Proficient, intentional and consistent not only describes Jerrod ‘J-rod’ Sullivan’s approach to music, but also his approach to life. Born in 1992, J-rod discovered his love for music at the early age of two and could often be heard drumming on pots and pans in his mother’s kitchen. Immersing himself in the diverse world of music, J-rod spent countless hours
teaching himself to play bass guitar and the art of production. In 2006, J-rod uploaded his first Youtube video and the reactions confirmed what he knew all along, his musical talent
would be used as a gift to educate and inspire others. Committed to learning and advancing his skill, J-rod enrolled in the Atlanta Institute of Music graduating in 2012 and joined The 4 Korners band in 2013. With a growing community of over 700K online followers, it’s obvious that J-rod’s brand exceeds his talent. His style, method and dedication creates an electric and eager community of aspiring and talented musicians. Additionally, he has recently reached a significant milestone in his career. J-rod just recorded his highly anticipated debut album, The Comeback, which will release later this year. This album is a culmination of his musical journey, showcasing his growth, passion, and unique artistic vision. With captivating melodies, and a distinctive sound, The Comeback promises to leave a lasting impression on listeners and establish J-rod as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. Stay tuned for the album release as J-rod continues to inspire and make his mark with his incredible talent and unwavering dedication.
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.
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.
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 Magazine, All About Jazz, JazzMonthly.com, SoulTracks.com, Broadway World, WBSS Media (UK), Glide Magazine, Cleveland.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.com, MSN.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.
Beledo gained guitar-hero status in his teens, playing every theatre in his hometown of Montevideo, and captivating audiences in Uruguay and Argentina.
After a brief tenure with Uruguayan rock and blues super-group, Dias de Blues, Beledo pioneered the jazz-rock band, Maytreya, and later on, the mythical Siddhartha, inspired by the burgeoning jazz-fusion movement (Chick Corea, Weather Report, Soft Machine & etc.). His fusion efforts of the early 80’s in South America, during which he appeared at top venues and recorded with Pedro Aznar (formerly with Pat Metheny Group), Ruben Rada, and the legendary band, Opa, attracted media attention in the U.S., where he gained recognition as an upcoming talent in GUITAR PLAYER and JAZZIZ magazines.
Formal music studies continued throughout his college career. He performed classical music recitals on National Public Radio and in numerous theaters. While attending the University School of Music in Uruguay, he was a founding member of The University Conservatory Jazz Quartet, the university’s first jazz ensemble, sponsored by the school in an effort to integrate jazz into the traditional curriculum.
Beledo is the guitar player on the album, FORWARD MOTION, by the South African Jazz band, Ojoyo, featuring saxophonist and band leader, Morris Goldberg; drummer, Anton Fig and bassist Bakithi Kumalo. In 1996 Beledo toured Europe and the Caribbean with the TROPICAL TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES, featuring Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Tito Nieves, Cheo Feliciano, and an all-star line up of Latin artists.
In 2007, Beledo released MONTEVIDEO JAZZ DREAMS (Gudari Records), featuring Stefon Harris, Randy Brecker, Manolo Badrena, Mark Walker, Andy Middleton, David Finck, Jorge Camiruaga and Chris Komer.
In 2012 he released, ON A MISSION, with his band, The Avengers, won critical acclaim on tour in South America through Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, gaining excellent reviews and strong CD sales in Japan, the U.K., France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Australia and more. The Avengers are Beledo on guitar, Adam Holzman on keyboards, Lincoln Goines on bass, and Kim Plainfield on drums. The band toured Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay and played in Racife Porto Alegre, Montevideo Jazz Festival, Buenos Aires Jazz Festival, Cordoba Jazz Festival, Neuquén. They finished with an unforgettable concert at the Teatro Lavalleja in Minas, Uruguay, Beledo’s hometown.
Beledo signed with Moonjune Records – NYC in 2013, and traveled to Canada to record with Romanian keyboardist, Gia Ionesco, alongside drummer Virgil Donatti and bassist Anthony Crawford. A subsequent Ionesco session was scheduled in New York, which included Mauro Pagani on violin, Jimmy Haslip on bass, Asaf Sirkis on drums, Johnny Johnson on sax, and Mino Cinelu on percussion.
In 2016 Beledo’s first CD on Moonjune Records was released, featuring Gary Husband on drums and Lincoln Goines on bass. Also with collaborations of Dewa Budjana and other musicians from Indonesia. These album features Beledo’s multi-instrumentalist talents, on guitars, piano, keyboards, violin, accordion and vocals.
Additional outstanding Moonjune Records collaborations included work with the extraordinary Indonesian World Jazz Fusion band, Simak Dialog, with pianist Riza Arshad and guitarist Tohpati at Orion Studio, Baltimore, MD (09/07/13). Beledo also performed in a duo with Indonesian superstar guitarist, Dewa Budjana in Princeton and Burlington in a Southern New Jersey mini-tour on Dewa’s last visit to the States, and recorded with Indonesia’s premiere pianist, composer/ arranger/ conductor/ producer, Dwiki Dharmawan with whom he toured twice in Indonesia.
Beledo toured in the North-East of the USA opening for the legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth in 2013, and later on with the legendary English Jazz Rock band Soft Machine, featuring John Etheridge, John, Marshall and Roy Babbington, a tour that included Toronto, Canada.
In 2018 Beledo Toured in China with his trio featuring Chinese bas player Zhang Ling.
Versed in classical theory, composition and technique, adept in the traditional styles of his birthplace, drawing inspiration from vast and diverse modern musical forms, Beledo has earned his place among the most sophisticated, versatile, and gifted artists of our time.
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.
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.
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
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.
Susanna with her blonde appearance showed to hide a volcano under the surface. Where can you today hear piano better played than this?
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
Formerly known as Marcos Jimenez, Andres Jimenez performs in major international jazz events and jazz clubs around the world. His main projects as a leader, include a quintet, a trio, and a piano solo. Beside his career on stage, Andres is a regular teacher at the Ejma of Lausanne and AMR in Geneva.
Andres Jimenez, Spanish born raised in Geneva, Switzerland, started at the age of 10 by playing everything he heard by ear. Music has been always part of the life of his family that produced several professional musicians: “my parents bought a piano upon their arrival in Geneva, I initiated myself reproducing what I heard on records and from radio, soon I started to improvise my own compositions”. He soon began listening to pop recordings that his brother brought home. He began playing along with those recordings and into his teens started to go on stage with cover bands of the Beatles, the Moody Blues, and others in vogue at that time.
Andres Jimenez studied jazz piano for two years with pianist Michel Bastet. Then, during eight years he attended the course of Sébastien Risler in the Conservatoire Populaire de Genève. where he was deeply immersed in, and fascinated by classical and contemporary music. Additionaly, he attended composition lessons with composer Eric Gaudibert.
Later, he had piano lessons with Franco d’Andrea, Richie Beirach, and most importantly Kenny Werner.
In 1995 he graduated from his classical studies obtaining a certificate with the congratulations of the Jury, and the Special Prize Kneiffel.
He then continued his exploration of jazz as an autodidact, transcribing solos and arrangements, playing with local musicians such as Erik Truffaz, Maurice Magnoni, Mathieu Michel, Christophe Calpini, Patrice Moret, Daniel Schläppi, Dominic egli, Marcel Papaux, to name a few.
He also founded the Andres Jimenez quartet and performed his own compostions with musicians such as Marc Johnson, Bänz Oester and Norbert Pfammatte for a tour in Switzerland and France.
Daniel le Bris in one of his reviews defined Andres as ”a rare, sensitive and inventive artist, subtle melodist that is worth the stop. Unwilling to succumb to the siren charms of the facility, the musician realized that music is about feeling, sensuality. And alone or with his trio, the note is there, that hits the right place. His attraction to the diversity makes him a pianist “atypical” attentive to all types of music”.
Andres Jimenez has accompanied many singers, including Christine Python with whom he won the Sacem prize at the vocal competition of “Festival de Crest” in France, he played with drummer Daniel Humair and worked with french female singer Zizi Jeanmaire and choreographer Roland Petit. He was the pianist and arranger for what should be the final “tour de chant” of Mrs Zizi Jeanmaire. He also composed a song for her, which was recorded on the album “La Liberté est une Fleur”.
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.
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.
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.
“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
At this day and age the art Gregory Rivkin’s trumpet-playing is at the stage of epitome of taste and equilibrium on every and any level. Always connected on stage to the moment and present tense, Gregory is a real -deal story-teller, when he plays ballads. Hard-swinging, lyrical and melodic at medium tempos, he becomes extremely dangerous, when it’s time to burn. An accomplished band-leader with robust musical individuality and a prolific sideman, the trumpeter gained his international reputation in the scene of Paris, France and New York, N.Y., U.S.A. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2006. In addition to his diplomas with excellence in classical trumpet, Gregory has won awards in several international and national competitions in a discipline of classical and jazz trumpet held in Israel, France and the United States. His high light sideman work in New York credits: Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, Mingus Big-Band just to name a few. Arguably one of the finest Israeli trumpeters and jazz artists, Greg leads his own groups and works as featured soloist and core member with Tel-Aviv Big-Band, Haifa Big-Band, Eli De-Gibri Big-Band. Rivkin’s creative imagination, virtuosity and ability to sink into the roots of Black American Music and deliver the authenticity of this art-form is also highly demanded by band-leaders and producers, who work in the alternative streams of music, by mixing contemporary hip-hop, folk and rock elements.
SHELLY RUDOLPH has been singing, performing and composing for over twenty-five years, embracing the sounds of soul, jazz, blues, R&B, reggae and pop. Music has taken Shelly all over the world with ensembles that range from intimate duets to Jazz Orchestras and most everything in between. She is among the busiest vocalists in Portland, Oregon performing with her own projects, including collaborations with jazz innovator and NW icon, Tom Grant.
Following the release of her latest album, The Way We Love (OA2, 2020), which featured the late, great, GRAMMY winning maverick cellist David Darling, Shelly has continued to deepen and expand her unique expression of “fresh and powerful romanticism” by creating pieces and events that integrate spoken word, song, evocative instrumentation, visual art and dance.
Ms. Rudolph has self-produced and released three original full-length albums, an EP for her swamp-soul band Midnight Honey and a playfully intimate piano-vocal holiday collection “RUDOLPH,” all selling thousands of units and digital downloads.As a songwriter and vocalist she has collaborated and recorded with: David Darling (ECM), Zach Gill (Jack Johnson), David Piltch (kd lang), Ken Stange (Joe Cocker), David Mathews (Etta James), Tom Lackner (Airto and Flora Purim), Tom Grant and Pink Martini’s Phil Baker. These recordings have solidified her standing as a marketable artist for agents and venues, established her as a notable musician among peers and press, and garnered songwriting and recording work nationally and internationally.
Shelly has received placement on pandora.com, regional, national and international jazz stations and song licensing rosters. She was chosen to be part oft the Multnomah County Library’s music project, was selected by Mayor Adams as one of the featured musicians on Portlandonline.com’s ListenLocal program and has made numerous live performance and interview appearances on NW radio and TV stations. She is a proud recipient of RACC’s Professional Development Grant.
Following the release of her latest album, The Way We Love (OA2, 2020), which featured the late, great, GRAMMY winning maverick cellist David Darling, Shelly has continued to deepen and expand her unique expression of “fresh and powerful romanticism” by creating pieces and events that integrate spoken word, song, evocative instrumentation, visual art and dance.
Ms. Rudolph has self-produced and released three original full-length albums, an EP for her swamp-soul band Midnight Honey and a playfully intimate piano-vocal holiday collection “RUDOLPH,” all selling thousands of units and digital downloads.As a songwriter and vocalist she has collaborated and recorded with: David Darling (ECM), Zach Gill (Jack Johnson), David Piltch (kd lang), Ken Stange (Joe Cocker), David Mathews (Etta James), Tom Lackner (Airto and Flora Purim), Tom Grant and Pink Martini’s Phil Baker. These recordings have solidified her standing as a marketable artist for agents and venues, established her as a notable musician among peers and press, and garnered songwriting and recording work nationally and internationally.
Shelly has received placement on pandora.com, regional, national and international jazz stations and song licensing rosters. She was chosen to be part oft the Multnomah County Library’s music project, was selected by Mayor Adams as one of the featured musicians on Portlandonline.com’s ListenLocal program and has made numerous live performance and interview appearances on NW radio and TV stations. She is a proud recipient of RACC’s Professional Development Grant.
Born in 1975 and raised on a farm in Appenzellerland, he was enthusiastic about music from an early age and has been playing the trumpet since his youth – first in a brass band and then in a groovy funk band with schoolmates.
He discovered jazz at the St. Gallen Jazz School, where he studied trumpet and jazz improvisation with the main subject teachers Bernhard Schoch and Lester Menezes.
After completing his professional studies in 2000, he received a sponsorship award from the cultural foundation of the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. This enabled him to spend six months in New York taking lessons from Eddie Henderson, Cecil Bridgewater, and Mike LeDonne.
In 2008 he received another grant from the Ausserrhodische Kulturstiftung. This enabled him to spend a composition semester abroad with the saxophonist/composer Andy Middleton at the Vienna Conservatory.
Since 2000 he has led his own band, the Michael Neff Group. Current line-up: Mario Söldi (dr), Christoph Sprenger (b), Rainer Hagmann (violin), Andi Schnoz (g), and Michael Neff (tp & flh). Michael Neff is a musician par excellence, who plumbs the
highs and lows of jazz as a trumpeter and as a composer with a sure sense of style.
More than 20 of his compositions and interpretations are regularly played by RadioSwissJazz!
"Michael Neff and his group rely on relaxed and relaxing tones. He keeps it up even when it gets a little louder. His trumpet and flugelhorn sound so beautiful, lyrical and light that the question arises: can jazz sound beautiful? He is allowed to. Especially
when Michael Neff's poles of calm carry so much further than some raw musical feats of strength." (Franz XA Zipperer)
Jean-Baptiste Hardy was born in 1989, and grew up in south of France. He started classical guitar at the age of eight, and studied it for 10 years. In the same time he discovered and learned Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed fingerstyle repertoire. In 2003, 2005 and 2007 he attended the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society festival in Nashville, and was lucky to perform there and meet with great players such as Tommy Emmanuel, Jim Nichols, and Joscho Stephan.
After moving to Paris in 2006, he started to play in jam sessions, and to perform concerts in several music places, as a sideman and band leader, mixing lots of genres, from fingerstyle to blues, rock, gospel, and world music.
In 2012, he decided to live in Istanbul where he could fully devote himself to his musical career. He started to study jazz on his own, and developed a great knowledge in harmony and improvisation. Early swing and manouche guitar, through great influences such as Django Reinhardt or Bireli Lagrene, and then bebop, bossa nova, funk or fusion got added to his rich repertoire. In 2014 he recorded his first album On verra, as a trio, with Ekin Bilgin on bass and Riccardo Marenghi on drums, which was already a mix of all genres and influences that JB had learned. His music is hard to categorize, since it gathers some swing, jazz, rock, blues, brazilian and fingerpicking colours in it.
JB was back in France in 2015, where he set up a new guitar-bass-drums trio, with Benjamin Asnar on bass and Rory Quinn on drums. He played in almost every jazz venue in Paris, and lots of guitar festivals through the country, and recorded 2 other albums with them : Reprise in 2018 and Which Way in 2022.
In the same time, JB has developed a solo repertoire, performing classical, fingerpicking and folk compositions. He has released 2 solo albums : Nouveau départ in 2018 and Confidences in 2021.
Alexis Baro was born into a musical family in Havana, Cuba. Classically trained, he took up the trumpet at the age of age 8 and completed his musical education receiving a teaching certification at the prestigious Amadeo Roldán Music Conservatory in Havana. While in school he became a member of Buena Vista Social Club superstar singer Omara Portuondo’s band and at the age of 19 played lead trumpet for the National Radio and Television Orchestra. After moving to Canada in 2001 he was discovered in Toronto by iconic Canadian jazz drummer Archie Alleyne where he flourished as a writer and performer for eight years as a member of the Canadian award winning ‘hard-bop” band Kollage. As a band member and contributor, he was nominated for “Best Jazz Trumpeter” by the Canadian National Jazz Awards in the years 2006, 2007, and 2008. Alexis Baro has participated in more than 80 albums and can be heard as a feature soloist on some of the most transcendent Latin albums made in Canada such as Hilario Duran’s Grammy Award nominated album “From the Heart”. He has released six albums as a solo artist “Havana Banana” (2004), “From the Other Side” (2009), “Blue Skin” (released 2012), “Guilty Pleasure”- released 2015 (2016 “Global Music Award Gold Medal for Jazz), “Sugar Rush” (2017) and his 2019 Juno Award Nominated recording “Sandstorm” His 2022 release titled “Mi Raiz” (My Root) is his tribute to “The Cuban Trumpet” and all the great Cuban musicians and composers who have contributed to bringing its distinctive sound to prominence in the world of music throughout its history.
Dana Ali is an American singer and songwriter from Atlanta, GA. She has crossed the waters to the United Kingdom with her bass player Dave Hewitt (Babe Ruth fame). They have cowritten and recorded songs in the USA and in the U.K. Dana Ali, takes elements of Soul, Jazz, Blues and R&B with Funk Rhythms to create a fresh and distinctive sound. Dana Ali has been touring the U.K. extensively and in the course of her musical career, Dana has won over the hearts of music lovers from all walks of life. Performing at a variety of venues and festivals, making dozens of appearances in the UK, Dana has earned the admiration and affection of countless fans, serving as both inspiration and role model.
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.
André Hahne is a German/New Zealand musician living and working in Switzerland.
He’s well known as a composer , bassist and founder of various projects such as the No Square Quartet & 60 Miles Trio. He has played with these projects all around the world resulting in numerous cd’s. He also creates music for theatre pieces.
He is a excellent accompanist and a talented soloist. He has a strong sense of melody and recently he has concentrated his research in polyrythms.
If when he was student the record of Miles Davis « The Man with the Horn » introduced him to jazz, now he’s latest influences among others are the music of Ambrose Akinmusire and Tigan Hamasyan.
He is also director of of the label Nova Jazz who organises concerts and the yearly jazz festival in Yverdon-les-bains, Switzerland.
The Swiss trio 60 Miles has crafted their own unique sound that draws from a variety of music, from jazz and bebop to rock and classical, creating a unique blend of styles. Since 2015, they have traveled to many countries, including Europe, China, Japan, Brazil, and Argentina. Their fourth album, “Ice Scream”, was released in 2023. This album makes us question the role of music in a time of climate crisis, and whether it is possible to make meaningful changes on our individual scales. The three musicians, Nicolas Gerber (piano), André Hahne (bass), and Philipp Leibundgut (drums), use the power of poetry and
creativity to inspire us to take action.
Created in July 1994, the jazz quartet No Square was founded and revolves around bassist André
Hahne. The group already has 11 albums to its credit and is touring all over the world. “The initial
idea was to develop lively and energetic jazz. Our music develops together and each member of the group can express themselves equally, The jazz of No Square is composed of simple melodies
and more complex binary grooves inspired by compound measures and polyrhythms developed in contemporary jazz. Next year the band is celebrating its 30thanniversary!
Richard Ray Farrell, from Niagara Falls, NY (1956) is an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter, harmonica player and international recording artist. In 1976 Richard started busking and playing professionally in Paris, France. He is comfortable as a solo acoustic artist or fronting his own band on the electric guitar. Richard toured with American artists RL Burnside, Louisiana Red, Frank Frost, Big Jack Johnson, Lazy Lester and Big Boy Henry. Richard formed Farrell & Black in 1995 with Mothers of Invention drummer, Jimmy Carl Black. They produced two CD’s and toured internationally for seven years. Richard moved to Philadelphia in 2001, formed a band, and began performing with harp veteran Steve Guyger. Richard produced seven CD’s before moving to Spain in 2014. Bohemian Life (2003) contains originals and internationally acclaimed blues musicians. Acoustic Roots (2005) is solo acoustic offering blues and ragtime. Down Home Old School Country Blues (2006) with Steve Guyger has been called the best acoustic blues duo album to come out in years by Andy Grigg of Real Blues Magazine, British Columbia, Canada. Stuck On The Blues (2007) is acoustic with Italian harmonica virtuoso Marco Pandolfi. Camino de Sanlucar (2009), features legendary Spanish flamenco and rock guitarist Raimundo Amador. I Sing The Blues Eclectic (2011) delivers twelve originals and Shoe Shoppin’ Woman (2014) offers 8 originals and 3 blues classics. These CD’s charted in the US and achieved acclaim from critics worldwide. Richard’s latest CD, 3 Pints of Gin, was released in the US February 2020 and immediately hit the charts. This CD was a 2021 Nominee for Acoustic Blues Album Of The Year from The Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee!
In 2022 Richard produced an electric album which was released by Nuba Records, Karonte Distribuciones and Cambayá.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not For Me Duo 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 Not For Me Duo 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, Not For Me Duo 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.
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.
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.
Luca Russo is a Milan Conservatory graduate who shifted his focus from piano to flute, studying with several renowned musicians. His passion for flamenco led to performances in prestigious theaters worldwide with acclaimed dancers like Antonio Canales and Rafael Amargo.
His compositions have been played in major concert halls across the globe, and he has published works such as Six Studies on circular breathing and Sonatina for flute and piano. He is a permanent conductor of the Cantù Youth Orchestra and has conducted other orchestras such as Bacau Filarmonic Orchestra, Lario Sinfonic Orchestra, and Como Lake Philharmonic Orchestra.
For several years he is studying bansuri and Indian music, also attending courses in Vicenza’s conservatory with Lorenzo Squillari, then studying ragas with Nicolò Melocchi, and traveling to India, at Hariprasad Chaurasia’s Gurukul in Mumbai and Bhubaneswar.
Born in Logroño (La Rioja) in 1978, he began his studies in music and drums at the age of 17 at the Piccolo y Saxo music school . Years later he began to travel regularly to Barcelona to study with drummer Quim Soler and attend jazz combo classes at the Taller de Musics de Barcelona.
In 2001 he obtained a diploma in Musical Teaching from the University of La Rioja. Between 1999 and 2005 he attended different Jazz seminars in Valencia and Zarautz, where he received international drummer classes such as Nasheet waits , Marc Miralta , Guillermo McGuill , Jorge Rossy or Jo Krause . For two consecutive years he is invited to the Zarautz Jazz Seminar as a collaborator and accompanying drummer.
Finally, he entered the Musikene Higher Music Center of the Basque Country , obtaining a higher degree in Jazz Drums, under the direction of maestro Jo Krause . After graduating he moved to Madrid, where he soon began playing in different Jam Sessions with musicians such as Jerry Gonzalez , Norman Hogue or Román Filiú .
It is in this city where he formed the experimental jazz group Remedios , together with Carlos Mejías “Chepe” and Fernando Lago . With this formation he records an album and plays in different clubs in Madrid and festivals such as Imaxina Sons in Vigo.
During these years he began to play with musicians of different styles such as Dan Mathews (ex Yogourth Daze ), with whom he recorded an Indie Pop album with producer Manuel Colmenero ( Vetusta Morla ). Presenting this album they record a live show at the Radio Televisión Española studios for the Radio 3 Concerts on La 2.
Regarding his pedagogical facet, it is worth highlighting his work as a teacher in different music schools in Madrid such as Ritmo y Compás .
Since 2009 he has lived in Logroño, where he teaches Drums and Combos at the Piccolo y Saxo music school .
In 2014 he formed what would be his personal project Jorge Garrido Monk Trío , together with Alberto Arteta and Marcelo Escrich , capturing it on a record in 2015 entitled Vintage . He also continues to play with the project The Rising Circus , a jazz sextet led by bassist and composer Aitor Rodríguez , with whom he recorded an album in 2003.
Throughout his career he has played with jazz musicians such as Iñaki Salvador , Mikel Andueza , Enrique Oliver , Iñaki Askunze , Gonzalo Tejada , Andrzej Olejniczak , Alejandro Mingot , Iñaki Sandoval , Victor de Diego , Luis Jimenez , Mauro Urriza , Reinier Elizarde “El Negrón” , Santiago Reyes , Tata Quintana , Toño Miguel , Javier Arzola , etc.
Since 2016, he has regularly attended the Hurdy- gurdy courses that are taught in Casavieja (Ávila), organized by the Iberian Hurdy-gurdy Association , where he has received classes from the most renowned performers of this peculiar instrument, such as Germán Díaz , Rafa Martín , Tobie Miller , Marc Egea , Johannes Geworkian Hellman or Efrén López .
He currently combines his drumming career in the Tündra group , which he founded in 2008, with his solo project as a hurdy-gurdy player, accompanying himself on a bass Psaltery and creating Loops live. With all this, he reinterprets a repertoire of early and root music from very different latitudes under the name “Cuerdas y claves” , which he premiered at the Logroño Early Music Week in 2020.
In February 2022, he performed at the inaugural gala of the acts of the V Centenary of Antonio de Nebrija at the Teatro Real in Madrid. In this act, she shared the stage with Rozalén, Haze, Dorantes and Eliseo Parra, ending the gala with a speech by King Felipe VI.
In February 2023 he performed at the mythical London Jamboree venue with his project Strings and Keys .
Utsi Zimring is a drummer and composer, Born and raised in Israel. He began to play drums when he was 7 years old and guitar when he was 12. At the age of 12 he joined local bands and first appeared on TV when he was 15. He quickly became a well known and respected drummer in Israel, recording over 120 CDs, touring with major artists and performing on popular TV programs.
He has toured, performed, and recorded with artists such as Mike Stern (Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker), 2011 Grammy winner with the Mingus Big Band David Kikoski (Roy Haynes), Gary Husband (Allan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham), Bob Franceschini (Mike Stern, Victor Wooten)Ted Curson,(Miles Davis),Scott Hamilton(Tony Bennett),Bendik Hofseth(Steps Ahead) Â Ruben Rodriguez (Marc Anthony),Jeff Andrews(Mike Stern) Per Mathisen (Bill Bruford, Alex Acuna, Antonio Sanchez), Ulf Wakenius (Oscar Peterson, Michael Brecker), Jurai Griglak (Poogi Bell), and many more.
In 1998 he formed the fusion band Zonzee, where he played drums and composed and arranged most of the music. Zonzee was signed by NMC, the biggest record company in Israel and recorded two CD’s, the second featured Mike Stern. The success gained Zonzee a prestigious contract with the Israeli Â Foreign Ministry to represent Israeli culture as well as opened door to many Jazz Festivals and clubs all over Europe and the USA, including world’s finest jazz club Blue Note in New York.
In 2011, Utsi released his first solo album Zone 23 that included 6 original tunes and 2 newly arranged songs. The musicians who participated in the recordings and live shows are the top world musicians such as Mike Stern on guitar, Dave Kikoski on piano, Bob Franceschini on sax and Ruben Rodriguez on bass to name a few.
With Per Mathisen, great Norwegian bass player, Utsi formed a power rhythm section and they cooperate together on various music projects. in December 2016, Utsi and Per with pianist Dave Kikoski released the album New York City Magic on Alessa Records.
Recently, Utsi is touring with various jazz project (check out the Music Project section) and is about to record with Organism and Bulatkin-Mathisen-Zimring projects.
The double bass player Mihalis Kalkanis stands out among the representatives of the new generation of Greek jazz musicians. He comes from a musical family and participates in the most important forms of the genre. He is a particularly daring and creative musician and composer, successfully experimenting and offering us unpredictable music. He dresses his grandmother’s traditional singing with electronic music and he does field recordings in immigrant religious ceremonies, giving us an amalgam of the world’s sounds in the album “World Echoes in Athens”.
His band ‘Mihalis Kalkanis Group’ was chosen as “the new music proposal” of the Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival 2018, while the following year he made a special appearance at the Summer Nostos Festival – SNFCC, with the leading Siberian multi-instrumentalist and composer Nadishana, as his guest. In the same year he appeared in other festivals in Greece and Cyprus, while in October his group was selected first among 300 nominations to appear at the Fira B Festival in Spain.
The highlight of the band’s course so far were the two performances in the Small Theater of Epidaurus (July 24 & 25) with two separate artists as guests, the Armenian oud master HaigYazdjian and avant-garde electric guitarist Giannis Anastasakis. The acclaimed jazz musicians took audiences along for a ride through jazz, ambient, traditional and world music, employing their highly original sound for two spellbinding concerts that were enthusiastically received by audiences and were considered one of last summer’s best musical experiences.
Mihalis Kalkanis Group
The live performances of the band travel the audience to a world where elements from East and West, old values with contemporary ideas and experimentation are mixed in a magical way. This has already been reflected through its special performances in the most important Greek festivals (Athens Jazz Festival, Summer Nostos Festival / SNFCC, Athens Epidaurus Festival etc) as well as in Spain (Palma Jazz Festival) and in Cyprus (Aglan Jazz Festival).
