“The Brag Pack” is an international Jazz quintet formed in early 2011, but the rhythm section’s collaboration dates back to the summer of 2005 where they got together for the first time while studying at the Faculty of Jazz at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. They teamed up with Dániel Mester, who arrived in Amsterdam in mid 2009.
The band members mutual passion for playing with a strong drive led to the formation of “The Brag Pack”, who are performing in an energetic and interactive fashion creating a thrilling and tensed atmosphere for their audience. The wide repertoire includes original works of the individual band members originating from different cultures. Solid groove and free improvisations combine naturally with lyrical melodies, sophisticated harmonies and varied rhythms.
In 2012 the band recorded their first album entitled “Just Braggin‘”. The album contains 12 songs, both original compositions and original arrangements of Polish and Indonesian traditional songs in the style of contemporary Jazz. With their 2016 release of “Tinted” the band explores new musical directions, enriching their sound with vocals of Kinga Pruś and Andris Buikis on drums.
The band has toured in Indonesia, Netherlands, Latvia, Poland and Germany performing on numerous stages such as the Rigas Ritmi Jazz Festival, Jazzblag, Od Nowa Jazz Festival, ASEAN Jazz Festival, The Birdland in Hamburg or The Bimhuis in Amsterdam, just to name a few.
Hailing from Budapest in Hungary he quickly established himself in Amsterdam. He started his musical education by studying classical guitar, followed by piano and classical clarinet. During his primary and secondary musical education he won several national prices (classical clarinet – first price; solfeggio third price; guitar – 1st price at the Budapest competition).
At the age of 18 he started to learn jazz-saxophone and later started a bachelor jazz-saxophone course in Budapest. After having obtained an ecomosist master-degree at the Budapest Corvinus University, he started a jazz-saxophone master course in Amsterdam where he graduated last year. Daniel is now studying at the Film-music department of the Amsterdam Conservatory, doing his third master course.
In 2007 he was among the first three winners obtaining “honourable mention” in the category of the age group under 30 at the Micheal Brecker International Jazz Arranging Competition (USA). With the young promising Hungarian band, the “Oláh Szabolcs Quartet” he played throughout Europe, winning the best soloist award at the Barga Jazz Festival (Italy) in 2007. He was selected to the Metropol Orkest International Arrangers‘ workshop in 2009 in Amsterdam. The same year he won the Hungarian Jazz Composition Competition with his piece entitled “Odds”. The Daniel Mester Quartet won the Amsterdam-based European “Keep an Eye On Jazz” competition this year.
Aga moved to Amsterdam from Jakarta, Indonesia to broaden his musical horizons. Since his father is a classical guitar player, Aga naturally showed more interest to the guitar during his early childhood and took lessons from his father. At the age of 13, Aga saw a video by the progressive Rock Band “ELP” which caused his interest in the piano to grow, and he decided to start studying piano under the guidance of his father. Since then, he has played in progressive rock and fusion bands and performed at several big festivals and at the AMI Sharp Awards 2002.
At the age of seventeen, Aga began to study Jazz piano with Indra Lesmana, the leading Jazz pianist in Indonesia. During that period he won the first prize at the JGTC Competition, and performed at some major Jazz festivals in Indonesia including the International Java Jazz Festival 2005.
Aged nineteen, he moved to Amsterdam to study Jazz piano at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In April 2006 he won the soloist prize at the East of Eastern Jazz Festival in Nijmegen. In January 2009 he won the second prize in the YPF Jazz Piano Competition (with jury such as Jacky Terrason, John Taylor, Antonio Farao, Enrico Pieranunzi and Bobo Stenson)
In February 2010 his trio “Animated” was chosen to play at the Dutch Jazz Day in May 2010 and his composition was chosen to be released on a CD called “The Best Of Jazz Day”.
