Seven friends from different nations, cultures and musical backgrounds, find a common path through playing music that transcends boundaries and is unlike anything that has been heard before.
Compositions: Markus Stockhausen
Markus Stockhausen lives near Cologne, is internationally renowned as a trumpet soloist, composer and teacher with more than 60 CDs published in the past 30 years. He leads the group musically.
Tara Bouman comes from Holland. She is an internationally renowned soloist of classical, contemporary and intuitive music, a member of the duo MOVING SOUNDS as well as a teacher of Iyengar Yoga. CDs at AKTIVRAUM.
Rabin Lahoud originates from Lebanon and now lives in Germany where he gave his debut in the Philharmonic Hall in Cologne on 27.12.2008. He shares his talents with others as a singer, teacher and composer. The texts in Arabian are written by him.
Dinesh Mishra lives in Mumbay, India. As a soloist he is in great demand in Bollywood and for concerts in India and in Europe. He gives regular courses in improvisation. With his Indian bamboo flute he quickly conquers the hearts of his audience. CDs appear at Neptun24.
Yonga Sun lives in Holland. He is an internationally active and a colourfully rhythmic chameleon. He is a winner of the Solo Prize of the Dutch Jazz Competition.
Florian Weber Francis – At the age of four Florian began taking private lessons and by the time he graduated from high school he had participated in both classical and jazz ensembles, winning 1st place competition prizes and had the opportunity to tour as a soloist with various philharmonic orchestras.
In 1999 Florian won a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston but instead decided to study mathematics, physics and biology first. Years later when the calling of music became too strong to deny Florian began to study with John Taylor in Cologne, Germany, JoAnne Brackeen and Paul Bley in Boston and Richie Beirach and Lee Konitz in New York .
Since 2001, Florian won the Steinway & Sons prize at the Montreaux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition, the Gotrian Steinweg prize of Weimar, the 1. Prize at the Jazzcompetition Monaco and the award of the german critics. He performed or recorded with Eddy Henderson, Lee Konitz (Florian was the first german piano player to record live at the renowned Village Vanguard. The album was rewarded with the Choc de l´Anne, Jazzman magazine), Pat Metheny, Ralph Alessi, Lionel Loueke, Dan Weiss, Thomas Morgan, Markus Stockhausen, Thomasz Stanko, Albert Mangelsdorff, and Benny Bailey.
With his group Minsarah and other projects he toured in America, all over Europe, Asia, Southamerica and Japan at some of the most important festivals and venues like Paris JVC festival, Berlin Jazzfestival, Jazz festival Montreal, Kennedy Center NY etc. and played with numerous philharmonic orchestras performing piano concertos e.g. by Mozart, Ravel, Gershwin and Piazolla as well as contemporary composers.
Today Florian lives in Cologne, Germany and partly in New York being part of the immensely lively scene of this city which led to his latest project „Biosphere“ which was released September 2012 on enja records.
In 2013 Florian received the Echo Jazz as best national instrumentalist piano/keyboard.
In January 2014 Florian was awared the WDR Jazz Prize for “Jazz Improvisation”.
In September 2017 the State Music Council of North Rhine-Westphalia awarded its SilverTuning Fork to MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN (its golden counterpart went to a completely different genre). The award provided an occasion for a concert with Stockhausen’s reconstituted band ETERNAL VOYAGE, which was kindly recorded by West German Radio 3 Jazzredaktion in Düsseldorf.
Though MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN has been known as a crossover artist for years, this band reaches an entirely new level of ensemble playing, a musical amalgam that packs a punch. Besides Stockhausen himself, the septet’s sound is essentially defined by the Persian musician ALIREZA MORTAZAVI, who plays a zither-like instrument known as a santur, and the Indian sitar virtuoso HINDOL DEB. But no less important are the contributions from Stockhausen’s wife, the Dutch clarinettist TARA BOUMAN, and the Lebanese singer RABIH LAHOUD, his longstanding confrère, who sings with sometimes spontaneously invented words in Arabic. Like Hindol Deb, two new musicians are working with Stockhausen for the first time: the German-Indian keyboard player JARRY SINGLA and the German-Polish percussionist BODEK JANKE, a virtuoso on the tabla. What we hear is, to a large extent, improvisations, with melodic themes from Stockhausen’s own pen. One example is the first piece, SEPTEMBER SONG, an elegiac essay that never once has its longueurs despite its 12 minute duration. The other numbers likewise radiate a meditative serenity that is invariably tightly focused and inviting rather than being soporific.
In AVANTI Stockhausen, Deb, Bouman and Lahoud pull off impressive unisono passages; ALAMEYN has almost hymnic qualities; and ALIREZA is, as might be expected, a showcase for Mortazavi. The entire concert abounds in riveting beauty and rare urgency. ETERNAL VOYAGE originated some ten years ago as a sextet and released its exciting first album in 2010. Of its original members, only Stockhausen, Bouman and Lahoud remain. But the band not only bears witness to the long-term planning that Stockhausen devotes to his various projects, it also serves as proof of the special affinity with which this flugelhorn player chooses musicians who fit himself and his band while having something of their own to say. Janke plays savagely and expressively, but also very precisely, and santur and sitar form an exquisite combination with their oriental flair. Singla is responsible for the harmonious cohesion of ETERNAL VOYAGE, functioning somewhat as the band’s rock-solid foundation. Lahoud and Bouman add special touches, spreading their wings and taking their listeners to unimagined heights. Enough ink has already been spilt on the unique tone and moving solos of bandleader Stockhausen. Suffice it to say that he never feels the need to place himself in the foreground; instead, he exudes a natural and warm-hearted authority – one quality among many that turns the album ETERNAL VOYAGE / LIVE into a genuine listening experience.