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Reis Demuth Wiltgen

Jazz
  • Michel Reis
    piano
  • Marc Demuth
    bass
  • Paul Wiltgen
    drums

Crafty: They come from a small country – Luxembourg, but have all the charm of cosmopolitan musicians. If they were at home in London, their sound would be heard in the hipster spots of the city, next to bands like GoGo Penguin and Phronesis – but the jazz piano trio from Luxembourg is becoming more and more self-confident, they have already been on tour with Joshua Redman for example! Influenced by the international sound of other piano trios, SLY is created with innovative piano sounds – modern, smart, clever and sophisticated!

“Simply terrific!” writes JAZZPODIUM.

Michel Reis, Marc Demuth and Paul Wiltgen have been among the exceptional talents of the international jazz scene for years. Awarded “Export Artist of the Year”, the Luxembourg-based jazz piano trio toured worldwide from 2013 onwards, playing not only in Europe but also in the USA, Canada, South America, Russia, Japan, South Korea and China.

They formed the REIS DEMUTH WILTGEN Trio in 1998 while still in high school and performed on a regular basis in and around Luxembourg for a couple of years. The trio reunited in 2011 eager to share their experiences and new music. Their self-titled first album was released on Laborie Jazz to widespread critical acclaim. Since the release, the band has toured extensively throughout the world and has appeared at major international jazz festivals in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Western Africa. The band’s sophomore album “Places In Between” was recorded in New York City and released on Double Moon Records in 2016. The trio is now signed to the Italian label CAM JAZZ for whom they have recorded two albums: “Once In A Blue Moon” (2018) and their upcoming album “SLY”.

In 2016, the trio started collaborating with world-renowned saxophonist Joshua Redman. Redman says that he fell in love with their music from the moment he heard them when his own quartet was playing a double bill with REIS DEMUTH WILTGEN at a festival in France. He has been playing several of the trio’s compositions with his own bands. In March 2018, the trio toured in Europe with Joshua Redman as a featured guest. This tour included a performance at the Philharmonie Luxembourg featuring the music of REIS DEMUTH WILTGEN arranged for the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg by multiple Grammy Award winning composer and conductor Vince Mendoza.

SLY is REIS DEMUTH WILTGEN’s fourth release. Sticking with the known acoustic piano trio format, the album features new works exclusively and captures the trio’s current musical identity and the strong voice it has developed among piano trios in recent years.

When musicians experience displacement, their views broaden, their ways diversify, their personalities grow, their ideas change and, as artists, their sense of ownership of what they might consider home, intensifies. The trio’s Luxembourgish heritage is precious to them and they recognize the importance of being aware of one’s roots in the context of making and creating music. The music of SLY is by no means traditional to Luxembourg, but this album represents an homage of sorts to REIS DEMUTH WILTGEN’s home, an acknowledgement of their upbringing, an appreciation of the where and the what from which they came. Their home base merely provides a foundation upon which they can venture out to build new experiences and thus create an honest and sincere, yet innovative sound.

The fox on the cover represents their strong ties to Luxembourg. One of the most notable literary works in Luxembourg’s national language, Luxembourgish, is “Renert” (full title: “Renert oder de Fuuß am Frack an a Ma’nsgrëßt” – “Renert or the fox in a tailcoat and in human size”) by Michel Rodange, published in 1872. An epic satirical work, adapted from the 1858 Cotta Edition of Goethe’s fox epic Reineke Fuchs to a setting in Luxembourg. It is known for its insightful analysis of the unique characteristics of the people of Luxembourg, using regional and sub-regional dialects to depict the fox and his companions. REIS DEMUTH WILTGEN relates to the fox as a crafty, clever, creative and artful figure, characteristics very much in line with the artistry of the modern day musician. “sly” (like a fox), an album in homage to their identity as Luxembourgers.

