Concert / Livestream
Jazzfest Berlin – New York

Joel Ross’ Good Vibes // MEOW!

Joel Ross and his band present his elegant and complex compositions, bursting with extravagant melodies. Something feline surrounds the Berlin based quartet MEOW!, which inspires with changes of direction and surprise attacks.

Joel Ross / Meow!

Joel Ross // Meow!

© Lauren Desberg / Jim Black

Past Dates

Livestream from New York

Joel Ross’ Good Vibes: “Who Are You?”

At the mere age of 25 Chicago native Joel Ross has not only emerged as one of the most exciting and versatile vibraphonists in jazz, but he’s also rapidly established himself as a focused bandleader and gifted composer. Since arriving on the New York scene in 2015, where he studied with Stefon Harris, he’s nonchalantly demonstrated an interest and facility in diverse contexts, whether bringing energy to feverish free jazz settings or shaping harmonies with the most sophisticated post-bop practitioners. It’s all music for Ross. He’s become a trusted collaborator of musicians as diverse as drummer Makaya McCraven, trumpeter Peter Evans, and R&B singer Georgia Ann Muldrow. Earlier this fall he dropped “Who Are You”, his second album as a leader for Blue Note, and the music cements his protean yet sensitive aesthetic. While firmly rooted in contemporary mainstream practices, Ross avoids deploying the usual string of solo formats with his adroit quintet: alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins (himself a new Blue Note signee), pianist Jeremy Cohen, bassist Kanoa Mendenhall and drummer Jeremy Dutton. The group never falls into easy vamps, but instead it participates in a constant dialogue, whether navigating a theme or working behind a soloist; the leader, in particular, is as much of a rhythmic force as Dutton. The band’s rigorous harmonic explorations are fueled by elegant complexity of the leader’s compositions, flush with extravagant melodies balanced by simmering layers of tension.

Joel Ross vibraphone
Immanuel Wilkins alto saxophone
Brandee Younger harp
Or Bareket bass
Jeremy Dutton drums
Jeremy Corren piano


Livestream from in Berlin


Each musician draws from a wide array of styles in the group’s shape-shifting performances, which rarely remain in one spot for too long. The drum chair is filled by Jim Black. He is a veteran master of chaos, using his drum kit to deconstruct clanking grooves, propelling the music inexorably forward on the one hand, while gumming up the works with wildly fractured beats on the other hand. All the while his wily cohorts complement and counter his roller-coaster ride with their own unpredictable machinations. Electric bassist Dan Peter Sundland toggles between needling lines and spasmodic, fractured flurries of rhythmic tones that thread Black’s percussive thicket like a surgeon, while keyboardist Liz Kosack underlines the combo’s intensely rhythmic thrust. Operating at the centre of this unpredictable maelstrom is the deeply charismatic vocalist Cansu Tanrıkulu, who ping-pongs between maniacal, comic rants, wordless sallies and hectoring cries, riding the instrumental attack like a surfer, gliding forward only to cut back against the tide. MEOW! embraces everything and nothing at once. They make quicksilver use of any attack that fits the moment and discard it just as quickly, assuring that no single performance will resemble the other. The quartet walks a tightrope and eschews a safety net, fearlessly going where their collective muse takes them.

Liz Kosack synth
Jim Black drums
Cansu Tanrıkulu vocals
Dan Peter Sundland bass

These concerts are part of Jazzfest Berlin – New York