Fly Magic is Timo Vollbrecht’s signature ensemble. Contrary to the appearance of a stereotypical jazz line-up, the musicians treat it as malleable collective that re-works the compositional material in the moment by creating contrast and expansion, breaking it into pieces to then put it back together in new shapes. Together, they explore a variety of timbre through means of orchestration such as the juxtaposition of acoustic and electric instruments. E.g., the romance of a lyrical melody might be broken (or tinged) with a destructive sound-effect by the guitar. The collective expands into the territories of contemporary jazz, new music, post-rock, noise, and (instrumental) songwriting. Through this confluence of influences, their music transcends the limitations of musical genre.
Fly Magic has released two records on BERTHOLD records: Fly Magic (2016) and Faces in Places (2018), which has accrued over 140,000 listeners on Spotify and other digital platforms. 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.
Bernhard Meyer and Timo Vollbrecht go way back. Together, they played in the Berlin-based sound wonder “MSV Brecht”. Meyer is based out of Berlin and works with distinguished bands such as the “Melt Trio,” Lea W. Frey, and his solo project “Murmuration.” He has been nominated for the German Echo Award three times and featured in Downbeat Magazine as well as on Arte Tracks, Arte Concert, and Tagesspiegel. He plays electric bass.
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.