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There is immense beauty in simplicity and this new ensemble sets out to unleash it. Their music is full of colors, otherworldly soundscapes and emotional expression. With a passion for melody and a sense of play, these five improvisers do not fall for mere virtuosity, but instead focus on that which connects us to one another, tenderness. Each instrument gently contributes to the collective story-telling that is created in the moment. The decelerated pace in their music makes it almost hard to believe that their sounds originate from the hustle and bustle of New York City.
These five musicians draw inspiration from the five different countries that they represent: Germany, Japan, Austria, Turkey and the US. It is their diversity and merging of influences that transcend musical genre. As a result, their music shows traces of jazz improvisation, minimalism, contemporary classical music, songwriting and progressive rock. In addition, the presence of two guitars and the absence of drums open up a magical sonic palette.
While deliberately exploring the unknown, this group will envelop the room with a warm blanket of sound that invites the listener to a most unique experience.
Timo Vollbrecht – saxophone | Keisuke Matsuno – guitar | Kenji Herbert – guitar | Can Olgun – piano | Drew Gress – acoustic bass
About the musicians:
Timo Vollbrecht is one of Germany’s celebrated young saxophonists, who has been described as a “remarkable talent” by New York’s Hot House Magazine. His latest album has been hailed as an “album which will belong to the most outstanding recordings of a German artist of the year of 2016” (Jazzpodium Magazine). He has toured five continents with his original music and is currently working towards a PhD in Jazz Performance & Composition at New York University.
Keisuke Matsuno is a guitarist and sound artist. “Japanese of origin, Berliner by birth, and New York by referral – he tears out the most extravagant, distraught, unheard-within-the-unheard sounds from the instrument” (Blow Up Magazine). Furthermore, he works with legendary musical innovators such as Jim Black and John Zorn.
Kenji Herbert, born to an Austrian father and Japanese mother, has distilled his unique background and diverse influences into a guitar sound characteristically his own. He was an inaugural member of the honors program at Berklee College of music, the Global Jazz Institute, under the artistic direction of GRAMMY award winning Danilo Perez, and graduated with summa cum laude.
Of German-Turkish decent, pianist Can Olgun is honing a unique style which combines European as well as classic jazz influences. As musical director to a NY-based gospel choir, he is continuously enriching his artistic voice. Olgun was the finalist of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition.
Drew Gress is, without a doubt, one of the world’s leading bassists. He performs extensively with artists on the cutting edge of contemporary improvised music. Performing worldwide, he collaborates with John Abercrombie, Uri Caine, Ralph Alessi, Ravi Coltrane and John Hollenbeck. Gress and Vollbrecht met at New York University, where he is professor for bass.