Chris Smith Musikautomat, Jazz Grunge

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May 2024



New York City and Graz based drummer Chris Smith debuts his new band Musikautomat. Featuring Jure Pukl (Slovenia) tenor sax, David DeJesus (USA) alto sax, Christopher Pawluk (Austria) guitar, Peter Slavov (Bulgaria/USA) bass, and Valerie Costa (Austria) voice this international band plays music that is dynamic and full of energy.


"The idea behind Musikautomat is to take favorite songs from other genres and reimagine them in a contemporary jazz setting. Our debut at Porgy, as well as our subsequent album, will feature songs from the "grunge rock" era of the 1990's. During those years I was so inspired by the guitar riffs and energy of Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains while simultaneously being inspired by the improvisation, dynamics, and arrangements of jazz groups led by artists such as Brian Blade and Kurt Rosenwinkel. The music that Musikautomat performs combines these worlds and is best described as - Contemporary Jazz with a Rock and Roll Soul. The music is not corny weird swing versions of great rock songs, but rather new versions that keep the original song's spirit intact while introducing different grooves, energy, and more space for improvisation." - Chris Smith

Program and cast

Chris Smith: drums
Jure Pukl: tenor saxophone
David DeJesus: alto saxophone
Christopher Pawluk: guitar
Peter Slavov: bass
Valerie Costa: vocals

PORGY & BESS Jazzclub

Porgy & Bess (actually, Jazz and Music Club Porgy & Bess ) is a jazz club in the Riemergasse 11 in the 1st district of Vienna. The club , founded in 1993 is considered " the most important jazz organizer and trendy meeting point " of the Austrian capital .

The program of Porgy & Bess speaks to a very large audience , about 70,000 guests a year ; is accordingly Jazz " understood very pluralistic ," and the program " even in fringe areas , such as electronic music , contemporary music and world music penetrated . " Many international artists , particularly from the U.S. space , see also Austrian musician here an opportunity to perform . The club also offers the stage for events, such as the award of the Austrian World Music Award.

Musicologist Christian Scheib According to the Porgy & Bess " at the same time essential for the development of the musical ( jazz ) reality of a City" and needs and uses ' plain commonplace as urban space music. " It creates itself " through artistic preferences, acoustic quality , capacity and real capacity, the necessary exclusion of other clubs. " Here, the different areas of the jazz clubs allow - the area in front of the stage with tables, upstairs gallery , a lateral area with a bar at counter - different intense concentration on the concert scene . For Jazzthetik Porgy & Bess is even a " traditional club . "

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