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Where are we now? Where are we now? That's what we ask ourselves in the face of pandemic uncertainty, geopolitical upheaval, and images of women in Iran in the fall of 2022 taking to the streets for their rights. Images that particularly concern Atrin Madani, son of Iranian immigrants. Where are we now? This is also a question that every generation of jazz musicians must ask themselves anew.

Madani, born in 1998, has found an answer for himself that is as clear and precise as his singing: What we need most right now is honesty. Humility. And quality. All of this can be found in abundance on the debut album of the Berliner without East or West in front of it, without walls and borders in his head, as the actor Hans-Jürgen Schatz once wrote about the singer.Madani's debut album "Where Are We Now?" is one big declaration of love. To the magic that arises when words and melodies form narratives that you just can't get out of your head. These structures are commonly called "songs". But when Madani sings them with his fabulous quartet, they become cinematic panoramas of the soul.


Atrin Madani is a world traveler in jazz, firmly rooted in his Schöneberg neighborhood. Born in 1998, he is a Berliner without East or West before, he did not experience the division of the city, never saw the Wall. Berlin became the capital and the seat of government, but for him it is above all the German capital of jazz. And there are no borders, no walls. Jazz is a universal language.It all began with Schumann, Mahler and Bach. At the age of ten, Atrin joined the Staats- und Domchor Berlin, sang with the DSO and the Berlin Philharmonic under Ingo Metzmacher and Sir Simon Rattle. In 2018, by which time he had begun his jazz vocal studies in Dresden, he was accepted into the vocal ensemble of the internationally renowned Bundesjazzorchester.In the fall of 2019, he moved from the Elbe to the Spree and now continues his studies at the Jazz Institute Berlin (JIB). In Berlin, he has become a fixture on the local scene. In his still young career, Atrin has already had the great honor of performing on stage with the likes of Django Bates, Jiggs Whigham, Marc Secara, Christian von Kaphengst, Torsten Goods, Thomas Stieger, Hendrik Smock, Benny Brown, Lisa Bassenge, Peter Fessler and many more. Concert activities have already taken him to countries such as the USA, Canada, Israel, Madagascar, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. In September 2017, he was given the opportunity to perform at the civic celebration of the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and in October 2021, at the awarding of the honorary citizenship of Berlin to the German President at the Red City Hall in Berlin. In September 2021 Atrin recorded his debut album "Where are we now" at Hansa Studios in Berlin, which was released in March.

Alexander Rueß - The Berlin-born Alexander Rueß is a freelance guitarist, composer and producer. He played in the concert line-up of the Bundesjazzorchester (BuJazzO) 2018/19 and studies at the Jazz Institute in Berlin and the Rytmisk Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. His teachers have included jazz greats such as Peter Bernstein, Sandra Hempel, Lage Lund, Paulo Morello, Håvard Wiik and Finn Wiesner. Concert tours have taken him across Western Europe as well as to Japan, Canada and the USA. One of his current projects is the band "Manko" with Otis Sandsjö (tenor), Robert Lucaciu (b), Florian Lauer (dr) and Asger Uttrup Nissen (alto). The band is produced by Swedish bassist Petter Eldh. Furthermore, Alexander plays in various lineups with Nathan Ott, Louis Navarro, Wanja Slavin and Benny Brown, among others. In 2019, Alexander Rueß was awarded the Lübeck Jazz Prize. After graduating from high school, he first studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden and two years later moved to the Jazz Institute Berlin. He was a member of the LJJO Hamburg and LJJO Schleswig-Holstein.

Christian von der Goltz has always been a sought-after accompanist and bandleader in the German music scene. He is an active member of the Berlin jazz scene and can be heard here in the most diverse and versatile line-ups. As a musician, composer and arranger, his career shows collaborations with numerous singers and instrumentalists, such as Dotschy Reinhardt, Miriam Netti, David Rose, Iris Romen or Uschi Brüning. He has played with Axel Dörner, Carlos Bica, Johan Leijonhufvud, Giorgio Crobu, John Schröder, Rudi Mahall, Ed Schuller, Pepe Berns, Frank Möbus, Jan von Klewitz, Henrik Walsdorf, Heinrich Köbberling, Danny Gottlieb, Stanley Sulzmann, Eliot Zigmund, Dejan Terzic, Thomas Alkier, Paul Imm, Felix Wahnschaffe, Spike Robinson, Till Brönner, Claes Jansson, Coco Schumann and many more.

Olaf Casimir, born in 1969, began playing the double bass at the age of 11. He dropped out of school at 16 and has worked as a musician ever since. After a stay in New York City from 1989 to 90, he returned to Germany and played with various jazz formations. So far in his career, he has played bass on more than 100 albums of various genres.

Tobias Backhaus is without doubt one of the most in-demand German jazz drummers. He studied under the guidance of master drummers John Riley, Joey Baron, Keith Copeland and John Hollenbeck and holds a Bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from the University of the Arts in Berlin. In the German capital, he quickly made a name for himself as a versatile and exciting musical accompanist and has been a vital part of the contemporary European jazz scene for well over the past decade. Tobias regularly works with internationally renowned jazz artists such as Till Brönner, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Tony Lakatos, Torsten de Winkel, Carlos Bica, Gwilym Simcock, Jiggs Whigham, Rick Margitza, Peter Weniger, Frank Chastenier and Ack van Rooyen as well as large ensembles such as the Dresden Symphonic Orchestra, NDR Big Band, Berlin Jazz Orchestra, European Movement Jazz Orchestra and many others.

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