New York’s Florian Hoefner

Florian Hoefner Quartet

Mike Ruby – tenor & soprano saxophone

Florian Hoefner – piano

Sam Anning – bass

Peter Kronreif – drums

After a well-acclaimed performance in January New York based pianist Florian Hoefner brings his quartet back to the Rex. On saxophone, also back from New York: Toronto native Mike Ruby who is also playing on the group’s first CD that has just been recorded. For this appearance the two join forces again with one of Toronto’s finest rhythm sections with Dan Fortin on bass and Ernesto Cervini on drums.

Florian, two-time winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, has written a whole set of brand new originals for the band.  The pieces mix the great calmness and melodic energy of folk songs with energetic cutting-edge jazz and create music that appeals both, to Jazz lovers and to listeners that feel more attracted to the Beatles than to Bebop.

Florian Hoefner has been able to establish himself both, as a jazz pianist and composer.

His piano playing is featured on seven international CD releases. Performances brought him to numerous countries on four different continents, including venues and festivals like Jazz Baltica (Germany), Bohemia Jazz Fest (Czech Republic), Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola NY (USA) and Porgy & Bess Vienna (Austria). He has shared the stage with artists like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joe Lovano Seamus Blake, John Riley and Tim Ries.

While still a student at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, he won his first of two ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards. His big band compositions have been premiered by the German National Jazz Orchestra, the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra and the New York Jazz Orchestra.

Mike Ruby has established himself in New York City as an astonishing performer with a captivating stage presence that brings energy and beauty to the music he performs.

Mike was praised by Downbeat Magazine for his ‘impressive command of his instrument’ while Showtime Magazine compared him to ‘the young Joshua Redman’. His international reach has included performances in the Netherlands, the U.K and Germany. Mike has also played at many jazz festivals across Canada and the U.S., the most notable being the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival, respectively. He has opened for Yo-Yo Ma at The Waldorf Astoria and has performed with such greats as Thomas Hampson, Hermeto Pascoal, Ari Hoenig and many others. In the short time he has been working in New York City Ruby has already played jazz venues Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola @ Lincoln Center, Smalls, Iridium, Jazz Gallery, 55 Bar, and many more.

Mike was voted Best Soloist by Downbeat Jazz Magazine and won a recording contract with Universal Music’s internationally distributed Canadian jazz label, Alma Records. He holds a Master of Music in Jazz Performance from The Manhattan School of Music. His teachers include Dave Liebman, Donny McCaslin, George Garzone, Joshua Redman, Miguel Zenon and Mark Turner.

Sam Anning is one of Australia’s foremost up-and-coming Jazz musicians.

After graduating from WAAPA in Perth, completing a Bachelor of Jazz, Sam went on to study and perform in New York City, the U.K., and Europe, where he also developed and broadened his compositional and performance style.

He received the Toyota Scholarship for Jazz (2001), the 2008 Bell Award for Young Jazz Musician of the Year and the 2010 Bell Award for Classic Jazz Album of the Year (‘Homage’- Anning, Hannaford, Browne – Jazzhead Records). He is currently a full scholarship student at the Manhattan School of Music, Masters program.

Sam has performed with a large number of national and international artists including: Kenny Werner, Jim Black, Ari Hoenig, Gilad Hekselman, Charlie Haden, Wycliffe Gordon, Sheila Jordan, Chris Cheek, George Garzone, Will Vinson, James Morrison, Terrell Stafford and Greg Osby.

Greg Ritchie attended McGill University’s Jazz program where he attained his BMUS in Jazz Performance. He has given Master classes and workshops around globe and has enjoyed teaching at various institutions in Montreal and New York.

He has accompanied and recorded with many different artists including David Liebman, Adam Rogers, Vic Juris, ‘Clare and the Reasons’, Seamus Blake, David Binney, and Zach Williams. In addition, Greg co-leads and composes for the cutting edge Brooklyn-based co-operative group ‘The Story’ which has toured throughout Canada, US and Europe, and has gained critical acclaim.

He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY where his work performing, teaching and composing continues to evolve.