In 2011, he was awarded with the “The Indonesian Young Talent Award” by the Java Jazz Festival. Soon after that, he won The European Keep an Eye Jazz Award 2011 for the category “Best Band” with the Daniel Master Quartet. In June 2011 he graduated cum laude (10 with distinction) from the master program in Jazz piano performance at The Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Since his stay in Europe he has been performing in Paris, Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, and Romania.
Born in Gdansk, Poland and raised in Hamburg, Germany, bassist Paul Rutschka is responsible for a solid low end in The Brag Pack. Born into a family of professional musicians, he initially started off as a pianist at the early age of 6, but found the electric bass more suitable as a young teenager, after being introduced to the “Weather Report” group by his parents. Becoming a young adult, Paul’s musical interest moved from Funk, Soul and Hip Hop music towards traditional and contemporary Jazz intrigued by the improvisational factor, a factor that he is often incorporating into his playing style, not being afraid to step outside his role within the rhythm section. Paul is a winner of the German National Youth Jazz Competition 2005 followed up by performances on festivals and venues across Germany. In the same year Paul moved to Amsterdam to study bass guitar on the Conservatory of Amsterdam where he awarded his diploma. During that period Paul was occasionally touring as a side man within europe, appearing on radio and TV.
Since the early 2000′s Paul focuses also on music recording and production leading to the establishment of P&E Studios, his own commercial recording studio in Amsterdam in 2008. Most recent production credits include the 2010 album “Primavera” by Mundo Sol and Krystyna Stańko’s 2010 album “Secretly” which was awarded with 5/5 stars in the Jazz Forum – The European Jazz Magazine Nov/’10 issue and made it into the top 3 of the polish Jazz charts.
Born in Latvia, Çrgïi city in 1982. In age of 7 joined Grammar and Music school in Madona as classical pianist and after 4 years switched to bass guitar. Before joining rock Highschool nr. 100 in Riga in 1999, Andris played with Madona’s heavy rock bands as pianist, guitar player, bass guitar player and vocalist. Andris starts Highschool as electric guitar player but switches to drums in 2000.
In 2002 Andris got Scholarship in Berklee college of music but financial squeeze does not allow him study there.After finishing Highschool in 2002, Andris was already most demanded drummer in Latvia and played with such artists as “KEKSI”, Arnis Mednis, Jânis Stîbelis, Dons, Intars Busulis, Aija Vîtoliòa, Laimis Râcenâjs, Laima Vaikule, Marija Naumova, Uldis Marhileviès,Raimonds Pauls and many other artists of Latvia. He received Sony Jazz Stage 2008 Grand Prix award as jazz drummer. In 2009 went to Amsterdam and finished Conservatory in 2013 there as Jazz drummer. Played there with various Dutch jazz artists such as Harmen Fraanje, Clemens van der Feen. As well he is still playing with international, contemporary jazz bands as “The Brag Pack” and “K Trio“. From 2013 Andris went back to Latvia and teaches drums in rock school “BJMK” as well as plays and works asstudio session drummer.In 2014 Andris signs contract with Latvian drum company “BROCREATION” and is one of the main artist of their production.
Vocalist, guitarist, composer and author of lyrics, graduate of Academy of Music in Gdańsk.
She has taken part in various music competitions and festivals e.g. Baltic Festival 2014, Ladies Jazz Festival, Riga Jazz Stage. At the moment, she is performing both in Poland and abroad, presenting the new album „Kłębek”, which was released in cooperation with her sister Karolina Pruś. She has also collaborated with a lot of jazz and pop artists from Poland: Krystyna Stańko, Cezary Paciorek, Piotr Lemańczyk, Dominik Bukowski, Anna Wyszkoni, Marek Raduli and others.
Daniel Mester (Hungary) - saxophone
Sri Hanuraga (Indonesia) - piano
Paul Rutschka (Germany) - bass
Andris Buikis (Latvia) - drums
Kinga Pruś (Poland) - vocal
Every day of the festival ends with a jam session meeting in 4art Music Club.
(Siemińskiego 22, Gliwice)