- Ric Bang, JazzScan
Randy Brecker & Mats Holmquist
with UMO Jazz Orchestra
"If it's ultra-high energy you're seeking, you won't find many jazz performances better than the 9:12 opener, "One Million Circumstances"..."
"All My Things" is a minimalist masterpiece by Holmquist. It's both modern and traditional in a big band setting."
"The arrangement by Holmquist are pure magic. ..."One Million Circumstances" and "Summer and Winter" are fascinating original compositions by Holmquist."
"The results are magical."
"...one of my favorite jazz listens for 2018!"
"I give Randy, Mats and the UMO folks a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this fine aural adventure."
"Randy Brecker... He pairs with Mats Holmquist - composer and arranger extraordinaire... the result is truly sensational and polished performance of some truly fine songs."
Tour of North America - May 2022
Los Angeles: meeting with film director George Nolfi / Montreal: Open Concert with Treat Big Band / Toronto: Open Concert with Toronto Jazz Orchestra / Austin: Presentation at ISJAC (Intl. ass. of jazz arrangers & composers)
Tour of East Europe - Warsaw, Moscow, St:Petersburg & Riga
Warsaw: Chopin University Big Band / Moscow: New Blood Big Band Concert at the fantastic Kozlov Club and lecture at Moscow State Inst. for Culture / St:Petersburg: Lecture at Mussorgsky Univ. and concert at JFC Club / Riga: Lecture at Latvian Academy of Music and live radio concert with the Latvian Radio Big Band
Performing "Tribute to Chick Corea" CD at Stockholm Jazz Festival Oct 22
Best band ever? featuring saxes Fiete Felsch and Peter Weniger from Germany, Frank Brodahl, lead Tp from Norway, Peter Dahlgren, lead Tbn and Adam Ross, Drs. All new in the band except Frank who has been in the band since around 2006.
CD review from AllAboutJazz: ”For those who appreciate Chick Corea and admire superlative big bands, it doesn’t get much better than this.”
Tour of Denmark with Randy Brecker and Aarhus Jazz Orchestra
Can it get better than touring for a week in Denmark with a jazz legends and a great big band!?
Workshop in Florence, Italy
Thanks to Duccio Bertini for organizing this and letting me stay in his wonderful family Villa in Florence
A week of workshops and concert with Venezze Big Band at Rovigo University
Thanks to Massimo Morganti for inviting me to conduct his very good and wonderful students at the University in Rovigo. Had a great time and ate some good food. :)
Concert: Budapest Jazz Orchestra, Oct 6, 2019
At Budapest Jazz Club with one of the best bands in Europe!
Concert: Ancona Jazz Festival 2019 w. Colours Jazz Orchestra (Massimo Morganti)
A wonderful concert (full house) a few metres from the Mediterranean Sea. A dream came true... :)
Concerts & workshops with Tröndelag Big Band, Trondheim, Nov 9-12, 2018
Four wonderful days in beautiful Trondheim with a great band
Concert: Mats Holmquist "Big Band Minimalism"
B-flat Jazz Club, Berlin with a band topped by some of Germany's best brass players. July 22, 2018. Wonderful, experience!
CD "TOGETHER" - Randy Brecker Mats Holmquist UMO Jazz Orchestra
Release Aug 10 on Summit/MAMA Records.
New CD: Randy Brecker & Mats Holmquist meets UMO Jazz Orchestra
Was recorded March 15-16 in Helsinki with a concert on March 17 in the New Helsinki Concert Hall. The music will be a mix of older Holmquist originals and arrangements and a few new ones including a minimalist version of All the things you are.
This will be my fourth CD in about four years on Summit/MAMA records where Randy earned Grammys both 10 and 5 years ago.
New CD: "Big Band Minimalism with Latvian Radio Big Band, Dick Oatts & Randy Brecker released April 14, 2017
The CD is an attempt to create a new "sub-genre"merging minimalist compositional techniques with modern Jazz Big Band language.
Link to Summit Records website:
Randy Brecker and Dick Oatts will be featured on next CD
Next CD "Big Band Minimalism" recorded in Riga with the Latvian Radio Big Band will feature Randy Brecker and Dick Oatts as soloists!
Concerts & workshops with Sandvika Storband (Oslo), May 5-8, 2016
Sunny great days in Oslo/Sandvika with this great band!
”For those who appreciate Chick Corea and admire superlative big bands, it doesn’t get much better than this.”
