Grunting Pigs (Hungary)
The „GRUNTING PIGS” is the real-deal, breath-taking acoustic blues duo project of blues harmonica wizard, singer, composer Matyas Pribojszki and his long time friend and amazing guitar player Ferenc Szasz. The mission of the Grunting Pigs is keeping the Blues Music alive. They have a unique, tasteful sound, with highly energetic live performances and always lots of fun on stage!
Multi-award-winning Matyas Pribojszki aka “Jumping Matt” (1974) is one of the finest and highest qualified harmonica players and singers out there. The gold album recipient, official Hohner harmonica endorser has 11 (!) albums under his belt. During his career he has performed in 30 countries on three continents passing on the message of his own style of blues, many times sharing the stage with blues extraordinaires alike, Charlie Musselwhite, Bob Margolin, Duke Robillard, Howard Tate, Big Daddy Wilson, Carlos Del Junco, Paul Lamb, Andy J. Forest, Herbie Goins, Bill Barrett, Paul Lamb, Ian Siegal, Little G. Weevil and many others.
The international media highly praised it; BBC network invited Matyas for an in studio performance an interview. He made his debut tour in the USA covering eight States and thousands of miles. Matyas Pribojszki and his Band was invited as opening band for the great Bill Wymann and the Rhythm Kings, and for the one and only legendary Sir Tom Jones! Moreover Matyas was invited on the stage to play a song with the legendary Tom Jones!
”Matyas Pribojszki is definitely a brilliant instrumentalist; his tasteful play can by all means compete with the best harmonica players of the blues planet…” – Jean Jaques Milteau
“Matyas is an impressive virtuoso harmonica player and has an original style…” – Rick Estrin
“He plays both traditional and contemporary blues harmonica styles with a practiced assurance which belies his years and his tone, phrasing and timing are right on the money”- Steve Baker
The „Grunting Pigs” acoustic blues duo are touring a lot all around Europe, in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Croatia, Belgium, and The Netherelands… they are playing in small clubs, big venues, festivals and private events too.
Latest album: Grunting Pigs – Grunt away (PMCD007/2016)
Konstantin Reinfeld ja Benyamin Nuss (Germany)
At a young age Konstantin Reinfeld already causes a sensation in the music world. Having been proclaimed as a wunderkind since his first years of playing, harmonicist Konstantin Reinfeld got one of the most respected players and instructors in the world during the few years he has been playing the instrument. His chromatic playing on diatonic Hohner harmonicas sounds technically and emotionally mature.
With his first live appearance during the Frankfurt Music Fair in 2010 Konstantin, now 23 years old, made a huge impact and left an equally gigantic impression. At the invitation of the internationally renowned blues harmonica player Steve Baker he joined the “Harmonica Masters Workshops 2010” in Trossingen as a scholar and was discovered by Hohner getting the youngest member of their endorser program. After the autodidactic work his love to jazz led him to study at the “Howard Levy Harmonica School” and with Howard Levy himself.
In summer 2012 and still in high school Konstantin recorded his first and highly respected CD “Mr. Quilento“ in the legendary Peer Studios in Hamburg presenting his first original compositions. In 2013 the LP was published under the brand „Hohner Masters Of The Harmonica“, distributed through Membran/Sonymusic. Konstantin recorded his second full length LP ALGIEDI with his band Mr. Quilento” released in November 2015. With these recordings he shows that his own compositions eclipse every boarder between genres and can not be classified into a specific category. With that he explores new territories – not only musically concerning his diatonic instrument but also stylistically.
Since the recordings of his debut album Konstantin is one of the most sought-after harmonica players worldwide giving concerts on the most important stages in jazz.
As a soloist and lecturer he is moreover on the road for national and international harmonica festivals (World Harmonica Festival, Seoul International Harmonica Festival, APHF Harmonica Festival Beijing, Bristol NHL Festival, Pärnu Harmonica Festival, Harmonica Bridge Festival Torun etc.) and was announced as one of the best players in the world on the 10-hole instrument at the World Harmonica Festival 2013.
Right now he is focusing on different duo projects. For one thing he released an album full of jazz standards with Christoph Spangenberg in honor of Toots Thielemans, for another thing he is presenting the unimagined possibilities of the harmonica in classical and film music with Benyamin Nuss. In 2019 Konstantin was awarded with the OPUS KLASSIK 2019 music award for his debut album with Benyamin Nuss.
