UW-L JAZZ FESTIVAL 2014 GUEST ARTIST
and his "Purpose Built" Quintet
Patrick Cornelius - Alto Sax
Philip Dizak - Trumpet
Matthew Stevens - Guitar
Clarence Penn - Drums
Michael Janisch is an award-winning electric & double bassist, composer, bandleader, producer, promoter,
record label owner and educator who works across a broad spectrum of traditional, experimental,
improvised and popular music. An American based in London, England, his multitude of talents across the
music industry have seen him become one of the most active and in-demand musicians of his generation, as
well as a lynchpin figure between US & European artists.
As an instrumentalist, critics, audiences and musicians alike know him for his warm and powerful bass sounds, virtuosic yet unorthodox technique, engaging improvisations and a very open yet supportive approach towards ensemble playing. Janisch can be heard as a bassist on over two hundred albums to date
and he regularly performs as a session musician with multiple radio & television credits to his name.
Michael currently holds the Professor of Jazz Double Bass position at the Trinity Conservatoire of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and is very active in giving masterclasses and lectures on all aspects of music making (as well as music business) at universities and festivals around the world.
Janisch has released three critically acclaimed albums to date as a bandleader and each project was
accompanied by substantial touring in his native US, the UK, Mainland Europe and the Far East: The
TransAtlantic Collective's Traveling Song (Co-Lead with Patrick Cornelius) in 2008, Purpose Built (Debut
Solo Album) in 2010, & Banned in London (Co-Lead with Aruan Ortiz) in 2012. His debut solo album
Purpose Built established him internationally as one of the premier bassist-bandleaders working in
contemporary improvised music, and drew together his sure-footed bass work (both electric and acoustic),
original compositions and some characteristically strong performances from a gun-slinging group of new
stars from both sides of the Atlantic. Jazz Times Magazine called it "the complete package" while Jazz
Journal noted it was a "perfect blend of tradition and modernity" and was received with high critical
acclaim by fans, press, musicians and fellow bassists, while making a number of ‘Best of 2010’ Critics'
lists. Purpose Built was also the impetus for the creation of Janisch's new record label, Whirlwind
Since the formation of Whirlwind Recordings in January of 2010, Janisch has become known for his work
as a producer, and to date has produced over 40 sessions by world-class artists he has signed to his label, as
well as other freelance projects. As a seasoned performer, session musician, bandleader and now successful
record label owner, Janisch brings a unique set of skills, knowledge and motivation to any musical project,
whether just producing a session on recording day, or helping an artist conceive an idea for a project and
seeing it all the way to the release date. As a promoter, Janisch has singlehandedly produced and curated
dozens of critically acclaimed live events, tours and festivals with some of the most potent names in the
creative music world, performing at major venues and festivals on five continents.
Michael has had the privilege to perform or record with: Gary Burton, Quincy Jones, George Garzone,
Roy Hargrove, Joe Locke, Phil Robson, Mark Turner, Shirley Horn, Dianne Reeves, Tim Warfield, John
Taylor, Joe Lovano, Jaleel Shaw, Perico Sambeat, Tommy Smith, Hal Crook, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Vincent
Herring, Evan Parker, Clarence Penn, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Donny McCaslin, Walter Smith III, Sir
John Dankworth, Stan Sulzman, Ingrid Jenson, Leon Parker, Mike Moreno, Gwilym Simcock, Jason
Palmer, Will Vinson, Christine Tobin, Ambrose Akinmusire, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Patrick
Cornelius, Ralph Alessi, Jeff Ballard, Jeremy Pelt, Jason Rebello, Logan Richardson, Tim Garland, Aruan
Ortiz, Alex Garnett, Jon Irabagon, Gary Husband, Greg Osby, Aaron Parks and Martin Taylor.
Award-winning alto saxophonist-composer Patrick Cornelius has emerged as a dynamic new voice on the New York jazz scene today. After a decade in New York City, the San Antonio native, has amassed an impressive body of work as a leader. Cornelius' four recordings as a leader have showcased his accomplished writing and potent alto sax playing in the company of an inner circle of talented colleagues on the scene. His 2006 debut, Lucid Dreams, featured pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Sean Conly, drummer Kendrick Scott and vocalist Gretchen Parlato. In 2008, he recorded Traveling Song with The TransAtlantic Collective, which featured the U.K.-based American bassist Michael Janisch, British trumpeter Quentin Collins, Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu and drummer Paul from Luxembourg. Cornelius' 2010 followup as a leader, Fierce, was primarily a trio outing with himself joined by bassist Janisch and drummer Johnathan Blake while 2011's Maybe Steps had the saxophonist-bandleader playing alongside pianist Gerald Clayton, guitarist Miles Okazaki, bassist and former Berklee classmate Peter Slavov and drummer Scott. For Infinite Blue, his 2013 release and second album on Whirlwind Recordings, Cornelius recruited a stellar crew of colleagues Michael Rodriguez on trumpet and Nick Vayenas on trombone along with Janisch on bass and two respected veterans in pianist Frank Kimbrough (Maria Schneider Orchestra, Jazz Composers Collective, The Herbie Nichols Project) and drummer Jeff Ballard (Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joshua Redman, Fly).