The band line-up: Lefteris Andriotis (cretan lyra), Vasilis Baharidis (drums), Mihalis Kalkanis (double bass), Christos Kalkanis (clarinet), Orestis Benekas (piano/keyboards).
The band’s new album ‘Emotions’, released in June 2022 by United We Fly, was recorded live at the Megaron Athens Concert Hall and has received numerous rave reviews.
“Its sound world is strong and special, full of emotions, images, colours and disparate musical elements.” news247.gr
“..a masterful soundtrack that overflows with aesthetics.” depart.gr
“The harmonious coexistence of acoustic instruments with electronic and processed sounds is highlighted even more by the live recording of the album, to whose sonic world you get addicted and want to listen to it again and again…” efsyn.gr
The new group of these three leading musicians has already found its own sound. Through the three acoustic instruments, powerful and authentic melodies are expressedand evolve in a context of improvised music, creating a sound that is a special statementin the new European jazz scene.
The Trio is comprised of Mihalis Kalkanis (double bass), Sylvain Fournier (drums) and Nicolas Masson (saxophone). One musician grew up by the sea (Greece) and two in a mountainous country (Switzerland). Through their musical conversation, they redefine and explore new ways ofmaking different musical elements and cultures coexist.
Brazilian musician and producer João Leão brings the creative energy of Brazil’s contemporary independent scene, having recorded more than 30 albums and toured extensively with important Brazilian indie artists like two times Latin Grammy Award winner Céu. Living in Toronto since 2018, João is also highly sought in the local Brazilian and Latin music scenes, touring and collaborating with artists like Bruno Capinan and Jerusa Leão. His first album, Bilis Negra (2018), explores an atmosphere of introspection and melancholy, backed by carefully placed electric piano mantras and textures with a hint of the most authentic Bossa Nova vibes.
Chris Drave was born in Hamburg in 1977. At the age of 6 he began classical violin lessons with Eva Maria Krauspe. At the age of 14 he also started playing the guitar and making his first band experiences.
His focus has always been on independent songwriting and working in various bands.
From 1999 he studied to become a teacher, majoring in violin at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg and had violin lessons with Jürgen Groß, Peter Heidrich, Anton Barachowski and Liudmila Minnibaeva.
He played guitar & violin in “Der Fall Böse” (approx. 200 performances, 3 CD productions), was a violinist in the graceless salon orchestra, in the midnight show in the Schmidt Theater, played with David Harrington, Kathrin Wulff, U96 & Claude Oliver Rudolph, Red Lounge Orchestra, etc.
He has created various compositions for Inter-Klang, stringNbase & ChamberLoop, among others, and is the author of the songbook “Mellows Songs for 2 Violins” (Schell-Verlag)
His current projects are the duo Inter-Klang, TC-Mellows, Djangonauten, Robert Carl Blank, VioLoop, stringNbase, Rendez-Vous, Trio Cinematique and ChamberLoop.
Christian Renz Paulsen
Born in Barranquilla (Colombia) in 1982 into a German-Colombian family of musicians, he began taking classical piano lessons at the age of 5 with the Colombian pianist Rosalba Reina de Villalón and later with harmony and music theory with his father Gunter Renz. Already at the age of 13 he was intensively involved with Latin American and Caribbean music. A few years later he won his first composition prize “Música Clásica Caribe 2000” with his work “Fantasía sobre el Río Sinú”.
Christian Renz has lived in Hamburg since 2001 and works as a pianist, composer, arranger and music teacher. There he studied with the renowned composer Wolf Kerschek and completed his studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (HfMT) in the subjects piano jazz (Dipl.-Musikl.) and composition (M.Mus.) with distinction. During his studies he received numerous awards, including the “Germany Scholarship” and the “Oscar and Vera Ritter Foundation Scholarship”.
He was also a guest lecturer in jazz theory and composition at the HfMT Hamburg, the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Universidad del Atlántico and the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia.
In 2017 he was awarded the Contemporary Composition Prize by the City of Barranquilla for his work Nocturno a la Bella for piano and flute. In spring 2020 he began his doctoral studies in Artistic Research with a focus on composition and musicology.
His catalog of compositions includes works for piano, solo voice and piano, mixed choir, chamber music, string orchestra, symphony orchestra, jazz and salsa ensembles. His works are influenced by Latin American rhythms and the texture and harmony of jazz and classical music.
He has worked as a pianist with, among others:
United World Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Jan Degenhardt, HfMT Bigband Hamburg, Laeiszhalle, SchauspielhausHamburg, Joe Gallardo, Renz Ramos, Mete Mono, Maelo Ruiz, Cristian Fernández, Javier Vasquez, Rafu Warner, Manolo Lezcano.
Composers & Arrangers:
Mannheim Youth Symphony Orchestra, Speyer Chamber Orchestra, WDR Radio Orchestra, NDR Big Band, Klazz Brothers, Wolf Kerschek, Kaiser Quartet.
This is the story of a musician who fell in love with music at a young age. Growing up in a log cabin in the country north of Montreal, he would spend hours listening to the Beatles on an Electrohome bubble record player in front of a fireplace. When he was nine years old, he picked up a six steel string acoustic guitar and started playing.In school, he discovered Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells and began experimenting with tape to produce multitrack works. He even created jingles for student radio stations using a Philips sound on sound tape machine borrowed from a friend. As a teenager, he honed his guitar skills by practicing in front of his brother’s cover band, even replacing the lead guitar on one occasion. He also discovered fusion music while listening to a tiny transistor radio his grandfather had brought from Japan. After studying alongside Art Roberts at Concordia University, he went on to win the first prize in the Roland Synthesizer music contest among seven hundred entrants from twenty-two countries, which was judged by the legendary Oscar Peterson. He founded a fusion band called Agharta and produced his first album with them in 1981. He also played with renowned percussionist Michel Séguin and shared the stage with Zachary Richard in front of 250,000 people on the plains of Abraham. He went on to play with a band called Anoosh for two years, led by an Armenian singer named Raffi Niziblian. During that time, he continued to listen to and collect music, particularly albums by Bill Evans and Duke Ellington. His top ten favorite albums of all time include works by George Duke, Weather Report, Bill Evans, Fourplay, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington & John Coltrane.
Dom Minasi has been playing guitar all his life. He became a professional when he was 15 years old. In 1974, he was signed to Blue Note Records. After two albums, he left the recording business and did not record again as a leader till 1999 for CIMP records. During the seventies, he had an opportunity to work and perform with a slew of jazz giants, including Arnie Lawrence, George Coleman, Frank Foster, Jimmy Heath, and Dave Brubeck. Wanting to have control of all aspects of his music, Dom, along with his wife, Carol Mennie, formed CDM Records. With his new trio, Ken Filiano -bass and Jackson Krall- drums, on April 23rd, 2001, they recorded in one set, “Takin ‘The Duke Out” ‘ live,’ at the Knitting Factory in NYC. It was released in October 2001. “Takin’ The Duke Out” met with glowing reviews. In March 2006, Dom’s most ambitious project was released. Using his trio as a base and writing for small and large ensembles, The Vampire’s Revenge is a double disc set of almost two hours of through-composed music with lots of room for improv. Many renowned Jazz Journalists throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe selected The Vampire’s Revenge as one of the best recordings of 2006. In April 2009, Dom recorded Dissonance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder for re: KonstruK Records, which was later released on Konnex Records, featuring Dom on nylon string guitar, Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Tomas Ulrich (cello), and Ken Filiano (contrabass). Dissonance is a totally different sound. This group is a real combination of contemporary 21st-century composition. Since 2016 Dom has been an Unseen Rain Records Recording Artist. You can go to his website and read and hear all about Dom. In 2023 look for new releases coming from this extraordinary artist.
Sina Bathaie, producer, multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto, Canada is known for his unique approach in incorporating authentic oriental sounds in his music. His hypnotic performances have garnered him fans from across the globe. Sina has been featured at festivals such as Luminato, Pacific Contact, Folk Music Ontario, CINARS, TD Jazz Festival, Mundial Montreal, Prismatic Festival, Aga Khan Museum, Fete de la Musique Mont Tremblant, as well as TV and radio appearances at CP24 and CBC Radio Metro Morning and Big City Small Worlds. His latest album Oracle is a deep dive into electronic music scene and organic house and offers a fresh oriental sound along with electronic beats. His second album Ray of Hope was released on Windcatcher Records in 2017 and was nominated for Best World Music Album of the Year in 16th annual Independent Music Award in NYC. His debut album Sound of Silence was released in 2012 and received warm critical acclaim. Born in Iran, Sina started learning Santur at the age seven from his father, Master Javad Bathaie and studied Persian classical repertoire (Radif) with the instrument Oud. He later studied Composition and Orchestration at Berklee College of Music and has scored movies such as The Horse Latitudes, Un royaume déménage, Ameno and Mr Settled Immigrant.
Jeremy is one of Vancouver’s rising stars of jazz, with a rich baritone that evokes such classic voices as Nat King Cole and Johnny Hartman, along with modern greats like Kurt Elling. Like Elling, he is a fellow disciple of vocalese, following in the footsteps of Jon Hendricks and bringing old standards new life through his poignant, honest lyrics and storytelling.
Already a seasoned performer, Jeremy’s resume includes festival appearances fronting the Bruce James Orchestra, the role of Paul in Pascal Saunier’s opera, Le Destin du Jazz Club, many gigs around Vancouver, and entertaining in lounges aboard cruise ships the world over. Since returning to Vancouver, Jeremy released his debut album, Hey There, through Cellar Music Group in September 2022.
Jeremy holds a Diploma of Jazz Studies from Capilano University where he studied with Steve Maddock and Jennifer Scott. In Rejean Marois’ acclaimed ensemble, Nitecap, Jeremy shared the stage with modern greats: Maria Schneider, Donny McCaslin, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Canadian stars Bria Skonberg and Laila Biali. Outside of jazz, Jeremy also has extensive experience in the worlds of choral music and barbershop harmony, including an international medal winning collegiate quartet, and appearances on TV, film, and radio.
Stefano Rocco started playing classical guitar at the age of 7 and soon after he began performing in the local area of his hometown Monfalcone.
In his teens, he started playing electric guitar in the styles of rock, blues, and fusion, showing a great interest in improvisation, which later led him to study jazz.
After his move to London in 2009, he started playing as a sideman for different singers and bands both in-studio and live, this experience allowed him to explore the London music scene and meet new musicians who were relevant influences.
In 2011, he began the Jazz Bachelor Degree at Middlesex University, London studying with Stuart Hall, Carl Orr, Nikki Iles, Chris Batchelor, Rob Townsend, and many other renowned jazz educators.
In 2014, after graduating with BA in Jazz (Hons) he relocated to Sydney, where he quickly started performing and teaching guitar.
After meeting pianist Pablo Puentes and double bassist Muhamed Mehmedbasic, they formed Syd’ Side Trio and started playing in venues around Sydney.
This led to a weekly residency in one of the venues, since 2018 Stefano continues hosting this weekly jazz event in Surry Hills, having the opportunity to play with some of Sydney’s most talented jazz musicians.
Stefano has been focusing consistently on writing his compositions; in August 2019 he and his quartet recorded his debut album “A NEW NIGHT, A NEW DAY”. The quartet features Muhamed Mehmedbasic on double bass, Nick Southcott on piano and Ed Rodrigues on drums.
Stefano is also a passionate guitar teacher and has gained significant experience teaching one-on-one, groups, and ensembles in primary and high schools across Sydney.
AEGONIA is a fantasy project which includes a series of novels and atmospheric metal music with lyrics inspired by the world of the books. So far the artists have released two novels “Tales from the lands of Aegonia”, one LP album “The Forgotten Song” (2019) and two folklore singles based on the most mystical part of the Bulgarian folklore, closely related to ancient Rhodopi mountain. In the world of Aegonia the biggest power of a sorceress/sorcerer is their song. The magical and fulfilling melodies of the project can be played either with the heavy sound of a full-metal band or with acoustic classical instruments and vocals.
Christophe Monniot is a jazz saxophonist born in Caen . He holds a first prize unanimously in Jazz and improvised music from the National Conservatory of Music in Paris . He obtained the first prize for soloist at the Concours national de jazz de la Défense . He began by studying the trumpet , before preferring the saxophone , all at the conservatory of Caen , and obtained a master’s degree in musicology at the University of Rouen . He made a name for himself within Laurent Dehors ‘ group , Tous Dehors , then with the creation of the Campagnie des musiques à ouïr , a delirious musical-country trio with his companions Rémi Sciuto and Denis Charolles . His impressive qualities as a soloist have earned him a call in the groups of Stéphan Oliva , Daniel Humair , Patrice Caratini , or the festive Coronation of the eardrum by Fred Pallem .
Bänz Oester (born 1966 in Bern ) is a Swiss jazz bassist. Oester studied classical double bass with Bela Szedlak from 1983 to 1987 and also with Peter Frei at the Swiss Jazz School from 1986 to 1989. He worked as a sideman with Dewey Redman, Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Ray Anderson , Arthur Blythe, Joey Baron, Chris Potter, Marc Johnson, Bill Stewart, Gary Bartz, Jim Black, Walter Norris, Michel Godard, Adam Nussbaum and many others.
He led numerous bands of his own, including several trio formations, e.g. the Trio Oester with Mike del Ferro and Gilbert Paeffgen , Trio Weiss , Oester Pfammatter , Who with Michel Wintsch and Gerry Hemingway , Braff , Oester, Rohrer , The Bridge with Philipp Schaufelberger and Pierre Favre , with whose ensemble he recorded the ECM album Fleuve ( 2006), as well as various quartet and quintet formations. He also worked in the duo Hiroko Takada and Andreas Schaerer . He has led the successful quartet Rainmakers since 2012 .
In addition to albums as a sideman and band leader, he released the solo album Blospermint Suite in 2007 . Oester is a professor for double bass and ensemble playing at the jazz department of the Musikhochschule Basel .
Born into a family of drummers (a grandfather, two uncles & his father), Robert learned the basics from his father, who, along with his Uncle, were lifetime members of the NYC Musicians Union, AFM Local 802.
