Cronies

Lineup:

Kellen MillsBass, Composition (US)

Nic BarnesDrums, Composition (US)

Erik LeuthäuserVocals, Loops, Electronics (DE)

Toms RudzinskisAlto Saxophone (LAT)

Ruben BerngesElectric Guitar (DE)

Giba FerrazKeyboards, Synth (BR)

Doydas StalmokasTenor Saxophone (LT)  

Giovanni Chirico Baritone Saxophone (ITL)

Kellen Mills – Bass, Composition

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Kellen Mills  is a Bassist and composer hailing from the United States.  Having studied Composition, jazz arrangement and improvisation, his music has been likened to a mixture of rock, jazz and orchestral music. As a part of Alex’s Hand he’s released 5 studio albums as well as 2 albums of improvisation and an upcoming 6th album with a myriad of Jazz players from Germany, Israel, Italy and the United States. Performed at “Zappanale #29”, Burg Herzberg Festival, Freakshow Artrock festival, Seaprog, Nordhausen Jazz Festival.  Has arranged improvisational sessions alongside Nic Barnes entitled “Goblinsz” with a variety of guest performers from across Europe.

Nichalas Barnes – Drums, Composition

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Nic Barnes started as a Jazz Drummer in Seattle, WA at the age of 12.  He attended Roosevelt High School where he played drums for Roosevelt Jazz Band under director Scott Brown.  During this time he was also able to study and play with renowned jazz artists such as Ingred Jensen, Denney Goodhew and Marc Seals.  After graduating he was part of the Bellevue Jazz Band before moving on to study composition and recording at the Evergreen State College.  Nic was a very active member of the music scene in Seattle and Olympia before moving to Berlin in 2014. Since living in Berlin he has seen success across Europe as both a session drummer and co founder of Alex’s Hand, including just recently the Zappanale and Burg Herzberg Festivals in Germany.

Erik Leuthaüser – Vocals

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Erik lives in Berlin studying vocal jazz e.g. with Judy Niemack. The singer released his debut album In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee on MONS Records in November 2015. It includes bebop with German vocalese lyrics and was nominated for a critics prize of the German record industry called Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Erik won several prizes at international vocal jazz competitions: First prizes at Riga Jazz Stage 2016, Big Sky 2016 in Moskau and the Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Jazz Competition 2018 in Washington DC. 2nd prizes at the world renowned and prestigious Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2016 (as well as audience prize) and at the Voicingers 2017 Contest for Singing Musicians in Poland.

Furthermore Erik was one of the Top 5 vocalists at the international Made in NY Jazz Competition. He sang background for Quincy Jones, George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jacob Collier. The young musician was also a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany (BuJazzO) between 2014-2016. Since 2016 he has been part of an a capella group called Wortart Ensemble (Unit Records), which sets modern German poetry to music.

And since 2016 he is the singer of the Philipp Rumsch Ensemble (Denovali Records), which mixes minimal music, electronic music, pop and classical music and combines it with improvisation. Since 2017 Erik improvises with New York based Latvian singer Arta Jēkabsone (Unit Records).

Giba Ferraz – Keyboards, Synth

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Giba Ferrez is a Producer, Arranger, keyboard and guitar player living in Berlin.  He has studied modern piano at the Berklee College of Music, (Sao Paulo, Brazil) specializing in harmony, harmonic analysis composition.  He has studied with the Brazilian Maestro, arranger, teacher, and music research Claudio Leal who’s credits include Ivan Lins, Caetano Veloso, Arrigo Barnabe, and Vania Bastos.

Ruben Bernges – Electric Guitar

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Ruben Bernges is a young musician playing guitar and bass in a variety of different projects between progressive Avantgarde and jazz. After finishing his BA of musicology in 2017 he has been playing concerts  in and around Berlin regularly, becoming known for his unusual choice of playing an 8 string guitar.

Omri Abramov – Tenor Saxophone/EWI
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Omri Abramov is an Israeli Saxophone and EWI player, born in Jerusalem 1989.
Abramov had set foot in the professional world of jazz at the age of 18 when he played the renowned ‘Red Sea Jazz Festival’ with the Berklee Workshops leading ensemble. Graduate of ICM (Israeli Conservatory of Music) in jazz performance and winner of the IACF scholarship for years 2007-2011 with excellency. By the year 2011, Abramov had played several times with various groups at Israel’s leading Jazz Festivals including Red Sea Jazz Fest and Tel Aviv Jazz Festival.


Between 2010-2014 Abramov was a member of the Idan Raichel project, with whom he played more than 400 shows and recorded for the triple album “Home, Back and Forth”. Abramov is the co-leader of the jazz-fusion band ‘NIOGI’, with which he played at: Israel Festival IL, Bohemia Jazz Fest CZ, Ingolstädter Jazztage DE, Vilnius Mama Jazz LT, Jazz in The Park RO, Jazz Bliss Festival MM, Barby TLV, Frannz Berlin DE).
Abramov had also collaborated on stage and records with: Odean Pope, Ester Rada, Roland Guerin, Shai Maestro, Per Mathisen, Ashlin Parker, Marina Maximilian, Heinrich von Kalnein, Project RnL, Shalosh and many more.

Toms Rudzinskis – Alto SaxophoneTomsRudzinskis_JazzSaxophoneComposer_2019web

Toms Rudzinskis is one of Baltic’s leading saxophone players and composers with an innovative and unique sound in his performance and compositions. Leading his own band or performing as a well-respected soloist and sideman, currently resides in Berlin and travels across Europe to perform, collaborate and educate.

 

Masters graduate of prestigious Conservatorium van Amsterdam, numerous jazz and classical music awards winner, Toms has won has the “Keep an Eye” Jazz award with the quartet “North by Northeast”, Best Soloist at the international big band competition “Meer Jazz”, selected as the Jazz ambassador of the internationally recognised venue Bimhuis. Won the prestigious “Burghausen Jazz competition” Grand Prix with “Matiss Cudars quartet” in 2012, which led to an opportunity to share the stage with internationally renowned Cassandra Wilson. Won the “Dutch Jazz Competition” Grand Prix with Loran Witteveen quintet which led to a tour in 2016 covering the biggest venues in The Netherlands.

Giovanni Chirico – Baritone Saxophone
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Giovanni Chirico is a saxophonist, improvisator and composer from Puglia, Italy. He began to learn the saxophone in the woodwind street orchestra (“Banda”) of his town, San Michele,Salentino. He studied Classical Saxophone at Conservatorio Di Musica “N. Rota”, Monopoli, and currently holds a  Masters Degree cum Laude in Jazz Music at
Conservatorio Di Musica “N. Piccinni”, Bari.


In 2015 he went on tour with a jazz band lead by Roberto Ottaviano and Giovanni Falzone in the project “Ipcress Files”; the last concert at Casa del Jazz in Rome was recorded and released by ISMEZ. He also performed in other Jazz Festivals in Italy, such as Locomotive Jazz Festival (Lecce), Basilijazz (Matera), Nuoro Jazz Festival, Festival Musica Sulle Bocche (Sardinia).


On July 2018 he represented Italy in the Intercultural Creation Session of the Festival of Aix-en- Provence, under Fabrizio Cassol’s direction, with concerts in Aix-En-Provence, Marseille, Cassis and Avignon.