Dou Konstantin Reinfeld ja Benyamin Nuss
With Konstantin Reinfeld and Benyamin Nuss two young shooting stars of the German music scene get together creating an incomparable program for two instruments that could not be more contrary. Konstantin Reinfeld is one of the most versatile harmonica players across the globe and Benyamin Nuss is one of the few pianists luring a young audience into classical concert halls while touring the world.
In early 2017 the duo started to play together interpreting transcriptions of classical pieces on the diatonic harmonica and piano. This is a big novelty and a mission at the same time, because the classical repertoire for the diatonic 10-hole harmonica is very limited up until now. The duo’s iridescently diverse program conveys a haunting and individual musical experience to an enthusiastic audience. Meanwhile 8 composers were mandated to write a piece for harmonica and piano including Masashi Hamauzu and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. The duo performed during the broadcast of the Opus Klassik 2019 awards at Konzerthaus Berlin, where Konstantin Reinfeld awarded as newcomer instrumental for the album DEBUT with Benyamin Nuss.
Benyamin Nuss was born in Bergisch-Gladbach on the 20th of June 1989. At the age of six he began piano lessons. He was inspired and encouraged by his father, the trombonist Ludwig Nuss, internationally renowned jazz musician. Not only did Benyamin grow up with music from different genres, he really made classical music and jazz his passion.
How elegantly and emotionally he internalizes the music is demonstrated by his first prizes at the 2005 national Steinway Competition “Young Musicians”, and the 2006 international competition “Prix d’Amadeo de Piano” as well as his grant from the Hochbegabtenstiftung (Foundation for the Gifted) ”Best of NRW”. Benyamin Nuss has been studying at the Cologne/Aachen conservatoire with Prof. Ilya Scheps since 2008. Besides his love for classical music and jazz, he had always a passion for videogames and videogame music. He was the featured soloist in the award winning “Symphonic Fantasies” recording and his first CD released by Deutsche Grammophon is a tribute to the legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu, who scored the music for the most famous Role Play Game of all times “Final Fantasy”. In 2010 Benyamin did a well-received tour through Germany, where he played in most of the major concert halls, like Berlin Philharmonie, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Stuttgart Liederhalle and many more. Besides, he appeared as a major soloist of the “Symphonic Fantasies” and “Distant World” concerts in Tokio, Chicago, Cologne and Stockholm. Since then Nuss has played solo performances on TV, like in “Stars von Morgen” with Rolando Villazon and performed in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In 2012 he recorded his second CD for Deutsche Grammophon ”Exotica”, which was equally successful and was followed by celebrated concerts in Tokyo and Singapore. Recently, he did recordings and concerts for radio, performing Gershwins “Concert in F” with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie – Saarbrücken and Gershwins “Rhapsody In Blue” and Ravels Piano Concerto with the WDR Rundfunk Orchester.
Besides his outstanding abilities as a classical performer, Benyamin is a gifted composer, two of his compositions can be heard in “Exotica”. Apart from classical concerts, he also performs his music with his own Jazz Quartet or in a Trio together with his father Ludwig Nuss and the great bass player, John Goldsby. In 2016 he was invited touring through Australia and Malaysia and gave his debut with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. In 2017 he performed Gulda’s „Concerto for Myself“ with the WDR Funkhausorchester and played his internationally renown version of „Rhapsody in Blue“ with the Utah Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Kazuki Yamada.
Duo Macats (Latvia)
Raimonds Macats (1961) is one of the most important Latvian musicians of his generation! Since 1993, Raimonds has been the artistic director of Laima Vaikule`s band and regularly plays in the legendary Raimonds Pauls show programs. He has produced more than 50 recordings in the Latvian national music scene and has played with many important musicians in the Baltics. He is a composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, plays cello and keyboard and he is self-taught in harmonica music! In Estonia he is well known as a member of famous ensamble “Sounds of the Nordic Islands” with jazz musicians Villu Veski and Tiit Kalluste.
Rudolfs Macats (1988) is following in his father’s footsteps. He has studied in Amsterdam with Karel Boehlee, who was one of the pianists for the legendary harmonica player Toots Thielemans. And later in Copenhagen he earned a Master’s Degree in improvisation and composition. There, he studied with the legendary Russian pianist Misha Alperin and the legendary Danish pianist Carsten Dahl.