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Dirk
Strakhof

Bassplayer
Composer

Ausschnitt Kontrabass von Dirk Strakhoff, Bassist und Komponist aus
Berlin

Schriftzug Strakhof, Bassist und Komponist aus Berlin

Composer

BATORU

feat. Stoyan Yankoulov, perc
Peter Ralchev, acc (Bulgaria)

W o r l d s   o f   J a z z

Batoru - Worlds of Jazz

In Batoru's music different cultures come together and engage in musical conversation.
The driving sound of the Bulgarian Tupan drum played by one of the masters of this instrument, Stoyan Yankoulov, and the virtuosic playing by accordionist Peter Ralchev are just two of the five penetrating voices of this group.
Yankoulov's playing is orchestral-so much so, that at times one might suppose there to be several percussionists playing at once instead of just one.
"In the rapidity of his playing, marked by incredible precision, the Tupan becomes the global drum."
(Bert Noglik)
At times melancholic, at others joyfully virtuosic, Peter Ralchev's playing leads Batoru through an exploration of the Bulgarian soul
The third voice belongs to Michael Schiefel, the most imaginative and multi-faceted vocalist on the German scene. Through the aid of electronic manipulation his voice sometimes sounds as though coming from another world.
Vibraphone and marimbaphone, played by Franz Bauer, lend the music a full and soft sound. His virtuosic interaction with the Tupan leads the group onto a higher plane.
Dirk Strakhof's warm singing double bass provides as fifth voice the foundation for the ensemble. His melodious and rhythmical playing often produces experimental sounds rarely heard from a bassist.
The imaginative electronic manipulation of voice and bass, together with the unusual instrumentation, is an important part of the fascinating sound texture.
The in-part folkloristic themes appear through communicative performances in an unusual light, shifting constantly between jazz and world music. Exceptional, sparing grooves and virtuosic solos promise an interesting programme. 

Michael Schiefel
voc.
Jazz Studies, Hochschule der Künste Berlin under Catherine Gayer, voc
Kirk Nurock and David Friedman
CDs with his own band "Jazz Indeed" (Traumton Records)
Solo CD "Invisible Loop" (Traumton Records)
1998 Syria tour
2000 Solo CD "I don't belong" (Traumton Records)
Peter Ralchev
acc.
Prize winner with the Bulgarian folk quintet "Trakiisti". Various CD accordion recordings. Tours and workshops in Bulgaria, USA, Canada, 
Germany, France, Hungary, Russia and Norway.
Co-founder of a new style of improvisation deriving from Bulgarian folk music.
Franz Bauer
mär, vibes
Classical music studies in Munich.
Jazz studies, Hochschule der Künste under David Friedman.
Winner of the Studio Competition held by the Berlin Senate.
CD recordings with the own quintet, feat. Jim Black Jazzhaus Musik) and Batoru - "Elegy for Africa"
Member of the New Music Ensemble "Ensemble United Berlin".
Dirk Strakhof
bass
Classical guitar studies; Jazz Studies, Hochschule der Künste Berlin bass under Sigi Busch.
1992 winner of the Leipzig Jazz Newcomers Competition, with "Out of Print".
Africa tour, Romania tour
2 CD recordings with "Batoru" 
1999 prizewinner of the Studio Competition held by the Berlin Senate with "Out of Print".
1999 Berlin Festival "Jazz across the Border" with "Batoru"
2000 Germany Tour with "Batoru"
2000 Colombia tour with "Out of Print"
Stoyan Yankoulov
tupan, perc.
Bulgarian jazz musician of the younger generation, at age of 12 years of tupan, perc., taught himself to play the Tupan.
National prize for young jazz musicians with the ensemble "Jazzbreakers"
CDs "with Zone C" and "Fairy Tale Trio"
Festival appearances, e.g. "Jazz Across the Border", Berlin, Leipzig 
Jazz Festival, German Jazz Festival in Frankfurt