Torsten Zwingenberger 4tet
Three generations of musicians meet here to swing passionately. Together with saxophonist Patrick Braun, pianist Kenneth Berkel and bassist Carmelo Leotta, drummer Torsten Zwingenberger forms his latest project.
“Best Boost” is the name of the energetic debut of the band, who played their first joint concerts in early 2020. From Hard Bop to Cool & Soul Jazz to Brazilian Choro, the quartet celebrates the motto of Blue Note founder Alfred Lion on his 13-piece album in a multifaceted way and with a lot of joy in playing: It must swing.
For Torsten Zwingenberger, the collaboration with Patrick Braun also means a link to earlier projects with well-known saxophonists such as Buddy Tate (Count Basie Big Band) or Plas Johnson (“Pink Panther” Theme). In addition, with his quartet he builds a musical bridge between his traditional jazz band “New Orleans Shakers” and his modern jazz crossover trio “Berlin 21”.
On the occasion of Torsten Zwingenberger’s 50th (!) anniversary on stage, the album will also be available on vinyl from January 2023.
The Berlin-based drummer is one of the busiest personalities in the German Jazz scene. Over a hundred concerts a year, international tours and numerous projects as a bandleader and sideman are on his agenda. In addition, with “Drumming 5.1” he has developed a sensational drum technique, for which he expands the classic drum set with a variety of percussion instruments and plays with innovative drumming techniques. Zwingenberger prefers to show live and in direct contact with the audience how variably the sound bodies can be used for different musical atmospheres.
Patrick Braun studied the saxophone at Hanns Eisler Music Academy in Berlin and has since worked in many different formations. In addition to his diverse studio and theater work, he played in band such as “Toughest Tenors”, “Jive Sharks”, “Berlin Jazz Orchestra”, “Potsa Lotsa”, “Berlin Hot Jazz Band”, “Kind of Dukish” or “Blue Ribbon”. He worked with artists such as the New York Voices, Ruth Hohmann, Ack van Rooyen, Dieter Hallervorden, Manfred Krug, Niels von der Leyen, Patti Austin, Paul Kuhn, Hugo Strasser, Jiggs Whigham, Bill Ramsey, Gitte Henning, Joja Wendt and many more.
Pianist Kenneth Berkel (born 1996) began playing the piano at the age of 6. Shortly after a classical education, he became enthusiastic about Jazz at the age of 10 and learned the basics of improvisation. In 2021 he completed his studies at the renowned Jazz Institute Berlin, where he studied with Professor Wolfgang Köhler and Tino Derado, among others. Kenneth Berkel plays in numerous bands such as “Kick ‘n Quartet” and “Savoy Satellites”. He also performed several times with the Big Band of the Deutsche Oper (director: Manfred Honetschläger). He also played in the state youth jazz orchestras of Brandenburg (director: Jiggs Whigham), Hamburg (director: Lars Seniuk) and Berlin and took part in competitions such as “Jugend musiziert” and “Jugend jazzt”. Concert tours have already taken the young piano player way beyond the borders of Germany.
Bassist Carmelo Leotta has been a professional musician since 1999. The Italian debuted with the electronic bass in several blues bands, with which he played at the first Blues festivals of his home country. At the same time, he devoted himself more and more to the double bass, through playing it he deepened his understanding of the language of Jazz. From 2005 to Bobby Durham’s death in 2008 he played in his trio with Massimo Faraó on the piano. In the following years he went on tour with several renowned US-American musicians such as Archie Shepp, Benny Golson, Jimmy Cobb, Mickey Roker and Michele Hendricks. In addition to his live engagements, the bassist composes, arranges and produces with bands of all sizes (e.g. “Unity Music LLC”, CA, USA). In addition, Leotta teaches both as a private teacher and at various music schools. He has been living in Berlin since 2014, where he has been involved in numerous music projects from the very beginning.