Artistes 2013

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Featured Artistes in Some Skunk Funk!

Pepe Lienhard Music director

Pepe Lienhard_0144_bw_red Pepe Lienhard was born in Lenzburg and is a legendary Swiss bandleader and musician. Already in school, Lienhard had begun a band with the name “The College Stompers”. In university, he studied law, but decided to pursue music in 1969 and founded a professional sextet with which he released numerous albums. Their first success came with “Sheila Baby”. In 1977, the group won sixth place at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Swiss Lady”.[1]

In 1980 he formed a big band, the Pepe-Lienhard-Band, which accompanied Udo Jürgens in his tours after 1982. They had several appearances with other stars like Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.

In addition to his continued performances, Lienhard composes arrangements in a variety of styles. His discography includes Best of Swing, Humba Tätärä, Swing Pour un Sourire, Pepe’s Hits and TV Melodies, Sounds Great, and Swiss Army Big Band.

Randy Brecker Featured Trumpeter

Randy in Poland'12 Born in 1945 in Philadelphia to a musical family, Randy’s musical talent was nurtured from an early age. He attended Indiana University from 1963-66 and later moved to New York where he landed gigs with such prominent Jazz bands as Clark Terry’s Big Band. Randy also began his foray into jazz-rock by joining Blood, Sweat and Tears. Randy left BS&T to join the Horace Silver Quintet. In 1968, Randy recorded his first album,’Score’, featuring a young, then unknown 19 year-old tenor saxophonist named Michael Brecker.
In the early 1970s, Randy played with many prominent artists such as Larry Coryell, Stevie Wonder and Billy Cobham. By 1975, Randy and Michael were ready to front their own band, the Brecker Brothers. The band was to become a band of immeasurable influence and impact. They went on to record a total of six albums and garner seven Grammy nominations between 1975 and 1981.
In 1992, exactly ten years after they disbanded, Randy and Michael joined forces again featuring a world tour and the triple-Grammy nominated GRP recording, ‘The Return of the Brecker Brothers’. In the fall of 1994, the Brecker Brothers released the double-Grammy winning ‘Out of the Loop’.
Randy released his CD for ESC, ’34th n’ Lex,’ in 2003 and this CD also brought him his third Grammy for ‘Best Contemporary Jazz Album.’
In 2007 he was awarded his fourth Grammy for “Randy Brecker Live with the WDR Big Band”. In the same year, tragically, his brother Michael passed away on Jan 13th.
Randy’s CD, ‘Randy in Brazil,’ was recorded in Sao Paulo with a full complement of great Brazilian musicians and released in 2008 and the CD won the Grammy for “Best Contemporary Jazz Album,” bringing Randy’s Grammy total to five.
His newest release Randy Brecker with the Danish Radio Big Band+ strings ‘the Jazz Ballad Songbook’ garnered 4 Grammy nominations.
His newest projects will be released in the near future on Half Note Records and include a Brecker Bros Band Reunion live DVD at the NY Blue Note+ Studio CD featuring all ex-members of the band-all new tunes. Also Randy POP! Hit tunes he played on as re-imagined by Kenny Werner recorded live at the Blue Note NY
As a composer, performer and in-demand Yamaha clinician, Randy Brecker continues to influence and inspire young musicians around the world. He feels like he is just starting out!

Ada Rovatti Brecker Featured Tenor Saxophonist

Ada Rovatti Italian native Ada Rovatti started playing saxophone in high school after years of classical piano training.
After winning a scholarship from Berklee College of Music in Italy she divided herself between Boston where she studied with Joe Viola, George Garzone and Italy where she was working in Big Bands with guest artists such as: Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker.
She moved to New York City after touring Europe and Africa. She has performed in important festivals such as JVC in NYC Rochester Jazz Festival, IAJE, Detroit Jazz Fest, Montreal Jazz Fest performing with an impressive and diverse list of artists and bands such as: Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, John McLaughlin and many others. Her latest band leader album ‘ Green Factor” is a unique recording with a melting pot of irish/celtic/jazz/fusion influences with strong harmonies and sophisticated arrangements with guest artists Adam Rogers, Randy Brecker and Ivan Goff. She has been playing with the Brecker Brother’s Reunion Band and soon is to be released a double CD/DVD live from the Bluenote NYC and studio session.

