NYC line-up: Keisuke Matsuno - guitar & effects | Sam Anning - bass | Jason Burger - drums | Timo Vollbrecht - sax & composition

EU line-up: Keisuke Matsuno - guitar & effects | Matthias Pichler - bass | Sebastian Merk - drums | Timo Vollbrecht - sax & composition

“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 Smash and Grab and has performed with Dave Liebman, Chris Cheek, Chris Potter, and Till Brönner. In 2011, he gave his debut at Carnegie Hall.

Sam Anning, originally from Australia, is one of the foremost up-and-coming jazz bassists on the international scene. A citizen of the world he is in high demand in New York and tours in Germany, Europe, the Middle East, and Japan, he won the 2008 Bell Award for Young Jazz Musician of the Year and the 2010 Bell Award for Classic Jazz Album of the Year. Collaborations include jazz greats such as Joe Lovano, Ari Honig, Charlie Haden, Cyrille Aimée and Sheila Jordon.

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. 

Matthias Pichler one of the finest young jazz bassists in Europe. Born 1981 in Tirol, he studied jazz bass at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz and was awarded Austria's prestigious Hans-Koller Award in 2004 and 2006. In 2010, he won the Jazz Competition of the International Bass Convention in Berlin. Since 2005 he is a regular member of the Wolfgang Muthspiel Trio. Other collaborations include Harry Sokal, Ingrid Jensen, Dick Oatts, Jochen Rücket, Marc Copland, Kirk Lightest, and Johannes Enders. Concerts with these artists brought him to over 20 countries all over the world. He lives in Berlin.

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.