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Biography of VEIN

Michael Arbenz has been active as leader of various bands during the last couple of years. They gave concerts throughout Europe and recorded several CDs. Internationally renowned musicians such as Greg Osby, Wolfgang Puschnig, Glenn Ferris, Muneer B. Fennell, Kent Carter, Matthieu Michel and Marc Johnson joined his activities. He also gave classical concerts with Pierre Boulez, Paul Sacher, Jürg Wyttenbach, the Ensemble Contrechamps and Hans Zehnder, just to name a few. At the age of thirteen, Thomas Lähns (born in 1981 in Basle) came to Tibor Elekes as his bassstudent. In 2001 he started to study the double bass at the MusicAcademy of Basle under Wolfgang Güttler and Botond Kostyak. In 2008 he completed his concertdiploma. In jazz he has played with well-known musicians such as Greg Osby, Glenn Ferris, Dave Liebman,Wolfgang Puschnig, Christoph Stiefel and Marcel Papaux. In classics he has worked under notable conductors such as Heinz Hollinger or Peter Eötvös and was also performing as a solist.

One of Europe’s most versatile and accomplished drummers, Florian Arbenz has an unsurpassed jazz pedigree with the acclaimed Swiss trio VEIN. He got to know jazz through acquaintances such as Kirk Lightsey and Famadou Don Moye, and studied with Ed Thigpen and Steve Smith. He is also a classically trained percussionist, with extensive international orchestral experience, and has performed with Peter Eötvös, György Kurtag and Christoph von Dohnanyi, among others. As a student, he spent six months at Cuba’s University of the Arts, and has maintained an active interest in the international scene ever since, incorporating elements from Asian technique, as well as Afro-Cuban, in his own playing. Florian follows the careers of cutting-edge practitioners such as Chris Dave, and Eric Harland very closely, and hones his own technique with a similarly innovative focus.

In 2000 Florian Arbenz received the European Award of Culture (supporting his engagement in jazz and classical music).


Short VEIN Story

“One of Europe’s most exciting ensembles”, according to John Fordham, of The Guardian, over the past decade the Basel-based VEIN Trio has established an enviable reputation among jazz audiences for both stylistic diversity and technical accomplishment, blending the complexity of European classical chamber music with the thrills and energy of jazz improvisation at its most sophisticated. All three players are classically trained, and musical leadership is equally shared, creating a fluid, cosmopolitan sound.

The group has released an album nearly every year since its formation and gained recognition for long-term collaborations with star veteran soloists including trombonist Glenn Ferris and saxophonists Greg Osby, Dave Liebman and Andy Sheppard. VEIN’s music is composed by all three members of the trio. Originals are balanced with adaptations of both the classical and jazz traditions, such as the acclaimed album „VEIN Plays Ravel“ (2017).

In recent years, the Swiss band VEIN has mainly been concentrating on its innovative interplay as a trio and on collaborations with illustrious guests including Dave Liebman, Greg Osby and Andy Sheppard. Now, the trio is presenting a project that sheds a completely new light on its music: A collaboration with the Latvian National symphony orchestra!

The piano trio is commonly referred to as the smallest possible orchestra. VEIN is now turning this concept around by orchestrating its trio music and complementing it with the possibilities and the complexity a large formation has to offer. It is thereby of primary importance that the flexibility, unpredictability and interaction of a trio remain. Frequently, the pieces are not fully composed but rather interweave improvisation and composition in different ways.

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