Ryan Quigley Lead Trumpeter and Soloist

Ryan photo 2 Ryan Quigley is one of the most in demand lead and jazz trumpet players in the UK as well as a highly regarded composer and arranger. Recordings and touring includes:
George Michael, Bob Geldof, Randy Brecker, Vince Mendoza, Kurt Elling, Sharleen Spiteri, Curtis Stiegers, Eddi Reader, Little Mix, Labrynth, Hamish Stewart, The Fratellis, Justin Currie, The Bad Plus, Terry Riley and many others.
Guest Lead and Principal trumpet:
Metropole Orchestra?, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and more.
Ryan is currently lead trumpet with The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and is also a full time member of the highly successful jazz ensemble Brass Jaw.
As a band leader Ryan has won a Parliamentary Jazz Award, a Scottish Jazz Award and a UK Jazz Services Award.
Very active as a composer and arranger, Ryan has written many compositions and arrangements for the Ryan Quigley Big Band and his sextet. He is a very experienced horn section arranger and has also been commissioned to compose for various groups from full orchestras to big bands to brass quintets and more.

Markus Hauser Alto Saxophone soloist

indian_night_2010_artist3 Upon leaving Berklee College of Music, Markus, a Yamaha Saxophone endorser and award winner from several cultural institutions went on to work with jazz greats like Clark Terry, Billy Cobham, Adam Nussbaum, Mark Soskin, Harie Swartz, Terry Lynn Carrington, Seven and many more. Markus Hauser remains one of the few Swiss musicians that indeed make a living out of music without relying on a teaching position. This native of Glarus is also a specialist is building extraordinary quality saxophone mouthpieces. Together with his brother, he had developed their latest model – the Kenny Garret Mouthpiece, which is renowned to be the world’s best Saxophone mouthpiece to date.

Marques Young Trombone Soloist

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. Marques appeared at Jazzaar 2011 and also returns now in 2012 by popular demand.

Oli Rockberger Keyboardist and Vocalist

IMG_5574 NY Based (London Born) Singer/Songwriter/Pianist/Producer Oli Rockberger first came to the US on a Full Scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music (’99-’04). Since then, he has shared stages and studios with the likes of Levon Helm, John Mayer, Jesse Harris, Les McCann and Charlie Hunter. His current work includes performing and recording with Randy Brecker whose forthcoming album (Feb ’13 release) features two songs co-written and sung by Rockberger, as well as performing & recording with bass legend Will Lee, with whom he appeared at “The Cotton Club” (Toyko Nov ’12) in a band which also included drum master Steve Gadd (Lee’s forthcoming album is to also feature Rockberger as co-writer/player). Meanwhile Oli continues to tour & record with his acclaimed electronic trio “Mister Barrington” alongside drummer/producer Zach Danziger and bassist/producer Owen Biddle, while his sophomore solo album “Old Habits”, was recently released, and is now available on iTUNEs. For more info visit

Mitch Stein Guitarist

MitchStein Mitch Stein has worked with David Sanborn, The Brecker Brothers, Tania Maria, Bill Evans, Patti Austin, Cyndi Lauper, Adam Holzman and many others. He currently is a member of Bill Evans Soulgrass and the Randy Brecker band. He also is a bandleader in his own right. He has 2 CDs out with his former band “The Hermanators”, “Twisted” and “Live And Unreleased”, and is currently working on a new solo CD release in 2013.

Neil Jason Bassist and Vocalist

6a01053653b3c7970b0120a5e6e96c970c-800wi Neil Jason is a professional bassist, producer and composer born and raised in New York City. He has worked with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Billy Joel, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Hall & Oats, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Charlie Watts, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Kiss, Janis Ian, Harry Chapin, Debbie Harry, Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Gladys Night, The Brecker Brothers, Bob James, David Sanborn, Celine Dion, John McLaughlin, Michael Franks, Cindy Lauper, Brigitte Zarie, Dire Straits, Eddie Van Halen, and Pavorotti, to name a few. In addition, he was a member of the house band for Saturday Night Live from 1983 to 1985, and has over 150 appearances with Paul Shaffer and the Band on David Letterman. Neil has also worked on countless hit commercials and movies as a composer in NYC. ( Interview excerpt Courtesy of John Carey ) (Neil Jason is profiled in the Marquis Edition of “Who’s Who in Entertainment”. )

