em

(Website)

ERIC SCHAEFFER was born in 1976 in Frankfurt and discovered drums at the age of twelve.

Performances of classical music, contemporary music and jazz – in orchestras, percussion ensembles and combos – followed, as did membership of the German National Youth Orchestra; concert tours through Germany, Israel, Hungary, tours with the hardcore band “Soulmate” and various jazz and funk projects. In 1995 he studied classical percussion and contemporary music with Christoph Caskl in Cologne.

In 1997 he studied jazz with Jerry Granelli and David Friedman in Berlin and took composition lessons with Maria Schneider and James Knapp. Since 1998 he has played concerts in South Africa, USA, Korea, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria, and Switzerland.

Besides [em], Eric has been and continues to be part of many diverse musical projects, and recorded with or played concerts with: Eric Schaefer + DEMONTAGE, Eric Schaefer + HENOSIS, Johnny La Marama, Nickendes Perlgras, Arne Jansen Trio, Carsten Daerr Trio, Das Rosa Rauschen, Michael Thieke Unnununium, Songful, Stefan Schmolck’s Electric Bundle, Stefan Weeke Trio, Young Friends, and Nils Klein Tentett, and in addition collaborated with musicians such as Carlos Bica, Frank Möbus, Rudi Mahall, Gebhard Ullmann, Ed Schuller, John Schröder, Herb Robertson, David Moss, Ulrike Haage, Steffen Schorn, Arkady Shilkloper, and Axel Dörner.

In 2005 he received the Karl-Hofer-prize from Universitaet der Kuenste, Berlin.

EVA KURSE (born 1978 in Hamburg) first started playing electric bass in youth big bands at age 14 – after already having played classical piano from the age of six – but it was not until a few years later that she switched to the upright bass.

In 1998 she moved from Hamburg to study Jazz/Improvisation at Berlin’s UdK (Universitaet der Kuenste) under Sigi Busch, Jerry Granelli and David Friedman. She also studied with renowned bass player Anders Jormin at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

While attending the German BundesJazzOrchester big band, British jazz pianist John Taylor – a guest teacher at the time – inspired her to start writing her own material, which has since become an important element of her musicianship.

Another source of inspiration and encouragement has been the German jazz festival JazzBaltica, which she has attended almost every year for the last 10 years, playing on all stages in various bands and constellations. Here she became friends with Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren with whom she now frequently tours.
Apart from [em], Eva is also currently playing with the quartett “Firomanum”, “Arne Jansen Trio” and the Berliner Pop/Elektro act “SOAP”.

MICHAEL WOLLNY was born Schweinfurt in 1978. He studied jazz piano with Chris Beier at the Hochschule für Musik in Wuerzburg from age 16, completing his studies in 2004 with a masterclass diploma.

His career as both performing and recording musician started at an early age, with ensembles such as the German Youth Jazz Orchestra, the Peter Herbolzheimer RC&B, Bob Brookmeyer / New Art Orchestra, and the HR jazz ensemble (featuring Albert Mangelsdorff and Heinz Sauer).

Other recordings and collaborations followed, with musicians such as Stephan Schmolck, Billy Elgart, Henning Sieverts, Makoto Ozone, Benny Green, Albert Mangelsdorff, Christof Lauer, Dieter Ilg, Hubert Winter, Wolfgang Haffner, Ulf Wakenius, and the Summit Jazz Orchestra feat. Clark Terry. He was invited as a special guest of the NDR big band in 2006, performing alongside Nils Landgren, Vince Mendoza, Peter Erskine and Pat Metheny.

In 2007 he released his first solo CD “Hexentanz” – also to great international acclaim. Solo concerts have included appearances at piano festival “La Roque d’Antheron” / Provence and German-French festival Jazzdor / Strasbourg.

In addition he frequently acts as pianist and musical assistant at the National Theater in Nuremberg.

Michael has received several prizes and awards, among them the “Stipendium des Rhein-Neckar-Kreises 2002”, the “Kulturpreis der Stadt Schweinfurt 2003”, the Bavarian Cultural Award 2005, the German Critics Award 2005, the “TZ Rosenstrauss des Jahres 2005”, the “AZ Stern des Jahres 2005”, the International Jazz Award of the “Nürnberger Nachrichten” 2007, the “CHOC de l’année 2006” (France) as well as “CD of the year” award from France’s “Jazzmagazine” in 2007.

Albums

[em] Wollny / Kruse / Schaefer

Label: ACT Records
Release date: February 22, 2008

em - [em] Wollny / Kruse / Schaefer

[em] II

Label: ACT Music - ACT 9655-2
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: October 01, 2006

“These are exciting times and from the critical acclaim that has come the way of Wollny and his colleagues – Eva Kruse on bass and Eric Schaefer on drums – who comprise the trio [em], it is clear they are at the forefront of a burgeoning European jazz explosion.

The compositions on “[em] II” are shorter, crisper and to the point. [...]The powerful duality between the written and the improvised is typical of the challenges these young musicians set themselves, and the aplomb with which they carry it off verges on the breathtaking.”

Stuart Nicholson – Jazzwise

em - [em] II

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Label: ACT
Release date: January 01, 2005

em - CALL IT