Bray Jazz Festival 2023

Julia Hulsmann Quartet (Germany)

Opening: Insufficient Funs (Ireland)

Insufficient Funs are a blast of fresh musical air, with Sam Comerford playing his monstrous bass saxophone with infectious energy alongside Matthew Jacobson’s playful, ever-creative drumming. The Irish Times music critic described the duo as “delightfully unhinged from expectation”. Insufficient Funs provide an ear-opening voyage to the outer reaches of music…


Pianist Julia Hulsmann’s playing and turn of phrase reveal a deep jazz awareness, her spacey meditations often revealing their secrets slowly.

There is an organic ebb and flow to Hulsmann’s compositions that draw comparisons to the work of Tord Gustavsen, and the free flowing nature of her quartet create music that is sumptuous and immersive.

Following a series of acclaimed trio albums with bassist Marc Meullbauer and drummer Heinrich Kobberling on the ECM label, Hulsmann augmented her band with the arrival of tenor saxophonist Uli Kempendorff, and has since produced two critically acclaimed albums - 2019’s ‘Not Far from Here’ and the much lauded ‘The Next Door,’ (both on ECM) - which received the German Jazz Prize for best instrumental album.

Hulsmann’s effortlessly fluid playing and compositions, into which she can sprinkle magical jazz interpretations of tunes by artists such as David Bowie, Prince and Feist have made her one of the most important women pianists and band leaders in contemporary European jazz.

‘music that pushes forward in sophisticated, subtle but always with creative ingenuity’

– Jazzwise
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