Rodney Holmes Drummer

Holmes Drummer, composer, producer, RODNEY HOLMES is considered by many musicians as well as music fans to be one of the very best drummers in the world. Due to his humble attitude and modest demeanor, Rodney would never say this about himself. But after seeing and hearing him, it’s simply undeniable that he is in fact one of the best musicians on the planet.
Rodney has gone on to work with some of the most talented and respected musicians in both Rock and Jazz worlds. He has worked with Santana, Steve Lukather, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Rob Thomas, and many others. His work with Santana garnered Holmes a higher level of respect within the industry along with multiple Grammy Awards. Rodney played on the hit song “Smooth” from Santana’s “Supernatural” album. He’s also earned Grammys for his work on the Brecker Brothers ” “Out Of The Loop” album. Holmes’ jaw dropping solos have evoked standing ovations worldwide.
“Rodney Holmes isn’t all about chops. It’s also about scope. Simply put, Rodney Holmes blew people away. Reasons cited were his amazing technique, his intricate patterns, and his artsy sense of placement.”
“Funny thing about Rodney: Even when he’s unleashing the beast, he never appears as if he’s barely hanging on. He’s got firm grasp of the reins, still forging a groove that’s lush, steady, and comfortable.”
-”Bruce Wittet , from Modern Drummer Magazine”


Music Arrangers & Lyricist for Jazzaar Productions

Jamshied Sharifi

IMG_1378 After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in humanities, Sharifi went on to further his musical education at Berklee College of Music in Boston. At Berklee, he studied Jazz Piano and Composition as well as Film Scoring, and in 1983, he received the Outstanding Jazz Pianist award at the Collegiate Jazz Festival held at the University of Notre Dame. Sharifi began to focus his attention on film soundtracks. His foray into the world of film and television began as a keyboardist and orchestrator for Michael Gibbs. Together they scored three feature films and fifteen one hour television shows. Sharifi went on to compose the soundtracks to many major studio and independent films including Muppets From Space, Down To Earth, Nickelodeon film Harriet the Spy and the Paramount/Nickelodeon film Clockstoppers, and contributed to the scores of The Thomas Crown Affair, and The Rugrats Movie And while Sharifi’s initial focus in music can be credited to American jazz, it is his infusions of elements from the Middle East and Africa that make his music distinctive.

Bob Freedman

Bob Freedman : Artists 2012 | Jazzaar Festival Having Bob Freedman on the Team is truly an Honor for Jazzaar Festival. Bob is a composer, songwriter, conductor, saxophonist and arranger. After his high school education, he became a saxophonist in the dance orchestras of Serge Chaloff, Vido Musso, Woody Herman, Herb Pomeroy and Maynard Ferguson. He joined ASCAP in 1958, and his popular-song compositions include “And We Listened”. Throughout his life Bob worked for Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Lena Horne, Wynton Marsalis, Grover Washington, Miles Davis, Arther Blythe, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Herbie Mann, Michael Brecker, Billy Joel, Renee Rosnes, Dianne Reeves, won a Grammy together with Quincy Jones for The Wiz and conducted hundreds of Productions around the Globe. He also taught at the Berklee School of Music and was the chairman of their Arranging department until his retirement while being the music director at a Boston recording studio. In 2010 Bob wrote the arrangements and directed the recording sessions for this truly GREAT Big Band led by master bassist Ron Carter. It was released on Sunnyside Records on Sept 13, 2011 and worldwide in November 2011. The Japanese release (March 2011) is on EMI-Toshiba. Visit for more information and audio clips.

Corey Allen

CA 1 copy Corey’s professional background covers the entire range of the music business. Corey’s vocal and orchestra arrangements can be heard on recordings by The Manhattan Transfer with the Cincinnati Pops conducted by Erich Kunzel and with the City of Prague Symphony Orchestra conducted by Corey himself! He has arranged for “New Age” pioneer Suzanne Ciani, television star David Hasselhoff, vocalists Erin Boehm, Kevin Mahogany, American Idol’s sentimental favorite, Sherman Pore, the Japanese vocal group “Suite Voice” and “Spain”, the centerpiece of the latest Manhattan Transfer recording – “The Chick Corea Songbook”.

