Saturday night in Volga is completely dedicated to what’s been called One-on-One; no less than nine concerts by two heavy-hitters in jazz at a time. Inspiration for this series of intimate performances came from two different projects - with many similarities nonetheless.
For his 2015 music video art project The Seasons, saxophonist and composer Ben Wendel was inspired by a set of twelve piano pieces written and released each month by Tchaikovsky in 1876. Wendel’s modern take on the idea was to compose and release twelve original jazz chamber duets in video format on YouTube with modern luminaries Joshua Redman, Luciana Souza, Eric Harland, Julian Lage, and Ambrose Akinmusire, among others.
Pianist and composer Kris Davis’s 2016 album Duopoly contains a series of duets featuring renowned improvisers including Bill Frisell and Julian Lage (guitars), Craig Taborn (piano), and Marcus Gilmore (drums/percussion). Each musician plays two duets with Davis on the album; one composed piece and one freely improvised piece.
Adapted for the North Sea Jazz stage, One-on-One features performances by eleven different musicians in rotating duos.
Bassist Matt Brewer was surrounded by music from an early age, both his father and grandfather being jazz musicians, and his mother an avid music lover and radio DJ. He studied with bassists Rodney Whitaker and Ben Wolfe, and has worked with artists such as Greg Osby, Lee Konitz, Terence Blanchard, Antonio Sanchez, Vijay Iyer, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and many others. He released his second album as a leader, Unspoken, in 2016 on the Criss Cross Jazz label.
Gilad Hekselman has been developing into one of the most promising guitarists in New York since his arrival in 2004 from Israel. He has performed with many artists in the NYC jazz scene including Chris Potter, Anat Cohen, Esperanza Spalding, Christian McBride, John Scofield, and many others. His latest album Ask For Chaos was released last year and features both his bands: ZuperOctave (featuring Aaron Parks and Kush Abadey) and the gHex Trio (featuring Rick Rosato and Jonathan Pinson).