At the age of 28, Philip Dizack is solidifying his place as one of the important trumpeters and bandleaders of his generation. Named by DownBeat Magazine as one of twenty-five “Trumpet Players for the Future”, Dizack is constantly pushing musical exploration and expression to new levels. With the announcement of his 2013 Criss Cross release "Single Soul" and his 2012 release “End of an Era”, Dizack continues to garner critical acclaim, been named on numerous “best of” lists as well as attained extensive features in Downbeat, Jazziz, Musica Jazz, All About Jazz and on Nextbop.com. Prior to the release of "Single Soul" and “End of an Era”, Philip has toured extensively as a leader and has been a regular member of Nicholas Payton’s Television Studio Orchestra, Bobby Watson's Sextet, The Revive Da Live Big Band, 9- time Grammy Winning Pianist, Eddie Palmieri's Salsa and Latin Jazz bands and often performs alongside the likes of Wycliffe Gordon, Greg Tardy, Tim Warfield and the Captain Black Big Band led by Orrin Evans. In 2007, Dizack competed as the youngest semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. Two years prior, he became the youngest winner of the Carmine Caruso international Jazz Trumpet Competition. That same year, Philip released his debut recording as a leader, Beyond a Dream [Fresh Sound Records]. He later toured with his band through Spain and recorded the DVD, Live in Barcelona - Featuring Greg Tardy.
Philip Dizack, a native of Milwaukee, WI, moved to New York City in 2003, where he attended the Manhattan School of Music on a full tuition scholarship. As a member of the NFAA Stan Getz/Clifford Brown Fellowship All-Stars, Dizack toured the United States, Canada, and Japan. In 2004, he was named third place winner of the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition, winner of the John Coltrane Scholarship, and first place winner of the National Trumpet Competition in 2005.
One of the brightest guitarists of his generation, Matthew Stevens will soon be releasing his debut album on Concord Records. Over the past decade he has performed andrecorded with some of contemporary music’s finest musicians, including Christian Scott, Victor Bailey, Jason Moran, Rodney Holmes, Ben Williams, Jeff Lorber, Jacky
Terrasson, Esperanza Spalding, Ambrose Akinmusire, Sean Jones, Dave Samuels, Walter Smith III, Terri Lyne Carrington, Harvey Mason and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Stevens’ playing has been applauded in publications worldwide, including The New York Times, Downbeat, Jazz Times, Billboard Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and All About Jazz.
He has toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, South Africa, and South America, performing at some of the best national and international jazz festivals including Montreux, North Sea, Newport, Montreal, Monterey, Fujitsu, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage, and at renowned venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, The KennedyCenter, The Blue Note clubs in New York, Tokyo and Milan, and the MoscowInternational Music House.
Stevens is a member of the adjunct faculty at the New School and has taught at theMaryland Summer Jazz Workshop and Berklee College of Music Guitar Week (his alma mater). He is from Toronto, Canada, and currently resides in New York City.
Clarence Penn left his native Detroit Michigan to attend the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy. Upon graduation, he headed for the University of Miami, and a year later, transferred to Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) at the suggestion of Wynton Marsalis, whose father Ellis, was a faculty member. In 1990, Penn accompanied Ellis and Wynton Marsalis to Japan, where he met Lewis Nash. Impressed by the young drummer, Nash recommended him to Betty Carter. Penn was hired and moved to New York City in 1991.
Remaining with Betty Carter for several years, Penn went on to play with Stanley Clarke. Since then, he has toured, performed and recorded with a wide range of different artists, including Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Dizzy Gillespie, Luciana Souza, Gary Burton, Joshua Redman, Richard Galliano, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Charlie Haden, Makoto Ozone and Maria Schneider. “It’s important that people know my versatility, sensitivity and professionalism,” says Penn. “I’m very serious about what I do, and I want people to know that I can do the job that I’m called to do.”
In 1996, the esteemed independent jazz label Criss Cross invited Penn to record his first album as a leader titled Penn’s Landing.
In 1997 “Penn’s Landing” was chosen by the New York Times jazz critics as one of the best records of the year.
In 2001, Penn recorded “Play-Penn” for Criss Cross, and in 2002 released his first album with Universal/Polygram titled “Saomaye”. In 2012 Penn released two albums "A Masters Diary" and "Dali in Cobble Hill".