintzer, Wolfgang Haffner, Billy Hart and was featured soloist of the WDR Bigband with his own music arranged by Michael Abene.
He has been one of the youngest member of the German national orchestra and the Elbphilharmonie Jazz Academy and has recently been awarded with the soloist prize at the Munich Jazz Award. On his debut album he introduces his own music, a combination of lyrical melodies, virtuoso jazz, spherical soundscapes and symphonic and classical elements.

Biography

D'vonne m. e. lewis

Winner of the 2013, 2018 and 2021 “NW Instrumentalist of the Year” honors in the Seattle Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards, D’Vonne Lewis is the grandson of the ‘Godfather’ of rock and roll/soul, 1950s-1960s Northwest organ legend, Dave Lewis. 
 
D’Vonne Lewis graduated with honors from Seattle’s Roosevelt High School in 2002 and was a member of the award-winning jazz band, directed by SRJO trombonist, Scott Brown. While in high school, D’Vonne received the Essentially Ellington Drum soloist award for the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. Lewis resides in Seattle, WA, and extensively tours and performs various gigs in styles ranging from jazz, big band, funk, hip-hop, rock, Brazilian and African. 
 
He has recorded and performed with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis; Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; Maria Schneider; Digable Planets; Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam; Christian McBride; John Clayton; tap dance legend Savion Glover; George Porter, Jr. of  the Funky Meters; George Cables; vocalist Dee Daniels; Diane “Deedles” Schuur; pianist Marian McPartland; jazz trombone legend Julian Priester; Hadley Caliman; Floyd Standifer and a number of other local and national artists.
 

Biography

Crabs & Feathers

Crabs & Feathers is a music project that was born in 2019. Claudio Niniano (guitar and vocals) and Jonathan Norani (tenor saxophone) met at the Civic Jazz Courses in Milan. Claudio comes from the world of folk and songwriting, while Jonathan has played in various funk-influenced formations. They immediately established a strong personal and musical connection. Soon, they began performing in various venues and clubs in Milan. Their repertoire includes jazz standards and rock, folk, and pop songs arranged in a personal manner. The performances of Crabs & Feathers are characterized by the alternation of moments of great energy and rhythmic drive and more delicate situations with a rarefied and introspective atmosphere. The guitar and saxophone constantly engage in dialogue, creating well-crafted arrangements and always new improvisations.

Over the years, Crabs & Feathers has become increasingly known and has participated in important festivals such as Jazzmi in Milan, City of Guitars in Locarno, and the Ferrara Buskers Festival. Additionally, they have collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as Tony Hadley (formerly of Spandau Ballet), Cutting Crew, Maggie Reily, and Connie Talbot. Currently, Claudio and Jonathan are busy creating their first album of original songs. Both are constantly working to find a sound and musical style that could be described as intimate, where the language of jazz meets the lyricism of folk ballads, embraces the expansive spaces of travel music, and transports the listener to places that are simultaneously unknown and familiar.

Biography

Michael Pagan

Described as a “brilliant, intense” performer of jazz piano by KC Confidential and a “dynamic artist and musical force in today’s jazz world” by allaboutjazz.com,  Michael Pagán has performed for 40 years throughout the United States and in Europe with a long list of jazz luminaries.  He was born into a musical family in Ravenna, Ohio USA and received his first piano instruction from his parents. He remembers hearing recordings of Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis, as well as Beethoven, when he was seven years old.

His formal music training took place at Kent State University (masters in composition) in Ohio, where he began his playing career in Cleveland and surrounding areas. He then attended Northwestern University (doctorate in composition) in Evanston, Illinois. During that time while playing jazz piano in Chicago he was recognized as a “musician deserving wider recognition” by Downbeat magazine.  As a versatile performer of many styles, jazz being his most fluent, he has been a featured soloist with many ensembles and played jazz aboard the legendary Delta Queen on the Mississippi River.

Mike has an extensive list of compositions and arrangements, nearly 200, mostly in the jazz idiom.

Among the numerous awards he has received is First Prize, New Music for Young  Ensembles International Composers Competition for his Impromptu, Chorale & Fugue which included a performance in Carnegie Hall, New York. His big band CD Pag’s Groove received airplay and critical acclaim throughout the United States and Europe and his trio recording Three for the Ages also garnered glowing reviews as did his jazz-infused 12 Preludes and Fugues for saxophone quartet.

Michael Pagán’s jazz compositions and arrangements are published by Dutch Music Partners (DMP) and Percussion Music dotcom of the Netherlands. He can be heard on 25 CDs on the Artists Recording Collective (ARC), Cadence, Capri, DMP, and Tapestry record labels, as well as Apple Music, You Tube and Spotify. He has led his own big band and performs regularly in the venues of Kansas City as a solo pianist, and most recently with his jazz quintet Paganova.

Visit michaelpaganmusic.

Biography

Håkan Broström

Born in Motala, Sweden in 1955 Alto, soprano and tenor saxophone, arranger, composer.

Already at the age of 8, Hakan began to play the piano and when he was 15 he started playing tenor saxophone and Gute. One year later he was playing alto saxophone in different blues bands in Motala and baritone sax with Motala Big Band.

In 1972 he moved to Malmo in order to study at the music high school there, where his teacher was Helge Albin, saxophonist and arranger with Tolvan Big Band. He also began playing soprano saxophone and worked with Raj Montana Band and Dan Hylander. In 1977 he began attending the Malmo College of Music and he began to compose regularly. He became a member of the Gothenburg group "Waves" led by the legendary drummer Conny Sjöqvist.

In 1978 Hakan joined trombonist Eje Thelin's group, which made, amongst others, a sensational appearance at the Jazz Jamboree festival in Warsaw 1979 and also at the prestigious jazz festival in Molde , Norway 1980. Hakan also took part in the group's album "Bits and Pieces”

In 1979 he established the quartet "Equinox" together with saxophonist Tomas Franck. Other groups in which Hakan played at this time were a quartet with saxophonist Helge Albin, guitarist Ewan Svensson's group "Albatross" and guitarist Jan Tolf's "Resa". He also participated in the Swedish Radio Jazz Group's collaboration with American saxophonist Jimmy Heath.

In 1984 "Equinox" was chosen to record the "Jazz in Sweden" album of that year. Hakan also participated in a recording with blues artist Peps Person. Hakan then decided to move to Stockholm where he began playing with Bernt Rosengren's Big Band as well as the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra and Mikael Raberg's Big Band. In addition he played with Tolvan Big Band, which performed concerts together with guest soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman. He also began with Gustavo Bergalli's Quintet, which was to later tour in Argentina, Paraguay, Chile and Uruguay. The group recorded an album in Buenos Aires.