By high school, having started private lessons as well as classes in music theory, he was playing professionally all over the NY/Tri-State area. He went on to study Theory & Composition, Piano, Guitar, Orchestra Percussion & Drums at the Westchester Conservatory of Music, State University
of NY at New Paltz, and Drummers Collective NYC. Over the years he has studied with some of the most well known drummers in New York & the world including, Ed Soph, Gary Chester, Kim Plainfield, Tony “Thunder” Smith, Robbie Gonzalez, Robbie Ameen, Horacio el Negro Hernandez, and Joe Ascione.
After several years in Austria, Robert now lives in Barcelona, Spain, where he continues to play and record with well known & up & coming artists in just about every style (Pop, Rock, Funk, Jazz, Latin, World, Musical Theater, etc.) from small clubs to small stadiums.
His playing as a sideman has been written about in The NY Times online, Cadence Magazine, Jazz Halo Belgium, and Drums & Percussion Germany. His 3 Boom releases have received critical acclaim from some of the most widely read magazines and websites in the USA, Canada, UK, and Europe.
Robert is also an accomplished guitar player. He started out at 14, learning on his own with songbooks brought home by his father, who at the time worked for G. Shermer’s in NYC to supplement his income. Eventually he went on to study with Mark Slifstien at Westchester Conservatory in White Plains, NY, and privately with ex Berklee guitar teacher Alex Adrian, in Queens, NY.
Founding ‘Trio of Boom’ in 2007, Robert has played with different configurations of ‘Boom!’ over the years, and continues to explore new musical territories as such.
A World of Bliss begins within ourselves – with the first thought of how we want the world around us to be and what we do to make it a magic place. Music reminds us of this vision and helps us make the world a better place.” explains Markus Zahrl about the title of his new Album.
A World of Bliss is Markus Zahrl´s first full album as a leader. It follows his EP Celtic Dance, released in 2020 (which had 3 songs in the Top #10 Smooth Jazz Listener Countdown). Featuring eight new original songs, the music is an inspiring and uplifting collection.
Markus says, „This new album is a contra point to the challenging times we have to face in the world right now. Music is a source to stay positive.“
All eight tracks of A World of Bliss were produced and written by Markus. Two songs—“Dreams Come True” and „Joyful Life“ were composed more than 10 years ago. Markus found them again during the planning process and rearranged them for the new Album. They fit perfectly into the mood of the whole project.
The song „Good Vibes“ was inspired by the „handpan“-Instrument that Markus loves to play. This is a wonderful instrument on which he gets many ideas for his musical life.
2 songs (Chilling in the Nature, Spring is in the house) were a continuous process of the last years to find the final expression of that mood. Especially the musical ideas of band members – Werner Köck, Wolfgang Köck, Harry Hauser and Christian Grobauer made the songs to a wonderful masterpiece. (as with all the songs on the Album)
A World of Bliss, Something New and You light up my Love were composed during the pandemic period and they reinforced the theme of the record, of staying strong and positive even when the times are tough.
Markus Zahrls’ personal relationship with music started at the ago of 5 years with playing the drums. At 16, he picked up the saxophone and immediately loved it, and it was pretty much the only thing he wanted to do in his life. At 17, he joined his town’s the local big band and turned pro at 19. In the 1990s he studied at the Conservatory of Vienna (jazz saxophone) and at the Berklee College of Music Bosten/USA. Markus was a sideman for artists like Kirk Covington, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Dobbins, Concert Jazz Orchestra Vienna, Rounder Girls, Russkaja, Hot Pants Road Club, Waldeck, Andy Lee Lang and many more, touring and doing sessions for many years before releasing his first solo EP in 2020. His EP immediately reach top 10 of Smooth Jazz Listener Countdown with 3 song and gained international attention.
Markus, who lives in the Vienna/Austria area with his wife and his son, says after finishing the recordings for this album: „I can’t wait to play this new music live. Playing live is what I love the most. Every time I go on stage I enjoy the deep connection and the energy between the audience and the artist. It creates a magical space where wonderful things happen.“
After being in the music business for 30 years, „I still want to make the world a better place with my music“, says Markus, „I want to heal it in some way and help the people who are interested in my music to reach a place where there is love, joy and no suffering.“ That’s what I wanted to express with this song, and what I´m deeply convinced that music can do for us.“
Groove 55 is a collaborative group of friends working towards the same goals: making great music, publishing world class top quality audio and video productions.
All the albums from Groove 55 are available on iTunes and Spotify.
The principal Groove55 members, consists of Yves Adam (alto, tenor & baritone sax, as well as clarinet) a graduate of McGill’s music faculty in jazz performance and former saxophone teacher at The Montreal International Jazz festival Blues Camp, and currently teaching in a high school music program.
Jacques Mignault (Keyboards) studied alongside Art Roberts at Montreal’s Concordia University; he would later go on to win the inaugural first prize of the Roland Synthesizer music contest among seven hundred entrants spanning over twenty-two countries that was judged by the late great Oscar Peterson.
Co-founder of Groove 55, Yves is from south of Montreal, and is in large part responsible for the smooth suave sound of The Jazz Groovers.
Co-founder of Groove 55 (Quebec), and instigator of over twenty jazz albums, Jacques composes, arranges and oversees the production in all its aspects.
Reflection and re-dedication are steady themes in the life and work of Claudia Acuña. Following her dynamic debut on the NY scene in the 1990’s she released five albums as a leader before slowing down to adjust to motherhood and restore her power. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, she returned refreshed and reborn 2019 and in 2019, delivered the Latin Grammy nominated album Turning Pages, representing reclamation, recovery, survivor and documenting a major creative leap.
As 2020 rocked the world we all experienced our own version of such a journey, asking ourselves important questions of intent and purpose. Claudia returned to a long time desire – to record a duets album of songs from her homeland, Chile. As the world slowed to a crawl, Acuna took this time to remember the past, to find the core of her dedication and the power of music. The result is DUO, 9 songs recorded with some of the finest musicians in the world. Entering the studio with the likes of Fred Hersch, Christian Mcbride, and Kenny Barron for an intimate recording put her in a vulnerable spot, but the ease and comfort of the experience set the tone. The simplicity of just two, feeling the music and letting it flow through them, brought her to a new place as a singer.
Seven of the songs on DUO come from composers hailing from Chile, Cuba, Argentina, and Mexico, and one from the great Chick Corea. The final track is Acuña’s sole original composition, and speaks of her relationship with Mother Earth. ‘…at the end of the day we all walk alone, and we can discover our beauty when we see Earth and us as one’
Born July 3, 1971 in Santiago and raised in Concepcion, Acuña established herself on the Chilean jazz scene in her early 20s. When she arrived in New York City in 1995, Acuña quickly gained recognition as a leading voice on a scene rapidly being transformed by a wave of brilliant Latin American musicians. Part of the roiling scene centered on Small’s, she plunged into collaborations with masters such as Jason Lindner, Harry Whitaker, Arturo O’Farrill, Guillermo Klein, Avishai Cohen, Branford Marsalis, George Benson, Louie Vega, Danilo Perez, and Tom Harrill.
Her five albums as a leader established Acuña as a creative force, from 2002’s Rhythm of Life (Verve) and 2004’s Luna (MaxJazz) though 2008’s In These Shoes (Zoho Music) and 2009’s strikingly beautiful En Este Momento (Marsalis Music). Whether putting her stamp on popular Latin American ballads, reimagining jazz standards from a South American perspective, or bringing infusing Afro-Caribbean material with a wide rhythmic sensibility, Acuña stands out as a passionate and emotionally incisive singer with a gleaming, burnished bronze tone.
For much of the past decade she’s put her recording career on the backburner to focus on raising her son. Instead of touring, she’s stayed closer to home, where her keen intelligence and intrepid spirit has made her the vocalist of choice for many of jazz’s most creative figures.
Allen B is an independent songwriter, producer, recorder and singer. His music encompasses a wide range of genres, from hip-hop, Afrobeats, rap, techno, trap, R&B, and even including elements of jazz and blues. He doesn’t believe in setting boundaries to artistic expression, and allows his creative spirit to travel freely, depending on his mood, thoughts, and state of mind. That is why his first EP bares the title Gypsy King: one who is a wonderer and master of his own universe, indifferent to all that is conventional and conservative.
His lyrics cover themes such as the allure of crypto currency and man’s unquenchable desire for possession and power (Bitcoin, Shiba Inu), the threats of an AI ruled dystopia (AI Technology), the struggle to find a better life in which man can live in dignity (Find a Way), and brief moments of escape from a harsh reality through altered states of consciousness (XENA’S MOON). The most uplifting song he has put out to date is certainly Virginia Beach, a smooth, summer hit that puts the listener in an instant state of calm.
Allen B’s life history is as colorful as his music. He is a navy veteran, business graduate and consultant, teacher, former dancer and creates his own minimalistic art pieces. In short, no one can remain indifferent to his unique aura. You don’t want to miss the rising of this unique human being’s musical career, so be on the look-out for his upcoming projects in 2023.
Xavier HARRY, pianist and composer, studied classical music, creole music and jazz music with piano teachers Antoine HERVE and Jean-Pascal MOGET. Over the years, he has developed an aesthetic of melody, demonstrating real pianistic qualities (loose phrasing, good rhythmic articulation, natural lyricism).
With his musical compositions, he puts the spotlight on classical music, jazz and creole music for a successful mix of genres, namely deep, singing and melodious music.
This talented pianist has released 3 albums which are recognized and appreciated by both critics and the public : “Miroir” (Harry Création – 2006), “Sensibilitè” (Harry Création – 2010) and “Essence of” (Harry Création – 2016).
Xavier HARRY is also a piano teacher. He shares, with simplicity and in a playful way, his passion for music.
World-renowned, Seven String Jazz Guitarist, composer and arranger, Ron Jackson has performed, recorded, and taught music in over 30 countries. Jackson is likely the only African American seven-string jazz guitarist alive. His goal is to bring awareness to the instrument through education, music, and events.
As a musician, Jackson has mastered the six, seven, and twelve-string guitars and plays other fretted string instruments like the ukulele, banjo, and electric bass. He has been featured as a leader in jazz festivals all over the world, including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and Winter Jazzfest. Jackson’s influences include George Benson, Pat Metheny, Jimmy Page, and Jimi Hendrix. He has studied under the tutelage of Pat Martino, Barry Harris, Melvin Sparks, Mike Stern, and the seven-string master, the late Bucky Pizzarelli.
As a recording artist, Jackson has had a successful recording career, releasing eight albums. Beginning with the chart-topping “Guitar Thing” (1991) and “Flubby Dubby” (2008) which was recorded live with his Hammond Organ trio. His most recent release, the Jazzweek Top 100 album, “Standards And Other Songs” (2019) was his first as a leader on seven-string, incorporating traditional standards and jazz reimagining of radio-friendly pop songs, like Drake’s “Passionfruit”.
As an educator, Jackson provides education and awareness of the seven-string guitar – via Individualized instruction and free/low-cost educational resources comprising workshops and live-streamed micro-lessons across his social media channels. He also teaches six-string guitar classes to elementary students in NYC Public Schools, who would not otherwise have access to jazz.
These days you can find Ron performing for audiences with his band, teaching virtually and in-person, and hosting his popular weekly Instagram show Sunday Evening Jazz. In 2022 Ron was awarded the South Arts Jazzroad grant to support his “Whatever’s Open” Tour in March-April 2022. This coincided with his Top 10 Jazzweek album release, “Standards and My Songs”.
Robert Chris Dahlgren, who was born in New York in 1961, has mainly been on the road as a jazz bassist, who has played with greats like Anthony Braxton or Charles Tolliver.
Dahlgren, who has lived in Berlin for many years and teaches ensemble playing here as a university teacher, is now presenting his debut as a singer/songwriter. The result is the remarkably versatile, exciting album “Dhalgren” (no spelling mistake!), on which Chris Dahlgren really does not cut a bad figure as singer and lyricist.
The American is very modest in Berlin: «I don’t want to be ‘fancy’, after all the outstanding singers I’ve worked with, I had no faith whatsoever in coming even remotely close to them. I just wanted to be myself, »says the jazz musician very modestly. He doesn’t have to hide himself at all, these nine songs have style and character.
The opener «Lay Low» comes across as relaxed and sarcastic, while the acoustic intro of «Forget Your Name» immediately makes you think of Leonard Cohen. And right, the next song “Stairs” rattles and howls a little like Tom Waits. Dahlgren doesn’t want to deny the influence, but he gets the hang of it and does his thing after all. His Sinatra parody “Berlin, Berlin” is wonderful, with the wonderful line of text: “I want to wake up in a city that never works”.
It’s fitting, for Dahlgren songwriting is all about atmosphere, an elusive magic. You can feel it most beautifully in the dreamy poem «I’m An Asteroid».
As a recently signed recording artist with So Bold Ent./Sony Music record label, Miko Reed knew from a very young age that music was something she wanted to pursue for a lifetime. At a young age, she started singing and playing the keys in church with her father on the praise team. Drawing on influences from Gospel, R&B, Funk, Soul and Jazz as well as playing musical instruments, has helped develop her as an artist.
Miko holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual & Performing Arts that she earned from Cal State University San Marcos in which she studied music, fine art, graphic design and video production.
Miko has performed in many groups ranging from R&B, funk, gospel, blues, Latin jazz, Reggae and Top 40. She has had airplay on KPRZ ‘K-Praise’ Radio, Comcast Cable and most recently sang as a back-up singer to Grammy and Dove Award winning recording artist Rebecca St. James, recording artists Keith & Kristyn Getty and Brenton Brown, and was a part of a musical theatre with celebrity actress and singer, Loretta Devine from the hit movies ‘Waiting to Exhale’ and ‘The Preacher’s Wife’.
Miko likes to stay busy with her music career and is currently working on recordings in her home studio and is performing with a female saxophone quartet called ‘The Saxations’, an 80’s tribute band and her own funk, soul and R&B band. Miko Reed just recently signed a record deal with So Bold Ent./Sony Orchard label and her recent single release, ‘Back to that Day’ went #85 on the DRT Global Top 200 airplay charts and #7 on DRT Top 150 Independent airplay charts.
How do the last 118 seconds in the life of Mungo Park, the protagonist from T.C. Boyle’s masterpiece Water Music sound? Staying with T.C. Boyle: how does the musical psychogram of the sign-speaking chimpanzee Sam from his current novel Talk To Me sound? How does my tax identification number sound like? And is there a possibility that Falafel is a Swabian dish? Schlaier Hirt answer these and other questions with their timeless compositions and extraordinary arrangements – profound, congenial, complex, virtuos, humorous.
