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Janisch back home to lead concert

Michael Janisch’s quintet promoted on a poster. (Submitted photo)

After 15 years in New York and Europe, Ellsworth native and award-winning bassist Michael Janisch is returning to the Midwest with his quintet: Matthew Stevens (guitar), Patrick Cornelius (alto sax), Philip Dizack (trumpet) and Clarence Penn (drums).

Janisch’s ‘Purpose Built’ Quintet will perform music from his critically acclaimed albums, “Purpose Built” and “Banned in London,” both released under his upcoming label, Whirlwind Recordings, in a concert this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Studio Z, Northwestern Building, 275 E. Fourth St., St. Paul.

Janisch will also be the featured artist of the UW-La Crosse Jazz Festival this Friday and Saturday.

Janisch is an award-winning electric and double bassist, composer, bandleader, producer, promoter and record label owner who, after living in Boston and New York City, is now based in London, England, since 2005. His multitude of talents across the music industry have seen him become one of the most active and in-demand musicians of his generation, one of the premier bassist-bandleaders in jazz, as well as a lynchpin figure between U.S. and European artists.

Janisch has become known for his warm and powerful bass sounds, virtuosic yet unorthodox technique, engaging improvisations and a very open yet supportive approach toward ensemble playing, and he can be heard as a bassist on over 200 albums to date. Janisch currently holds the Professor of Double Bass position at the Trinity Conservatoire of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and gives master classes at universities and festivals around the world.

Janisch has released three critically acclaimed albums to date: The TransAtlantic Collective's “Traveling Song” (co-led with Patrick Cornelius) 2008, “Purpose Built” (Debut Solo Album) 2010, and “Banned in London” (co-led with Aruan Ortiz) 2012.

Janisch's most recent release (a joint effort with Ortiz) has been heralded by The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine (Best Albums list of 2013) and most recently JazzTimes as arguably the best live album recorded this year.

Since the formation of his record label, Janisch has become known for his work as a producer and to date has produced over 40 sessions. As a promoter, Janisch has curated dozens of critically acclaimed live events, tours and festivals with some of the most potent names in the creative music world, performing at major venues and festivals on five continents.

On the horizon, Janisch will be releasing two albums as a leader, a co-led project with Lee Konitz, as well as a new solo project titled “Paradigm Shift,” which will be available in 2014.

In conjunction with this Thursday’s concert, a free workshop for students and adults will be available one hour prior to the show at Studio Z. To download, concert ticket-buyers send their email confirmation or PayPal receipt to Details can be found on the Jazz at Studio Z website: