New York-based tenor saxophonist
Jason Rigby has been hailed as “a truly
lyrical musician" and "New York's rising
star of tenor sax." John Murph of
DownBeat states: "Rigby's burly tenor
tone and searching improvisations recall
the expressionistic flights of Ornette
Coleman and Joe Henderson." An
earthy voice that deftly combines many
influences – critics recognize in Rigby
the creative mindset of Wayne Shorter,
the energy of John Coltrane, and the
elasticity and compositional style of
Ornette Coleman and Paul Motian. He is
rapidly attracting the attention of the
music world as a saxophonist and
composer who has something important
Jason Rigby first received widespread
critical acclaim for his debut album
Translucent Space, which put his
name solidly on the map of modern
creative music. The release was listed
by Wire Magazine as one of the Top
Jazz and Improv Recordings of 2006
and praised in The New York Times,
The Village Voice, Saxophone Journal
and other periodicals of note.
Rigby’s sophomore release, The Sage,
(Fresh Sound Records 2009) instantly
received stellar reviews for its
compositional expansiveness and
Austrian born drummer, Gernot Bernroider, has performed with top ranking musicians throughout Europe and the United States. He has shared the concert stage with renowned artists such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Benny Powell, Jane Monheit, Donny McCaslin, Gil Cogans, Dick Oatts, Phillip Harper, Manny Duran, Valerie Holiday and Alan Praskin to name a few.
Mr. Bernroider has been a featured artist with the Adam Rafferty Trio, the Nakujabe Ensemble and the Oulipians for several concert tours throughout Europe.
During his most recent Germany tour Mr. Bernroider received great critical acclaim as a brilliant technician with unique style (“Schwaebisches Tagblatt").
In New York City, the world’s foremost jazz capital, Mr. Bernroider has performed at well known jazz venues such as Birdland, Lincoln Center, Smalls, 55 Bar, Cleopatra’s Needle, Detour, Smoke Jazz Club as well as Merkin Concert Hall.
Mr. Bernroider received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 1997 and his Master of Arts degree from City College of New York in 2004. In spring of 2003 Mr. Bernroider traveled to Ghana, West Africa, where he performed with the African percussion ensemble “Sankofa Root 2".
Since the summer of 2002 Mr. Bernroider is a permanent faculty member at the New York Summer Music Festival, where he teaches drum-set, big band and improvisation.
Mr. Bernroider has appeared on Austrian national television and radio and has been leading his own groups on concert tours throughout Europe since 1999.
He continues to stay busy as an in demand drummer in the United States and Europe and will celebrate the release of his own CD in the fall of 2011.
Born August 11, 1966, Donny McCaslin grew up in Santa Cruz, CA. Inspired by his father, a pianist and vibraphonist, McCaslin started playing tenor saxophone at age twelve and progressed quickly, touring Europe and participating in the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival’s California All-Star band while in high school. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he joined Berklee professor Gary Burton’s quintet, with whom he toured for four years.
McCaslin moved to New York in 1991, working with bassist Eddie Gomez before joining the group Steps Ahead, with whom he made the 1995 disc Vibe (NYC Records). Around the same time, he collaborated with fellow New York saxophonist David Binney, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wolleson, in the piano-less quartet Lan Xang.
McCaslin really began turning heads with his solo work in larger ensembles – first with Ken Schaphorst’s big band, and subsequently with the acclaimed Maria Schneider Orchestra, where his performance on the album Concert In The Garden garnered McCaslin a Grammy nomination for “Best Jazz Instrumental Solo" in 2004.
In 2005, McCaslin joined the quintet led by the widely lionized trumpeter Dave Douglas. Reviewing the Douglas Quintet in Jazz Times, Josef Woodard wrote of McCaslin: “He’s a versatile player who moves easily between inside and outside musical zones… There’s a fluidity and grace to his playing even when he’s pushing at envelopes."
In the last few years, McCaslin has achieved wide praise for the incisive twists and purposeful turns of his emotionally charged solos, but those qualities – along with his distinctive voice as a composer – have actually been on display for much of the previous decade, during which McCaslin recorded eight albums as a leader, collaborating with a wide range of musicians, including David Binney, Johnathan Blake, Scott Colley, Ben Monder, Antonio Sanchez and Edward Simon.
In 2008 and 2009, McCaslin won the Downbeat Critics poll for ‘Rising Star on the Tenor Saxophone.’ His 2008 release, Recommended Tools, on Greenleaf Music was in many critics’ top ten lists for jazz record of the year, and in 2009, McCaslin released Declaration on Sunnyside, which features a brass quartet.
Guitarist and composer Dave Allen is a distinctive voice on his instrument and is widely respected in the jazz community as both a player and a composer. At the age of 16, Allen was recognized by Guitar Player Magazine as a talent to watch. Born in Philadelphia, Allen moved to New York in 1988 to attend the Manhattan School of Music. He has released two critically acclaimed recordings, "Untold Stories" and "Real and Imagined" on the Fresh Sound label, which feature original music and a well-crafted group sound. Allen has worked with many of the most respected musicians in New York City, including Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, David Liebman, Ravi Coltrane, Jeff Ballard, Donny McCaslin, Drew Gress, Nasheet Waits, Tom Rainey, Tony Malaby, and many others. He has toured with his own groups in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Scotland, Turkey and throughout the U.S.
Jazz Critics on Dave Allen
"Dave Allen is one of a number of spitfire jazz guitarists raising the bar on that ever-popular instrument. But Allen offers more than battle-ready chops—his Untold Stories and Real and Imagined are about original music, loftily conceived, with graceful melodic content and subtle rhythmic challenges. He’s got the pull to assemble world-class bands every time out." - David Adler, Jazz Times Magazine "Allen has found a true voice, his effortless technique downplays the apparent complexity, paradoxically creating a cool surface sheen that has a white heat glowing beneath it...music that seduces both the body and mind--again and again." All About Jazz
“An exciting and unique player in the mold of Pat Metheny, Ben Monder and Adam Rogers. Monster chops, harmonic resourcefulness, strong melodic sense, seamless group interaction, considerable compositional talent and a kick-ass group of talented players make this CD an electrifying piece of work." Lyle Robinson, Jazzguitarlife.com
"Allen has a fully developed and mature approach to composition, technical command of his instrument, and the inspirational fortitude to pull wonderful music from the ensemble. Each piece is like an aural painting or film in the way it slides across the psyche." Farrell Lowe, All About Jazz
"Allen has what could be dubbed as “string-imagination," the ability to quickly form and rethink patterns like moving water--flowing, lucid and spontaneous, paired with superior comping skills--filling in the gaps with creative touches and chord-work."
Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz