LUKAS OROVEC – trumpet & flugelhorn (Slovakia)
FLORIAN BRAMBOCK – alto & baritone sax (Austria)
TONY LAKATOS – tenor & soprano sax (Hungary)
ROBERTO MAGRIS – piano (Italy)
RUDI ENGEL – bass (Germany)
JEAN-MARC ROBIN – drums (France)
INTRODUCTION by Roberto Magris
In the first decade of my career, at the time of the “iron curtain” I was one of the few “western” musician to play and collaborate on a regular basis with some of the best musicians from the East-European countries. I have had several possibilities to perform in the former Czechoslovakia, in Hungary, in Jugoslavia, in Romania and in the DDR. In 1998, when I had the opportunity to give birth to the Europlane Orchestra (a central-European jazz venture sponsored by INCE-Central European Initiative), I continued to build bridges. The Europlane Orchestra was an “open” jazz ensemble that included some jazz musicians from East-European countries in combination with some others from the “West”, in the spirit of the political mission of the INCE-CEI (help the integration of the East with the West of Europe). I also had the opportunity to invite and meet again, after 20 years, some old friends of the times of the “iron curtain”, in a completely new personal, social and musical condition. How nice! As the musical director, I also had the pleasure to compose and arrange the music we performed in a dozen of meetings and recorded in 3 CDs.
When the last of those East-European countries finally entered the EEC, some years later, our cultural mission was finished and the financial support too. But I continued my musical mission under the name of Roberto Magris Europlane with a smaller format than the initial large ensemble/small big band. In the second decade of the second millennium I moved my main musical interests in the USA, where I have played numerous concerts and recorded more than 20 CDs as the musical director of the JMood Records, the jazz label from Kansas City. In the USA I have had also some chances to propose the Roberto Magris Europlane concept too, but I gradually went into new collaborations and musical directions with different groups with American musicians.
When the pandemic arrived, I had to take a long break as it was very difficult to plan more trips to the USA and to schedule a concerts activity there and even in Europe, because of the different rules and restrictions operating in the different countries. So, I’ve kept me aside for a while. Then, also the war in Ukraine has arrived and I’ve noticed the growth of a physical, intellectual and emotional separation among people and even among artists. This situation has operated, also in my own personal world, to destroy those bridges of collaboration and friendship that I had built, with strenght and determination, in my musical life long. But, during my long “silence”, I’ve always kept in mind the plan of re-starting again, in a springtime of souls, with a new creative and spiritual energy.
When I had to choose a name for this new project, I had no doubt: now’s the time for a EUROPLANE FOR JAZZ. Coming from the pandemic times and with the war winds in the air, we need to be firmly headed towards a future in the arts, in music, in jazz, peace, love, spirituality…
From a musical point of view, my direction in jazz has always been facing the tradition of jazz with the aim of adding something personal not only in a musical sense but also in an emotional and spiritual sense. So, could the musical direction of the EUROPLANE FOR JAZZ project be called “spiritual jazz”? Yes, it could be.
With this project, in 2024, I have in mind a big musical hug to everybody, to the friends on stage and to the audience at the concerts and to the listeners of the recordings. The musical result is for the pleasure of jazz lovers and the open minded thinkers as well.