”The arrangements are sensational, and the orchestra’s execution by is outstanding.”
...”Thanks to Herbie, Mats, Dick and Summit Records, for this sensational release!”
”The finest tribute to Wayne Shorter on the market today! 5*****”
"...every single component, from choice of material to arrangements, performance to production, is no less than superlative. In other words, there is simply nothing on this brilliantly conceived and splendidly consummated album that warrants censure of any kind.”
MEET MATS HOLMQUIST
Mats Holmquist is a composer/arranger/big band leader/author/
lecturer of Swedish origin. He has earned two Master of Music/
Composition degrees; one from the Royal College of Music,
Stockholm and one from University of North Texas. As a leader/
director he has composed and arranged music for seven albums
as a leader. He has performed with his own groups and big band,
”Mats Holmquist Stora Stygga” (Big Bad Band) at international
jazz festivals like Montreux, The Hague, San Sebastian, etc. In
2012 he toured with legendary saxophonist Dave Liebman and
Stora Stygga around Sweden with this project. In 2014 he recorded
the CD ”A Tribute to Wayne Shorter” with the Dave Liebman Big
Band. In June 2015 he recorded the CD; ”A Tribute to Herbie +1”
with his new big band Dick Oatts/Mats Holmquist New York Jazz
Orchestra”. The band is co-lead by saxophonist Dick Oatts, lead sax and artistic director of the Vanguard Orchestra (former Thad Jones/Mel Lewis). The band consists mostly of Vanguard Orchestra members. In 2010 he premiered his ”Big Band Minimalism”, a sub-genre that could be described as a fusion between his own modern big band music style and the minimalism of Steve Reich and John Adams. The CD ”Big Band Minimalism” was recorded in October 2015 by the Latvian Radio Big Band and will be released in April 2017. In November 2015 he was invited to do several concerts and a lectures in Tokyo.
Mats Holmquist Stora Stygga has performed with most established Swedish vocal artists at concert halls and festivals all over Sweden, visiting approximately 80 cities in Sweden and six other countries, performing more than 350 concerts. They have performed in front of Bill Clinton, The German president in Berlin, the Swedish Royal family etc. His album"12 Standards" featuring twelve of Sweden's foremost pop singers, interpreting jazz standards, was the first big band album in Sweden released on a major pop/rock label (Stockholm Records). Stora Stygga has received unique sponsoring by multinational accounting firm Deloitte & Touche as well as fashion label Tiger and several other companies. He is the author/creator of the book/methodology; ”The General Method” which was published internationally 2013 by Jamey Aebersold Jazz Inc. U.S.A. The book is an attempt to create a new language for all musicians in this genre (Afro American Music). The method consists of over 350 terms and definitions which are invented to create a deeper understanding of the ”natural laws” of music.
As a clinician with 34 years of professional experience he travels more and more internationally performing big band clinics using The General Method, as well as concerts with professional big bands. He has given lectures at academies in Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, St:Petersburg, Shanghai, Tokyo and more.
He is also founder/director of the Swedish National Youth Big Band, three regional Swedish youth big bands and in 2005 he founded the only specialised pre-college big band program in the country.
Mats Holmquist has composed music for symphony orchestras, string orchestras, string quartets and he orchestrates and has conducted strings for Sweden's world famous pop group Roxette. He has received a number of awards, grants and scholarships from different institutions in Sweden and his big band have been receiving government grants from the ministry of culture since 2004.
In 2011 he was appointed Artistic Director of China’s leading professional big band; ”JZ All Star Big Band” and lived in China for three years.
THE GENERAL METHOD FOR BIG BANDS
Published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz Inc. U.S.A
A New Methodology for a tighter band Book and pedagogical methodology published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz Inc. U.S.A.
Mats Holmquist has created a new language with almost 350 new Terms, Definitions and ”Think Routines” that makes this Methodology a whole new way of learning how to play in and how to rehearse/direct a Big Band. The method aims to create a deeper understanding of the ”natural laws” of music which through what he calls "The Rules". The Rules are named; "Energy Levels", "The Brick", "Distinction of attack", "Inverted Accent" and much more. The General Method provides general knowledge that is transferable to other pieces of the same genre, not just the piece that is played at the moment - therefore it’s name; ”The General Method”. The method is already used in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Germany, Russia and China. The goal is to make this into a common language for musicians around the globe. The General Method gives you powerful tools to quickly improve your band and your musicians.