European Union Quartet
The European Union Quartet was formed in 2007 when British bass player Gavin Barras and Dutch saxophonist Iman Spaargaren took part in the Codarts Jazz Summer School in Rotterdam. Assisted by the tutelage of bass virtuoso Hein van de Gehn, they were inspired to form their own quartet, made up of musicians from other parts of the European Union. Slovakian drummer Marek Dorcik and German guitarist Ulrich Elbracht subsequently joined the group, and in April 2008 a tour of England's North West jazz venues was arranged, followed by a studio recording of original compositions to be released soon. The European Union Quartet are; Gavin Barras European Union Jazz Quartet founder, Cumbrian born Gavin Barras, studied at the renowned Royal Northern College of Music with Roberto Carillio-Garcia (principal bass of the Halle orchestra) going on to gain a BMus at Manchester University. Greatly inspired by bass supremo Steve Berry, Gavin has rapidly become a sought-after player at venues throughout the UK. Iman Spaargaren Fronting the band is versatile Dutch saxophonist Iman Spaargaren, a multi reed player, who performs in a variety of groups including the New Generation Big Band, one of the rising, fresh big bands of Europe. He has appeared on Dutch television and played at the 2007 North Sea Jazz Festival. Iman was runner-up in the 2007 Erasmus Jazz Competition in Rotterdam. Ulrich Elbracht German guitarist Ulrich Elbracht, acclaimed as, "one of the most intelligent and sensitive players around", is a former student at the Franz Liszt Music School in Weimar. Based in the UK since 2001, Ulrich, who teaches at the highly respected Leeds College of Music, is one of the busiest guitarists in the UK. Marek Dorcik Slovakian drummer, Marek Dorcik completes the line-up of the European Union Quartet. Marek has performed with Slovakia's foremost jazz musicians, and accompanied well known American vocalist Karen Edwards. Marek's chief influences include leading drummers, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Brian Blade and Bill Stewart.