Helen Savari Renold

Helen Helen Savari Renold hails from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She’s been educated on voice, guitar, piano and composition in various educational institutions in Malaysia, the USA and Switzerland. As a performer Helen enjoyed a prolific career in a duet called ‘Cenderawasih’ (EMI Malaysia) before and after her venture into music education. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a degree in Jazz Composition and Arrangement she has contributed compositions to Jazz Ensembles as well as Lyrics especially for works written by Fritz Renold, her husband. She had written the texts for numerous Gospel Oratorios in the past decade. Their latest work together, an African Gospel Oratorium called „The Unseen Hand“ will be performed at the Jazzaar Festival 2013 in Aarau.


Featured Artistes in African Gospel Night!

Fritz Renold Musical Director

Fritz Renold : Artists 2012 | Jazzaar Festival In 1984, a 24 year old Renold received the Quincy Jones Full Scholarship Award at Berklee College of Music, Boston, where he achieved his B.A in Jazz Performance in 1987 and was voted into the college’s faculty immediately. Since 1997, ‘Fritz Renold and the Bostonian Friends’ have been signed to the label SONY – BMG Music – Columbia Records in New York. 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 is a founder of this Bandstand Learning with Role Models program at Jazzaar Festival that is now 21 years in operation.

Valérie Ekoume featured vocalist

ValAlger Issue d’une famille de musiciens, Valérie EKOUME est une chanteuse Franco-Camerounaise basée en France.

Dès son plus jeune âge, elle se passionne pour la musique et plus particulièrement pour le chant.

N’ayant de cesse de se perfectionner, elle décide en 2005 d’intégrer L’American School Of Modern Music, école basée Paris spécialisée dans la formation des musiciens. Elle y restera pendant 5 ans. Parallèlement à cela elle multiplie les formations de perfectionnement vocale.

Avec de nombreuses collaborations à son actif (YOUSSOU NDOUR, ALAIN BARRIERE, MACEO PARKER, Courtney PINE, PASSI, MC SOLAR, Papa WEMBA, Rokia TRAORE, Kaissa DOUMBE, Etienne MBAPPE, MEIWAY, Kofi OLOMIDE, Coco MBASSI, LULENDO), Valérie fait partie de cette nouvelle génération puisant ses influences aux quatre coins du monde.

Pendant 8 ans elle fera ses armes aux côtés de Manu DIBANGO au sein du Soul Makossa Gang et du Maraboutik Big Bang, ce qui lui permet de participer à plusieurs grands festivals à travers le monde comme le Festival de Canne, le Womad, Jazz à Vienne, Ziget et Couleur Café (entre autres).

Elle travaille actuellement sur son projet personnel qui lui permettra de matérialiser toute l’experience acquise tout au long de ces merveilleuses rencontres.

Michael Bradley Vocal Soloist

Michael Bradley : Artists 2012 | Jazzaar Festival Michael Bradley is a native of Charleston, South Carolina by way of Washington D.C. Michael sang his first solo at age 6 in his local church, and has been doing music ever since that day. Michael is a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he earned a degree in Music Education. Michael’s responsibilities while at Berklee were the Berklee Reverence Gospel Choir, Berklee’s Overjoyed Ensemble, and Berklee Concert Choir. He is currently the Director of Secondary Instrumental and Choral Music and is the leader of his own group, Michael Bradley & Worship. This will be Michael’s third appearance at Jazzaar Festival.

Rashad McPherson Vocal Soloist

IMG_5238 Rashad McPherson is a composer and musician who became involved in music at a very young age. He began playing the drums at age two, taking piano lessons at age four and wrote his first song at age six. Over his music career, McPherson has formed several groups and ensembles, been associate musician and youth choir director at Salem Baptist Church, competed musically around the country and traveled to Switzerland. On August 26, 2006, McPherson and New Vision recorded their first live album at the Salem Baptist Church in Omaha… Rashad is a graduate of Berklee College of Music as was a member of Berklee’s Gospel choir – Overjoyed that has contributed to Jazzaar Festivals Bandstand in the past.

