A DANCE-JAZZ-FUSION

„FUMMQ“ (Ferenc and Magnus Mehl Quartet) feat.
Elisa Badenes, Pablo von Sternenfels und Jesse Fraser

 

Elisa Badenes (dance)
Pablo von Sternenfels (dance)
Jesse Fraser (dance)
Magnus Mehl (sax)
Ferenc Mehl (dr)
Martin Schulte (git)
Fedor Ruskuc (b)

 

Dance and dance conception: Elisa Badenes, Pablo von Sternenfels, Jesse Fraser
Composition and arrangement: Magnus Mehl, „FUMMQ“
Music: „Ferenc und Magnus Mehl Quartett“
Costumes: Katharina Schlipf

further Information:
1 female dancer, 2 male dancers, 4 musicians
artists from Germany, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Serbia

 

About the Project:

 

This project presents a cooperation of the “Ferenc und Magnus Mehl Quartett“(FUMMQ) with three incredible dancers of the Stuttgart Ballet:
Elisa Badenes, Pablo von Sternenfels and Jesse Fraser.

Art has to live to remain exciting. This applies to all forms of it, including dance and jazz! In addition to the respective artistic heritage, it is essential to have a fresh and creative approach that provides both artists and audience with new impressions and experiences.
Magnus Mehl’s idea to combine dance and jazz within the “Theaterhaus Jazztage Stuttgart”, giving both art forms new and interesting impulses, was received with enthusiasm by all parties involved.

Together the dancers and musicians developed a special transgressive program that contains free elements and improvisations, as well as choreographed and arranged passages. The element of improvisation, especially, adds that certain something to this collaboration. It is omnipresent in jazz and allows a maximum degree of interaction.

Contemporary dance regards itself not only on the basis of technique or aesthetic form, but lives out of diversity. It seeks the transgression between arts, breaking with existing forms again and again. In this sense, contemporary art has an open structure which deliberately differentiates itself from defined, linear concepts of classic and modernity.
–Johannes Odenthal-

 

Vita Dancers

 

Elisa Badenes

 

was born in Valencia, Spain. From 2002 until 2007 she attended the Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Valenzia. At the Prix de Lausanne in 2008 she won a scholarship for the Royal Ballet School where she graduated one year later. One year later she took part at the Youth American Grand Prix. There she won the Gold medal in the category „Senior Women“ and an award as the best European dancer. In 2011 she participated at the competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize in Toronto, Canada and won the Audience Choice with her partner Daniel Camargo. They where performing the Pas de deux from the third Act of Don Quixote (Marius Petipa) as well as the Pas de deux Little Monsters which Demis Volpi created for them especially on this occasion.
For her interpretation of Giselle, Elisa Badenes was named in the critics’ choice 2014 of the magazines Tanz as “Female Dancer of the year”.
In the 2009/10 season Elisa Badenes joined the Stuttgart Ballet as an apprentice, in 2010/11 she has been taken into the Corps de ballet. One season later she became Demi-Soloist. In 2012/13 she was promoted to Soloist, again one season later to Principal Dancer.

 

Pablo von Sternenfels

 

was born in Mexico City and grew up at various places. He started his ballet training at the private ballet school Momenta in Chicago with the teacher Stephanie Clemens. After his return to Mexico City he continued his education at the Taller Coreografico de lu UNAM. Afterwards he was trained at the Escuela Nacional de Danza Clasica y Contemporanea for four years and two more years at the Escuela Nacional de Ballet in Cuba. He graduated in 2012 after two years at the academy of the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart. He successfully participated in several competitions. At two National Competitions in Mexico he won the gold medals. He took part in the International Competition of Cuba three times and twice won bronze medals. At the Festival de Danza Cordoba Veracruz he appeared twice. He won scholarships for the ABT summer intensive, the ballet schools of the Orlando Ballet and the Houston Ballet, for the Coban Escuela Nacional de Ballet, the Rock School for Ballet and for the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart.
In the season 2012/13 Pablo von Sternenfels became apprentice at the Stuttgart Ballet, one season later he was taken into the Corps de ballet. In 2014/15 he was promoted to Demi Soloist.

