Jazzaar Artists 2011 | Jazzaar Festival

Featured Artists in Indian Night

Fritz Renold – Musikalische Leiter – CH

With ca. 500 compositions, premiers and several Grammy pre-nomination recordings to his name, the composer, saxophonist and arranger from Aargau belongs to one of the few music entrepreneurs in Switzerland. He integrates his ‘learning on the bandstand’ music educational concept into this jazzaar festival for the benefit of the Swiss jazz scene. His latest work, an Overture written for a large Orchestra was commissioned for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Radio, TV Malaysia (RTM) to be premiered in April 2011.

Karthik Kumar – voc – IND

Here is a perfect choice for a musician that is well-versed in both traditional Indian Music and western styles. Karthik has performed a successful line up of songs for prominent Music producers in India such as AR Rahman, Ilayaraaja, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Mickey J Meyer und Harris Jeyaraj. His is fluent in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and English. One of his top-chart-busters in Kannada was „Alle Alle“ from the film, ‘Savaari’.

Steve Prosser – voc – USA

Steve is a professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Besides serving as a vocal ensemble leader, ear-training specialist or vocal arranger, he belongs to the most in demand studio musicians in the greater Boston area. His music educational literatures are published by ‘Advance Music Verlag’, the largest Jazz publisher in Europe. Steve also holds a doctorate from Boston College and is a licensed attorney and a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association!

Ravichandra Kulur – fl – IND

Flute virtuoso Ravichnadra Kulur started performing solo concerts since he was nine years old & has emerged as one of the most sought after flutists from India. Ravi has been touring for concerts with legendary Pt Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar since 2005, performing in great venues around the world in 27 countries including Queen Elisabeth Hall, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Centre, Sydney Opera House etc.. and music Festivals like WOMAD , Womadeleide, Roskilde & Paleo. Ravi has performed more than 1000 concerts around the world for his solo, duets and with legends of the music world including Steve Smith and Vital Information, Ian Andrson & Jethro Tull, Dr L Subramaniam, George Brooks, Shankar Mahadevan etc.

Dr. Mysore Manjunath – vln – IND

Amazingly gifted Violin Maestro Dr. Manjunath, the son and disciple of renowned violinist Prof. S. Mahadevappa, was a child prodigy who matured quickly to emerge as one of the top ranking violinist in India today. With acute awareness of pitch, rhythm and ornamentation combined with his sensitivity to the musical thought of the composer, Manjunath is a much revered artist in the Indian classical music scene. He also works with a variety of musicians from around the world across genres of contemporary music.

Lew Soloff – tp – USA

After his studies at Juilliard School of Music, Lew teamed up with Philly Joe Jones, Paul Chambers, Elvin Jones and Maynard Ferguson as well as joined the Latin Bands from Machito, Tito Puente, and Chuck Mangione. Between 1968 and 1973 he was a member of the band ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’, with whom he acquired nine gold albums and won a Grammy Award. In 1973 he joined Gil Evans’ Orchestra and band and worked and toured with him till Gil passed away in 1988. As a studio musician Lew had worked with George Benson, Benny Carter, Stanley Clarke, Paquito D’Rivera, Carmen McRae, Jaco Pastorius, Mongo Santamaria, Wayne Shorter, Barbra Streisand and many more. He also was in the teaching faculty of Manhattan School of Music besides Juilliard School of Music too.

Chico Freeman – saxes – USA

Chico moved to New York in 1976 where he worked with Sam Rivers, Cecil McBee and other representatives of the Loft-Jazz-Szene. He toured Europe with the Elvin Jones Band in 1977. He frequented large festivals in the USA and Europe with his own groups as well as with Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition and McCoy Tyner. He formed the all-star formation, ‘The Leaders’ in 1984 together with Famoudou Don Moye, Arthur Blythe, Lester Bowie, Kirk Lightsey, Cecil McBee, Don Cherry and Don Pullen.

Christian Jacob – p – F/USA

Christian Jacob’s versatility as a pianist, composer and arranger has always been a fascinating wonder at ‘jazzaar concerts’. He has been a valuable resource of talent and skills for the Jazzaar projects since 1991. Together with Fritz Renold he had written several major works, one of them is the ‘Helvetic Suite’ that was premiered at the 200th anniversary of the Swiss Constitution. The other joint collaboration was the writing of ‘The Sixth Cycle’, a Swiss national birthday gift for the King of Thailand in 1999 that was premiered in Bangkok that year. Jacob is also revered as a pianist for renowned vocalists such as Flora Purim and Tierney Sutton. Living in Los Angeles he also works with Bill Holman and Carl Saunders Big Bands.

Kai Eckhardt – b – D/USA

Kai, a german-born jazz and fusion musician began playing the electric bass at age 15. He studied at the Berklee College of Music (’87) following which he became a faculty at the college. During his studies he performed with Bob Moses, Tiger Okoshi and Torsten de Winkel. He went on to play with Alphonse Mouzon, Randy Brecker und Stanley Clarke. In 1988 John McLaughlin recruited Kai into his Trio with Trilok Gurtu with whom he toured internationally and recorded two albums. Later Kai would play in Billy Cobham’s band as well as Mike Mainieri’s ‘Steps Ahead’.