In their more than 30 years of cooperation, Manne Schlaier and Thomas Hirt have developed an incomparable and congenial duo identity.
They played several times at the renowned Montreux Jazz Festival, festival director Claude Nobs described their performances as Outstanding Performance. They played in Austin/Texas in the famous Elephant Room and were musical ambassadors at their concert at the Goethe Centre Nicosia. The two artists have released four albums with originals and are constantly working on new compositions.
In 2020, they arranged their compositions for symphonic orchestra, with a playing time of over 90 minutes. In the course of the lockdown sessions their pieces Overture and Majoh were produced in April 2021 at Roxy Ulm with corona-related reduced orchestral line-up, documented in live music and video recordings.
Manne Schlaier and Thomas Hirt also work as solo artists and play as sought-after instrumentalists among others for 30 years with the Persian superstar Ebi Hamedi at London’s Royal Albert Hall, at Dubai World Trade Center, at Sydney Town Hall or at Santa Monica Civic Center in Los Angeles.
British/Australian guitarist Carl Orr has performed and recorded with some of the finest musicians in the world including Billy Cobham, George Duke, Ernie Watts, Randy Brecker, Gary Husband, Bennie Maupin, Don Grusin, and Pee Wee Ellis. In addition he has performed at London’s legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club over 300 times since 2008, where he has jammed onstage with the likes of Mike Stern, Marcus Miller and Nigel Kennedy.
He also played guitar on the 2018 UK tour of Sting’s musical show “The Last Ship”. A prolific composer, Carl has recorded ten albums as a leader and is featured on albums by Billy Cobham (who recorded two of Carl’s compositions), Fletch’s Brew, Damon Albarn/Nathan Haines and many others.
Carl was inducted into the South Australian Music Hall Of Fame in 2017 in his hometown of Adelaide.
His “Seeking Spirit” album was a runner up for Best Jazz Album in the 1991 ARIA Awards(Australia) and his song “Until” co-written with Renee Geyer, was runner up for “Best Jazz Composition” in the 1996 APRA Awards(Australia).
Carl has taught guitar at The Australian Institute of Music(Sydney), Brunel University(London), Middlesex University(London) and The Academy of Contemporary Music(Guildford).
Trumpet player and producer, Barabás Lőrinc (given name Lőrinc), is a pioneer of the improvisational music scene in Budapest. Over the past decade his club events and bands provided fertile ground for kindred spirits experimenting at the crossroads of jazz and electronica. He gained wider international recognition at events such as the Montreaux Jazz Festival, iTunes Festival in London and also shared stage with the Thievery Corporation, Bonobo and Erik Truffaz.
The Guitarist, trombonist, conductor, arranger and composer, born in São Paulo (Brazil) in 1984, studied music firstly at the University of Campinas. In 2012, Emiliano moved to Graz in Austria, where he studied jazz composition. In 2021, he finished his artistic doctoral research entitled “Restructuring Hierarchy Within and Between Jazz and Classical Orchestras” with honors.
As a bandleader, Emiliano released eleven albums with his trio, his nonet and his own big band and his music was played in important Brazilian, Australian and European jazz clubs and festivals.
As a conductor, arranger and composer, he has worked with the Metropole Orkest (Netherlands), HR Frankfurt Radio Big Band, CCJO (Cologne), JazzKombinat (Hamburg), Lungau Big Band (Salzburg), Fete Huppe (Hannover), Uptown Big Band (Bern), Wayjo (Perth), Toshi Clinch Big Band (Melbourne), Big Band & the Vocals (Copenhagen), HRT Croatian Radio Band, Uni Jazz Orchestra (Regensburg), Graz Composers Orchestra (Graz), Mere Bigband, Soundscape, Speaking Jazz Big Band (Sao Paulo), Jerimum Big Band (Natal), Badi Assad, Dominguinhos, Trombone Quartet of Campinas, Orquestra Experimental de Sao Carlos (Brazil) and others.
Emiliano won many prizes for his work such as 1st Prize at the Karel Krautgartner composition contest (Prague), diverse “Downbeat Student Awards” in the categories “Best Small Jazz Combo”, “Jazz Soloist”, “Outstanding Original Composition”, “Outstanding Arrangement for Large Jazz Ensemble”, and 3rd Prize in the Jazz Comp Graz Composition Contest.
Born in Rwanda, raised in Belgium, now living in the UK. Ineza’s unique past and present is one explanation for her intriguing and daring mix of Jazz and Neo Soul music. Ineza’s 2018 debut EP ‘Where are you from’ received praise from Bandcamp Daily and Fresh on the Net establishing her as a unique singer and composer dedicated to the art of storytelling. Since the release Ineza has been supported by international music producer, promotor and organizer Serious and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Ineza is currently touring with award winner singer – songwriter Tom Odell.
In 2015 Ineza accepted a place at the prestigious Trinity Laban conservatoire
of Music and Dance. Before moving to London she studied Jazz at the Maastricht Conservatoire in The Netherlands. Since graduating Ineza has become a prominent performer and educator on the London Jazz scene. Ineza is part of the critically acclaimed London Vocal Project, She holds a residency at Oliver’s Jazz bar in Greenwich and she’s a vocal tutor at ACM.
Jason Schneider is a popular jazz trumpet player in Germany‘s Rhine-Main metropolitan region, who appears both as a soloist and as a section player. Even before he completed his studies with Axel Schlosser in 2009, he was active in countless formations. He played with Aloe Blacc, Ralf Gustke, Keith Copeland, Ack van Rooyen, Bob Mintzer, Herb Geller, Claudio Roditi and many others. He is a prizewinner at Jugend musiziert, Jugend jazz and Jeunesses Musicales, toured several countries on concert tours (Canada, Russia, Japan, Norway, Israel, Nicaragua, Brazil, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Lithuania, Romania …) and took part both as a guest musician and as initiator on several album productions. With J-Sound he received the Jazz Scholarship of the City of Frankfurt am Main in 2015. At the moment he is working – increasingly as a singer – on his own projects (J-Sound, The Argosonics, Kokonino Kounty), new recordings and works as a sideman in several bands.
J|Sound impresses above all with its clear lines. Whether powerfully propelling, rousing energetic or
colourfully shimmering and atmospherically dreamy each and every one of the multi-faceted, original composition creates an individual atmosphere that hits the mark. ” The Band experiments with shapes, sounds, dynamics and balances. It explores the load-bearing capacity of electrical and electronic components, different aggregate states of melody, volumes and ways of increasing rhythms and they do not look around indecisively but master their material and don’t lack any clarity.” (FR) Due to the high virtuoso versatility of the individual band members all ingredients merge into a dynamic overall sound.
Shortly after it was founded the quartet received the 25th Frankfurt Jazz scholarship, released its debut album on the Swiss Jazz Label Unit Records in 2016 and has since continuously developed its unmistakable group sound. With the second album ‘Loose Tongue’ J|Sound now presents – audibly matured – the fruits of constant collaboration. Since its five years of existence, The J|Sound Project has undergone a metamorphosis from a promising young collective to a working band with a profile and a group sound that has grown together. The deletion of the ‘Project’ from the band name is a consequent step towards more independence and with a ‘loose tongue’ the band exudes a new self-confidence.
“For J-Sound Jason Schneider put together a quartet that doesn’t slip on the dazzling parquet of his compositions. In all of his own compositions, Schneider relies primarily on energy. That works both in a breakneck neobop like the opener ‘Swift To React’ and in the bizarre sound creations that characterize a high-energy number like ‘Third Quarter’. But there are also a few quieter pieces in which the band sounds downright pensive. “ – Jazzthing
“The young man from Frankfurt (Jason Schneider) can do a lot. He plays harmoniously colorful and atmospheric. He is technically good and virtuoso, plays up to the high register and his sound is versatile “ – Jazz’N’More
“The band experiments with shapes, sounds, dynamics and balances. It explores the load-bearing capacity of electrical and electronic components, different aggregate states of melody, volumes and ways of increasing rhythm. And she does not look around indecisively, but masters her material and does not lack any clarity. “ – Frankfurter Rundschau
“Jason Schneider (tr, flh) and Michael Schreiner keep the massive blower going with his tenor saxophone. With a spirited pianist, Yuriy Sych, who also finds the right notes on the Rhodes, Ivan Habernal (b) and Uli Schiffelholz (dr) you create an excellent fusion that is made even more invigorating by rousing solos. “ – CONCERTO magazine
Jorge and Maikel Vistel hail from Santiago de Cuba (Cuba) in a family with an extended music tradition. Their father, Jorge Vistel, a trumpet player, introduced the young brothers early on to the music world. While only in their teens, Jorge and Maikel became highly skilled in jazz improvisation and they were soon renowned for their maturity and musicality. Alone, each musician is outstanding, but together, the brothers’ connection creates improvisational magic.
The band was founded in ENA (National School of Art, La Habana), where the brothers were studying. When the brothers moved to Spain in 2006 they went along with their protect, and they keep on evolving their music and themselves as musicians. The band has participated in several festivals around the world. Important festivals to mention are Monterrey Jazz Festival (EEUU), Bermudas Jazz Festival, Habana Jazz Plaza and Varadero Jazz Festival, just to mention some. Since they moved to Spain in 2006 they have played in festivals such as Móstoles and Zamora Jazz Festival. Jorge in the trumpet and Maikel in the sax are the main members of Vistel Brothers along with other great musicians, such as David Virelles, Cuban living in New York, at the piano; Reinier Elizarde (El Negrón) at the bass and Iago Fernández at the drums. In May 2010 their first album, Evolution, was released with the record label Freshsound New Talents.
Matteo Burci has been bass player with the Bern Symphony Orchestra since 2008 and started playing the double bass when he was 20. After completing his studies in Italy at the conservatory in his hometown of Bologna and in Germany in the famous double bass class of Prof. Dorin Marc, his musical journey led him to the Filarmonica del Teatro alla Scala under the direction of Riccardo Muti. He also played for many years in the Orchestra Mozart under Claudio Abbado, where he worked with the most important artists of our time.
In 2017, Matteo Burci discovered his passion for jazz in Bern. Later he was allowed to deepen his knowledge of the jazz language in New York with the bass virtuosos Marco Panascia and Jay Anderson.
The fact that he is now as at home in the world of jazz as he is in classical music allows Matteo Burci to play not only as part of excellent orchestras and chamber music ensembles (e.g. with Les Solistes de Berne), but also with local and international ones Jazz greats such as Willie Green, Sandy Patton, Matthieu Michel, Stewy von Wattenwyl, Sarah Hanahan, Elmar Frey, Pius Baschnagel, Dave Blaser and many more. to perform. In 2019, a tour even took him to the home of jazz, the USA.
In 2020 he founded the Swiss Jazz Ambassadors, a young jazz band dedicated to the great American jazz repertoire.
Vinny Valentino is a Grammy-nominated guitarist and composer, continuing to redefine musical genres and break melody barriers to audiences worldwide. Blending the eternal elements of blues and jazz music since his international debut album (The Distance Between Two Lines), he is consciously expanding on the confines of his instrument and the compositions and recordings that stems from it. The Distance Between Two Lines also rocketed up the charts to number two and held its own on the national charts for fourteen weeks.
Setting himself apart from all others in his lane, Vinny has been playing the guitar since age six. Hailing from the Washington DC area, he began touring as part of a progressive rock band when he was still in high school. It was at age sixteen that Vinny made the conscious decision to pursue a career in Jazz; influenced by the likes of George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Nat King Cole.
Studying Jazz at Howard University, he earned his bachelor’s and soon after released his first solo recording. In present day, Vinny now has twelve recordings with his mark on them and has appeared with his band on BET’s, “Bet on Jazz”; a one-hour feature program that quickly became one of the top five requested programs on BET.
Embracing the fact that he was one of the first musicians to perform live on the internet, Vinny continues to pioneer the digital world by offering online clinics, performance opportunities and lessons at www.vinny.com. A significant part of this journey of innovation into the online space is Vinny’s “Play Along Tunes” initiative (www.playalongtunes.com). With this program and site launch in 2008, Vinny gave aspiring musicians the opportunity to download various tracks that omit the instrument they play; it’s an interactive jam session without coordinating all of the other musicians and space all the while being surrounded by the world top bandmates.
Vinny’s compositions have been recorded by Steve Smith and Vital Information, John Benitez, George Benson, Sunny Sumter and Steve Haas and are featured in the best-selling Jazz book, “All Jazz Real Book.” The National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts have recognized Vinny’s talents as composer, arranger, and recording artist with a grant for a series of works entitled “New Music for Three Guitars”. Participating in multiple world tours including tours to Russia, Asia, Central and South America, Vinny has been an integral part of keeping music alive and expanding its reach through every border and barrier.
In addition to his personal accolades as a musician, he’s been producing and editing Greetings from America shows since 2005, honing skills in graphic design and web development and is even a private pilot in whatever free time he has. Vinny Valentino is a one-of-a-kind musician who is always striving to learn. Music never stops evolving, so why should he?
Warren Galea is a Maltese guitarist, pianist, and composer. In May 2019 he released his debut album – The Odyssey, featuring Warren on guitar, Andy McKee on bass and Adam Nussbaum on drums.
Past performances include The Blue Note Jazz Festival, Nublu 151, ShapeShifter Lab, the Jazz Educators Network Conference 2019(JEN), Rockwood Music Hall, Williamsburg Music Center, the Malta Jazz Festival, the Dusseldorf Jazz Rally, and ‘Les Sons d’ Une Ile'(Paris). In 2014 Warren was awarded first place in the Malta Jazz Contest.
The following year he released an EP with F-Trio. A graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (New York), his biggest five influences are Mozart, Charlie Parker, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, and Jimi Hendrix.
Tomas Yermack is an American jazz guitarist who offers the world of music something unusual: his uniquely beautiful style of Two Hand Guitar. His unique approach to playing the guitar is what sets him apart from other musicians and makes him noteworthy.
By tapping on the fretboard of the guitar with both hands at the same time he is able to play a limitless variety of stunning melodies and arrangements. The sound is much closer to that of a piano or harp than it is to a guitar.
His is a unique approach to playing and produces an equally unique sound that is definitely worth experiencing.
Thomas doesn’t strum or fingerpick but taps with both hands much the same way one would play a piano. The Two Hand Guitar technique is as interesting to watch as it is to hear. He has been playing this style of guitar for over 45 years, which speaks volumes for the quality of his music and his undisputed musicianship.
