“Irving Berlin is the greatest songwriter that has ever lived. He has had a greater influence on American music than any other one man. By freeing American song, and by introducing and perfecting Ragtime, he was the first to sow the seeds of an American music.” – George Gershwin.
Irving Berlin’s is the epitome of the American success story. He remains the most prolific of all American composers, whose career spanned 60 years, writing an estimated 1500 songs, many of which are still heard and played a century later.
American jazz pianist and arranger John Fresk and Czech/South African singer Barbora Tellinger have created a project which aims to bring together jazz musicians from across the globe in a celebration of Berlin’s music.
Launched with great success on March 3rd 2023 at the Jazz Dock in Prague, Between Berlin & Bebop features Ukranian Taras Voloscuk on bass, Welsh Osian Roberts on tenor sax, Czech drummer and educator Martin Šulc, Czech trombonist and teacher Přemysl Tomšíček, and Czech trumpeter Martin Jůzl.
The aim of the project – collaborating with a vast network of American, Czech and global jazz musicians – is to arrange, perform, and record a wide variety of Berlin’s material over the next few years.