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ABOUT

LINE UP 2024/2025

 

Conductor: Francesca Gaza

 

Lead Alto: Josh Schofield

Alto 2: Sara El Hachimi

Tenor 1: Baptiste Stanek

Tenor 2: Charley Rose

Baritone: Charlotte Lang

Lead Trumpet: Bastien Rieser

Trumpet 2: Alvaro Ocon

Trumpet 3: Tobias Schneider

Trumpet 4: Sebastian Greschuk

Lead Trombone: Lukas Reinert

Trombone 2: Lucas Wirz

Trombone 3: Fernando Brox 

Bass Trombone: Yossi Itskovich

 

The Basel Jazz Orchestra (BJO), established in 2023, comprises 18 professional musicians, all actively engaged in the vibrant musical scene of Basel. Serving as a dynamic hub for composers both within and beyond its ranks, the ensemble fosters a diverse array of musical expressions. Its members, hailing from various international backgrounds and boasting eclectic musical interests, contribute to the rich tapestry of the orchestra's repertoire.

Under the artistic direction of Francesca Gaza (DE-IT), a distinguished composer and vocalist with expertise spanning contemporary jazz, baroque, and improvised music, the BJO cultivates an environment ripe for innovation and collaboration. Gaza's visionary leadership empowers composers to explore new avenues of expression, pushing the boundaries of jazz and fostering artistic growth within the ensemble.

Beyond its artistic endeavors, the BJO plays a pivotal role in nurturing a thriving jazz community within Basel. Through its performances, workshops, and outreach initiatives, the orchestra engages with audiences of all ages and backgrounds, igniting a passion for jazz and fostering a sense of belonging within the city. By providing a platform for emerging and established composers alike, the BJO contributes to the cultivation of a vibrant and inclusive musical ecosystem, ensuring that Basel remains a hub of creativity and inspiration for years to come.

Biographies of Musical Leadership and Organizing Team

Francesca Gaza - Conductor

Francesca Gaza (1995) is a German-Italian singer, composer, pianist, and arranger based in Basel. Rich in diverse musical influences, her current commissioned compositions include a piece for mezzo-soprano and prepared piano titled "hänge ich, zwischen Zeiten" ("I hang, between times"), a work for microtonal organ & 'Arciorgano,' inspired by Nicola Vicentino's 16th-century organ, commissioned by 'Studio 31' with a small chamber ensemble, a jazz arrangement for the MIT Wind Ensemble from Boston, and a composition for mixed choir titled "son tanto," commissioned by the Young Chamber Choir Basel with texts by Sibilla Aleramo.

In the upcoming year, her new work for the Baroque ensemble "Il Pomodoro" will be performed.

As a performer, conductor, and sidewoman, she works extensively across contemporary jazz, early music, contemporary classical, and improvised music genres and has released three albums with her main projects: "Sfiorire" (2022, Tûk Music), "Kugelförmigkeit" (2021, Whales Records), and "Lilac for People" (2019, Auand Records).

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Francesca Gaza's works symbolize an emerging generation and a circle of composers and performers who have taken up the challenge of transcending traditional genre boundaries with respect. With her ensemble "Kugelförmigkeit," where she directs 14 Baroque, Renaissance, and jazz instrumentalists, she won the first prize of the composition competition "Fraumünsterhof" commemorating the 50th anniversary of women's suffrage in September 2021 with her piece "Isoritmo/Alice's Fall," performing at the art installation in Münsterhof in Zurich.

The project was commissioned by the Apples & Olives Festival in Zurich under the direction of pianist Nik Bärtsch and American composer Judd Greenstein for a second new work. This led to a collaboration between Francesca Gaza and composer and violinist Helena Winkelman, resulting in a new work premiered in July 2022 at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kloster Müstair, broadcasted and co-produced by SRF Radio Kutlur.

Simultaneously, she leads her other project "Lilac for People," an Italian octet she has been leading since 2016, where she indulges her preference for jazz, art-pop, and eccentric songs embellished with sophisticated arrangements influenced by rock, electronic, and classical music. The second album by Lilac for People, her latest production, was released in June 2022 on the label of renowned jazz trumpeter Paolo Fresu, Tuk Music.

In 2021, Francesca graduated with a Master of Arts in Composition from the Music Academy Basel, focusing on the Jazz Campus, with honors. She was mentored by Guillermo Klein, Caspar Johannes Walter, Lisette Spinnler, Jorge Rossy, Norma Winstone, Patrik Zosso, as well as Johannes Menke, Florian Vogt, and Ulrike Hofbauer, among others, in the Early Music department of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Prior to this, she studied jazz singing, piano, and composition with Stefano Battaglia and Diana Torto in Florence and Siena, graduating with honors in 2018. She is currently pursuing her advanced second Master's degree in Sound Design, Jazz Production, and Composition, which she will complete in 2023.

https://francescagaza.com/

Sebastian Greschuk "EL PRESIDENTE" -

trumpet 4, composition & coordination

Sebastian Greschuk began studying classical music at the age of 9 at the "Escuela de Música 9901 Orquesta de Niños y Juvenil" in the city of Santa Fe, Argentina. He completed his studies at the jazz department of the "Conservatorio Superior Manuel de Falla" in Buenos Aires in 2016. He received an Honorable Mention from the FNA "Fondo Nacional de las Artes" (National Arts Fund of Argentina) in the category of "Música Popular Inédita Competition" (Competition for Unpublished Popular Music) in the jazz category. His first album titled "Paisaje" (Landscape) was released in 2019 by the American label Ears & Eyes Records. In the same year, he was chosen as a "Revelation Musician" by the Argentine media "El Intruso".

He has worked for many years as a private teacher and also in educational institutions such as the EMC "Escuela de Música Contemporánea" (School of Contemporary Music) of the Berklee International Network as a professor of trumpet, jazz ensemble, and music notation, as well as in the "Orquesta Juvenil del Sur," an orchestra for disadvantaged children, as a trumpet teacher, and at St. Andrew's Scots School.

He participated in seminars on improvisation, harmony, and composition led by Marilyn Crispell, Dr. Barry Harrys, Bobby Shew, and others. As a trumpeter and composer, he has gained extensive experience touring in South America and Europe, performing in the most prestigious clubs and festivals.

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Back in his homeland, he had the privilege of playing with renowned musicians such as Tim Berne, John Hollenbeck, Ed Neumesiter, Conrad Herwig & Andy Hunter, and many others. Sebastian Greschuk came to Switzerland in October 2020, when he was selected along with seven other musicians from around the world to participate in the prestigious international Focusyear program at Jazzcampus Basel under the direction of Wolfgang Muthspiel. There, he had the opportunity to perform with globally renowned jazz musicians such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jorge Rossy, Pablo Held, Ingrid Jensen, Ben van Gelder, Ralph Alessi, Miguel Zenón, Jeff Ballard, and Lionel Loueke.

After completing the program, he decided to pursue a master's degree in composition at the same institution. Since then, he has had the opportunity to study with masters such as Brad Mehldau, Guillermo Klein, Ambrose Akinmusire, Larry Grenadier, Mark Turner, Alex Sipiagin, Philip Dizack, Jason Palmer, Pedro Martins, Chris Cheek, Aaron Parks, and others. In his first year, he was selected to arrange music for the wind orchestra at the renowned MIT University (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), as well as to write original music for the Jazzcampus Big Band and to arrange a piece for the Jazzcampus Large Ensemble, which was performed by guest Seamus Blake. He was also asked to compose a piece for the 25th anniversary of the Fondation Beyeler, which was performed during the Big Basel Festival in October 2022. Sebastian is also a co-founder and co-coordinator of the Basel Jazz Orchestra.

Sebastian is a co-founder of Ensemble Infinity and will release his second album of original compositions arranged for an octet in collaboration with American double bassist Ethan Cohn in the spring of 2023.

https://sebastiangreschuk.com.ar/

Lukas Reinert -

Lead trombone & coordination

Lukas Reinert grew up in Böblingen (Germany) and had his first encounters with big band music at school, where he learned trombone.

 

Tours to Southern Africa, the USA, Southeast Asia, and South America with big bands full of friends motivated him to pursue a music degree at JAZZCAMPUS Basel and a professional music career.

Comfortable in various music genres with his instrument, he enjoys exploring and developing rhythms and timbres, from experimental groove music to big band and chamber pop.

 

He has played in many jazz orchestras in Switzerland and Germany, such as the Zurich Jazz Orchestra, the Sarah Chaksad Orchestra, the Bundesjugendjazzorchester (BuJazzO), and the Tobias Becker Bigband from Stuttgart, collaborating with experienced big band figures like Ansgar Striepens, Rainer Tempel, Steffen Schorn, Jörg Achim Keller, Guillermo Klein, and Ed Partyka. In addition to his musical activities, he teaches trombone and jazz ensemble at the Zurich Conservatory of Music (MKZ) and is the musical director of the Big Band of the Zurich Youth Music Association (SJMUZ).

https://www.lukasreinert.ch/

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Bastien Rieser -

Lead trumpet, composition & coordination.

Bastien Rieser is a professional trumpeter, composer, and arranger who is passionately dedicated to the education of young musicians. Bastien plays trumpet and piano, possesses exceptional ensemble leadership experience, and has been teaching regularly for several years, both privately and in workshops. In addition to his teaching experience, he frequently performs in various formations at a professional level.

 

Bastien is currently in his final year at the Music Academy Basel at Jazzcampus, where he is expected to complete his Master of Arts in Education in July 2023. Over the past three and a half years, he studied Music Education, Jazz Composition and Arrangement, and Music Production on a Presidential Scholarship, an extended full scholarship, at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, majoring in Professional Music. He graduated from this program with "summa cum laude" honors in August 2020.

 

Bastien is interested in participating in music school activities and organizing ensembles and concerts, actively contributing to his environment.

https://www.bastienrieser.com/

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Baptiste Stanek -

Tenor saxophone 1, composition, coordination

Baptiste Stanek is a French multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Basel, Switzerland. As a co-founder of the Basel Jazz Orchestra, he is an active musician on the Basel music scene.

 

His passion for sound and timbres is reflected in his compositions, where Stanek focuses on exploring new textures and using uncommon instruments in the jazz domain. He particularly enjoys creating for large ensembles, ranging from sextets to octets to big bands, pushing sonic boundaries and crafting rich and original musical experiences.

In addition to his studies, Stanek is highly active on the European jazz scene. He regularly performs in France and was a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra from 2019 to 2023. He also leads his own projects, including a trio since 2020, with their debut album set to release in autumn 2024. As a sideman, he participates in various groups in Belgium and Switzerland.

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Stanek has already released two albums, "Extended Techniques" in 2021 and "Neboda" in 2022, available on all music platforms. He places particular importance on the local scene and resources of Basel, actively promoting exchanges and striving to make high-quality musical and creative projects accessible to all. He is regularly sought after for recordings and concerts, showcasing local talents and energizing the jazz scene in the city. His commitment also extends to fostering community spirit, creating an environment conducive to artistic growth and jazz appreciation within Basel society.

 

Passionate about woodwind instruments, Stanek currently plays all saxophones, Sib and Eb clarinets, bass clarinet, flute, and piccolo, and continues to explore new instruments. He has had the opportunity to collaborate and share the stage with significant figures in the global music scene, such as Nduduzo Makhathini, Mark Turner, Diego Pinera, Jorge Rossy, Yumi Ito, Song Yi Jeon, Tineke Postma, as well as close friends like Tabea Kind, Marta Wajdzik, Vaclav Palka, Wajdi Riahi, Noe Clerc, Francesca Gaza, to name a few.

 

Outside of his performances, Stanek is also heavily involved in the technical aspect and manufacturing of saxophones, boasting a strong expertise in the field. This expertise has led to collaborations with renowned brands such as Lupifaro, JLV Sound, and Antigua, through endorsement partnerships. Since 2023, Stanek has been proud to play an Inderbinen saxophone, demonstrating his confidence in the quality and performance of this instrument.

https://www.baptistestanek.com/

Biographies of the Other Members

Saxophones :

Saxophones:

Josh Schofield : Lead alto 

 

Before Josh Schofield was admitted to the Focusyear program at JAZZCAMPUS Basel in 2020, he studied at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. With his own projects, he has performed in renowned European jazz clubs and festivals, such as the North Sea Festival.

Sara El Hachimi : Alto 2

 

Sara El Hachimi hails from Olten and studied at JAZZCAMPUS in Basel from 2018 to 2021. She then spent a study year in Barcelona, where she recorded her first solo album. Currently, she plays in various projects in Switzerland and composes music for her own band project.

Charley Rose : Tenor 2

Rose identifies himself at the crossroads of rock, free, and jazz. He is also a great enthusiast of 20th-century music (Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Ligeti, etc.). These reasons led him to create the Larchey Zore Quartet, an experimental group working closely with extreme music genres. In 2016, he founded his Charley Rose trio alongside Enzo Carniel and Ariel Tessier. A first album was released on the Déluge label in 2018, and a second one will be released on the Menace label in June 2023.

Charlotte Lang : Baritone 

 

Basel native Charlotte Lang studied at JAZZCAMPUS Basel from 2016 to 2021 and graduated this year with an artistic master's degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston. She can be heard regularly with the Swiss Jazz Orchestra, the Zurich Jazz Orchestra, as well as projects of various musical genres throughout Switzerland.

Trombones :

Lucas Wirz : Trombone 2 

From 2007 to 2013, Lucas Wirz from Basel studied at the Jazz School in Basel. Since then, he has been active as a tenor and bass trombonist, as well as a tubist, in the Swiss jazz scene. He can be heard, among others, with the Sarah Chaksad Orchestra, the Jonas Winterhalter Big Band, and the Joe Haider Jazz Orchestra.

 

Fernando Brox : Trombone 3 / Flute 

Fernando Brox, originally from Malaga, Spain, moved to Basel in 2021 to participate in the Focusyear program at JAZZCAMPUS. He is currently studying composition there and planning his fourth album as a bandleader. He can be heard, among others, with the Sarah Chaksad Large Ensemble.

 

Yossi Itskovich : Bass Trombone

 

Yossi Itskovich, originally from Nahariya, Israel, studied at the Juilliard School in New York and then moved to Tenerife to work as a bass trombonist with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, he moved to Basel for the Focusyear program, where he has been studying and working as a trombonist and composer since then.

Trumpets : 

Alvaro Ocon : Trumpet 2 

Alvaro Ocon grew up in Granada and studied at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC). Since 2021, he has been studying at JAZZCAMPUS Basel. As a trumpeter, he played with the Django Bates Big Band in 2020, and in 2022, he placed third at the Keep An Eye Award in Amsterdam.

Tobias Schneider : Trumpet 3

Tobias Schneider is from Zurich and studied at JAZZCAMPUS Basel from 2018 to 2023.

Rhythm section : 

Lorenzo Vitolo : Piano 

Italian Lorenzo Vitolo studied at the Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella in Naples and at the Prince Claus Conservatory in Groningen. As part of his studies, he spent a semester in New York. In 2018, he was heard with the Generations Big Band in Frauenfeld under the direction of Maria Schneider, and in 2020, he was a member of the Focusyear program in Basel, where he has been living since.

 

Michał Skwierczyński : Guitar 

Michał Skwierczyński hails from Poland and moved to Basel in 2020 to study at the Jazzcampus. He has played at many European jazz festivals and participated in competitions. As a guitarist, he is in demand in various projects in Basel.

 

Gianni Narduzzi : Bass 

Gianni Narduzzi is from Rome and has been living in Basel since 2021, where he is studying at JAZZCAMPUS. Prior to this, he completed his Bachelor's degree at the Escola Superior de Musica e Artes do Espetaculo in Porto. He released an album as a bandleader in 2022 and also plays in various projects in the Swiss jazz scene.

 

Marton Juhasz : Drums 

Hungarian Marton Juhasz studied in London, at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and moved to Basel in 2017 to participate in the Focusyear program. Since then, he is currently pursuing his second master's degree at JAZZCAMPUS. He has recorded CDs with many renowned musicians, two of which under his leadership. In the Basel region, he is a sought-after drummer of various genres.

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