Hakan took part in the Swedish Radio Jazz Group's project "Chordeography", with music written by trumpeter Ulf Adaker, and while playing with the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra he worked with American guests Bob Mintzer and Bob Brookmeyer. Hakan was one of the participants in the composer-project Comp-87 where his music was
played by amongst others Eje Thelin, pianist Bobo Stenson and bassist Palle Danielsson.

Biography

Markus Burger

Markus Burger is a German born and raised Concert Pianist, Composer & Educator living in the greater Los Angeles Area in California for the past 20 years.

In developing his signature sound over the years, Burger drew his influences from a wide range of musical styles including J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, Keith Jarrett, George Winston, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Esbjörn Svensson .

His musical output is in the meantime has been documented on 15 CDs ranging from Solo Piano work ( Ultreya ) to his renowned Duo with Saxophonist Jan von Klewitz entitled Spiritual Standards to his Trio Accidental Tourist with Jazz legends Bob Magnusson on bass and Peter Erskine on drums.

Burger, a native of the German Moselle Region , started playing the piano at age 6 and was from his early beginnings interested in improvising on classical music and later introduced by his uncle (an avid Jazz pianist himself) to the music of Errol Garner, Oscar Peterson and Thelonious Monk. He furthered his education in Hamburg, Hilversum, Essen and later Maastricht before moving to the USA in 2000.

During his formative years in the city of Cologne he released two albums with his renowned quartet Septer Bourbon which earned him European accolades not only as a pianist but also as a composer earning him a finalist slot in the European Jazz Composition competition in Moncao.

His Duo Spiritual Standards with fellow Septer Bourbon saxophonist Jan von Klewitz hit a spot in the top 20 of the German charts right from the start in 1999, hence allowing both musicians to travel the world presenting this unique crossover project to audiences from Russia to South and North America.

During their annual Tour in December, they have played for the German foreign service worldwide (including the Vatican, Russia, Brazil, Iceland and Brazil).

Since 2012 Burger has returned to his jazz roots and started his new band project Accidental Tourists which has released 3 albums so far.

Collaborators on the three releases so far for renowned label Challenge Records have included Joe Labarbera, Bob Magnusson, Kenny Wheeler and Peter Erskine .

In December of 2021 Burger was inducted in the family of Bösendorfer pianists by Artist Manager Ferdinand Bräu.

New musical projects of Burger include his love for classical and folk music and resulted in the collaborations with the Athos Ensemble and a program featuring the music of Bach and Luther as well as German Folk songs. 2019 also marks the start of another album with Ensemble Katharsis and the North Atlantic Jazz Alliance , as part of the sponsored projects in the 2019 German Amercian Year.

He has been a Professor at Fullerton College since 2005 and was responsible for building their Jazz Piano program as well as establishing the West Coast’s most important Electronic Music Program on a Junior College Level. Since 2012 he has been also teaching the Graduate Jazz Piano and Composition students at San Diego State University . He is now in the process of reshaping and innovating the Music Entrepreneurship Program at SDSU.

Biography

Dale Fielder

Dale Fielder is an American jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays all four saxophones: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone with equal authority. He is known for his original compositions and choice of performing rare, obscure jazz classics as well as his varied group concepts and variety of presentations. Fielder has recorded over 20 CDs as a leader for various labels since he first appeared on the national jazz scene in 1993 with his first CD Free Flow.

He grew up in Midland, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh where he studied oboe, bassoon and tuba in the school system and clarinet, saxophone, composition and arranging privately with noted Pittsburgh area tenor saxophonist Phillip Celli. Fielder is also a product of the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Studies Program, where he studied as an ethnomusicology major under Dr. Nathan Davis. Fielder’s debut jazz performance was as a member of the Joe Harris Quartet, former drummer of the Charlie Parker Quintet and Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra. After relocating to NYC, he was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1984, studying with trumpeter/composer Frank Gordon and completed his first large work, “The Aquarian “for alto saxophone and chamber orchestra. While in NYC, he also performed with a host of current jazz stars such as pianist/composer Geri Allen and trombonist Robin Eubanks among many others.

After eight years in NYC, Fielder moved to Los Angeles and studied with alto legend, Charles McPherson and embarked on the challenging path of a bandleader, establishing the Dale Fielder Quartet, the DFQ, with pianist Harold Land, Jr. in 1988. By 1995, the DFQ’s personnel had settled into its current configuration with ex-Mingus pianist Jane Getz, bassist Bill Markus, and drummer Thomas White; a unit that has remained intact for 25 years as of 2020. In 1996, Fielder and his DFQ recorded a national top-ten CD, “DEAR SIR: TRIBUTE TO WAYNE SHORTER” on his Clarion Jazz label, a label Fielder founded in 1993. The CD found national attention for Fielder and his quartet. In 1997, he received his first commission and wrote the extended eleven-movement jazz suite, “OCEAN OF LOVE AND MERCY” with an all-star Nonet featuring jazz greats George Bohanon and the late Daniel Jackson and others with his quartet. The CD was recorded in performance and subsequently released by Cadence Jazz Records. From 1997 through 2000, Fielder performed throughout Europe and Asia with his Quartet. The band was also selected by the national cable channel, BET, as their 1999 Jazz Discovery winner. Fielder has taped several video appearances and shows for BET.

In 2003, Fielder released his most important and ambitious work, his hour-long third extended jazz suite, “SUITE: CLARITY” to international critical acclaim. His 2005 CD, “BARITONE SUNRIDE” also received international attention bringing Fielder recognition as one of the new baritone saxophonists in jazz. His July 2007 release “DFQ~PLAYS THE MUSIC OF PEPPER ADAMS”, continued to document his now-classic quartet with Jane Getz. Fielder’s other projects include recording and performances with an avant-garde quartet, “Luminous Monolith”, his fourth extended work, “LIGHT AND SHADOW” commissioned by and performed at Lenoir-Rhyne College of Fine Arts in North Carolina with the DFQ and his on-going exploration of the music of Pepper Adams, this time with performances with baritone great Gary Smulyan. Fielder also performed and acted in the play by visionary playwright, E.L. James, “NOBODY WALKS LIKE MY DADDY.” winning Fielder a nomination for ‘Best Supporting Male Actor” by the NAACP Theater Awards in 2012 performing on soprano sax as the character “Horn”. In 2013, Fielder performed at various venues in southern California with his new “Tribute Quintet ” with a project focusing on the music of the Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams Quintet of 1958-1961. The music from this project has been recorded and released as the CD “EACH TIME I THINK OF YOU” on his Clarion Jazz label in October of 2012.

