My name is Mads Tolling, and I am a violinist and composer originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, but now living in the San Francisco Bay Area. For eight years I played in the Turtle Island Quartet, and as a part of the group I won two Grammy Awards in 2006 & 2008 for Best Classical Crossover Recording. I likewise played in bassist Stanley Clarke's band for eight years after recommendation from Jean-Luc Ponty. With both groups I have toured the world and made some great music.
My current passion is the Mads Tolling Quartet. Over the past six years we have released three albums along with nationwide and international tours. I love performing original music with this band, and the process of writing music and creating new programs is very exciting to me.
This Kickstarter Campaign is all about writing new music for two different projects: The Mads Tolling Quartet with violin, guitar, bass and drums and then in a format quite new to me: A big band with violin soloist.
Big Band Nineteen in San Jose has asked me to do a concert with them on May 11, 2013. What they really are looking for is for me to arrange my original music for this collaboration. I have always been attracted to the big band sound and the great writers of the Big Band genre all the way from Thad Jones to Maria Schneider. Here is my chance!
The combination of violin and big band has not been done often. The Duke Ellington Big Band with Ray Nance comes to mind, but that was over fifty years ago. My goal is to arrange three of my songs for big band and violin, and then on top of that write a complete original for the occasion.
When I was fifteen years old I came across the music of the French Jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. I heard a trio recording of him playing "It's Only a Papermoon." I loved it so much that I went home and figured out how to play every single note from the recording like him. In jazz you are supposed to improvise your own solo, but I was new to jazz being classically trained from age six. With Grappelli's licks under my fingers I performed in a Jazz Youth Competition in Copenhagen. I played Grappelli's solo note for note. Among the judges was bassist Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen, who was in Oscar Peterson's trio for twenty years. Niels had played with Grappelli on the recording I had transcribed. He must not have recognized the solo, because I was awarded first place...
Now seventeen years later, I am a much different player from Grappelli, however my love for his music has not diminished since then. I will get a chance to show my appreciation on May 9, when I will present a tribute to him at the newly opened San Francisco Jazz Center. This Kickstarter Campaign will go towards arranging Grappelli's music for my quartet, and show it in a new light.
The month of April I would like to dedicate to writing music for these two projects. As you can imagine creating music is a very time consuming process, so what composers do in most cases is to apply for commissions in order to get compensated for the writing process.
This Kickstarter campaign is my commission application. If you approve I will be able to put all my time and effort into this project for a month straight leading up to two shows on May 9 & 11. If the project gets over-funded, the remaining monies will go towards publishing the big band charts. This could lead to these charts getting played in big bands at high schools, colleges and communities around the US with me as a guest artist in some cases.
The Kickstarter campaign is a crowd funding program that allows independent artists to reach out to fans, friends and others to help create projects like this. Here's how it works:
The money you pledge in exchange for rewards will allow me to complete the project and you will get lots of good music, tickets to shows, music lessons and other related stuff. If I don't reach my goal before the deadline we get no money at all, and the backers accounts are not charged. If I exceed my $4,000 goal on the other hand, the additional funds will be used for publishing the music, so don't hold back! The more you give the more rewards you get.
For questions, comments or suggestions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and feel free share this campaign with other music fans.
With your support, we can make great music happen!
Thank you for your generosity!
“With Tolling’s honed technique, vigorous attack and engaging brand of swing…”
-Mike Joyce, Washington Post
“…Mads Tolling may not be 30 yet, but on “The Playmaker” he exhibits a restraint that would’ve been at home in Corea’s original Return to Forever.”
-James Hale, Downbeat Magazine
“The album is marked with virtuosic moments of sublime, genre-busting string work by Tolling….”
-Dave Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge will be to get all the music done in time for the concerts. I enjoy a challenge and working hard to meet a deadline, so I will put all my energy into this in order to get a great product.
The concerts are solid, and only really an act of god would prevent them from taking place.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)