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Trio Taq: Marcin Masecki, Garth Stevenson, Ziv Ravitz U.S. Tour

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Marcin Masecki, the celebrated young jazz pianist who took the contemporary jazz world by storm when he won the 2005 Moscow International Jazz Piano Competition (its jury chaired by legendary Martial Solal), is being brought back by The Polish Cultural Institute on a U.S. tour with his long-time partners in Trio TAQ - Canadian bassist Garth Stevenson and Israeli drummer Ziv Ravitz - with concerts at the Lily Pad in Boston on Monday, December 17 at 7:30 PM; New York's Joe's Pub on Tuesday, December 18 at 9:30 PM; Chris Jazz Caf in Philadelphia on Thursday, December 20 at 9:00 PM; and the Bohemian Caverns in Washington on Friday, December 21 at 9 & 11 PM.

Trio TAQ was founded in Boston in 2002 while Masecki, Stevenson and Ravitz were studying at the Berklee College of Music. During a six-hour session of original compositions and improvisations, Marcin, Garth, and Ziv experienced a chemistry and magic like no other, and forged a lifelong bond and band. They began performing in Boston and New York and in March 2003 made their first trip together to Poland. Audiences were immediately captured by the energy, connectivity, telepathy, and honesty of the music. Over the next four years TAQ continued touring in Eastern and Western Europe at major jazz festivals and piano festivals like the London Jazz Festival and the International Jazz Piano Festival in Prague, as well as in clubs and concert halls. In 2005 TAQ recorded their album “TAQ Live in Minsk Mazowiecki."

[Trio TAQ] communicates and plays together so well that they seem to trust each other blindly... You will witness breathtaking technique, perfect timing, and great melodic richness; experimental techniques are utilized to build a perfectly- formed arc whose climax exhibits vivid expression and strength. - Jarek Polit, Jazzi Magazine

NEW YORK
Tuesday, December 18, 9:30 PM

Joe's Pub at The Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street
(bet'n East 4th & Astor Place)
New York, NY 10003
Tickets $15, 212-967-7555 or online
Table reservations: 212-539-8787

Subway 6 to Astor Place; N, R to 8th Street/NYU

MARCIN MASECKI was born in 1982 in Warsaw, Poland. At age 3 he started training with his father and at 7 took up the piano. He quickly showed interest in improvisation, and by 12 he was a regular at the legendary Polish jazz club “Akwarium". A year later he formed a piano trio and over the next years played frequently in clubs and entered three competitions, winning second place at the 1997 Jazz Sarteano Competition in Siena, Italy, and first place in two competitions in Poland. At 15 Masecki joined the much larger Polish jazz group “Alchemik" and co-wrote most of their output, which was recorded on four CDs. The group enjoyed great success for several years, playing in jazz festivals and clubs all over Europe. At 16 Masecki won the award for “Best Soloist" at the Jazz Hoeilaart Competition in Brussels (1999) while Alchemik won first place. That same year he was voted by Poland's main jazz magazine (Jazz Forum) as the year's “greatest hope for the future of Polish jazz." Meanwhile he was working intensely on classical music. At 15 he entered the Fryderyk Chopin Music School in Warsaw on a dual major - Jazz and Classical. A year later he performed Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with the Kielce Symphony Orchestra. He continued his studies on a scholarship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, graduating in 2 1/2 years. During his stay there he formed the trio TAQ with Garth Stevenson on bass and Ziv Ravitz on drums. Upon his return to Warsaw he married, and re-entered the Polish jazz world. In 2005 he entered the Moscow International Jazz Piano Competition and won first place. In Warsaw he got particularly involved in the free improvisational scene as well as intense research into 18th century music, culminating in the building of his own clavichord (predecessor of the piano). In the summer of 2006, at 24, he organized a 6-day festival under his name in which he played every night in a different setting - the first concert was Bach's Viola da Gamba Sonatas and the last was a free jazz quartet. That same year Masecki started working with the DJ collective “Innocent Sorcerers". Together with trumpet player Tomasz Stanko they have performed at various festivals, including the Heineken Open'er Fest in Gdynia. Other bands he has worked with include Pink Freud, Zbigniew Wegehaupt Quartet, Muzykoterpia, Mitch & Mitch, and artists include Michal Urbaniak, Dave Samuels, George Garzone, and Candelaria Saenz Valiente, among many others. He regularly performs solo improvised concerts as well, opening for such jazz greats as the Branford Marsalis Quartet and recently for Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the Warsaw Jazz Summer Days Festival.

GARTH STEVENSON was born in Kelowa, British Columbia, Canada. He studied piano from a young age and switched to bass in high school. In 2001 he was chosen to represent British Columbia in the National Artists program at the Canada Summer Games in London, Ontario. There, he composed Interplay, a piece for bass, clarinet, Inuit throat singing, piano, trumpet and percussion. At seventeen he received a full scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music. He excelled in the Berklee community and won many performance and composition awards. He was chosen to represent the Jazz Composition Department at the Student Awards Concert in 2004 with his composition Legacy. In Memory of Lee Ryman. While in Boston he performed with jazz greats such as George Garzone, Joe Lovano, Bob Moses, David Tronzo, Ben Monder, Bob Gullotti, John Lockwood, Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, and Nat Mugavero, and formed the band TAQ with pianist Marcin Masecki and drummer Ziv Ravitz. TAQ began touring throughout Europe in 2003 where they have become underground legends in the improvisational music world, especially in Poland. He graduated from Berklee in 2004 with a degree in jazz composition and performance; then moved to New York City. In New York he is busy performing in the improvised music scene. He is constantly exploring the possibilities of sound manipulation on his double bass through the use of effects pedals and processing. He recently performed in the avant-garde Vision Festival in a concert tribute to Leroy Jenkins. He is currently recording a debut solo album for solo bass. Garth is also a member of the successful folk/rock group, The Sonya Kitchell Band. Their debut album Words Came Back To Me sold over 100,000 copies and led the band to performances on David Letterman, XM Radio, Sirius Radio, and at major festivals including Bonnaroo, The North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival.

ZIV RAVITZ. born in Beer-Sheva, Israel, to a family of musicians, was drawn to music at an early age, playing the guitar, keyboard and drum. When he was 9 years old he started focusing on drums and by the age of 13 had begun his professional career, playing the drums at various clubs in Beer-Sheva and Tel Aviv and acquiring experience in a variety of musical styles, such as jazz, rock and avant-garde. In 1999 Ziv was chosen as a reserve drummer for guest performers from Europe and the United States at the Camelot Jazz Club in Tel Aviv. Ziv moved to the US in the summer of 200 to expand his musical experience and grow as a Jazz composer. Since then he has been performing and recording with numerous ensembles in the Boston area as a freelancer and as an artist, using his own compositions, which reflect his individual and unique sound. Ziv had the opportunity to perform with musicians such as Hal Crook, Greg Hopkins, Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Eugene Friesen, Mick Goodrick, Eli Dejibri, James Genus, George Garzone, Ben Monder, Avishai Cohen and more. In the winter of 2003, Ziv has become an official recording artist of Huber Music Management and Recording label of Cologne, Germany. In June 2003 Ziv won the Zildjan Scholarship Award. Since then Ziv has toured extensively all across Europe with various groups such as TAQ, Minsarah, Sin, Nicolas Simon Group, and the Iasi Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra. In Dec. 2004 Ziv graduated from Berklee School of Music with a Jazz Composition Degree. Ziv is currently signed as an ENJA recording artist.

This story appears courtesy of Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services.
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