Pandit Anindo Chatterjee – tabla – IND

Pandit Anindo, apart from being one of the greatest performers is respected as one of the most important tabla makers, teachers and researchers . The Pandit’s performances are marked by clarity of tone, very crisp and clear bols and an intuitive sense of rhythm and melody. Since 1972, Pandit Anindo has performed solo as well as accompanied leading artists all over the world. Among those who he has accompanied are Pandit Nikhil Banerjee (sitar), Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta (sarod), Ali Akbar Khan (sarod), Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur (voice), Budhaditya Mukherjee (sitar), Ustad Rais Khan (sitar), Gangubai Hangal (voice), Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute), and Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (santoor) among many others. He has received numerous honors including the Presidents Award in 1970. Pandit Anindo was the first tabla player to perform in the House of Commons in 1990.

Giridhar Udupa – ghatam – IND

Ghatam Udupa is his stage name and he belongs to the most sought after percussionists in the world. With a heart of an artist and a will of an innovator Udupa not only plays the Ghatam (clay pot percussion), he is also equally adept at the Mridangam, Khanjira and Morsing while rendering the Konnakol (syllables) with style! He is just as versatile in styles of music. Besides playing the Indian Karnatik music, he is just at home with Jazz, Blues, Flamenco, European Classical music, Celtic Music, Latin, DJ and World music. He has played with countless musical giants in the Indian music genre, among whom are Dr. L. Subramaniam, Mysore Brothers, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, Sivamani, Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam, Ustad Sultan Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Taufiq Qureshi and Fazal Qureshi. Some of his jazz performances have been with Larry Coryell, Ernie Watts, Hubert Laws, Lewis Pragasam, to name a few.

Willy Kotoun – Perc – CH

Willy Kotoun was born in 1953 in Switzerland. He studied Afrocuban percussion at the ‘Instituto Superior de Arte’ in Havanna, Cuba. He continued to study further in Cuba and in Africa (Guinee and Burkina Faso). Besides being active in many musical projects, Willy played with Nina Corti for six years and has been a member of the Stefan Kurmann Strings since 1991. Presently, he is in the faculty of ‘Perkussion und Körper & Rhythmik’ at the University of Luzern, Switzerland.

Featured Artists in Art Blakey Night

Kevin Field – Dirigent – UK

As Associate Conductor with the MPO, Kevin has instigated dozens of commissions, performed over 140 works by living composers, established both the MPO Forum for Malaysian Composers and the MPO International Composers Award and is now nurturing national talents with the formation of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, with whom he is their Principal Conductor.

Kevin is also frequently called upon as a guest conductor, working with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra and Concert Orchestra of Ireland, the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Together with the MPO, Kevin has worked with a variety of leading international soloists including: Daniel Binelli, Peter Donohoe, Janice Watson, Marc Kaplan, Leonidas Kavakos, Jose Gallardo del Ray, Robert Cohen, Anthony Marwood, Chick Corea, Gary Burton and Eitetsu Hayashi, to name but a few.

Valery Ponomarev – tp – USA

Valery studied music in Moscow and played with traveling American musicians such as Gerry Mulligan, Charles Lloyd and Keith Jarrett at jazz clubs between 1964 and 1969. When he finally moved to the USA in 1973 he became active in the New York jazz scene. Soon between 1974 until 1980 he joined the Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers. In 1981 Valery formed his own Quintett, ‘Universal Language’. He recorded the album, ‘Profile’ in 1991 together with Joe Henderson and Kenny Barron.

Benny Golson – ts – USA

Benny Golson was a Jazz Messenger with Art Blakey (in 1958) for one year but as the musical director of the band he shaped significantly the repertoire and the sound of the band for years to come with tunes like Blues March, Along Came Betty or Whisper Not. Golson and the Messengers contributed to the soundtrack of Édouard Molinaro’s Film ‘Des Femmes Disparaissant’. He was the composer of music for popular 1970s television shows such as M*A*S*H, The Mod Squad, Ironsides, and Room 222. As a young player Golson absorbed the styles of the great saxophonists of the day such as Lester Young and Don Byas and later Charlie Parker. He began to develop a personal sax style that combined the warmth and fluidity of the older players with elements of Parker’s harmonic adventurousness.

Clifford Adams – tb – USA

Although Clifford Adams is famous for his longtime stint with ‘Kool & the Gang’, his musical roots run deep in the fertile soils of Jazz. He left his 2 year guest appearances with the Thad Jones und Mel Lewis Big Band, to join Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Later he joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by Duke‘s son, Mercer after which he toured Europa with Max Roach.

Buster Williams – b – USA

Buster Williams has gained prestige among jazz musicians as a solid supportive player. Since the early 1960s, he has made subtle swing, a precise rhythm and superb technique the landmark of his playing. Buster is one of the returning legends that have given jazzaar concerts its prestige and substance in music and education!

