Get ready for an evening full of tenor madness as two of Germanys most commanding and distinctive tenor saxophone players lock their horns!
Throughout the history of jazz the two-tenor band has been a characteristic sound, with each generation bringing forth outstanding formations such as Coleman Hawkins/Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon/Wardell Gray, Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt , Zoot Sims/Al Cohn or Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis/Johnny Griffin.
- BEN KRAEF- TENOR SAXOPHONE (D/MNE)
- PETER WENIGER - TENOR SAXOPHONE (D)
- RAINER BÖHM - PIANO (D)
- PHIL DONKIN - BASS (UK)
- IVARS ARUTYUNYAN - DRUMS (LV)
Ben Kraef/ Peter Weniger follow in these footsteps without merely just copying but adding their own unmistakable personalities to the fast swingers, medium-tempo juicy grooves and ballads that will make this night as heterogeneous as train ride. Fuelled by a rhythm section that consists of three of the most versatile jazz musicians around, Christian von der Goltz, Andreas Lang and Tobias Backhaus are all established composers and bandleaders in their own right who have built up international careers throughout the last years.
Ben Kraef is a German-Montenegrin saxophonist and composer based in Berlin. Ben graduated from the University of Music “Hanns Eisler”, Berlin and obtained a Master of Arts from The City College of New York in 2009 where he was also awarded the Billie Stoller Scholarship to an outstanding scholar and musician in 2008. The list of internationally renowned musicians Ben has been performing and recording with includes luminaries Lalo Schifrin, Fred Hersch, Pee Wee Ellis and Till Brönner as well as pop groups such as „Wir Sind Helden” and the radio big bands of HR and WDR.Peter Weniger is one of the most sought-after instrumentalists on the European jazz scene. In the course of his career to date, the saxophonist, who now lives in Berlin, has performed with musicians such as John Abercrombie, Adam Nussbaum, Conrad Herwig, Jeff Hamilton and Dave Liebman, and has also appeared on CDs and in concerts with Jasper van't Hoff, Eddie Palmieri, Billy Cobham, Jean Louis Matinier and many others. In addition to his live - activities, Weniger teaches since 1999 as part of a professorship at the "University of the Arts"- Berlin and was the artistic director of the Jazz Institute until mid-2019.
Rainer Böhm is one of the most virtuosic and important German jazz pianists. His studies in Mannheim were followed by a two-year stay in New York, where he completed a master's degree at Queens College. He is a professor of jazz piano at the Mannheim State University of Music and Performing Arts and at the Nuremberg University of Music. Rainer has released numerous recordings under his own name, but is also a highly sought-after sideman (Dieter Ilg Trio, Johannes Enders Duo, etc.).
Phil Donkin has the honor of a touring schedule filled with engagements with top international artists. Phil's latest achievement as a leader is 'Value' (2019 NWog Records). It follows his previous release 'The Gate' (2015 Whirlwind Recordings). When Phil is not leading his own bands and releasing sensational albums like 'Value' (2019 NWog Records), he can be seen and heard touring with artists such as Oliver Steidle, Tom Challenger, Philipp Gropper, Frank Möbus, Kalle Kalima, Jim Black, Wanja Slavin, Johannes Enders and Bastian Stein. Phil has toured throughout Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. In recent years Phil has also played with John Abercrombie, Marc Copland, Ralph Alessi, Joey Baron, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Chris Speed, Dan Weiss, Ethan Iverson and Bill Stewart. He currently lives in Berlin, Germany.
Ivars Arutyunyan is a musical, energetic, dynamic musician and drummer from Latvia. He has studied music all his life spent several years in Copenhagen and Paris, now lives in Berlin. He is an active member of the European jazz and improvised music scene and has played with artists such as Seamus Blake, Greg Osby, Logan Richardson, Jerry Bergonzi, Jesse van Ruller and Carsten Dahl, to name a few. He has performed in more than 30 countries and has been awarded the Latvian Music Grand Prize 2022, Best Jazz Record of the Year in Latvia (2019), Grand Prix in Jazz Hoeilaart (BE), Almeria Jazz (ESP) and Yamaha Drum Day (LV) ) etc.