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LUCIAN BAN - selected press

Lucian Ban's Elevation "Songs from Afar"
Downbeat March 2016 *****
Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri “ Transylvanian Concert”
When Romanian-born pianist Lucian Ban and Grammy-nominated violinist Mat Maneri joined up for a concert in an opera house in the middle of Romania’s Transylvania region, the music was, as Jazz Times puts it, “as close as it gets to Goth jazz.” Released in 2013 as a live album by ECM Records, the Transylvanian Concert has won critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic and has spawned several tours. The duet is touring now in premiere the Mid & West Coast and is presenting material from their album & more - a program of self-penned ballads, blues, hymns and abstract improvisations, informed by the traditions of both jazz and European chamber music. In all, a uniquely compelling set.
The Press about the Transylvanian Concert album:
New York Times
“A lovely and restive new album on ECM – recorded in Mr. Ban’s native land – that reveals their shared interest in enfolding mystery”
All About Jazz " Moments of unanticipated beauty"
The Guardian “It has its own kind of melancholy beauty, and plenty of wayward exuberance, too"
Jazz Weekly "A modern collection of sonatas that erase the lines between jazz and classical, a melding of sounds similar to a modern liturgy"
London Jazz News "Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri wrung out not only the great seriousness of this music but also its wit and joy"
New York City Jazz Record
"Transylvanian Concert moves from strength to strength, each player makes the most out of a single note or chord, no matter how small"
Baltimore City Paper "A gorgeously melodic and moody collaboration"
A 2006 Grammy Nominee for “Best Alternative Album” MAT MANERI was born in 1969, and started studying violin at age five. He studied privately with Juilliard String Quartet founder Robert Koff and with bass virtuoso Miroslav Vitous. Maneri received a full scholarship as the principal violinist at Walnut Hill High School, but left school to pursue a professional career in music. By 1990, Mat founded the critically acclaimed Joe Maneri Quartet with Randy Peterson. Mat started releasing records as a leader in 1996, and has developed four working ensembles. Pianists Paul Bley, Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, and Borah Bergman have called upon Mat Maneri to perform with them in such venues as the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Library of Congress, and concert stages across Europe. Mat Maneri also enjoys a strong relationship with bassists Ed Schuller, Mark Dresser, William Parker, Michael Formanek, Barre Phillips, and John Lockwood. Never to be boxed in, Mat has also worked with Joe Morris, John Medeski, Tim Berne, Cecil McBee, T.K. Ramakrishnan, Franz Kogelman, Roy Campbell, Spring Heel Jack, Draze Hoops, and appears on an Illy B Eats remix CD. Mat presently teaches privately through the New School / NYC, performs and records worldwide. www.myspace.com/matmaneri
“Mat (Maneri) upholding avant-garde excellence, engrossing, ruminative viola improvisation of contrasting reticence” – Boston Globe
”Mat Maneri has changed the way the jazz world listens to the Violin & Viola” All About Jazz
Twice nominated in 2005 & 2006 for the Hans Koller “Best European Jazz Musician Preis“, pianist, composer & arranger LUCIAN BAN is originally from Cluj, Transylvania, Romania. He currently lives in New York City where is part of the next generation of performers & composers at the forefront of contemporary modern jazz. Mr. Ban leads the group ELEVATION featuring renowned tenor sax Abraham Burton, Eric McPherson on drums and bassist Brad Jones, the ASYMMETRY Quartet featuring altoist Jorge Sylvester, bassist Brad Jones and drummer Derrek Phillips and the TUBA PROJECT featuring legendary Bob Stewart on tuba, Alex Harding on bari sax, Bruce Williams on alto sax and Willard Dyson on drums. He co-leads with soprano sax great Sam Newsome “The Romanian-American Jazz Suite” group, a project that presents Romanian Folk music from a jazz perspective. Together with bassist extraordinaire John Hebert he co-leads the Octet Enesco Re-Imagined dedicated to re-imagining the works of 20th century classical composer George Enescu. In 2003 the Lumination Ensemble featuring drum legend Barry Altschul was voted "One of the best shows of 2003 "by the former All About Jazz Magazine NYC along with Cecil Taylor and Joe Lovano groups. Mr Ban has released 10 CD as a leader for labels in US and Europe and has toured extensively on both sides of the Atlantic. Lucian Ban has performed/recorded with: Alex Harding, Barry Altschul, Gerald Cleaver, Bob Stewart, Mark Helias, Sam Newsome, Tony Malaby, Ralph Alessi,  Art Baron, Curtis Fowlkes, Gene Jackson, Nasheet Waits, Ron Horton, Pheeroan AkLaff, Eric McPherson, Reggie Nicholson, J.D.Allen, Willard Dyson, Badal Roy, Carlo DeRosa, Damion Reid, Jorge Sylvester, Chris Dahlgren, Brad Jones, John Hebert, Bruce Williams, Bruce Cox, Hill Greene, Trevor Dunn, etc. www.lucianban.com
”Ban plays with a fluency and sensibility that recalls Vladimir Horowitz as much as McCoy Tyner” - Terrell Holmes, All About Jazz
“Ban suggests Keith Jarrett, Monk and early Abdullah Ibrahim with 20th-century classical infusions  . . . . a name to watch” John Fordham, The Guardian

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