biography

Pianist Michel Reis, bassist Marc Demuth and drummer Paul Wiltgen are three of Luxembourg’s most prominent jazz musicians. They formed the REIS/DEMUTH/WILTGEN Trio in 1998 while still in high school and performed on a regular basis in and around Luxembourg for a couple of years. The trio reunited in 2011 eager to share their experiences and new compositions. Their self-titled first album was released on Laborie Jazz to widespread critical acclaim. Since the release, the band has toured extensively throughout the world and has appeared at major international jazz festivals in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Western Africa. The band’s sophomore album “Places In Between” was recorded in New York City and released on Double Moon Records in 2016 (Mocloud Records in Japan). In 2017, the trio signed with the Italian label CAM JAZZ for whom they have recorded two albums: “Once In A Blue Moon” (2018) and their upcoming album “SLY” (2021). REIS/DEMUTH/WILTGEN was named “EXPORT ARTIST OF THE YEAR” by musicLX in both 2013 and 2018.
The repertoire of “Places In Between” was premiered at a festival in Luxembourg where the trio featured the world-renowned saxophonist Joshua Redman. Since 2014 Redman has been playing several of the trio’s compositions with his own bands. Joshua Redman says that he fell in love with their music from the moment he heard them when his own quartet was playing a double bill with REIS/DEMUTH/WILTGEN at Festival Charlie Free in France. In March 2018, the trio toured in Europe with Joshua Redman as a featured guest. This tour included a performance at the Philharmonie Luxembourg featuring the music of REIS/DEMUTH/WILTGEN arranged for the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg by multiple Grammy Award winning composer and conductor Vince Mendoza.

MICHEL REIS
Hailed as a “tremendous pianist” by Downbeat Magazine, Michel Reis has in recent years paved his way into an artist of international acclaim. Michel Reis has appeared in in many of the world’s most famous venues and festivals, including the Blue Note Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Olympia in Paris, the Casa de Musica in Porto, the Panama Jazz Festival the Montreux Jazz Festival, Cully Jazz, Crest Jazz Vocal, OctLoft Jazz Festival, Les Rendez-Vous de l’Erdre de Nantes and many more. He has toured extensively all over the world, performing in Europe, Asia, North and South America, as well as Africa. Michel Reis has released 11 albums as a leader and co-leader: A Young Mind (2005) and Fairytale (2009) for Waltzing-Parke Records, Point of No Return (2011) for Armored Records, “Reis Demuth Wiltgen”(2013) for the French label Laborie Jazz, ‘’Hidden Meaning’’ (2013), “Capturing This Moment” (2015) and ‘’Places In Between’’ (2016) for Double Moon Records / Challenge Int., a solo album entitled ‘Mito’ for Cortez Sounds / Mocloud Records (2018), one with his Japanese Group entitled ‘Japan Quartet’ for Mocloud Records (2018) and ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ for the CAM Jazz label (2018). 2019 marks the release of his second solo album and second album for the CAM Jazz label, entitled ‘Short Stories’. A native of Luxembourg, Michel Reis began studying classical piano, jazz piano, composition and theory at the Conservatoire de la Ville de Luxembourg under the tutelage of Gast Waltzing, Serge Bausch, Kris Defoort, Patrick Hartert and Guy Cabay. To further his musical training, Reis moved to Boston, MA to study at Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music, studying piano and composition with Danilo Perez, Ran Blake, Frank Carlberg, Hal Crook, Joe Lovano, and Dave Holland, obtaining first a Bachelor of Music and then a Master of Music. After his studies, Michel Reis moved to New York to delve into the professional Jazz scene, performing regularly with different groups as a leader and as a sideman. It is in New York, where Michel Reis met composer and orchestrator David Spear, who has been very influential in his career and whom he remained a student and a close friend with. Michel Reis has collaborated with Joshua Redman, Vince Mendoza Didier Lookwood, Richard Bona, Gast Waltzing, Patrick Zimmerli, Jeff Ballard, Esperanza Spalding, George Garzone, Paul Wiltgen, Marc Demuth, Adam Cruz, Jonas Burgwinkel, Robert Landfermann, Stefan Karl Schmid, Niels Klein, Louis Moutin, Mauro Gargano, Jonathan Orland, Takashi Sugawa, Akihiro Nishiguchi, Sun Ishiwaka, Louis Moutin, Mauro Gargano and many more. Besides performing, Michel Reis works extensively as a composer, arranger and orchestrator. Michel Reis has taught workshops and masterclasses in many different parts of the world, and since 2014, he has been appointed a part-time teacher for jazz piano at the Conservatoire de la Ville de Luxembourg. In 2005, Reis was a finalist in the First Moscow Competition for Jazz Performers. A year later, he took second prize at the Montreux Jazz Solo Piano Competition. Michel Reis was named Export Artist of the Year by the Luxembourg export office music:LX in 2013 and 2018 with the Reis Demuth Wiltgen Trio, and in 2014 as a solo artist. Michel Reis is a Steinway Artist.

