Michael Blake Quartet
Michael Blake and his international ensemble will present music from
their Stunt Records cd, "The World Awakes - A Tribute to Lucky
Thompson". This exceptional recording features both compositions of
Lucky Thompson and compositions dedicated to his memory by Mr. Blake.
Listen to samples here: http://www.emusic.com
The group has been performing and touring internationally since 2002,
including the Aarhus, Rome, Berlin, Rochester, Vancouver and Copenhagen
jazz festivals. They have two other albums out: "Blake Tartare" and
"More Like Us" (Stunt Records).
For almost two decades, saxophonist, composer and arranger Michael
Blake has presented an array of innovative bands and
compositions that display his ability to simultaneously embrace jazz
history while challenging it.
Michael continues to tour and record internationally while remaining
rooted in the NY downtown music scene. His tenure with John Lurie and
the Lounge Lizards spans over a decade and includes numerous record
dates, TV appearances, a live concert film from Berlin, and film
soundtracks such as the Grammy nominated score for "Get Shorty".
He received a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation’s New Works for Jazz
Program. He has also received various grants from The Canada Council
for the Arts.
He was a Composer in Residence in the Jazz Composers Collective, a
nonprofit, musician-run organization dedicated to presenting original
His soprano sax work was recognized in the 2008 Downbeat Reader’s Poll.
Among the many artists he has recorded and performed with are Oliver
Lake, Grachan Moncur III, Medeski Martin and Wood, The Gil Evans
Orchestra, Jack McDuff, Steven Bernstein, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Hal Wilner,
Ben Allison, David Tronzo, Tony Scherr, and Kenny Wolleson.
For his extensive discography as leader and sideman, see his web site.
Pianist Søren Kjærgaard was born in the small town
of Lemvig, Denmark on March 5th 1978.
At age 19 he entered the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen.
This led to a one year study residency in New York where he met and
played with artists like Tim Berne, Herb Robertson and Michael Blake.
In 2000 he won the 1st prize in the competition, Young Nordic Jazz
Comets, with the trio Fuchsia. In 2004 Søren Kjærgaard recieved the
Danish National Radio (DR P2) Jazz Award
The award was followed up by radio appearances and solo, trio and
quartet albums as a leader.
In 2007 he recorded the trio album "Optics" in New York with drum
legend Andrew Cyrille and New York bassist Ben Street.
Søren Kjærgaard has performed in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland,
Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Italy,
France, China, US and Canada.
He has performed and/or recorded with:
Andrew Cyrille, Tim Berne, Herb Robertson, Derek Bailey, William
Parker, Jim Black, Andrew D’Angelo, Wayne Horvitz, Mike Formanek, Tony
Malaby, George Garzone, Peter Brötzman, Paal Nilssen-Love, Ben Street,
and Pierre Dørge.
Jonas Westergaard’s bass line began when he was 14;
it wove its way through the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen,
private tuition in New York with Mark Dresser among others, and into
many bands and collaborations with a large number of Scandinavian and
His first sign of recognition came when the trio Fuchsia, of which he
was a member, was elected Young Scandinavian Group of the Year in 2000.
This was followed by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s P2 Prize in
Westergaard’s stay in New York (2001-2003) lead to collaborations with
saxophonists Michael Blake and George Garzone.
Other of his many activities include recordings and live performances
with musicians and such as Jimmy Cobb, Tim Berne, Bandapart, Anderskov
Accident, John Tchicai, Oliver Lake, Kresten Osgood, Peter Wettre, the
Danish/Finnish band Delirium, and the trio WBZ with Jesper Zeuthen and
Drummer Ben Perowsky began his early performing
life with jazz legend James Moody, pop songstress Rickie Lee Jones and
R&B star Roy Ayers. He went on to tour and record with Miles
Davis’ sidemen Bob Berg, Mike Stern and John Scofield. He created and
co-led the band Lost Tribe who released three critically acclaimed
Ben has collaborated with numerous artists since then, including Uri
Caine, Steven Bernstein, John Zorn, Ronnie Cuber, Dave Douglas, Walter
Becker, Pat Martino, Chris Speed, Dave Kikoski, Misha Mengelberg, Drew
Gress, John Medeski, Larry Grenadier, Sylvie Courvoisier, Jamie Saft
and John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards.