Ramesh Shotham : percussion, voice
Born in Madras (Chennai) in South India, Ramesh Shotham began his music career during his high school years, playing guitar and drums. After completing his bachelors degree in Zoology in Madras, he formed a rock band called ‘Human Bondage’ and went on the road, performing in all the major Indian cities.
During the seventies Jazz-Rock era, Ramesh was influenced by bands such as Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti and this led him to the study of Indian percussion. He spent several years during the mid-seventies learning the intricacies of the South Indian Talas at the Karnataka College of Percussion in Bangalore. He became one of the first percussionists to integrate instruments like the Tavil with the drumset and began to create unique rhythmic sounds and patterns.
Ramesh was co-founder of one the first Indo-jazz-fusion bands called ‘Sangam’ and came with this group in 1980 to Europe, playing at major jazz festivals in various countries. Around 1982 he based himself in Germany and established himself as one of Europe’s most successful and sought-after percussionists. Here are some of the well-known musicians he has performed and recorded with: Charlie Mariano, Karnataka College of Percussion, Carla Bley Big Band, Steve Coleman, Sigi Schwab, WDR Big Band, Jasper van ‘tof, Rabih Abou Khalil, etc. He has also led his own formations such as ‘Bhavani’ and ‘Madras Special’. Ramesh Shotham’s discography lists over 150 CDs, several DVDs and a several documentary films.
Shotham has also been active conducting rhythm workshops in schools and conservatories all over Europe. He has developed a system of rhythmic instruction for all musicians called ‘GlobalTala’.
Shotham toured India with BujazzO/KCP and Eastern Flowers during November/December 2011.
Jan F. Kurth: voice
Jan F. Kurth grew up in Cologne and studied jazz voice and recorder at the Dresden Music Academy „Carl Maria von Weber“ from 2003 to 2008. As a singer, improviser, composer, recorder player and electro acoustic musician, he moves between improvised music, contemporary jazz, film scores, incidental music, pop, heavy metal and contemporary music. He often works in interdisciplinary contexts; live sampling plays an important role in his work. He was a project fellow of Fabrica Musica in Treviso, Italy and of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart.
Since 2005 he has been developing shortfilmlivemusic, a project, in which young musicians meet experimental short films. Since 2006 he has been working as singer and bandleader with the ensemble Lautstark!4, which plays compositions and improvised music. In 2008 he founded the Institute for Vocal Improvisation and the Duo Vokal Experimental with Agnes Ponizil.
Since 2010 he developes the concert series Klangradar together with the theatre in Freiburg. Also since 2010 he works with the experimental music theatre group Brunnenoper, which so far developed three pieces. He currently lives in Freiburg.
jazz drums and prepared percussions
Kappenstein studied jazz drums, free improvisation and contemporary music with Prof. Günter Baby Sommer from 2004 to 2009 at the Music Academy „Carl Maria von Weber“. Since 2009 he is a master student of the renowned drummer Eric Schaefer from Berlin.
Kappenstein worked with musicians such as Rolf Kühn, Markus Stockhausen, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Celine Rudolph, Johannes Bauer and Vincent von Schlippenbach. Tours led him to England, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and the USA.
Currently, he is part of the formations Ring (piano trio Jazz/World), Lautstark!4 (avant-garde/free improvisation), shortfilmlivemusic (live scoring of short films) ULMAN (world music/urban) and open range (jazz/world). His jazz series Feature Ring has been portrayed in various national media (Jazz Zeitung, Jazzpodium, MDR Figaro). For this series, an established artist from the German and international jazz scene is invited every month to be presented in Dresden.
tenor saxophone and bass clarinet
Lutz Streun was born in South Africa and grew up in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. During his childhood, the family migrated to Germany. At the age of 15, Streun began to play the saxophone and founded in 1998 the jazz and funk band Sindikaat. By now, he is a part of various national ensembles, such as the band Lautstark!4 (Jazzwelten Dresden, Boskovice/Czech Republic, Fete de la Musique Paris) and his trio Three Fall, which won the Future Sounds Competition of the Leverkusen jazz days and can be listened to as the supporting act of Nils Petter Molvaer in November.
He studied saxophone at the Music Academy in Arnheim, NL (ArtEZ) with Frans Vermeerssen and Jörg Kauffmann. At the moment he lives in Berlin and in the ICE.
Matthias Kurth: electric guitar
Matthias Kurth studied jazz/rock/pop guitar at the ArtEZ Conservatorium Arnhem with Frank Sichmann and graduated in 2008, in the same academic year as shortfilmlivemusic member Lutz Streun. His current formations include Lautstark!4 (jazz/improvisation/avant-garde), Ensemble Avram (oriental/world), Tamas (improvisation/oriental recitations), and shortfilmlivemusic (improvised music for short films) Especially Lautstark!4 and shortfilmlivemusic lead him to somewhat larger music and film festivals and to renowned jazz clubs (Jazzwelten Dresden, International Jazz Festival Viersen, Boskovice/ Czech Republik, Traumzeit Festival Duisburg, Filmfest Dresden, Filmnächte am Elbufer Dresden, Tuchfabrik Trier, Stadtgarten Köln, Fête de la Musique Paris and many more) Kurth’s guitar play is characterized by virtuosity and individuality, in both the jazz and the rock music area. His joy of experimenting and improvising lead him to the field of free improvisation, where he used various effect devices and intractable playing techniques. Matthias Kurth lives as a freelance musician in his hometown Cologne (Ehrenfeld).