MARC DEMUTH
Over the past several years, Luxembourg bassist Marc Demuth has emerged as a strong new voice in the European jazz scene. He has shared the stage with musicians like Michael Brecker, Kenny Werner, Slide Hampton, Erwin Van, Hein van de Geyn, Florian Weber, Jef Neve, John Ruocco, Guy Cabay, Jacques Pirroton, Phil Abraham and Felix Simtaine, amongst others. In 2001, Marc won “Best Soloist” at the annual Rotary Jazz Competition in Wavre, Belgium. He also won the prestigious Jazz Competition in Avignon, France as part of vibraphonist Pascal Schumacherʼs quartet in 2004. That same year, he toured Europe and Brazil with the European Jazz Orchestra under Portuguese bandleader and composer Pedro Moreira. A long-time musical partnership with Portuguese singer Sofia Ribeiro resulted in numerous appearances at venues and festivals all over Europe and the release of their Duo recording “Dança da Solidão” in 2006. Marcʼs 2008 quartet album “Orik” features Sofia Ribeiro alongside vibraphone player Pascal Schumacher, clarinet player Joachim Badenhorst and drummer Yves Peeters. His educational credentials include a Bachelorʼs degree and a Masterʼs degree from the “Koninklijk Conservatorium” in The Hague, Netherlands as well as diplomas in both electric and acoustic bass from the “Conservatoire Royal” in Brussels, Belgium. As an accomplished jazz educator, Marc shares his experience and insights with the next generation of creative musicians teaching at the Echternach Music School in Luxembourg.

PAUL WILTGEN
Luxembourg native Paul Wiltgen is internationally recognized as an accomplished drummer, an imaginative composer and a visionary bandleader. An artist in the truest sense of the word, Paul compellingly balances his musical aesthetic and his personal passion, creating a sound from the drums that simultaneously supports and inspires. After an extensive classical tutelage and a considerable amount of orchestral experience, Paul decided to pursue what would become his life’s passion: a career as a drummer. Not long after realizing his true vocation, Paul became one of the most in-demand drummers in and around Luxembourg. August 2001 saw the mark of a major milestone in Paul’s life: he moved to New York City to study at the Manhattan School of Music. Since graduating, Paul is in the vanguard of today’s jazz scene, having worked with many of its leading voices, including Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mike Moreno, David Binney, Lage Lund, Patrick Cornelius, Michael Janisch, Ambrose Akinmusire, Will Vinson, Walter Smith III, Bireli Lagrene, Tim Collins, Pablo Held and Franz von Chossy. In collaboration with New Orleans guitarist, composer and producer Brian Seeger, Wiltgen released the album Organic Trio “Saturn’s Spell” in 2017, which features four of his original compositions and which charted nationwide at #2 in the US JazzWeek Charts in February 2017 and remained in the Top 10 for two months. Wiltgen was also the leader of a New York band named “The Paislies”, which released an album on the Fresh Sound New Talent record label in 2007. He is one of the original members of The TransAtlantic Collective (Whirlwind Records, UK), a vivacious contemporary jazz ensemble made up of musicians based in London and New York City. Paul teaches drums at the Luxembourg City Music Conservatory. He endorses Canopus Drums.

review

“All the compositions are from the trio, half of them by the pianist, and they demonstrate a deep sense of dramaturgy combining lyricism and energy. A trio to discover without hesitation.” L’Avenir (Namur Belgium)

“a euphoric breakthrough by the trio”Marlbank Jazz Blog

“there’s a grandeur to his playing and an incredible melodicism in his writing” –Marlbank Jazz Blog

 

“Luxembourgish trio Michel Reis, Marc Demuth and Paul Wiltgen made a splash with 2018 Once In A Blue Moon on CAM JAZZ. They return to the label now with sly, which looks set to consolidate their reputation as one of European’s finest and most enterprising young piano trios. A baker’s dozen of new compositions ranges from the heated banter of “No Storm Lasts Forever” to the solemn swirl of “Viral”, a spectrum of moods that makes sly more than simply a collection of tunes but instead a satisfyingly and coherently programmed album.” – Brian Morton

“Their Ottawa show was an intense focus of sound, like an espresso shot, still memorable days later.” – Ottawa Jazz Scene

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