Fielder’s current recording projects include: “RESILIENCE!” DFQ~Dale Fielder Quartet 20th Anniversary 2-Disc CD released August 2016. In December 2017 two Bandcamp Online CDs were released: “SENSUOUS UNIVERSE” from 2006 and “SAXOPHONE STANDARDS” from 2014. In January 2018, Fielder released a 35-year-old project featuring his late friend and jazz legend, Ms. Geri Allen; “SCENE FROM A DREAM – THE DALE FIELDER/GERI ALLEN SESSIONS NYC 1986”. In May 2019, Fielder’s Tribute Quintet released their second CD, the jazz/gospel/spiritual CD and YouTube video project, “AT THE THRESHOLD” for the Rajjahz label. And in June 2019, the DFQ~Dale Fielder Quartet returned with the outstanding CD: “CONSENSUS” which was considered for a Grammy nomination. And in November 2019, Fielder released his 3rd Bandcamp Online CD entitled “ENTROPY”. As with all of his albums, all are currently available at Clarion Jazz, Apple Music, and Amazon.

Biography

Andy Middleton

ANDY MIDDLETON is one of the very top-tier saxophonists and jazz composers living in Europe today. “One of the strongest tenor and soprano saxophonists on the scene,” says Randy Brecker,  Andy Middleton is a skilled improviser and composer whose breadth of expression ranges from fierce power to tender warmth, from lyrical beauty to rhythmic drive, sounding contemporary and fresh while retaining an authentic sense of the saxophone lineage…. His compositions, harmonically modern and melodic yet rooted in the jazz tradition, provide the perfect setting. This unique voice as a player arranger and composer has led jazz icons such as Ralph Towner, Kenny Wheeler and David Holland to collaborate with him. He has also performed and recorded with a long list of artists including Billy Hart, Maria Schneider, Richie Beirach, Renee Rosnes, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Bill Evans, Lionel Hampton, Marc Copland, Ron McClure, Joey Calderazzo, John Abercrombie, Steve Rodby, Scott Colley, Adam Nussbaum, John Hollenbeck, Piotr Wylezoł, Piotr Wojtasik, , Alan Jones, Dominik Wania and Fritz Pauer. Born in Harrisburg, PA, Andy received his BA in jazz saxophone and MA in composition at the University of Miami. After nearly 20 years in the New York jazz scene, he relocated to Vienna, Austria in 2006, where he is Professor of Jazz Composition, Jazz Arrangement and Jazz Saxophone at the University for Music and Art of the City of Vienna.

Biography

Andrew Nevala

Director of Jazz Studies at Jacksonville State University, Dr. Andy Nevala currently directs the Downbeat Award Winning Jazz Ensemble I (2015), Jazz Ensemble III, Jazz Ensemble IV, the Latin Ensemble, oversees the Jazz Combo program, produces the annual Jazz Festival (in it’s 11th year), and teaches Jazz piano lessons. As Director of Jazz Studies, he has overseen the JSU Jazz program more than double in size during his time at JSU, with performances in the community, at regional and international festivals, and Middle and High Schools in the Southeast region.
Andy has been recognized by Downbeat magazine on 10 different occasions, winning individual Downbeat Music Awards for composition (2002), arranging (2003), and performing/directing (2000, 2001, 2002, 2015). 
Andy has recorded on over 20 CDs released in the US, Japan, and South America, most recently New West Records “Big Band of Brothers”, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Jazz Charts, and “Three Times Two”, released on the Girod record label out of New Orleans.
Andy’s YouTube Channel can be found here
The newest JSU Jazz CD, “First Circle”, was released in January 2018, and features Jazz Ensemble I, the JSU Steel Band, and the JSU Latin Ensemble. The first CD “Everything In It’s Right Place” was released in 2015 and was recognized in Downbeat Magazine for “Outstanding Performance, Undergraduate Jazz Ensemble”.
Professionally, Dr. Nevala has toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra (US Touring Orchestra, 1 Tour of Japan, 2 tours of Canada), Steve Lippia (2 US tours, Fresno CA Symphony, Las Cruces NM Symphony, Corpus Christie TX Symphony, Mobile AL Symphony), Eddie Turner (3 tours of Europe), The ProJazz Trio (Bassist Gonzalo Teppa, Drummer Tyer Hornby; two Venezuelan tours, tour of Canada), and his own groups (Denver, CO, Boise, ID, Boulder, CO, Aspen, CO). He currently can be seen with the Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra, Orchestra MaCuba (Atlanta, GA), and his own groups. He has performed with the Pensacola Symphony (vocalist Dee Daniels), Mazacote (San Francisco, CA), Orquesta Borinquen (San Francisco, CA), Conjunto Colores (Denver, CO), Nelson Rangell (Denver, CO), Mart Avant and Nightflight (Birmingham, AL), and many more.

 He is widely in demand as guest conductor, performer, and clinician, with recent guest artist performances at the Dave Brubeck Institute (Stockton, CA), the University of the Pacific (Stockton CA), California State University, Stanislaus (Turlock, CA), Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond, LA), and the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL). He has conducted the 2010 Campbell Union District Music Festival Jazz Ensemble in San Jose, CA, the Rome, GA District 7 Jazz Festival Big Bands (2012,2013), and was the 2013 Alabama Music Educators Association Gold All-State Jazz Ensemble Director. He served as a clinician at the Delta College Jazz Festival (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), the Folsom High School Jazz Festival (2008, 2010), the CMEA Hanford Jazz Festival (2009), the Sacramento State University Jazz Festival (2008, 2009), the Manteca High School Combo Festival (2010), The Boise State University Gene Harris Jazz Festival (2003, 2008), and the Casper College Jazz Festival (2007). He has also presented at AMEA (2013, 2018), GMEA (2015), performed in the GMEA Sight-Reading Big Band (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) and founded the AMEA Sight-Reading Big Band (2018, 2019).
An active arranger and orchestrator, Dr. Nevala has been commissioned to arrange for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Denver Brass, the Steve Lippia Big Band, and arrangements published by 3-2 Music Publishing. He has also orchestrated, conducted, and arranged music for the Malt Jupiter Theater in Jupiter, Florida, and arranges/orchestrates musicals for the COPA Conservatory. He also arranges for the Atlanta Jazz Orchestra, JSU Jazz Ensemble I, Orchestra MaCuba, and many others.
Having studied under Dr. John Davis, Chip Stephens, Art Lande and Pat Bianci, Dr. Nevala holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Piano Pedagogy from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Master of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Boise State University.