 

Jesse Fraser

 

was born in Saskatoon, Canada. He started his ballet training at private Brenda’s School of Dance in Saskatoon in 1998 and went to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in 2005, where he graduated with distinction in 2009. He was part of the Aspirant Program of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School from 2009 to 2010 and also danced at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
In the 2010/11 season Jesse Fraser joined the Stuttgart Ballet as an apprentice. One season later he became a member of the Corps de ballet.
For the Noverre-Society’s „Young Choreographers“ he has created two choreographies: Back and Forth premiered in May 2012, Second Self(ie) in 2014.

Vita Musicians

Magnus Mehl

 

studied Jazzsaxophon in Amsterdam, Köln, Nürnberg and Stuttgart. In addition to that he lived and studied in New York City on a full scholarship of the DAAD (German federal exchange service). He graduated summa cum laude.
Over the years Magnus Mehl has played in the youth Jazzorchestras of the German states Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. Furthermore, he was a member of the German national youth Jazzorchestra lead by Peter Herbolzheimer.                                                                                               With various bands and ensembles he won 1st prices at renowned international Jazzawards in Spain and Italy (int. Getxo Jazzcontest, int. Jimmy Woode Award),   and a 2nd price at the int. Hoilaart Jazzcontest in Belgium.
Magnus Mehl was a finalist of the int. Yamaha saxophone competition and was awarded the price “best saxophone player of the competition” at the int. Jimmy Woode Award.
In 2015 he was awarded with the Jazzprize of Baden-Württemberg (“Landesjazzpreis”).
Concert tours led him to Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia), Middle America (Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, San Salvador, Costa Rica) and to many European countries (Spain, Serbia, Italy etc.).
In cooperation with „Goethe Institut“, Magnus Mehl performed at jazz festivals abroad and worked as a lecturer at jazz workshops.
He is holding the cultural price of his hometown Rottweil (“Kulturförderpreis”) and a scholarship of the “Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg” (Fine Arts Foundation of the German state Baden-Württemberg).
Magnus Mehl had the pleasure to perform with Paquito de Riviera, Randy Brecker, Buster Cooper, Antonio Hart, Sandy Patton, Mark Soskin, Klaus Graf, Jake Saslow, Nils Wogram, the german actress Katja Riemann, Frank Chastenier etc.

 

Ferenc Mehl:

 

Born in southwestern Germany, Ferenc is a genuine Rottweiler. 
After graduating from a high school, with a special music branch, Ferenc began to study Jazzdrums at the Conservatory of Leipzig (“Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig”). In addition to that he attended the “Conservatory of Amsterdam”. Ferenc graduated with “Diploma” in 2010.
After graduating he was awarded with a scholarship to study  at Manhatten School of Music in New York City. Over the years Ferenc played in the Youth Jazzorchestras of the German states Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony and in the German national Youth Jazzorchestra (“Bundes Jazzorchester”).
Ferenc released two CDs under his own name and won the international Jimmy Woode Jazzaward in Italy with his band “FUMMQ” (Ferenc and Magnus Mehl Quartet). He has performed at “Schauspielhaus Leipzig” and played in various countries like China, Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, Malaysia, Austria, Spain, Serbia, Kosovo, Taiwan and Thailand.
Right now, he is performing in music theater plays at theaters in Halle/Saale and Heilbronn, he is performing with his Jazzquartet “FUMMQ” throughout Germany and he appears with the “Leipziger Auto Symphonikern”. Furthermore, Ferenc was was holding a scholarship of “Yehudi Menuhin –Live Music Now” and he is holding a scholarship of the “Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg” (Fine Arts Foundation of the German state Baden-Württemberg).

 

Martin Schulte:

 

Cologne based guitarist Martin Schulte (*1979) is one of the most asked-for guitar players of the jazz scene in Western Germany. With his guitar rifts, this “brilliant instrumentalist” (Westdeutsche Zeitung), traverses the spaces between modern jazz, rock and funk.
Born in Duisburg, Martin Schulte has quickly become an important part of the dynamic Cologne jazz scene. His much appreciated presence comes from his ability to be free with musical style, his deep feel for improvisation and his dexterity in moving between tension, intensity and relaxation. Forming his own musical style gained important impetus not only through his study of jazz guitar at the Hochschule fuer Musik und Tanz in Cologne, but also from lessons by international jazz celebrities such as John Abercrombie, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Hiram Bullock, Wayne Krantz, Peter Berstein and Ben Monder who says about Martin Schulte when he heard him playing the first time in New York: “He impressed me immediately as an extremely talented guitarist. I highly recommend him.“
In 2003 Martin Schulte spent 12 months at the Escola de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, on the ERASMUS scholarship programme. Starting in summer 2009 his next year abroad was studying “Performing Arts” in Queens College at the New York City University with the support of a scholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).
Since 2012 he is teaching at the Music Conservatory in Saarbrücken, Germany.

