From the media release
In 2013 these three fine musicians got together to perform and enjoyed the results so much they coaxed each other to go into the studio and record an album. Once in there, with the red light on they couldn’t stop, they tied the sound engineer to his chair and proceeded to record 14 songs (all available on their new release, “Paper Tiger”).
The resulting music is a diverse range of colours, grooves and timbres. Each member has a very distinct writing style but the compositions are approached as a collective. You can hear the band revelling in the freedom of the bass less trio format and revelling in the knowledge they do not have to check in a double bass at the oversize counter the next day.
Steve Magnusson – Guitars
Jamie Oehlers – Tenor and Soprano Saxes
Ben Vanderwal – Drumset
30th Sept Newcastle N.I.M.A. Grand Hotel Underground
1st Oct Sydney 505
2nd Oct Canberra Smith’s Alternative Bookshop
3rd Oct Melbourne Uptown Jazz Club
Stephen Magnusson is now one of Australia’s most accomplished, versatile and distinct musicians with incredible technique and an astoundingly beautiful tone. His hectic schedule shows that he is a delight to work with and someone that has something to say in the world of improvised music.
He was given his first ukulele at 3, his first guitar at 6 and began performing at 10 on an electric guitar that he loaned from his schoolteacher. At 13, he started to study under the guidance of Gordon Pendleton at the Box Hill Tafe and discovered the world of improvised music.
In 1986, he studied at the esteemed Victorian College of the Arts. Under the supervision of some of Australia’s finest musicians – Tony Gould, Bob Sedergreen and Mike Doyle he expanded his practice regime and playing. He joined various bands playing numerous styles and developed an understanding of different methods. But, his main focus remained, to develop and hone the craft of mastering the guitar.
Stephen continued to play and record with proficient and skilful Melbourne based musicians, but decided in 1994 to spend some time playing, travelling and being influenced by other cultures in Europe. During this time in Zurich, he met with his long time collaborator, Argentinean drummer Sergio Beresovsky.
After being appointed on the staff at The Academy of Contemporary Music (Zurich) in 1997, Stephen and Sergio began to perform regularly with Swedish bassist ‚Äì Bjorn Meyer. In the July of the same year, Australian saxophonist Julien Wilson travelled to meet and play with the trio. After the first week of playing together, they formed SNAG and produced a self-titled album (released in Australia as “Hey Guess What”).
Stephen continued to excel, receiving rave reviews throughout Switzerland and Europe, and was in demand as a player and teacher performing across the continent regularly with SNAG and many other ensembles. He was awarded two grants through the Swiss Arts Council POP KREDIT and was nominated for the Swiss Fellowship award in 1999.
After 3 years of living in Zurich, Stephen returned to Melbourne in August 2000. He entered the National Jazz Award at Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival, were he tied for First Palace amongst much controversy. At this festival he performed with his trio, The Stephen Magnusson Trio with Sergio and Eugene Ball. This recorded result is captured on the CD, “Healing Songs”.
2001 saw Stephen head back in Europe, touring throughout Germany and Switzerland. In October, Stephen bought SNAG to Australia for an East Coast tour and appeared at the Wangarratta Jazz Festival.
Returning in 2002, he spent time in the Northern Territory playing music in Aboriginal communities before returning to Melbourne and forming the band “Facelifter”.
From 2003 until now, he remains extremely busy playing with various ensembles, namely Assumptions (Julien Wilson and Will Guthrie) and also the Wilson, Magnusson and Grant Trio (again with Julien and also Stephen Grant), building on their musical brotherhood.
Jamie is one of the country’s leading jazz musicians, regularly touring and performing at jazz clubs and festivals throughout the world. Over the last few years he has been on stage with numerous jazz greats from around the world, including Charlie Haden, George Garzone, Eric Harland, Reuben Rogers, Robert Hurst, Ari Hoenig and Aaron Goldberg.
In 2007 he was named Australian Jazz Musician of the Year at the Bell Awards, as well as winning the Best Jazz Release category in 2005, 2006 and 2007; and in 2003 was the winner of the World Saxophone Competition.
Jamie maintains an active recording career with his 10th CD being released in August 2012 “Smoke and Mirrors”, featuring US drummer Ari Hoenig.
He is currently coordinator of Jazz Studies at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) which produces some of the finest jazz musicians in Australia. He has performed with international jazz artists at festivals and clubs in the United States, Asia, India, UK, Europe, New Zealand and throughout Australia.
Ben is one of the most in demand Jazz drummers in Australia.
Originally from Perth, Ben has also lived in Melbourne for four years and spent 18 months in New York. Ben has performed around the world including tours of the U.K., France, Ireland, India the U.S.A., China, Korea, Taiwan, Phillipines. Japan, New Zealand, New Caledonie, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Thailand.
He has played with John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Joe Lovano, Hank Marvin, Howard Levey, Madeleine Peyroux, Gilad Hexelman, James Morrison, Chris Potter, George Garzone, Kate Ceberano, Mark Murphy, Ernie Watts, Lionel Rose, David Campbell, Rhonda Birchmore, Nigel Kennedy, Don Burrows, Deborah Byrne and Lionel Rose.
In the last couple of years has returned to New York to study privately with some of the top Afro Cuban artists on the planet.
Currently, Ben is busy playing shows around Perth and in the East Coast.