Artists

Dan Tepfer, Ben Wendel, and Will Vinson“He [Dan] has the ability to disappear into the music as he’s making it.” - Downbeat
"The first time I heard Will Vinson, I was totally blown away -- so much so that I started trying to play alto again. An ill-fated attempt. But I'm still listening to Will every chance I get. And each time, I'm even more inspired, humbled, and, quite frankly, terrified." - Joshua Redman

"He’s [Seamus] a striking and distinctive player bursting with ideas, extending the Coltrane – Brecker – McCaslin – Turner lineage." - Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen

Dan Tepfer is a New York-based pianist and composer and one of the most formidable jazz musicians on the international stage. Dan has enjoyed a sustained, ongoing duo partnership with alto saxophonist and jazz luminary Lee Konitz. They have appeared together live at the Village Vanguard and many other leading jazz venues.

Born to American parents in Paris in 1982, Dan began classical piano studies at age six at the Paris Conservatoire Paul Dukas. He took a somewhat circuitous route to a jazz career, earning a degree in astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. But beginning even as a toddler, Dan explored improvisation on his own. He played extensively on the jazz scene in college and enjoyed a brief stint as an opera conductor. After graduating in 2005 from Boston’s New England Conservatory and completing his masters under the guidance of Danilo Perez, Dan moved to New York and quickly became an in-demand player and composer.

Dan’s numerous awards include first prize and audience prize at the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition, first prize at the 2006 East Coast Jazz Festival Competition, and first prize at the 2007 competition of the American Pianists Association. In November 2011, Dan released a solo album on Sunnyside/Naïve entitled Goldberg Variations/Variations. In addition to working with his trio, Dan continues to focus on full solo piano concerts of freely improvised music. As France’s Jazz Magazine has noted, he is “gifted with a heightened sense for form and an extraordinary confidence...”

Originally from London, Alto Saxophonist/Composer Will Vinson moved to New York City in 1999 and has remained there ever since. He has appeared and/or recorded with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Jonathan Kreisberg, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Marcus Gilmore, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Geoffrey Keezer, Lage Lund, Ari Hoenig, John Benitez, Seamus Blake, Alan Ferber Nonet, Aaron Parks, among others.

Will has an international reputation as a leader and sideman. All About Jazz New York describes Will as playing “with a relentless force”. After a performance at the Pizza Express Soho in London, Jack Massarik (London Evening Standard) described Will as "the thinking man's alto saxophonist...Britain's Greg Osby", and John Fordham of the Guardian described a "superb solo of rugged leathery sounds turning into mellifluous high notes, his secure control and storming energy occasionally reminiscent of Bobby Watson."

Ben Wendel is among the saxophonists that fellow New York musicians also want to hear. More importantly, Ben is a saxophone player that the audience wants to hear.  Born in Vancouver and raised in Los Angeles, Ben was educated at the Eastman School of Music. Ben has enjoyed a varied career as a performer, composer and producer. Recent highlights include multiple domestic and international tours with such artists as Cuban drumming legend Ignacio Berroa, Thelonius Monk Piano Competition Winner Tigran Hamasyan, Electronica artist Daedelus and Hip Hop artist Snoop Dogg. Ben is a founding member of the genre-bending group Kneebody.  In addition to playing saxophone, Ben also doubles on the bassoon and piano. As a composer he has scored multiple films, received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award, was a winner in the 2007 International Songwriting Competition and also received the Chamber Music America “New Works Grant.” 

Ben is a recording artist with Sunnyside Records, with plans for his second release in Spring 2012.  He is a former Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies at USC and currently teaches through The New School in NYC.  Ben recently had the honor of conducting a re-creation of “Bird With Strings” at Jazz At The Lincoln Center with guests Charles McPherson and Wes “Warm Daddy” Anderson.