Biography

Kristian Borring

Kristian Borring is a Danish guitarist who has made a name for himself on the European jazz scene.
He is known for his melodic approach to contemporary jazz and has worked with many notable musicians, such as saxophonists Tommaso Starace and Will Vinson, vibraphone player Jim Hart, as well as lyrical vocalists such as Polish folk diva Monika Lidke, and Australian jazz singer Chris McNulty.
Kristian is often described as an understated virtuoso with a deeply melodic approach, and a “strong
rhythmic urgency…a lot of discipline and a compelling drive to the playing” (Marlbank). Kristian is
also recognised as having a “contemporary edge whilst never losing his firm grip on the jazz guitar lexicon… a masterful exposition of jazz guitar and the small jazz combo” (Bebop Spoken Here).
He currently resides in Perth, Australia, and continues to tour with his British quartet, which has received much acclaim. The Danish Jazz Magazine, Jazz Special, described the group as delivering “hard swing, lively postbop and mellow Nordic melancholy to edgy jazz-rock fusion…with great force and a controlled ferocity which suits the quartet well”, and BBC Radio 3 presenter Julian Joseph recognised the group as “a band exercising a strong sense of control and empathy”.
Kristian has released several albums. His latest, Out of Nowhere, (2021) was album of the week on both ABC jazz Australia as well Danish Radio Broadcast P8jazz. It was reviewed as being “creative
contemporary jazz at its very best” by Jazz Views, and British jazz reviewer Ian Mann described it as: “A typically classy, intelligent & sophisticated offering from Borring”.
Kristian has released several albums. His latest, Out of Nowhere, (2021) was album of the week on both ABC jazz Australia as well Danish Radio Broadcast P8jazz. It was reviewed as being “creative contemporary jazz at its very best” by Jazz Views, and British jazz reviewer Ian Mann described it as: “A typically classy, intelligent & sophisticated offering from Borring”. He has also collaborated with several musicians both as a leader and sideman. He founded his own record label Cool it Records in response to the decrease in global touring due to the pandemic.
Kristian also works as a lecturer in jazz guitar, composition, and performance at the Western Australian
Academy of the Performing Arts.

The Danish/Australian trio Number Junky is an inventive jazz group to come out of the Southern Hemisphere. They play provocative rhythms and odd-time signatures while retaining a focus on both lyrical melodies and lush harmony. The group is led by Kristian Borring with the rhythm section of Zac Grafton on double-bass, and Peter Evans on drums. Their new album Earth Matters was released in 2022 on Coolit Records to international acclaim by publications such as Jazziz, Jazz Halo, The Australian,
and Jazz Journal. The album’s maturity and appeal has beenpraised for “its lustrous sound and its melodic and harmonic qualities combined with the exploration of skilful rhythms” (Jazz Mania), while Borring was hailed as being a “post-bop wizard” (Vintage Guitars). Number Junky plays original compositions by Borring and modern interpretations of jazz standards. The trio collaborated with the piano virtuoso Fabian Almazan on ‘Earth Matters’ and have recently joined forces with British saxophonist Will Vinson for their next album.