Each performance is special in its own way, but Thomas’ music never fails to touch the hearts of listeners and fill them with positivity and inspiration.
From the early beginnings in 2012, the StarkLinnemann trio has been evolving, producing music with an agelessness character. As musicians and composers, they are creating a style of our own by blending jazz with elements of classical music and world music. The band currently includes Paul Stark (piano), Jonas Linnemann (drums) who have been playing together since the beginning, and the talented bassist Maciej Domaradzki
Their definition of being an artist is to constantly push oneself in order to reach the ultimate rendition of a work of art. Their approach of transforming classical masterpieces by Liszt, Chopin, Mussorgsky and Beethoven into long and complex but coherent and moving modern jazz compositions is exceptional in jazz-history.
Nina Michelle comes from Vancouver, Canada. She began studying classical piano at an early age of 5. After graduating with honours, she was granted a scholarship to continue her music studies. She successfully absolved the music and vocal program at Capillano University in North Vancouver. In addition to music, Nina also studied fine arts at Langara College and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Thanks to her father, a professional jazz pianist and trumpet player born in Czechoslovakia, Nina grew up with sounds of bebop and swing. Dizzy Gillespie, her father´s long time friend, was often a guest at their family home in Vancouver. He made a particularly strong impression on Nina and motivated her to persue her love for jazz. While studying, Nina started working as a jazz singer in local jazz clubs and piano bars together with her father. She recorded her first CD “Nina Michelle Live” in Vancouver´s Jazz Cellar in 1996.
Shorty after that, Nina got involved in a German recording production which took her to Europe. She broke into the local jazz scene and started working in clubs and bars, making Munich her second home. She quickly got noticed and started working regularly with prominent bands like Max Greger Jr, Charly Antolini, Hugo Strasser, and Pete York. This has given Nina valuable experience and solid foundation as a performing artist, and she is forever grateful to the legendary gentlemen of swing for allowing her to take a place next to them.
Nina has been touring Europe for over 20 years. She recorded several CDs, singing in 5 languages – English, German, French, Portuguese, and Slovak. One of her most memorable performances was the concert at Munich Philharmonic with the Max Greger SWR Big Band, together with featured soloist Benny Bailey.
Nina is at home on stages big and small – Prinzregententheather, The Munich Residenz, Meistersinghalle Nuremberg, Wiener Konzerthaus, BIX Stuttgart, Birdland Neuburg, etc. She has performed at music festivals world-wide (Ascona Jazz festival, Bahamas Music festival, Jazz an der Donau, Lenker Jazz Tage, Shake the Lake, Vancouver Jazz Festival, etc.)
Nina´s not camera shy either, she appeared in Oliver Storz 1998 television production “Gegen Ende der Nacht”, for which she also recorded the soundtrack. And she made a guest appearance including several recordings for the Bavarian tv series “Sturm der Liebe”.
In recent years Nina has concentrated on her own compositions. Inspired greatly by film scores, especially the music of Michel Legrand, she has been writing songs to reflect her experiences and impressions. Her newest album “Love Confessions”, featuring predominantly Nina´s own compositions, was released in 2018.
Nikolay Cranner is a Norwegian producer, composer, DJ, engineer, and saxophonist dismantling preconceptions of House music. Imbuing the genre with his distinctive blend of sophistication and grit, he brings together the classic electronic sounds infused with deep vocals, undertones of jazz, and an entrancing fusion of styles.
A culmination of a lifelong passion for music, Cranner has been making his own one-of-a-kind sonic creations across the industry for years. It started as a hobby, a 10-year-old boy intrigued by all forms of instrumentation, from doing his own sister’s piano homework, developing an interest in the trumpet, joining the school’s marching band, and working his way up to performing with the King’s Guard of Norway’s Musical Troop. As a young adult, he experimented with jazz, funk, and blues playing with local bands. He shifted gears, picking up what would become his instrument of choice, the saxophone. As he began performing live shows, he melded his skills with the saxophone with those of DJs and eventually his own electronic works. He discovered a passion for sharing his accumulated musical knowledge to help others produce their own unique creations, but could not deny the insatiable need to bring his own auditory experiences to life.
Since his 2018 release of the “Dancin’ EP” he has continued to evolve his signature style of Vocal and Jazz House stylings with tracks like “Don’t Walk Away”, “Deep Motion”, and “Lies” as well as his 2020 EP “Moving On”. With new music on the horizon and a series of rereleases getting ready to hit the airwaves, including his dominating track “Darkest Love” featuring Kieran Fowkes, Cranner has proven he is an undeniable talent cementing his legacy as a masterful innovator.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mike Younger left home at the age of 17 and cut his teeth as a fledgling street performer in Toronto and Vancouver. At the age of 20, he headed to New York City to seek out the 60’s folk renaissance remnants. It was years later, while performing live on WWOZ in New Orleans, that he caught his first break with a music publisher who heard the broadcast. Soon after, Mike traveled to Nashville to record demos, and his recordings reached the ear of Rodney Crowell. When Mike signed his first record deal, Crowell stepped in as producer, and together they turned out Somethin’ In The Air in 1999.
In 2001, Jim Dickinson started producing Mike’s second album, which never saw the light of day, as the record label collapsed before the record was completed. The original Memphis sessions featured rock legends Levon Helm on drums, Spooner Oldham on keyboard and organ, David Hood on bass, Jim Dickinson on piano, and his son Luther Dickinson on electric guitar. The tapes from that session fell into legal limbo and were lost for almost two decades. Now recovered, Burning The Bigtop Down was released August 27th 2021.
After the loss of the Memphis sessions and his record deal, Mike left Tennessee, returning to New York City to assemble a band and subsequently release 2005’s Every Stone You Throw, his first independent effort, which carried some of the songs from the lost record. From 2003-2007, he worked the NYC club scene with his band and as a solo performer. In 2007, he returned to Nashville and began laying the groundwork for 2009’s Hustled By Squares, followed by U.S. touring in the midwest, mid-Atlantic, mid-South, and northeast regions, where his radio supporters and fans encouraged him to keep the hope alive…
During the next few years, he developed a friendship with neighbor and guitar legend Bob Britt (Leon Russell, Delbert McClinton, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan). Bob would end up producing 2016’s Little Folks Like You And Me. Mike jumped back into regional touring to promote his work and to support various environmental causes, including the NODAPL standoff at Standing Rock, the Flint Water Crisis, and his own community, all of which were facing environmental degradation by irresponsible corporate actors and their enablers in public office. Little Folks Like You And Me featured the song “Poisoned Rivers“ which became a rallying cry for local community resistance to unwanted fossil fuel development in Middle Tennessee. The community’s position was strengthened by the 2015 Field Study Of Gas Pipeline Safety In Tennessee, which included Mike’s extensive photo-documentation of corroded and poorly maintained interstate gas pipeline infrastructure and haphazard operating conditions across Tennessee.
In 2017, Mike was able to reclaim the recordings he made in Memphis in 2001 and began the long process of completing the production of Burning The Bigtop Down and cleaning up unresolved issues surrounding the record.
Having developed exceptional skills as a mechanic over the years, Mike was able to spend significant time during the pandemic restoring and building out a school bus conversion to run on recycled fryer oil in preparation for future touring.
With the August 2021 release of Burning The Bigtop Down , Mike Younger’s long journey to recover his lost work has come full circle.
Since the release of the album, Mike Younger has been touring extensively in the US, bringing his music directly to his fans, delivering a packed itinerary of solo and band performances in the northeast, southeast, Midwest, and California. He is also preparing to record an album of new songs in 2023.
Italian pianist and composer Luca Dell’Anna was born on October 10, 1975 in Ferrara, a historical city with strong ties to jazz. He grew up listening to his father’s extensive record collection. Especially Ray Charles and Nat King Cole impressed him: “While I was listening to them singing, their licks and piano styles entered my
His father also had a classical collection and Dell’Anna quickly fell in love with the music of J.S. Bach. As he approached the piano for the very first time, he quickly began improvising melodies in the style of Bach. Another important influence was Dell’Anna’s grandfather, who played the accordion and stressed the importance of
traditional Italian folk music.
In 1999, Dell’Anna moved to Milano to become a part of the vibrant music scene. He soon got in touch with the Cuban Latin jazz community and became a companion of great Cuban musicians such as Dany Martinez, who initiated him into the concepts and theories of Cuban and African music. As a musician in demand, he played many gigs in various genres but started to focus on jazz and in 2005 he released the album Brian Had a Little Plate with Rootless Ensemble. In 2012, as a result of his brief experience with avant-garde Improvvisatore Involontario Art Collective, he released the acclaimed album The Fourth Door with the trio Tan T’Ien. In 2013, it was chosen as the third best album of the year by the prestigious Japanese jazz magazine, Jazz Critiques. Tracks from The Fourth Door and his first album as a leader, Mana (2013), were included on Japanese samplers of the best of jazz chosen by the critic Yasukuni Terashima. Jazz Critiques also included his second album as a leader, Symbiont, among the best jazz of 2015, surpassing albums by pianists Fred Hersch and Vijay Iyer.Dell’Anna’s third album as a leader, Human See, Human Do (2018), digresses from the trio language by including the Italian saxophonist Massimiliano Milesi. The album was included among the Greatest Jazz Albums of 2018 by JAZZIT Magazine.
From he was 10 to 19 years old, he studied classical piano and attended the Conservatory G. Frescobaldi of Ferrara.At 16, he started playing in a funk-fusion band that played the repertoire of Tower of Power, Chick Corea, Billy
Cobham and other fusion heroes from his youth. The discovery of jazz language resulted in Dell’Anna taking lessons with notable Italian pianist Bruno Cesselli and he would later attend the renowned L’Università della Musica
(The Music University) in Rome under the tutelage of the great bop pianist Andrea Beneventano. To this day, the teachings of Beneventano still provide the foundation of the lessons Dell’Anna gives to his own students. At the
heart of Dell’Anna’s sound lies a complex understanding of rhythm that goes beyond
the generic sound of modern lyrical jazz piano.
Part of the reason for this is his discovery of Cuban music and Latin rhythms. He has also explored other formats playing Hammond Organ in the great Italian drummer Walter Calloni’s group and in a duo with worldwide acclaimed trumpeter Adam Rapa that is still touring actively. Rapa also commissioned him to write a composition for his musical Evolution, which was performed live at Nagoya Century Hall, Japan in 2012. The Italian Pianist Michele Francesconi has asked him to compose music for his “Seasons” project. As a sideman, Dell’Anna has collaborated with Steven Bernstein, Yturvides, Michael Mondesir, Dave Douglas, with singers Sheila Jordan and Chris Bennett and the acclaimed drummer Israel Varela, who is also a part of his “Mana” trio with bassist Ivo Barbieri. Dell’Anna’s musical versatility has secured appearances on albums by such stylistically different artists as the alternative soul collective The Black Beat Movement and the Nordic singer Elisabeth Breines Vik.
He toured in Ethiopia, Japan, China, Canada, Belarus, Poland, Denmark, Ukraine, Slovakia, Ireland, Spain. In 2018, he embarked on a big tour of China with fellow pianist Tazio Forte, and his Canadian trio project with bassist Rich Brown and drummer Marito Marques is a result of an invitation by the Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto to celebrate International Jazz Day 2019. He also toured in 2018 and 2019 in the Canary Islands and Ireland with Adam Rapa. During the lockdown in 2020 his work didn’t stop, collaborating with many great musicians, coming back to his original “Mana” trio, again invited by the Toronto Italian Culture Institute.
He participated as a member of “URKestra” collective at the recording of an album for collecting funds for Italian hospitals, featuring Dave Douglas and Steven Bernstein on trupet. For the International Jazz Day 2020 he was an ambassador for the Italian Ministry of Education, bringing Jazz to 1st and 2nd grade Schools with the project “Il Jazz va a Scuola” (jazz goes to School). He also collaborates with the International School of Comics as a Soundtrack composer.
Tanya Reed’s diverse and acclaimed career has its origins rooted in her early childhood. Born into a family of
singers, Tanya’s mother molded her and her sisters into a vocal jazz trio, The Reed Sisters. Favored by fortune she
learned under the tutelage of jazz greats such as organist Melvin Rhyne and Grammy Award winning vocalist Dr.
Betty Carter. Having natural talent in her blood, coming from a culture of music at her dinner table, and unfettered
access to instruction by Jazz legends, Tanya Reed was put on a trajectory that lands her right where she is now—one
of the most versatile and creative artists and songwriters of our generation.
This sought after creative has graced venues such as The Apollo Theater, Blue Note (NYC), Jazz Showcase (Chicago), The House of Blues (Chicago), 651 Brooklyn Academy of Music Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center (D.C.),
SOB’s (NYC), Joe’s Pub (NYC) and The Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. You also may have had the chance
to see her perform on CBS Sunday Morning, as well as BET Jazz. She has collaborated with the likes of George
Benson, Karriem Riggins, Geri Allen, Jacky Terrasson, Melvin Rhyne, Jack Dejohnette, Ari Brown, Nate Smith,
Terisa Griffin, Musiq Soulchild, The Twilite Tone, Casey Benjamin, Eric Harland, The BoneCrusher and more.
She’s brought the house down on some of the most influential stages across the country like the main stage at The
Taste of Chicago, The Jazz Ahead Program at The Kennedy Center, and the Green Dolphin Jazz Club.
These performances and collaborations have led to her being heavily written about in Jazz and news periodicals
including The New York Times Magazine as well as The Washington Post and Down Beat.
Her solo projects “Tanya Reed Live in Chicago-The Debut” and “A Taste…Tanya Reed,” both garnering independent success are must haves for anyone who appreciates crisp vocals and an eclectic jazz based listening experience.
In addition to doing large and small intimate live music shows, she is also performing and presenting “Memoirs of
Song and Soul,” a collection of autobiographical inspired monologues with a musical soundtrack. Tanya covers a
musical repertoire that spans over a century with the versatility of her voice. Tanya laces some of her favorite music
selections and original compositions in and out of a stream of consciousness through storytelling and monologue.
In her work, you will hear the disciplined history and instruction of jazz vocals along with a creative look balance of
soul that comes from a diverse appreciation, upper echelon ear for sound, and an agile vocal range. To see all of this
put together in a show, on top of her wit, engaging personality, sophisticated energy, and esteemed professionalism
is a treat for any music fan both jazz enthusiasts and novices alike.
The band is extremely rare if not unique in the world, both as instruments and repertoire.
The range performed by Guerzon Cellos is vast and reaches from baroque to jazz and rock, peppered with their own compositions. Outstanding energy meets virtuosity making their concerts an unique experience.