Buster has also collaborated with Jimmy Heath, Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt quintet (1960-61), vocalists Betty Carter, Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson, The Jazz Crusaders Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land, Miles Davis. Chet Baker, Kenny Barron, Sathima Bea Benjamin, Larry Coryell, Stanley Cowell, Gil Evans, Frank Foster, Dexter Gordon, Joe Farrell, Shirley Horn, Illinois Jacquet, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Harold Mabern, Herbie Hancock, Mary Lou Williams,Ron Carter, Branford Marsalis, Carmen McRae, Frank Morgan, Hilton Ruiz, Woody Shaw, Steve Turre, McCoy Tyner, and the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra.

Geoffrey Keezer – p – USA

In 1989, at the age of 18, after completing his first year at the Berklee College of Music, Geoffrey joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Since then, Geoffrey has worked with virtually all of the living legends of jazz and has appeared on countless recordings both as a leader and as an accompanist. As a young jazz Messenger with Art Blakey Geoffrey contributed that solid youthful sound on the piano.

George Robert – as – CH

George is an internationally acclaimed saxophonist of modern jazz. He is also a distinguished educator and is presently the head of all Swiss Jazz Universities. As an artist he’s performed with jazz greats such as: Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker, Ray Brown, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Cobham, Phil Collins, Chick Corea, Paquito D’Rivera, Johnny Griffin, Charlie Haden, Lionel Hampton, Slide Hampton, Tom Harrell, Billy Hart, Lee Konitz, Diana Krall, John Lewis, Dave Liebman, Bobby McFerrin, James Moody, Lewis Nash, Adam Nussbaum, Nicolas Payton, Rufus Reid, Claudio Roditi, Renee Rosnes, Wallace Roney, Arturo Sandoval, Peter Schmidlin, Bobby Shew, Lew Tabackin, Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans, Steve Turre, Buster Williams, Jimmy Woode, Phil Woods, etc.

Marques Young – tb – USA

Marques is presently a member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and has also played with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He was the first student at Julliard that graduated with a classical and jazz education. To date he has played with musical greats such as Paquito D‘Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, Marvin Stamm, Wycliffe Gordon, Benny Green, Vince Gardner, Roy Hargrove, Victor Goines and Joe Locke.

Eric Miyashiro – ltp – JAP

Born and raised in Honolulu to japanese parents, Eric pursued in music education at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Upon leaving college Eric began playing with Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Thad Jones Mel Lewis and many more. Besides these Eric also has played with Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett and Sarah Vaughn, Stevie Wonder, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and the Tower of Power.

Victor Lewis – dr – USA

Lewis is a master of shading and color, and the kind of timekeeper that could teach a clock new ways to tick” says jazz writer Bill Kohlhasse. Victor Lewis indeed belongs in the company of the greatest contemporary jazz drummers. Lewis has played with Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Bobby Watson, Jerry Bergonzi and many more.

Manrico Padovani – vln – CH

Manrico is the first Swiss violinist that succeded in completing a performane of the entire cycle of the 24 Capricci Op. 1 by Niccolò Paganini. A winner of several awards, Manrico also has won the privilege of owning and playing on the prestigious violin, ‘Jupiter’, created by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona in 1722, presented to him by the Nippon Music Foundation. He will be the concertmaster for the Swiss Youth Pops Orchestra at jazzaar 2011.

Ronny Spiegel – vln – CH

Ronny Spiegel has been the concertmaster of the ‘Neuen Zürcher Orchester’ (NZO) for the past 4 years. In the summer of 2007 together with his musical colleagues, he formed a piano quartet called the ‘s-ensemble’ that debuted their first concert overseas in 2008. Besides having mastered the classical repertoire, Ronny is also a member of the ‘Musique en Route’, an ensemble that dedicates its focus on east-european folk music.

Michel Willi – va – CH

Michel was the award winner of the ‘Kiefer-Hablitzel-Stiftung’ and respectively the ‘Schweizerischen Tonkünstlerverein’ in 1993 and 1994. He actively performs in the classical music scene in this part of Europe. Between 1993 and 1998 he was a free member of the ‘Stadtorchester Winterthur’, the ‘Orchester der Oper Zürich’ and the ‘Bayerischen Kammerphilharmonie’. He has been a member of the ‘Tonhalle-Orchesters Zürich’ since 1998.

Alexander Kionke – vlc – CH

Alexander studied music in Leipzig and Luzern. He won the first price at the ‘Internationalen Musikakademie Pontarlier’. Alexander is the solo cellist of the ‘Festival Strings Lucerne’ and a member of the ‘Tonhalle Orchesters Zürich’. As a pedagogue he teaches music at schools in the cantons Aargau and Zürich.

Christoph Schnyder – cl – CH

Christoph is a jazzaar Alumni who returns often as a professional coach and role model on our ‘learning on the bandstand’ platform. He studied clarinet with Ernesto Molinari and completed his education at the ‘Hochschule der Künste’ in Bern. Christoph continued to pursue courses in contemporary chamber music and improvisation with Prof. Bruno Canno, Verena Bosshardt and Ernesto Molinari. At present he serves as the clarinet pedagogue at music schools and is also a faculty at the ‘Hochschule der Künste’ in Bern.

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