Biography

Jeff Denson

“Playing music is a deeply spiritual experience for me – it is sacred. When it is pure it can be like traveling without moving – a gateway to another world or reality.”
In the current jazz environment, the art of jazz expression and the world of formal education are fully intertwined. Serious dedication to either path takes powerful commitment, but fully pursuing both demands a level of diligence and focus that is immensely challenging. Jeff Denson is a man who is meeting that challenge.
Fully immersed in both worlds since the late 1990s, the bassist/composer has balanced a full career as sideman and leader while taking a full course of studies leading to his doctorate. In addition to maintaining an intense performing and touring schedule in the U.S. and Europe while in school – including a long relationship with legendary saxophonist Lee Konitz that continues to this day – Jeff has also taught extensively all over both continents.
Today he is a full professor at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California and the Director of its Outreach Program designed to develop the Bay Area’s most talented musicians while making the local scene a productive and fertile environment for jazz. While this intensive level of activity is easily a full-time job, Jeff takes a relentless 24/7 approach, composing for and leading three distinct ensembles, participating in a few cooperative groups and working on his three-act Chamber Opera, WEBS.
At first glance, it might seem that Jeff Denson, like so many of the younger generation that has emerged in the past 20 years, is a product of the formalized jazz education system. This is simply not the case. In reality, he has developed in the age-old tradition that dates back to the earliest days of jazz – listen to the masters, sharing in oral traditions through his personal mentors, and straight-up hands-on experience in the trenches.
“I have the highest degree that a person can earn in music; however I owe a great deal of my ‘education’ to my experiences on the ‘street’ or on the bandstand.”
Jeff’s “bandstand” credentials are indeed impressive. He has recorded 10 albums as leader/co-leader and over a dozen more as a featured sideman – four with Konitz (including live recordings at the Village Vanguard and Birdland). Over the past 15 years, he has shared the bandstand with an impressive and diverse array of remarkable musicians including Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, Joe Lovano, Jane Ira Bloom, Kenny Werner, Dave Douglas, Bob Moses, Giacomo Gates, Howard Alden and many more.
Born in Arlington, Virginia – just outside of Washington, D.C. – in 1976, Jeff grew up in a fertile musical environment and began playing the alto sax at 8 years old, switching to electric bass in high school. His mother’s love of the Beatles became his own, and he also discovered R&B, especially Stevie Wonder, James Brown & the J.B.’s and Marvin Gaye– particularly affected by the legendary Motown Records bassist James Jameson. By the time he was completing his high school education, Jeff was playing and singing with his own funk and rock bands. His interest in jazz started with fusion – Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke – but shifted direction one fateful day. Like countless musicians over the past 50+ years it was a chance encounter with Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue – specifically Paul Chambers playing lead on So What – that provided an epiphany. Soon after, Charles Mingus’ Haitian Fight Song locked the young bassist into this new direction, both as a player and an artist.
“Mingus came to represent more to me than ‘just’ a great bassist – he represented a man with great conviction who no matter what he was up against, he would make his it his way!”
After two years of studying visual arts (painting and photography) at Virginia Commonwealth University, Jeff entered Northern Virginia Community College in 1997. Here he met Herb Smith, an intense and influential teacher, with whom he played professionally for a number of years in every corner of the local scene. A single lesson with the great post-bop bassist Butch Warren led to another traditional aspect of true jazz education – a personal mentorship built upon hanging out on the scene and listening, questioning and learning first-hand from musicians. He also continued listening intently to the bass masters – he names Ron Carter, Ray Brown and Scott LaFaro as major influences – and for two years studied privately with an extraordinary teacher, Pepe Gonzalez, who made a profound impact upon the young musician. The element of intensely personal mentorship that he has experienced – especially the one that Pepe provided to him as a musician and a man – has powerfully influenced Jeff’s commitment to his own students, laying the foundation for his own contribution to the passing-down continuum that is the legacy of jazz at its most sacred.
In 1999, Jeff began his studies at the renowned Berklee College of Music, and after graduating cum laude in 2002, his career hit full stride. Jeff began performing extensively with Minsarah, the internationally acclaimed cooperative trio he had formed in 2001 with fellow Berklee students, pianist Florian Weber and drummer Ziv Ravitz. Touring extensively in the U.S. and Europe, they recorded their first album for the now-defunct hubermusik Records label in 2003 and were signed by Enja Records in 2006, recording two albums. Growing rapidly in stature, they performed at top concert halls and festivals, including the Berlin Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival in Paris and the Montreal Jazz Festival among many others. In 2007 they joined forces with Lee Konitz, becoming the legendary figure’s first regular ensemble. They recorded three albums together for Enja and toured regularly, especially in Europe with dozens of tours since 2007. In 2010 Jeff moved to New York City and became a highly in-demand member of the local scene. Amidst all this activity Jeff continued his studies, while continuing to play, perform and teach.
He received his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from Florida State University; and his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music Performance with an Emphasis on Composition from the University of California, San Diego in 2010. Jeff’s intensely focused experience at UCSD, where he also studied privately with Anthony Davis and Mark Dresser (who Jeff cites as a most powerfully influential teacher and a very close friend), added another important dimension to his musical vision – a deep love of the Western Classical traditions, especially Bach, Debussy, Ravel and the 12-tone masters, Berg and Schoenberg, along with Eliot Carter. Weaving this influence into his own composing and theoretical imperative, particularly in the context of his Secret World ensemble, Jeff has embarked on a truly unique path as a composer and performer.
In 2011, with extensive experience in providing workshops, master classes, lectures and clinics all over Europe and the U.S., and seven years of institutional teaching while pursuing his advanced degrees, Dr. Denson accepted an offer from the Jazzschool Institute (now the California Jazz Conservatory) to become a full professor in order to focus upon his goals as an educator. Despite Jeff’s educational commitments he remains a fully committed active musician and remains powerfully focused on his own sweeping musical journey.
An acknowledged and highly respected master of his instrument in both the jazz and Western Classical disciplines, Jeff clearly expresses his view on technique:
“I’ve spent a great deal of time developing pretty extensive technique on my instrument but that is only because it’s a means to open the channel between the ear, heart and mind. It’s the key to communicating with as little impediment from the instrument as possible.”
That mastery fully serves his purpose as a composer and leader. A man of limitless creativity and vision, he is influenced by a wide variety of interests including film, nature and painting (particularly Vincent Van Gogh). All of this is reflected in his broad-based and ambitious artistic imperative, which includes vocal music (he is an accomplished singer), electric music, experimental forms, larger ensemble works, multi-media presentations and video.
He is currently focused on four projects as a leader, Jeff Denson’s Secret World (a quartet featuring Jeff on bass and vocals and has included such extraordinary trumpeters as Ralph Alessi and Cuong Vu), Electreo (an experimental ensemble of electric bass, electric bassoon and percussion), the Jeff Denson Trio, featuring pianist Joshua White, and the Jeff Denson Trio +1 – a project that will feature a special guest artist each season, beginning appropriately with Lee Konitz in 2014/15, already slated for more than a dozen performances in the U.S. In addition, Jeff performs solo and in some special duets. He has recently released two duo recordings on pfMENTUM Records: I’ll Fly Away, a re-imagination of hymns and spirituals with Joshua White; and Two, with the remarkable European clarinetist Claudio Puntin.
From his position as Outreach Director for the CJC, Jeff is nurturing young musicians into the world of professional performance, promoting partnerships and relationships among various elements of the Bay Area scene. A key part of his mission is to provide that special growth experience of allowing young musicians to share the bandstand side by side with the professionals with whom they will become colleagues in the future. His ultimate goal is to not only foster this emerging talent, but also to create an atmosphere of activity and productivity that is intended to make the local scene a viable professional option for young musicians. It’s his hope that this will keep this young talent in the area rather than departing for other cities in search of career success.
“As an educator I want to pass on my passion for music to the next generation and to help foster a community that contributes works of depth and meaning to a world that so desperately needs it.”
For Jeff Denson, this multiple commitment does not create conflict, but rather, confluence

Biography

Harmonious Wail

The members of Harmonious Wail are purveyors of Americana-infused Gypsy Jazz, who continue to take their listeners on a ride via the music of the Hot Club sounds of Parisian cafes, to the deepest blues of the Memphis Delta, to the heartfelt folk scenes across every-town-America. This harmonious clique are sublime entertainers, great educators, and lifters of spirits. Harmonious Wail is a trio of multi-award winning musicians. Sims Delaney-Potthoff, a mandolin virtuoso, and vocalist, Maggie Delaney-Potthoff, vocalist extraordinaire, whose percussive instrument of choice is a cardboard box (but who can also rock almost any household object), and Jeffo Weiss, a master bassist who dazzles and mesmerizes on both upright and electric 5-string bass. These illustrious, yet humble artists vow that every performance is played from the heart and infused with a perfect balance of inspiration, emotion, wit and storytelling. The Wail celebrates 10 recordings in its 30+ years of existence and is currently kicking off its 4th decade releasing two new CDs simultaneously! One  project showcases Harmonious Wail’s original compositions, and the other is a collection of Gypsy Jazz standards recorded in collaboration with some the world’s  leading Gypsy Jazz All Stars. As stewards of the Gypsy Jazz genre, they have established the Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest, held twice a year in Madison, Wisconsin.  They also offer to take the fest on the road as a special concert package. They have mastered a plan on how to bring amazing Gypsy Jazz All Stars from around the world, and place them in front of concert audiences throughout the United States. Their gracious approach to music and storytelling translates beautifully for any musical education outreach program. They are as illumined off stage as they are on. And their skills are tailored to fit groups of varying skill and age.  Popular topics have included; ”The Instrumentation of Gypsy Jazz,” “How to Succeed in the Music Biz,” and “Maggie’s Method™: If You Can Speak You Can Sing.” Never a dull moment, the philanthropic trio has also established The Henry Mac Fund. The fund was created in March of 2015 in memory of Sims’ and Maggie’s son, Henry. Henry was a superb musician who will not be forgotten, as funds are awarded annually to a young, upcoming musician who is looking for support to move her/his musical career forward. These young musicians will continue to help make the world a better place through music. The funds are awarded every June at the Madison Area Music Association awards ceremony. (The MAMA’s). Not only a touring band, the ever-reaching Harmonious Wail has worked with National Public Radio, performing on multiple shows and even donating pertinent songs for NPR to use in annual fundraising campaigns. Their music has been placed in films, and they recently received the 2017 Musicnotes Outstanding Musical CareerAchievement Award.

 

Biography

David Linx

Born in Brussels but Parisian by adoption, and trained by the collaborations with a myriad of legendary American and European musicians, David Linx is, if not the greatest (quote from Jazz Magazine), aat least, one of the most formidable jazz singers one is bound to hear and grace the stage. His first big international acclaimand breakthrough came with the Label Bleu released album Up Close back in 1995, with co-leader Diederik Wissels as well as the re-release of his album with the writer James Baldwin: A Lover’s Question with Pierre Van Dormael, Steve Coleman, Toots Thielemans, Slide Hampton… It definitively renewed the landscape and the perception of vocal jazz by means of a totally new approach and has inspired an entire generation of singers and musicians. Amongst the numerous awards David Linx has received over the years we can mention the Octave d’ Honneur in Belgium for his entire career, The Edison Jazz Award in Holland, best jazz vocal album of the year for Brel with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and many awards in France: Victoires du Jazz in 2019: voice of the year, Prix Charles Cros, Académie du Jazz.

Biography

Susanna Lindeborg

Susanna Lindeborg, piano and keyboard, started her professional musical career at the middle of the 70th. From her classical upbringing she turned into work with jazz and improvisation, which showed to be her right element. The thing you first think of together with Susanna Lindeborg is her work with the mix of acoustic and electronic instruments, which has been known most of all through the group MWENDO DAWA, which she is the leader of together with saxophone player Ove Johansson. Mwendo Dawa has been succesfully touring in 22 countries in Europe, North and South America and China performing at festivals like Montreux, Northsea and Montreal.

The past few years she has been regularly visiting USA and Canada with Mwendo Dawa. Susanna also writes a lot of the repertoire for the group. Besides Mwendo Dawa Susanna Lindeborg toured a great deal with the female jazz group Salamander during the beginning of the 80th. Salamander arouse a lot of attention on the European continent and in USA and Susanna came to tour a lot internationally with these two groups.

Today you can also hear her in the Lindeborg/Johansson Duo and Natural Artefacts. Susanna has been touring with Natural Artefacts and LJDuo with performances both in the world of improvisation music as well as the world of electro acoustic music. She also is doing solo improvisations together with her computers doing electroacoustical backgrounds.

Susanna Lindeborg writes her own music and some of this got profiled when she released her first soloCD 1989. The CD got a lot of attention and gave her some work for instance in Germany with some radio and TV recordings.

Pressvoices:

Susanna with her blonde appearance showed to hide a volcano under the surface. Where can you today hear piano better played than this?

Folket, Sweden
There are few keyboard players that approach the synthesizer with such a power as Susanna Lindeborg.

Nye Takter, Norway
Susanna Lindeborg showed not to be only a superb instrumentalist but she also shows to be a magnificent talent of composing.

Jazz Podium, Germany
It is great that she – a lone woman – can create just that supplement of sounds and harmonics which she thinks the (very beautifully recorded) good old sounds of grand piano shall be accompanied by. It is lovely to receive noble analogue nice sounds together with the machines keeping other colourings in the background, or the opposite.

Anders Kirkegaard, JazzSpecial Denmark
Susanna Lindeborg is a refreshingly original voice that easily holds the listener´s attention for a full-length solo album: not an easy feat.

Steven Loewy, Cadence, USA

Biography

Simon-Mary Vincent

Awarded in 2021 an Artist Respond Award by the St. Hugh’s Foundation for the Arts, Arts Council England support for the 2017 Stations of the Cross Solo Piano Tour and nominated in 2014 for a Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists, Simon-Mary Vincent is an Anglo-Hungarian performer and composer of acoustic and electronic music, who has been challenging the boundaries of genre and musical expression with a highly personal political and spiritual language since the early 1990’s.

“Visionary and expressive”, “rich and surprising”, “incredibly individual”, “masterful compositions”, “an immersive experience”, Simon-Mary’s music has attracted praise and radio play from critics as varied as Fran Wilson, Lauren Redhead, Ben Watson, Julian Cowley, Nick Luscombe, Robert Hugill, Massimo Ricci, and Gilles Peterson, and has been reviewed in publications including The Wire, International Piano, Jazz Journal, De:Bug, and Avant Music News.

Active for many years in the UK’s improvised and experimental music scene, she was also resident DJ in the Cookin’ Room at LTJ Bukem’s Progression Sessions, releasing compositions and performances on Erstwhile Records, EMANEM, L’innomable, Good Looking Records, as well as her own label Vision of Sound to critical acclaim with trumpeter Tom Arthurs, The Occasional Trio featuring bassist Roland Fidezius and drummer Kay Lübke, and Ten Trees Conversations with percussionist Tumi Mogorosi, sound interventionist Robert Machiri and spiritual philosopher Kupawashe Mtata.

She went on to found and direct the EMW Experimental Orchestra at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, premiering works in Berlin at Club Transmediale, Tresor and the Akademie der Künste and has lectured in subjects ranging from acousmatic composition, audio installation and interdisciplinary performance art to urban musical and sonic political/cultural theory (socio-acoustics), afrofuturism, sound design, feminist performance art, and network and game theory.

Her unique work has led to appearances worldwide at the Tallinn Music Week, TechFestival Copenhagen, Erased Tapes Sound Gallery, Glastonbury Festival, Akademie der Künste (Berlin), ICA London, Club Transmediale (Berlin), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Internationale
Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Darmstadt), Visiones Sonoras (Mexico City), Q-02 Brussels, as well as on Resonance FM, BBC Radio 3, and Ministry of Sound Radio among many others.

Having completed a commission from RPO Principal trombonist Matthew Gee for 3 electroacoustic miniatures, BBC Radio 3 Late Junction’s Nick Luscombe, The Richard Wagner Museum’s ‘Amor Mundi Festival’, as well as the ‘Bayreuth Blättert’ Literature Festival, she is currently performing and recording
a new album with electro-acoustic trio Nàdair (with Dave Pullin and Chris Dowding) and composing 2 substantials new works for percussion with 4-channel electronics, and piano with 5-channel electronics.

Biography

Gwen Sampé

Gwen Sampé is a jazz singer for whom the art of improvising is an integral and indispensable part of her musical soundscape. Born into a family of singers in Houston, Texas her approach to jazz singing is rooted in the past yet unapologetically modern.

