NYC line-up: Keisuke Matsuno - guitar & effects | Martin Nevin - bass | Jason Burger - drums | Timo Vollbrecht - sax & composition
EU line-up with Sebastian Merk - drums | Phil Donkin - bass | Felix Henkelhausen - bass
“Luminously fine” (All About Jazz) German saxophonist-bandleader Timo Vollbrecht is a passionate, improvising jazz artist whose roots lie in Berlin’s innovative music scene. Together with his longtime partner-in-crime, German-Japanese guitarist Keisuke Matsuno, he formed an ensemble that is fueled by cultural diversity and inspired by the urban sounds of his cities Berlin and New York. According to the New York City Jazz Record, the quartet’s “dynamic and emotive music is blessed with rhythmic fluidity and intricate twists.” A magical blend of vivacious energy and emotional intensity create a genuine sound that often depicts the sensation of flying - hence, FLY MAGIC! It touches the soul of music fans and jazz lovers alike.
GRAMMY-Award-winning pianist Danilo Pérez invited the band to perform at the 2013 Panama Jazz Festival, followed by tours in Europe, the US, Dominican Republic and Haiti, where they shared the bill with highly acclaimed Branford Marsalis at the Festival International de Jazz de Port-au-Prince. This lead to a collaboration between Marsalis and Vollbrecht at the legendary jazz-shrine Village Vanguard. In 2016, FLY MAGIC toured Asia with performances in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. The band also appeared in Australia at the Perth International Jazz Festival and at the Jazz By The Bay Festival in Margaret River.
About the musicians:
Saxophonist and composer Timo Vollbrecht is one of Germany’s most important up-and-coming voices in jazz. Featured by important newspapers such as the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau, ZEIT, or Berliner Morgenpost, the Fulbright scholar studied at the Berlin University of the Arts, as well as with Mark Turner at New York University. He has performed alongside Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Carlos Bica, and even the Pop-icon Robbie Williams. Known for his rich sound, he has won numerous awards and released six highly acclaimed albums. In addition, he has appeared on such stages as the Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall. He is currently completing a PhD in Jazz Performance and Composition at NYU.
Keisuke Matsuno is a Berlin-based guitarist, who has earned his reputation on the international improvised music scene thanks to his skillful creations of textural soundscapes. As a sound artist and highly inventive improviser, he plays in Jim Black’s New Guitar Quartet and has performed with Dave Liebman, Chris Cheek, Chris Potter, and Till Brönner. In 2011, he gave his debut at Carnegie Hall.
Martin Nevin is a composer and double bassist originally from Los Angeles, who has become a household name on New York's contemporary music scene. He studied music at Columbia University and Manhattan School of Music and performs with notable artists such as Albert "Tootie" Heath, Billy Hart, Greg Osby, Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Ethan Iverson, and Aaron Parks. In 2017, Martin was awarded a grant by the Jerome Fund for New Music, awarded by the American Composers Forum.
Phil Donkin, born in Sutherland, England and resident of Berlin, has become one of the premier European bassists of his generation. He has lived in New York where he collaborated with Ben Monder, Kevin Hais, Nir Felder, and Shai Maestro. He frequently tours with Root 70, Marc Copland, Bill Stewart, and John Abercrombie.
Felix Henkelhausen is one of Germany's most talented jazz bassists. Born in 1995 in Oldenburg, Felix picked up the bass at the age of 14. He has worked with many musicians from the German jazz scene, especially in the city Berlin where many of his favorite musicians are based.
Drummer Jason Burger from Orange County, CA is a graduate from Manhattan School of Music who has appeared at important music venues including the Jazz Gallery, the Iridium, Shapeshifter Lab, while appearing TV channels such as MTV. A stellar jazz drummer, Jason moves beyond by incorporating groove from indie-rock and today's song culture. The receiver of the Louis Armstrong Award for outstanding musical achievement has also performed with legendary pianist Ted Rosenthal.
Sebastian Merk is one of Germany's most in demand drummers. He is professor for jazz drums at Dresden's conservatory Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber. Prof. Merk has gained international acclaim for his solo work as a composer, as well as for his collaborations with Johannes Enders, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Lee Konitz, Spaniol4, Bartmes, and Sebastian Studnitzky.