Fireworks of funk!
The Dejan Pečenko Quartet devoted their programme to the late and great American jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. Slovenian jazz pianist Dejan Pečenko and his band of renowned artists, including Gernot Strebl (saxophone), Manč Kovačič (bass) and Nikolaus Wonisch (drums), cooked up a true fireworks of funk with their latest project in which all of them are able to showcase their immense talent.
“No matter the song, whether it’s Actual Proof, Dolphin Dance, Butterfly or One Finger Snap, Hancock himself would surely want to get in on this tightly woven sound rug. Two extra songs that are not featured on their latest record Hang up your hangups, entitled Rocket and Watermelon man, exceed all expectations. It is safe to say that this concert will get under your skin, notably due to its bluesy feeling, solid rhythm and timeless solos.” (Wolfgang Gaube)
Dejan Pečenko lives and works in Slovenia and Austria. Since 1989, he’s been working as a professor of jazz piano at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz. He appeared with his jazz pianist act in most European festivals: Leverkusen, Lugano, Saalfelden, Wiesen, Moers, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Ascona, Korinthos, Kristianstadt, Salzburg, Nuernberg, Debrecen, Berlin, Burghausen, and Maribor. He also collaborated with European radio networks such as ZDF, SAT1, HTV, 3SAT, ÖRF1, TV SLO, RAI, and EBU. During his storied career he recorded more than 35 albums and played with some of the best artists in the jazz business such as Aladar Pege, Erich Kleinschuster, Harry Stoika, Reggie Workman, Doug Hammond, Lee Harper, Barbara Thompson, Boško Petrović, Ernie Wilkins, Karl Heinz Miklin, Don Menza , Pharoah Akklaff, Tom Lellis, Jojo Mayer and many more. He is the first Slovenian jazz pianist to record two solo albums with original music, ranging from swing and fusion to Brazil and Latin jazz.
Gernot Strebl studied at the Jazz Department of the Graz University of Music in the class of professors Karl-Heinz Miklin and Heinrich von Kalnein. He graduated cum laude from jazz saxophone in June 2001. He later honed his craft in master seminars with Bob Mintzer, Dave Liebman and Kenneth Jönsson. Some of the jazz and pop projects he collaborated on in recent years include Lungau Big Band (Nils Landgren, Randy Brecker, Tony Momrelle, Jiggs Wigham, Bobby Shew), Opus, Yukah, Smart Metal Hornets, UmspannWerk, Reverb Village, the Styrian Latin Brothers, Inner Urge, and Jazztettforum Graz. Strebl regularly appears in gigs across Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, China, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Bulgaria. Since 2000, he’s been part of various productions of Vereinigte Bühnen Graz (Next Liberty, Opera in Graz, Graz Schauspielhaus): Jesus Christ Superstar, Opera in Tripenny, Grimm. Since 2002, he’s been teaching at the Troifach music school. He recorded with the Lunga Big Band, Yukah, Smart Metal Hornets, Dejan Pečenko Quartet, Ulla Ihm, Reverb Village, Tres Allegrias, Jazztettforum Graz (Bernd Luef), and Lena Menshell.
Klaus Wonisch studied at the Jazz Department of the Graz University of Music in the class of professors Manfred Josel and Erich Bachträgl. He later honed his craft in master seminars with Billy Cobham, David Garibaldi, Rick Latham, John Riley, and Adam Nussbaum. He recorded and appeared in concerts with Jim Mullen, Dennis Irwin, Lee Harper, and Erich Kleinschuster.
Manč Kovačič graduated from the former Faculty of Technical Engineering, the Maribor Faculty of Education and the Koper Faculty of Education. Playing double bass, bass guitar and tuba, he appears mostly in gigs across Slovenia, Italy, Austria, and Germany. He studied at the Contemporary Music and Free Jazz Department of the New York New Jazz School in the class of professors Reggie Workman and Buster Williams. He took part in various projects with renowned artists: Brian Abrahams, Dejan Pečenko, Jim Mullen, Jimmy Witherspoon, Steve Bloom, Ratko Divljak, Ladislav Fidri, Zlatko Kaučič, Gilbey Karno, Barry Kerswell, Mike Hennessey, Gabriel Coburger, Lisa Wahland, Chico Freeman and many more. He devotes most of his time to exploring and studying the impact of sound on the human mind and body, using traditional standard and alternative instruments such as the didgeridoo, gongs, African percussion instruments, and Shamanic drums. He’s been working with Gustav Šilih Grammar School for a number of years as a music teacher for children with special needs. He’s the leader and mentor of most of the programmes implemented by the Posluh Institute.
Dejan Pečenko Quartet
- Gernot Strebl, saxophone
- Manč Kovačič, bass
- Nikolaus Wonisch, drums
- Dejan Pečenko, keyboards, piano