Nurtured on John Coltrane and Betty Carter, she brings surprise and daring to her performances. Her artistic background is rich and diverse. As well performing on the jazz circuit, she has also performed in, and directed, contemporary jazz inflected mixed media theatre pieces, including a self-produced one woman show, “From the Fields to the Concert Hall,”  first performed in Italy.

Gwen studied dance with Yolande Burke and Bill Louther in London, and with Elsa Wolliaston in Paris.  Upon receiving her AGSM from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, Gwen immediately started performing in jazz venues in and around London. She also directed and composed the music for Turnings, a theatre piece based on Wole Soyinka’s A Shuttle in the Crypt. In 1990 she took the role of God in Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, the first woman to play the part. In 1994 she joined Ariya opera-company and played the part of ‘Spirit’ in Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas. Yet through all of these wonderfully diverse experiences she continued to concentrate on her main musical interest, jazz, performing in clubs and festivals in England, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, and Germany, releasing her first album, Water Gazing, in 2002, a mixture of her own compositions as well as songs from the standard repertoire.

Gwen has worked with many musicians and artists over the years, from pianists to kora players, flutist to cellists, dancers and plastique artists, such as John Betsch, Peter Giron, Bobby Few, Jobic Le Masson, Harry Swift, John Stevens, Dudu Pukwana, Bheki Mseleku, Aldridge Hansberry and Mehdi Farajpour among others. Her duo project with pianist Jobic Le Masson resulted in an album the Conversions, released the fall of 2014. The album, a mix of compositions and standards “revisited,” is a reflection of the improvisational work they do together, a reflection in her belief in the ephemeral nature of sound and its transformative powers.  While continuing her work with Jobic, she is also involved with other projects — a duo with the bassist Harry Swift, “Flowers for Strayhorn,” the songs of Billy Strayhorn, the African Jazz Quartet with José Pendje and the eponymously named Gwen Sampé Quartet

 

Biography

Eliane Amherd

Swiss-born and New York-based guitarist, singer and songwriter ELIANE AMHERD has made a career out of touring the world, from Buenos Aires to Berlin, Kathmandu to Beijing and anywhere in between. Creatively, her influences, a mixture of Jazz, Latin and Brazilian rhythms, inform Eliane’s stylish, sophisticated global-pop sound. In her latest offering LA DÉGUSTATION – a musical wine tasting, her inspirations remain international, but as a songwriter, she turns her lens to her home soil: the complex and diverse terroirs of the canton Valais in Switzerland, where wine is business, culture, science, and (nearly) religion. Each of La Dégustation’s tracks is named for a wine produced in her home region. Intoxicating and socially unifying, wine provides the focus for Eliane’s witty explorations of culture, gender, love, politics, history and art.

A graduate from The New School University for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Eliane performs as a leader or a featured artist in New York’s premiere clubs and tours in North- and South America, Canada, Europe and Asia, where she appeared in international Festivals in China, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Mongolia, e.g., International Festival in Hong Kong, Beijing Nine Gate Jazz Festival, Beishan International Festival in Zhuhai, Jazzmandu Festival in Kathmandu, Giant Steppes of Jazz Festival in Mongolia, Yangon World Music Festival in Myanmar, Unplugged Festival in Zermatt, Montreux Jazz Festival and Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Mondo.NYC Festival with Swiss Live Talents.  
 
She composed, arranged and produced her albums “La Dégustation”, “Skylines” and “Now and from Now on” which continue to receive great press reviews and have topped the play lists of several US Radio Stations, as well as the Swiss Miss Sampler “heimweh”, featuring renown Swiss artists. In 2013 she was a candidate of the first edition of “the Voice of Switzerland” and in 2017 she was the runner up for “best Singer Songwriter in Switzerland” at the Montreux Jazz Festival. She plays guitar in several NYC bands and collaborated with greats such as Marcus Strickland, Bashiri Johnson, Bill Ware, Hagar Ben Ari, Randy Brecker. In 2015 she was the musical director of the “OrchExtra Gottardo” at the World Expo Milano, Italy, and in 2010 she was the first recipient of the “Musik Pro” award from the canton Valais, Switzerland. Eliane’s original songs can be heard on the Netflix series “An astrological guide to broken hearts”, on the award winning web series “Constance Cooks” and the award winning movie “Approaching Union Square” by filmmaker Marc Meyers.
 

Biography

Srdjan Vukasinovic

For an incredibly interesting and refreshing performace of Srdjan Vukasinovic can be said that it has strenghtened him among the leading performers on accordion in the world today. His fresh and innovative approach to music provided him an excellent reputation as a great concert master, who can always satisfy the needs of different kinds of audience. He is always bringing new ideas and methods in his performace, based on improvisation and mixing of different musical genres with a lots of influence of jazz and world music sound. On the other hand, he is an established performer of classical and contemporary classical music. This is evidenced by numerous cooperations with a lots of contemporary composers of classical music.

On the other hand, he is an established performer of classical and contemporary classical music. Starting from his early years when he was singled out in one of the most important competitions for accordionists, he took the first prize in the World-Trophy competition for accordion in Spain in 1999. From then on Srdjan has participated in many successful performances, appearing as a soloist and as part of various ensembles, such as Arte Diversa, Chaarts Chamber Artists, Klassik Nuevo Orchestra, Zürcher Kammerorchester and many more. In recent years we have seen Srdjan successfully performing with leading musicians worldwide, such as the legendary violinist Gilles Apap, pianist Fazil Say, and flamenco and jazz bassist Carles Benavent. He has formed an exciting and unusual duo with Taylan Arikan on baglama (anatolian lute) called Meduoteran, which
specialises in World Music.
Upcoming performances include his performance in various festivals in Switzerland and abroad, such as Klassik Nuevo Festival, Lucerne Festival, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Cully Jazz Festival, along with SoNoRo Festival Romania, Kronberg Academy Festival Germany, I Suoni delle Dolomiti Italy, Akkordeonfestival Wien Austria, and Witten Days for New Chamber Music Germany. You can see performances on our page concerts. Srdjan’s explosive energy and his original approach to classical music, alongside the breadth of jazz influences and improvisation skills make him stand out as one of the top players in the world. His virtuosity, power and charm has captivated audiences around the world and justifies the win of ‘best accordionist in the world’, a title he won in his youth. Srdjan is an alumnus of Zuricher Hochschule der Kunste, Switzerland from 2001, where he got his master degrees in Music Pedagogy and Concert Performance in 2005. Since then he has also been teaching Balkanmusic at the Zuricher Hochschule der Kunste Music Department.