Max Helfenstein Lead Trumpet/Flugelhorn

Max10 Max Helfenstein was born in Basel and lives in Zug, Switzerland.
He graduated from the conservatory in Zurich and then from 1976 to 1986 was a member of the Big Band Radio DRS (Swiss Radio). He played with the Tonhalle Orchestra, among other events, at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and at Queen’s University USA.
Following further studies with Carmine Caruso in NY., He worked together with the trumpeters Lennart Axelsson, Andreas Haderer Americo Belotto, Horst Fischer, Larry Mc Guirre, Al Porcino, Bob Cossin in the studio, concerts and tours. Next stages of his career include concerts with Jean Toots Thielemans, Sal Nistico, Jiggs Wigham, Tony Scott, Tusco Gojkovic, Georges grunts, Franco Ambrossetti, Cissi Houston, Rai Coniff, Bill Hollman etc
Playing in various genres such as classical music, musicals and TV. programs has tremendously enriched his trumpet playing. He has also worked as a musical director and band leader in many live bands. He is currently active as a music teacher at the music school Knonaueramt and plays lead trumpet in the big band Bela Balint.

Chico Freeman Tenor Saxophone Soloist

Chico Freeman : Artists 2012 | Jazzaar Festival 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.

Vernon Ice Black Guitarist

Vernon Ice Black : Artists 2012 | Jazzaar FestivalAn accomplished guitarist and vocalist, Vernon Black spent most of the past 20 years touring, recording and film tracking with music legends like Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Chakka Kahn and Lionel Richie. More recently, he’s performed and recorded with contemporary artists including Ashanti, Mariah Carey, India Aire, Busta Rhymes and Celine Dion. His work can be heard in films like “The Bodyguard,” “License to Kill,” and “Beverly Hills Cop II;” in advertising jingles for Jaguar, Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, Mattel and Levi’s; and in songs and sound effects on video games for Sony Play Station, Nintendo, Sega and EA Sports (Electronic Arts). And at the Jimi Hendrix Festival at Bumbershoot Stadium in Seattle Washington he was the co-music director and opened the show with the legendary “Experience” (Jimi’s Hendrix’s original band) – Mitch Mitchell (drums) and Noel Redding (bass).
Vernon is also a producer, composer and music director. Credits include; The Spice Girls (music director), Regina Belle (composer), Phillip Bailey (composer), Lenny Williams (composer, producer) and his 1st solo record “Sneak Previews” (composer, producer) {guest artists including Herbie Hancock, Steve Smith, Tom Coster, Phillip Bailey} and for multiple artists on his “Ice Black Productions” production company / independent record label.

A T N (Etienne Stadwijk) Keyboardist

at Cohen 2 A.T.N. was born in The Netherlands where he was exposed to music at a very early age. When he was in his early teens his family relocated to Suriname in South America, where both his parents were born. He quickly established himself as one of the premiere keyboard players on the scene, and with his broad interest in styles, work was never in short supply. At age 20 he went to Boston to go study music at the prestigious Berklee Music College. His major was contemporary arranging.
After a few successful years in Boston he moved to New York, which has been his home since then. He divides his time between recording/producing and performing live, and has had the privilege to have worked with such greats as Kenny Garrett, Richard Bona, Harry Belafonte, Maxwell, Patty Labelle, Paul Simon, and Marcus Miller, to name a few.

Kai Eckhardt Bassist

kai eckhardt 1 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’.

Olivier Serigba Percussionist

O_Serigba Oliver Serigba comes from Ivory Coast and will be a guest for the second time at Jazzaar Festival. He is an amazing percussionist who emigrated with his family and now lives in Paris and enjoys an active music career.

Dana Hawkins Drummer

4831834530_65963b01c1_o Dana Hawkins was born in Baltimore, MD in 1985. Dana started playing drums at the age of 2. His parents saw that he took a great interest in the drums at church. They bought him his first drum-kit at his 1st birthday party and from there he beat on the drums and everything else that would make a sound. A few years later Dana’s father realized that his son had a natural ability and bought him a professional kit.
In later years Dana became very involved with many local music ministries and national recording artist. Upon graduating from high school, Dana was excepted to Berklee College of music where he studied for 3 years. Shortly after leaving Berklee, Dana went on tour with MeShell Ndegeocello. From there he has worked with many artist including Matt Garrison,Stanley Clarke,Snarky Puppy,Janek Gwizdala,Peter Bernstein,Evan Marien, Talib Kwali, Gym Class Heroes, Adam Rodgers, Eldar Djangirov, Estelle, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jeremy Pelt, Esperanza Spalding, Marcus Strickland, Jacque Schwartz-Bart, Ada Rovatti and many others. Currently Dana is working on original music and partnering with fellow artist and friends “EVAN MARIEN” in pursuit of his sound and dreams of sharing his gift with the World.


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