JAZZPAR Artists - Marilyn Mazur

Marilyn Mazur (DK), b. Jan. 18, 1955.
   Performed with Pulse Unit, a nonet especially assembled for The JAZZPAR 1994 Event: Nils Petter Molvær (tp), Per Jørgensen (tp, voc), Michael Riessler (b-cl), Hans Ulrik (ts), Bugge Wesseltoft (key), Mikkel Nordsø (g), Klavs Hovman (b), Marilyn Mazur (d, perc), Jacob Andersen (perc).
   In 2001 Marilyn Mazur won The JAZZPAR Prize. See under the menu: Prize Winners.

   The Danish drummer, percussionist, pianist, vocalist, dancer, bandleader, composer, and educator has been living in Denmark since she was six.    During the introductory period of her career she studied both dance and music, later taking a degree specializing in percussion. She was already then looking for a way to combine the two disciplines.
   One peak in Mazur's career came up in 1985, when Miles Davis hired her as the permanent percussionist of his group. For long periods Mazur toured with Davis through most of the world. In 1986 she also went on the road with Gil Evans' Orchestra. In 1987 before leaving Davis definitely, Mazur did a world-tour with Wayne Shorter's band.
   In 1989 after these eventful international interludes, Mazur decided to resettle in Denmark. She wanted to concentrate on some new creative concepts of her own, to write music and to front the international seven-piece band Future Song which is now her main group.
   Developing her own unorthodox and swinging style, the drums have gradually become Marilyn Mazur's main instruments. She has been focusing more and more on directing her own groups and on composing. But her written works still maintain experimentation and free elements.
   As many other original artists Mazur dislikes to categorize her work. "Obviously the music contains jazz, rock and ethnic elements, but it is none of them - and does not try do be," Mazur explains, using the word kaleidoscopic to describe the outcome.
   Dancing or playing, ("the first is almost as indispensable as breathing", she says) Mazur demonstrates an amazing visual as well as musical potential. Obviously enjoying to be part of the music she ought to be seen as well as heard. For quite some time she has been an important figure on the Danish contemporary music scene.
   Pulse Unit is the nine-piece ensemble, consisting of fellow creative sound-communicators, that Mazur put together for the JAZZPAR Activities 1994. Mazur wrote all the music focused on rhythms, the name Pulse Unit symbolizes the individual and collective life force / heartbeat of the project.
Nils Petter Molvær is a superb trumpet player known from numerous Norwegian groups. Replacing Palle Mikkelborg, Molvær is already a member of Marilyn Mazur's Future Song and is thus an obvious choice for Pulse Unit too.
   Per Jørgensen (JAZZPAR Artist 1991) is another Norwegian trumpet and pocket cornet player. He is known as one of Scandinavia's most predominant performers on these instruments within experimental and free form jazz. Jørgensen is also a colorful singer.
   Michael Riessler is a German bass clarinet player educated at Musikhochschulen in Cologne and Hanover. His career includes cooperation with John Cage, Steve Reich and Carla Bley and a solo tour in ex-USSR playing compositions by Karlheinz Stockhausen.
   Hans Ulrik is one of the very best young Danish tenor saxophone players. He has spent several years in Boston and New York, playing and studying with teachers like Bob Berg and Dave Liebman. Member of several groups including Future Song.
   Bugge Wesseltoft was the third Norwegian member of Pulse Unit. He has played keyboards in various bands, with Arild Andersen, Tore Brundborg, Talisman etc. Wesseltoft joined Jan Garbarek at Oslo Kammermusikfestival in December 1993.
   Mikkel Nordsø is a widely known guitarist omnipresent with manifold Danish bands in the borderland between jazz and rock. Generally self-taught he has been able to manifest himself as one of the finest executors of the instrument in Denmark.
   Klavs Hovman masters the double as well as the electric bass and is considered one of the best in this small country famous for its many fine performers especially on the first of these instruments. He has worked with Marilyn Mazur in a number of groups including Future Song.
   Jacob Andersen is a Danish percussionist playing with a number of rock and also some jazz bands. In Pulse Unit Andersen will concentrate on the congas - as Marilyn Mazur is known to use percussion instruments of many different kinds.

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