 

Fedor Ruskuc:

 

After studying violin for 9 years (since he was 6), he switched to double bass at the age of 15 . He finished his classical music high-school in 1999 during the Nato bombings playing a shortened version of his final exam concert .
 He switched his focus on jazz and started his studies in Graz with Prof. Wayne Darling . After getting an “excellent” on his Diploma in Graz he moved to Cologne to continue his studies with Prof. Dieter Manderscheid in 2002 . He graduated in 2005 .
 In 1996 he won the Serbian National Music Competition ,  Double Bass classical solo and was 2nd at the Yugoslavian National Music Competition . In 1998 Fedor repeated his success at these  competitions .
 With the “Magnus Mehl Quintet” he won the “Getxo Jazz Competition 2006” in Spain and was 2nd at the “Jazz Hoeilaart Competition” in Belgium . In 2008 “Magnus Mehl Quartet” won the “Jimmy Woode Award 2008” in Italy where Fedor was rewarded with the “Best Bass Player” award . With a world music band “East Affair” he also won the “Creole NRW 2008” in Germany .
He is a council member of the “Novosadski Jazz Festival” witch has a 10 year tradition in his home town of Novi Sad .
Fedor had performances all over Europe and Russia with many different groups and musicians including Keith Copeland , Dennis Rowland , Ondrej Stveracek , Andrew Krasilnikov , Douglas Sides , Ryan Carniaux , East Affair , Magnus Mehl , Adam Klemm , Vert , East West Europian Jazz Orchestra TWINS 2010 , Wednesday Night Big Band , Fantasmofonika and many more . He has also performed in a few musicals and theater plays in Germany , Austria and Serbia.

 

„FUMMQ“ / Ferenc und Magnus Mehl Quartett

Dick Oatts:
"The band sounds great together and I look forward to many more recordings in the future. The playing and writing on this record  is outstanding."
Richie Beirach: "This is a fine example of excellent young german jazz musicians. The heads are interesting with unusual lines and rhythmic dexterities. The solos are fresh and powerful and the music is a very creative combination of group interaction and real through-down burnout intensity. Recommended highly!"

Bandinformation

This formation around the brothers Magnus and Ferenc Mehl has dedicated themselves to modern, unaltered Jazz. Their fresh and intense band concept includes not only original new compositions, but also deep and emotional ballads. In their music these four show no fear and hesitation to dig deep into the history of Jazz; and yet, they never lose their personal and explosive style, giving their music both energy and soul.
The Ferenc and Magnus Mehl Quartet consists of musicians who had been selected and supported by the National German Youth Jazz Orchestra and various State Youth Jazz Orchestras. All of them have made a name and achieved success in multiple previous formations and groups.
Multiple times did the band tour through the clubs of the German jazz scene, and play at established international festivals. For example: “VS-swingt”, the Ibiza Jazz Festival, the Novi Sad Jazz Festival, the Pancevo Jazz Festival, or in Kopenhagen, by invitation of the German embassy. Moreover, the ensemble was invited by the Goethe Institute to tour Serbia and the Kosovo several times .
Their harmony on and off the stage, and their captivating, energetic solo performances excite crowds over and over again. The fresh and unconventional style of the Ferenc and Magnus Mehl Quartet in addition to their charismatic and unforced appearance makes it impossible to escape the magic of their music.

 

Awards:
  • first place at the Jimmy Woode Jazz Award (Italy). A jury around piano player Kenny Baron also  awarded the band with three additional prizes for outstanding individual musicianship.

  • first place at the Getxo Jazz Festival (Magnus Mehl) , a European wide jazz competition.

  • second at the 28th International Hoilaart Jazz Competition

  • finalist at the European Yamaha Sax Contest.

 
 
 

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