The Bologna based duo consists of Tiziano and Enrico Guerzoni, son and father, who
do not only play the cello in a way seldomly heard before, but they celebrate their instrument as an incredibly eclectic tool of musical expression.
Furious interpretations of baroque classics as well as creative re-arrangements of
modern jazz and rock songs render their concerts into a highly sophisticated performance. Tough the peak of their technical and creative skills is found in their own compositions when Tiziano and Enrico mix musical inuences since the 17 th century including psychedelic, jazz, improvisations and traditional folk elements.
An irresistible combination!
GuerzonCellos have performed in Europe and in China and produced two CDs, the rst
“GuerzonCellos” in 2015 and the second in 2021, out for Da Vinci Publishing, Osaka (Japan).
Tiziano Guerzoni studied cello at the Conservatory of Bologna, at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and at the
Pôle supérieur de Paris. Tiziano has worked with various international orchestras such as Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Italie), Festspielhaus Erl (Austria), the Conservatory Orchestra Leipzig. He played as Cello Soloist in many Youth Orchestras such as Arké Orchestra, Orchestra SenzaSpine and the Conservatory Orchestra of Bologna. He is the Principal Cello in Orchestra SenzaSpine. With Giovanni Solima he performed at the Cello Biennale in Amsterdam, the L’Auditori theatre in Barcelona and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He performed in Japan, China, Cuba, Morocco, France and many others prestigious places. Enrico Guerzoni studied cello and applied music at the Conservatories of Bologna and Ferrara and is today one of Italy’s most experienced and chameleonic musicians. During his career as cellist and composer he did high level collaborations worldwide in every eld and genre, mainly Jazz, Pop and chamber music , often also as 1rst cello in orchestra and/or soloist. Enrico worked with Italian and international artists like B. McFerrin, Solisti Veneti, L. Pavarotti, R.Muti, M.Nyman, Trilok Gurtu, Zucchero, Arkè String Quartet, P. Fresu, A. Ruggiero, F. Battiato, A. Bocelli and many more.
Giuliano Parisi started playing the classical piano at the age of 7. He later he graduated in jazz piano following the master classes of Barry Harris, Greg Burk, Paolo Tombolesi, Ettore Fioravanti, Jerry Bergonzi, Antonio Ciacca, Andy
Farber, Gregory Hutchinson, Ruben Rogers, Rachel Gould, and Joe Magnarelli.
Among others and in musical composition In October 2012 he moved to Alicante (Spain), where he taught
jazz improvisation, musical arrangements and combo workshops at the Superior Conservatory of Music. “O. Esplá”.
In October 2014 he receives a job offer from the European Commission to hold jazz seminars at this conservatory.
His artistic career has led him to share the stage with musicians of the stature by Ángel Rubio, David Harrington, José Luis Santacruz, Tanausu Santana, Julio Fuster, Jeff Jerolamon, Nelson De León, Pierre León, Andrés Lizón, Curro Garcia, Jose A. Bornay, Rene Dossin, Moises Berenguer, Ramon Cardo, Manolo Diaz, Valencia Big Band, David Cuñado, Antonio Moltó, Luis Castellanos, RechelGould, Jerry Bergonzi, Joe Magnarelli, Carlos Ronda Mas, Pere Munuera, Claire
Mcallister, Carla Ysis, Tim Ellis, Djiby Diabate;
In contemporary dance he has composed original music and collaborated with Yoshua Cienfuegos, Lucia Piquero, Lola Garcia, Dana Raz, Javier Garcia Avila, Mynor Chaves, Carmen Coy, Iratxe Ansa, Igor Bacovich …
He has composed soundtracks and collaborated with directors such as Adán Aliaga (Nominated Goya 2017), Benjamín Fernández (42nd FICIE 2019, 21st Bunter Hund,…), David Valero, Mahal Aziz, Santiago Gatto, Reyes Caballero, Federico Lizón, Vicente Arenas, among others.
He is an interim professor of musical language at the conservatories of Castilla y León
He has released four albums:
– Introducing Myself (2016)
– Roads (2018)
– Reborn (2018)
After 10 years of classical piano studies, Fabrice Mourlon joins the jazz workshop of the
conservatory of Pantin, as a pianist then as a singer. In 1994, he takes singing lessons with
Valentina Casula and he will be part of her workshops until 2002, thus specifying his jazz
training (singing and harmony). In 2002 and 2003 he participated in Maria Pia De Vito’s
jazz singing workshops, organized as part of the Nuoro Jazz Festival in Sardinia and in
2004 he participated in Roger Letson’s singing workshop in Paris.
In parallel to his musical training, he formed a quartet in 2001 which performed at the Café
Universel. From May 2001 to May 2003, he animated the vocal jam of the Café Universel.
He has performed in various formations at the Sunside (Paris), the Alexanderplatz (Rome)
and No Alibis, Bert’s, the Crescent Arts Centre, and Bennigan’s (Northern Ireland). He plays
regularly with pianists Richard Razaf and Scott Flanigan and bassist Remi Chemla. He has
collaborated with Nico Morelli, Benoist Raffin, Thierry Tardieu, Linley Hamilton, David Lyttle, and John Leighton. In addition to performing jazz standards and writing lyrics (Steve Khun, Wayne Shorter), he composes his own music and lyrics.
Fabrice MOURLON Quartet: Facing the Lough Trained early in his career as a pianist, the
French artist Fabrice Mourlon later joined a vocal jazz class at the Paris suburb Pantin
School of Music. In 1994 he trained as a vocalist with Italian singer Valentina Casula and
was a member of her workshop for the next half-decade. He met pianist Richard Razafindrakoto, bassist Emmanuel Brunet and drummer Thierry Tardieu in 2001 and the four would eventually solidify as a quartet playing various jazz clubs in Paris and now on Facing the Lough.
Razafindrakotowho studied at the Conservatoire National de Regionhas been the beneficiary of training from France‑s prolific world-class saxophonist and conductor François Jeanneau.
Eva Schubert is a jazz singer and songwriter from Vancouver, Canada. Her sultry style of jazz is popular among Italians, and she has loyal fans from Rome to Palermo. She performed at the Anagni Jazz Festival in 2022, and previously in Pavia in 2019. With her fourth album soon to be released on November 4th, she is planning an Italian tour to promote it.
Her dazzling stage presence and vocal style transports her audience into the times of classic jazz greats. Her main influences are female jazz legends such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Diana Krall. In her live acts, she mixes both jazz standards and her own works. She has published four studio albums: Songs for a Ladies’ Man, Borderless Sky, Hot Damn Romance, The Feel of Your Love.
Dreamroot is a band/musical collective from Durham NC. The performance style combines pre-written and improvised sections, creating what Indy Week calls “One of the distinctive strains of the Durham jazz scene, melding R&B forms with modern jazz solos that all fit nicely into the length of a longish pop song.” Dreamroot released their debut album Phases in May of 2020, hoping to put out positive energy during a dark time. The album Phases was collectively composed and arranged by the members of Dreamroot. Their newest album Leaf is an instrumental album drawing from their collective musical backgrounds and influences. Some of the songs feature acoustic arrangements and some venture into electric sounds.
Dreamroot has performed at venues and festivals across the east coast and has had appearances on PBS. The band consists of Theous Jones (drums), Ittai Korman (acoustic and electric bass), Lynn Grissett (trumpet) and Joe MacPhail (piano and keyboards).
Hypocrisy Democracy, Dave’s latest recording is a collaboration with Andy Milne, Matt Wilson, and Ben Allison. It has received excellent reviews including Downbeat, Jazz Journal, and Cadence. To read click here.
As the lead altoist for the Count Basie Orchestra and a veteran of the Clark Terry quintet, the Count Basie Orchestra (under the direction of Frank Foster), Illinois Jacquet, Barry Harris, and Dizzy Gillespie, Dave’s music transcends genre and covers a wide range of expression while remaining connected to the roots of Jazz.
A faculty member at the New School for over 24 years, he is proud to have helped develop many of today’s younger jazz musicians. In gratitude to wisdom bestowed from elder musicians, he tirelessly mentors future musicians by remaining actively involved in sharing knowledge through the aural tradition.
Dave Glasser is a native New Yorker, received his Bachelors(84) and Masters(86) degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, is a proud alumni of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts in NYC, and received extensive instruction from Lee Konitz, Frank Perowsky, Barry Harris, and Bill Dobbins.
Brown Bag Brass Band is one of Central Florida’s hottest live acts. What started as a pickup band covering a last minute Mardi Gras gig, soon began delivering a horn-driven tour de force, serving the region and beyond.
Their music is rooted in appreciation for New Orleans brass band music, but also includes jazz, funk and other styles.
Since then, the B4 have firmly established itself an integral part of the live scene, characterizedas loud, fast, high and generally always playing their own brand of “Good Time Party Music”.
Born and raised in Lecco (Italy), Andrea Domenici is a jazz pianist and composer who has been
living in New York since 2012. At the beginning of his career he won the first edition of the
“Premio Gianni Basso” as best soloist and the first prize of the La Spezia Jazz Competition as
the best piano player. A 2016 graduate from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music,
Domenici studied with great piano players such as Benny Green, Barry Harris, Kenny Barron,
Dado Moroni, Rossano Sportiello and Mario Rusca.
Since Domenici has moved to New York, he collaborated and shared the stage with: Harry
Allen, Wynton Marsalis, Gary Bartz, Louis Hayes, Kenny Washington, James Morrison, Etienne
Charles, Eddie Henderson, Billy Drummond, Peter Washington, Roy Hargrove, Carol Fredette,
Billy Harper, Dave Glasser, Charles Tolliver, Jimmy Owens, Wayne Escoffery, Dave Kikoski, Dave
Douglas, James Carter and many more. Andrea Domenici performed in the most prestigious
venues of New York City: Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Smalls, Mezzrow, Smoke
Jazz Club, Zinc Bar, Peter Jay Sharp Theater… Andrea Domenici has played all over the world. In
2017 he has played at the Festival Internacional de Música in Cancun, Mexico. Andrea Domenici
was also called to do a week residency at the prestigious Marrians Jazzroom in Bern with The
David Adewumi’s Quartet.
Andrea Domenici recently graduated from The Juilliard School with MM in Jazz Studies where
his talent as a composer and arranger is truly appreciated. He recently released his album entitled “Playing Who I am” which features Peter Washington on bass and Billy Drummond on drums.
Anna Sóley is a vocalist and a songwriter from Iceland. She combines words and music seeking inspiration from literature and life. Jazz, folk, pop, and groove styles mix with impressionistic lyrics, spoken word poetry, and improvisation. Modern Age Ophelia is her debut album and will be out this autumn. Storytelling is a theme throughout the tunes. They explore the line between the past and the present, reality and fiction, and sanity and insanity. Perhaps first and foremost, the album is a dialogue with interesting characters. The compositions open up a space that allows each musician to shine through, adding their unique voice into the mixture.
Souldacity a Jazz-Soul-Funk Fusion Quartet…creating a sound that tingles the musical senses of anyone who loves music! Darrin Lamont Byrd (vocals) grew up with gospel music in New York, traveled the world as a singer with “Riverdance”, lived for some time in Italy before he started in Hamburg as Mufasa in “The Lion King” for over 10 years on stage. With his quartet Souldacity, together with Boris Netsvetaev (keyboard), Phil Steen (bass) and Kai Bussenius (drums), he breaks the musical boundaries of jazz, soul and funk.
Darrin Lamont Byrd and Boris Netsvetaev met at König der Löwen in 2012 and started doing music events together. Shortly after Boris introduced Darrin to Kai Bussenius and Phil Steen and a collaboration was born. As a Trio they are known as Hammer Klavier Trio. Soul-audacity combined to mean the boldness of soul, is where the name comes from. Since then it has evolved into Soul-Da-City (Soul of the City). From the start they were reinventing old classics such as my Funny Valentine, Aint No Sunshine when She’s Gone, and Nature Boy to name a few. Their musical tastes vary far and wide, from Miles Davis to Chic Corea, Al Jarreau and Bill Withers. With that they were able to find and create their own sound.
Vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Ona Kirei has an exceptional ability to move the listener’s soul with her expressiveness and virtuosity. Her music pushes stylistic boundaries that showcase remarkable compositional and arranging skills while displaying a profound emotional connection that makes it readily accessible to any audience. Her life experience, cultural influences, determination, and deepness, are reflected in her unique voice.
Kirei was born in Barcelona, but she’s quite literally a citizen of the world having lived in Spain, India, United Kingdom, and Austria, among other places. She has performed to critical acclaim in venues and festivals across Europe and the United States, winning several national and international awards along the way.
Her debut album in the USA entitled ‘Mirage’, will be released in July 2022. It features a diverse collection of original songs and creative arrangements of very personal songs. The official release will take place at The Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg, FL on July 9th. She will be backed by the award-winning group La Lucha, outstanding trumpeter James Suggs and the wonderful Mike DiRubbo on saxophone.
Drummer/composer Srdjan Ivanovic (1983) chose sticks, drums and cymbals as his main weapon in his quest to liberate energies through musical encounters. He blends melodic modern-jazz with the musical heritage of the Balkans and adds to that anything that might find itself on the way. “His subtle, fluent playing and organically blended compositions will take you on a sacred journey” (Jazz News – France).
Currently based in Paris, Srdjan was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia from which he moved in 1992 to Athens, Greece, to escape the war. His earliest musical influences involved late night music sessions of his father’s friends, a classical guitarist and composer. He won several awards, most notably the Dutch Jazz Competition and was given the prestigious Prins Bernhard Foundation scholarship to study in New York.
As a leader he has taken the Srdjan Ivanovic Blazin’ Quartet around the world and released four records. A new project called Srdjan Ivanovic – Xénos is preparing the relase of it’s debut album. He is also co-leader of the 11 piece Nikolov-Ivanovic Undectet whose last album features flutist Magic Malik. He appears on over twenty albums as a sideman and since moving to Paris in 2014, he has been playing with various groups. He has also written music for film and theatre. He’s an endorser of Istanbul Agop cymbals and custom Gabriel Drums.
Dirk Bleese was born in Hamburg in 1968. He studied jazz piano education at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin under Walter Norris and David Friedman and was one of the participants on the “Popkurs” at the Hamburger Hochschule für Musik und Theater in 1991. In addition to his many years of work as a piano teacher and band coach at the Staatliche Jugendmusikschule Hamburg, he has worked as a jazz soloist, as a musical director for stage plays and musicals, and as a composer/ arranger, as well as initiating numerous festivals and concert series.