Srdjan has invented the first quarter tone accordion in the world. With this multituning accordion it is possible to play 24 tones in one octave. Also, there is a possibility to combine many different tunings at the same time (for baroque, modern, oriental music etc.). One more of Srdjan’s innovations is his new accordion brand ’’Carboneon.“ This innovative instrument is the first one made from carbon fiber, which renders Carboneon the lightest accordion in the world.

 

Biography

Meduoteran

ETHNO JAZZ BAND

Meduoteran stands for musical authenticity and innovation that can only seldom be heard in this reduced but versatile form. Taylan Arikan and Srdjan Vukasinovic perform their compositions on just two instruments and create new worlds of sound with their combination of the baglama (Anatolian lute) and the accordion. The debut album “Horon” is their first collection of classical, jazz and ethnic music.

Taylan Arikan was raised in Istanbul and began to play the Turkish string instrument baglama at the age of 16. Later on he learned to play the guitar and studied with Prof. Jury Clormann at the Zurich University of the Arts. He took composition lessons with Matthias Steinauer, Carlo Filaffero and Theodor Kapilidis and took part in masterclasses with Hopkinson Smith.

Srdjan Vukasinovic was born in Serbia in 1983. In his early childhood he performed as a pianist and accordionist and later on studied at the Zurich University of the Arts. Vukasinovic has won several competitions, such as the World Accordion Championship. Furthermore, he developed the first accordion that can produce quarter tones. Since 2005 he has taught “Balkan Music” at the Zurich University of the Arts.

Biography

Matthew Alec

Matthew Alec is a jazz and popular music saxophonist, founder and Executive Producer at Cleveland Time Records, and bandleader for the high-energy jazz fusion group Matthew Alec and The Soul Electric.

Nominated as “Cleveland’s Best Horn Player” by Cleveland Scene Magazine in 2009, Matthew has performed for over 20 years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Kent State University. He has toured nationally and has opened for a number of A-list acts including Earth, Wind, and Fire, Incubus, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Keane, Average White Band, Lupe Fiasco, OAR, Ozomatli, Bret Michaels, Rusted Root, and others. He has performed with former Saturday Night Live Musical Director, CBS Orchestra member, and Blues Brothers bandsman Tom “Bones” Malone, internationally-acclaimed bassist Victor Wooten and his brother Roy “Futureman” Wooten, Saturday Night Live trombonist Steve Turre, Kenny G bassist Vail Johnson, Grammy-winning Ohio Players alumni Billy Beck, and Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Ben Powers, Jr. He has recorded with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Parliament-Funkadelic and Talking Heads member Bernie Worrell and aforementioned Tom “Bones”Malone.

His debut album as a leader Cleveland Time (which features Malone) was released in 2021 and charted for several weeks on the NACC Jazz Radio Chart, peaking at #13, and received international press from Jazziz MagazineAll About JazzJazzMonthly.comSoulTracks.comBroadway WorldWBSS Media (UK), Glide MagazineCleveland.com, and many others. The hard bop blues “Blues for McCoy” (written by Matthew) off the album was a Semi-Finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for 2021 as well as one of All About Jazz’s most “Popular Jazz Songs” of 2021.

At Kent State, he studied both 20th century classical music and jazz with Grammy-nominated saxophonist Greg Banaszak and longtime Cleveland Jazz Orchestra trombonist and composer Chas Baker. He is also a two-time attendee of the highly exclusive Inside / Outside Retreat for professional saxophonists held at Wooten Woods just south of Nashville, Tennessee. There he studied music, nature, and life in general with the “who’s who” of world-renowned jazz virtuosos, including saxophonists Bob Reynolds, Bob Franceschini, Joshua Redman, Jeff Coffin, Kirk Whalum, and Steve Wilson, pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Victor Wooten, and drummer Roy “Futureman” Wooten.

Matthew is also a founding member of “Cleveland’s Best Original Band,” Winslow. The original soul and funk outfit earned the moniker from both Cleveland Scene Magazine and Cleveland’s Fox 8 News. For nearly 10 years until the group parted ways he performed in many cities across the United States and recorded two full length albums as a soloist with the group: Crazy Kind of Love (2008) (which featured Bernie Worrell) and Left of the Right Direction (2013), the latter of which he co-produced. Both drew national critical acclaim, features on AOL.comMSN.com, and Reverbnation.com, and many radio spins across the U.S.

As of 2020, Matthew also founded Cleveland Time Records, a record label that records, distributes, and promotes jazz artists from the city of Cleveland. Cleveland Time was its aptly-titled initial release.

Matthew is proudly sponsored by DeJacques straps and Remic microphones.

group Matthew Alec & The Soul Electric. The five piece ensemble boasts a roster of highly talented and accomplished musicians with very diverse backgrounds. With influences including David Sanborn, Stevie Wonder, The Meters, Steely Dan, The Brecker Brothers, Van Morrison, and many others they combine the technical artistry of jazz with the lively and easy-going nature of popular music.

 

Biography

Anders Hagberg

Anders Hagberg – flautist · saxophonist · composer · professor of musical performance

Critically acclaimed and innovative virtuoso Anders Hagberg is a unique soloist on a variety of flutes and soprano saxophone. His musical synthesis combines the improvised freedom of jazz with an archaic Scandinavian lyricism and influences from his longtime collaborations with Oriental musicians. Creative, and with instrumental mastery, these elements are merged into a profound and personal expression.

Improvisation and boundary crossing collaborations are the hallmarks of Anders, and his projects often includes artists from various genres and cultures as well as other art forms such as dance and visual arts.

He has been touring worldwide with his own groups and as a soloist with Yggdrasil, Mynta and New Jungle Orchestra as well as musicians like Marilyn Mazur, John Tchicai, Anders Jormin, Vikku Vinayakram, Shankar Mahadevan to name a few. His international collaborations include artists from India, Middle East, Japan, Brazil, West Africa and the United States.

He has composed music for films and dance performances and made many albums in his own name, which have received Grammy nominations and prizes. He has been artistic director and performer for many openings of events like festivals and art exhibitions where Urkult/Fire Night, Stockholm Millennium and Nordic Watercolor Museum (i.e., Bill Viola, Louise Bourgeois) are worth noting.

As a Professor of Musical Performance, Improvisation at the University of Gothenburg, Academy of Music & Drama Anders is working with teaching, artistic research and as a supervisor.

As an artistic director for Connecting Worlds, Anders has created a series of concerts and a platform for new collaborations between artists from Europe and the Orient.

Anders Hagberg is a Yanagisawa Saxophone Artist and D´Addario reed endorser.
He plays Muramatso alto and C flutes, Kingma bass and contrabass flutes and, uses DPA microphones.