This debut Water Street Music release by The Sturm Brothers was initially intended as a family affair. Hans and Rolf both played improvisationally based music for a living, but lived so far apart that they rarely got to play together except at family gatherings. Everyone agreed that making a recording of this duo was a great idea… and the planning commenced.
Soon it became a bigger project than originally intended, including Glen Velez on some of the tracks and deciding that a CD should be made of the occasion. What transpired was a marvelously familial, intuitive, and eclectic experience caught on “tape”.
Hans and Rolf grew up in the small town of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. They lived in a home right on the west branch of the Susquehanna River… on Water Street to be precise (yes, there is a method to the madness). During their formative years, the family traveled fairly extensively throughout the US and Europe (professorial sabbaticals and family reunions et. al.). These experiences helped to shape Hans and Rolf’s appreciation for other cultures and the arts.
With a multitude of shared experiences, the brothers have fostered a kinship that is more than evident on this recording!
Back Home (WSM-111)
Washington Square Park
Hans Sturm and Glen Velez Bios
Double bassist Hans Sturm has performed as soloist, chamber, orchestral, jazz and improvisational musician throughout Europe, China, Japan, Brazil, and the United States. Sturm received his doctorate from Northwestern University and is currently an Associate Professor at Ball State University.
Sturm has appeared with many artists across the spectrum of jazz music including Eddie Daniels, Phil Woods, Randy Brecker, Roscoe Mitchell, and others. A frequent performer of new music, Sturm has toured with ‘Fireflight’ (soprano, Japanese koto and bass koto, double bass, and percussion) and ‘Trinkle, Burkett, and Sturm’ (trumpet, marimba and double bass) for more than fifteen years. As an orchestral bassist, he has served as principal bassist of several regional orchestras and toured Europe as a member of the American Sinfonietta. Recently Sturm has been a featured soloist at the Beijing Music Festival; the Association of Brazilian Contrabassists International Convention in Goiania, Brazil; the Scottish Bass Trust’s International Convention and the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland; the College Music Society International Conference in Kyoto, Japan; Encontro de instrumentistas in Joao Pessoa and Belo Horizonte, Brazil; the Biennial International Symposium on Arts and Technology in New London, Connecticut; International Society of Bassists Conventions in Bloomington, Houston, Indianapolis, and Iowa City; and various jazz festivals. Sturm has contributed performances and compositions to more than twenty recordings with artists including the Pro Arte String Quartet , soprano Mimmi Fulmer, jazz vocalist Jackie Allen, and synthesist/composer Joan Wildman. He has recorded for Innova, Red Mark, Music and Arts, CRI, Big Chicago, and Cadence among others.
Sturm serves on the International Society of Bassists Board of Directors and is New Music Editor for the organization’s journal ‘Bass World’. He is on the summer faculty of the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University and his works for bass are published by Liben Music (U.S.) and Klaus Schruff (Europe).
Grammy award-winning percussionist Glen Velez is often globe-trotting on an international touring schedule which has taken him to six continents. Recently voted “Best Percussionist of the Year” with a 2001 Drummies award by DRUM! Magazine, Velez has emerged as an international soloist and seminal figure in the history of the frame drum. Overtwo decades ago he brought a new genre of drumming into the Western music world by creating his own compositional style inspired by years of drumming studies from various cultures. He introduced Remo Belli and the Remo Drum Company to the world of frame drums and initiated, what has become, a whole line of drums from world cultures.
After fifteen years performing and recording with Steve Reich (1973-1988) and Paul Winter (1983-1998), Velez is working as a soloist while continuing to collaborate with a variety of top-notch professionals in many genres. Twentieth century music guru John Cage wrote a piece especially for Glen in 1989. Velez has also played with notables such as Pat Metheny, Richard Stoltzman, Suzanne Vega, Howard Levy, Zakir Hussain, and Oregon.
His own compositions have been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and John Schaefer’s New Sounds and have been commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and Reader’s Digest. He has written music for theater and dance and recorded hundreds of albums on ECM, CBS, RCA, GRP, Warner Brothers, Deutsche Gramophone, Geffen, Nonesuch, Capital, and Sony. In addition, he has several instructional videos and ten recordings of his own music on CMP, Music of the World, Sounds True, Interworld, and Ellipsis Arts. As a master teacher who conducts workshops worldwide, Velez developed his own teaching method called Handance. It incorporates voice and body movement into the process of learning to play the frame drum and has proven to be of great benefit to professionals and beginners alike. Velez has also designed his own Signature Series of frame drums for the REMO Drum Company and has recently designed a handmade frame drum series for the Cooperman Drum Company.