In 2021 he signed as a composer with Universal Edition Vienna, who have since published his works “jazz piano volumes 1-5”. Until 2018 he was curator of Halle 424 Hamburg, which won the APPLAUS venue award in 2018. In the same year he released the CD “in zwischen” with the Dirk Bleese Trio (Oliver Potratz – bass, Tilo Weber – drums); prior to that in 2016 he released the CD “in between”, with the same line-up. He has performed with internationally established musicians such as Gary Thomas, Herb Geller, Howard Johnson and Jiggs Whigham, as well as numerous musicians on the German and Hamburg jazz scenes.
Dirk Bleese was the founder and long-term director of the “junge akademie”, a training course at the JMS preparing students for university-level studies. He has been a guest conductor and arranger for the NDR (North German Radio) Big Band, a musical director for “BUDDY HOLLY: The Musical” in Hamburg; and has played keyboards for every one of Hamburg’s musical theaters, as well as being an onstage musician in several stage plays at major theaters in Hamburg.
Dirk Bleese was founder and chairman of the JazzHaus Hamburg e.V. and the Jazzbüro Hamburg e.V., and was responsible for the concept, management and organization of the first 3 iterations of “JazzHausfestival”, as well as the festival “Jazz in Hamburg” and the “Hamburger Big Band Spektakel”. He also founded and managed the Hamburg Jazz Orchestra and advised the Dr. E.A. Langner Foundation on the following topics: Jazz Academy, the Hamburg Jazz Award and Jazz Scholarships.
The Swiss American composer Daniel was born 1961 in Zurich, Switzerland and lives in New York City.
Among his credits as a composer are commissions to write new works for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in New York, the Tonkuenstler Orchestra in Vienna, the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Berlin, The Norrlands Operan in Sweden, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Vienna Art Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Opera of Bern, the NDR Orchestra in Hannover, the NDR Big Band in Germany, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the New York based new music group “Absolute Ensemble” under the direction of Kristjan Jaervi, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the Postclassical Ensemble in Washington, DC, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia besides many others.
The Album “Absolution” (Enja Nova) featuring Daniel Schnyder’s Trombone Concerto received a Grammy nomination for “Best Classical Small Ensemble Recording” in 2002. He frequently performs with his special chamber music project for saxophone and string quartet, combining composition and improvisation, jazz and traditional chamber music, a format also featured at the Gaia Festival 2015. The extended catalogue of his chamber music works gets performed and recorded all around the globe.
As an arranger/composer he produced albums for jazz artists Abdullah Ibrahim (“African Suite”), Lee Konitz (“Tribute to Billie Holiday”) and Paquito D’Rivera (“Habañera”, Enja Records). He also worked with Simon Shaheen, Peter Herbert, Burhan Öcal, Bassam Saba, Jing Jang, Marcel Kalife and Jamey Haddad on a variety of projects, merging Arab music and Chinese music elements with jazz and classical music.
Daniel Schnyder’s new Opera “Abraham” was premiered in Duesseldorf in November 2014. “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird”, a commission by Opera Philadelphia, will be premiered in June 2015 with Laurence Brownlee as Charlie Parker. The New York premiere of the work will take place at Harlem’s legendary “Apollo Theater” in June 2016 with the New York Philharmonic.
Two concerti for ethnic instruments, his Pipa Concerto and his Alphorn Concerto, were premiered in the 2005/06 season to great acclaim. Daniel Schnyder wrote also a concerto for the Libanese Nay virtuoso Bassam Saba, that became the centerpiece of his special festival program: “Arabian Night”.
His symphonic work “Sundiata Keita” for Large Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and 4 soloists from Mali playing traditional instruments was successfully premiered at the Berlin Philharmony during his stay as composer in residence with the RSO in Berlin.
He also tours with the program “Around the World” featuring the Soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Stefan Schulz and worked closely with the the Berlin Philharmonic’s Scharoun Ensemble as composer and chamber musician.
The new album, showing his collaboration with the eminent bass trombonist Stefan Schulz is entitled “Händel in Harlem”, a reinvention of Händels Trio Sonatas. A new album, entitled “Art of the Duo”, will be released in 2015, featuring legendary bass trombone virtuoso David Taylor and Schnyder on saxophone.
Daniel Schnyder won first prize at the 1996 International Trumpet Guild’s Composition Contest. His Trumpet Sonata was selected as one of the official pieces for the Concours Maurice André pour Trompette 2003 (Paris). He won also numerous awards for his chamber music by the International Flute Association, the International Clarinet Association, the City of Zurich, Pro Helvetia, the National Art Council of Switzerland, the American Symphony League and Meet the Composer. He holds master classes in composition, chamber music, improvisation and saxophone at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, the Baltic Youth Philharmonic and the Bruckner University in Linz.
He also works as a consultant with major festivals, promoters and ensembles, trying to bridge the worlds of classical music, jazz and ethnic music in innovative ways.
The new works for the 2014/5 season include, besides the two operas “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird” and “Abraham”, a work for the Artemis String Quartet called “Impetus” (a Concerto for full Orchestra and String Quartet), a Bassoon Concerto for the Dresden Philharmony, a Pipa Concerto for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, a Double Concerto for Trombone and Saxophone played at the Musikverein in Vienna, and his orchestral work “Drakool”, played at Carnegie Hall in February 2015 by the ACO. In 2014 he also ‘recomposed’ the lost opera “Alceste” by Händel for the Händel Festival 2014 in Halle (Germany) featuring Kristjan Jaervi, the MDR Orchestra, Thomas Dobler on vibes and himself on saxophone.
Daniel Schnyder toured 2014 with the Absolute Ensemble and Sara Chang in Korea, playing his new work “Hn Moo”, based on traditional Chinese folk songs.
Absolute Ensemble released a CD in 2014 on Sony Classical with Daniel Schnyder’s “ToopART Reinventions”, a new work reflecting on Bach’s Two Part Inventions, featuring Simone Dinnerstein on piano and himself on sax.
The opera companies of Atlanta and Phoenix Arizona and Seattle Opera will play Daniel Schnyder’s Opera Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in the 2018/9 season. His Tenor Trombone Concerto is played for the first time in Germany by the eminent young trombonist Frederic Belli in October 2018. His Alphorn Concerto will be played in February 2019 in Nürnberg Germany by Alphorn Virtuoso Arkady Shilkloper. Daniel Schnyder’s ‘Double Concerto for Saxophone and Bass Trombone’ was played for the first time in Switzerland by David Taylor and Daniel Schnyder and the Bern Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mario Venzago in March 2018.
When looking for terms and names to describe the band, the attempt will leave you with a wide spectrum between jazz and fusion music focusing on grooving funk with a strong „Rock ’N’ Roll Attitude“ mixed with Jazz harmony to fierce discharging jazz rock storms.
There is no arbitrariness in this wide array of musical styles and influences, as the band – selected team players from the international jazz/fusion scene – renders the stringent compositions in a committed and playfully individual manner, putting its high-quality inventive signature to the music and derives its uniqueness and independence from a sure, pro-active and listening interaction of experienced musician personalities. Gradwohl can jump into and out off the stylistic changes like a true chameleon. He has ventured further into exploratory fusion on this effort than on any of his previous efforts. Having the support and backing of the great rhythm section has really made this venture for Gradwohl into tribal funk fusion a viable effort of world-class caliber. GG pulls all the stops of his musical skills. “As much composition as necessary and as much improvisation as possible” seems to be the dogma and the point of view of fusion-music of today for this worldwide known and acknowledged composer and performer, living in Wr. Neustadt, Austria. The great variety in composition and playing will not only fascinate Jazz and Fusion lovers – watch out for exciting live gigs!
Gerald Gradwohl – born 15.4.1967 in Wiener Neustadt(Austria) Classical guitar at the J.M.Hauer Musikschule Wiener Neustadt Jazz guitar studies in Vienna 1986 to 1989 – graduated with distinction Active as musician, composer and band leader ever since Touring all over the world with his original projects Head of Jazz Department at the Joseph Haydn Conservatory Eisenstadt.
Thomas Kugi – born 1964 in Villach(A). Living in Vienna since 1984. After his studies at the Vienna Muci conservator he became one of the most versatile and well-booked saxophone players in Austria. He teaches at the Vienna University and JAM- MUSIC LAB.
Playing with international Cats like: Idris Muhammed, Adam Holtzman, Gene Jackson, Kenny Davis, Matthew Garrison, Andy McKhee, Marco Minnemann, Keith Carlock, Hohn Clark, Dave Taylor, Samuel Blaser, Chaka Khan, The Surpremes, The Temptations, Gloria Gaynor, Omara Portuondo, Marianne Faithful, Nina Hagen, etc.
Jojo Lackner born in Neunkirchen, studied Jazz E-Bass at the Josef Matthias Hauer Konservatorium in Wr. Neustadt with Mischa Krausz.
Worked with: The Syndicate, Violetta Parisini, Harry Sokal, Gansch´n Roses, Erik Rico, Leroy Emmanuel, Tony Momrelle, Tue Flow, Adam Pieronczyk, Joseph Malik, Lylit, Alegre Corea, Johannes Enders, Matthieu Michel, Martin Reiter Trio, Chanda Rule & The Oulipians, Gisele Jackson, Cafe Drechsler, Ilse Riedler´s „Strange Ahead, Victor Davis, Nu Random, Teddy Kumpel, Hot Pants Road Club, Gerald Gradwohl Trio, Ana Paula da Silva, Philipp Nykrin´s Common Sense;
Harald Tanschek – born in Graz. After his first steps in School, Rock and Pop Bands he mastered a study at the Jazz university in Graz(A). Went to Berklee/ Boston(USA)in 1997 and lived there as a freelancer til 2003.Back in Vienna/Austria he worked as a clinician and with projects and artists fom USA, Europe, South and Latin America lik Hal Crook, Chico Freeman, Bob Brookmeyer, Lee Konitz, George Garcone, Howard Alden, Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, Steve Logan, Doug Johnson Trio, Grace Kelly, Phil Woods, Victor Mendosa, Joachim Mencel’s “El Greco”, Janosh Muniak, Bullhorns, Mario Vavti’s RTS, Hubert Tubbs, Andy Middleton, Gisele Jackson, Kris Jefferson Groove Coalition, Endrina Rosales Group, Jose Ritmo y Cacao, Martin Lubenov Orkestar, Airbass, Richard Oesterreicher, Alegre Correa, Gina Schwarz’s “Jazzista”, Wolfgang Puschnig, Geri Schuller and many more!
The singer, songwriter, pianist, composer, producer, and film & television actress is an engaging and entertaining performer; who continues to perform nationally and internationally bringing audiences to their feet. Performing mainly as a solo artist, Gina shares compelling stories through her songs – captivating audiences from intimate venues to stadiums.
For over a decade, Gina performs Pop, Rock, R&B/Soul, Jazz, Gospel, Christian, Dance, Caribbean/Latin, and Classical music at numerous festivals and concert stages. She has shared the stage with notable artists including Burton Cummings (The Guess Who), Take 6, and Kardinal Offishall. Over the years, Gina has had extensive media coverage including Radio “Eye” I (Japan), CBC News Story (Canada), and National Ukrainian Radio and Television. From the Twix Cookies and Creme commercial to appearing in Riverdale, her career as an actress has allowed her to work alongside the likes of John Cusack, Jennifer Beals, and director Alex Graves. Her song “You Are Not Alone” was placed in the Russian film, “Love Is The Best Medicine.”
As a composer, Gina has written works from solo piano to orchestra and won the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Call for Scores Competition (2019). As the first Black female Canadian orchestral composer, Gina was commissioned to write “Glory” (1999) the anthem for Grenada’s 25th Anniversary of Independence.
Gina embraces the stage and cultural diversity of audiences worldwide – addressing them in their native language in concert; leaving memorable experiences, heartfelt joy, tears, and glowing reviews. Countries include Canada, the U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Ukraine and Grenada. To date, she speaks, writes and/or performs in 12 languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Punjabi, Latin, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, and Mandarin (Chinese).
Perhaps that is the most apparent thing about Gina: everything she does seems effortless. Yet the more you find out about her, the more you start to understand the layers of complexity behind the music and artistry of this “Modern Day Renaissance Woman” – who continues to defy stereotypes while touching hearts.
Christos was born and raised in Greece, where he completed his studies in classical percussion. After receiving a scholarship from Berklee College of Music, he moved to Boston, attaining a BA in Jazz Vibraphone Performance and later moved to New York, where he graduated from Manhattan School of Music earning his MA in Jazz Vibraphone Performance.
Christos found his personal voice when he established ‘Manhattan Vibes’, a band that has appeared at numerous New York’s cutting edge venues including the Blue Note, the Jazz Standard, Smoke Jazz Club and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. Highlights of his career include performances with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis, a US tour with the Charles Mingus ‘Epitaph’ Band featuring bassist Christian McBride and conductor Gunther Schuller, a recording with the Harmony Ensemble of NY of Henry Mancini’s ‘Peter Gunn’ featuring Lew Soloff, Ronnie Cuber and Victor Lewis, recordings with vocalist Chaka Khan and a duo performance at Carnegie Hall with pianist Sergio Salvatore.
His collaboration with Greece’s legendary composer Mimis Plessas led to the release of two projects both based on Plessas’ music: the album ‘Ηχώ/Echo: the music of Mimis Plessas’ featuring Evi Siamanda on vocals; and the duo recording ‘We Two’ featuring Mimis Plessas on piano and Christos on vibraphone.
In ‘Point Two’ Christos teams up with bassist Petros Klampanis who he met five years ago in NYC. Point Two is a unique blend of their influences of Middle Eastern, Greek and Latin elements and they include original compositions, standards, and folk songs. In addition to ‘Point Two’ in 2014 Christos’ collaboration with the ‘Chronos Ensemble’ featuring one of Greece’s legendary singer-songwriter Dimitra Galani led to the release of the album ‘Chronos Project”.
Christos’ new works include:
For several years, Christos had been a guest faculty member at the ‘Zeltsman Marimba Festival’ which took place every summer in different parts of the world. He also has an Artist Residency at the ‘Music Village’ in Greece.
His original works for mallets are published from Emarel Music and are being played in concerts around the world. Christos is endorsed by Ludwig-Musser Vibraphones, Pearl MalletStation and is playing his signature Vic Firth M37 mallets. He makes his home in New York City.