MADS TOLLING TRIO BIO
Mads Tolling Trio was founded by violinist Mads Tolling in 2007, his first major solo project.
The Mads Tolling Trio consists of:
Mads Tolling – violin
Mike Abraham – guitar
George Ban-Weiss – acoustic and electric bass
Mads Tolling, Mike Abraham and George Ban-Weiss came together through the eclectic San Francisco jazz scene. The distinctive trio integrates the violin into a traditional jazz combo. All three instruments play unconventional roles to make the music come to life. Violin may act as drum, guitar may take bass lines and bass may carry the melody. There are some moments of pure spontaneity, but underlying the record are thoughtful compositions and arrangements. All three players have re-thought their instruments in a fresh way, relying on their instincts to let the music speak for itself.
MTT draws inspiration from jazz to world music to rock, and from such artists as Herbie Hancock, Ravi Shankar and Radiohead. Most of the record is composed and arranged by the bandleader, Mads Tolling. Tolling, a Grammy™-Award winning performer & arranger, has a distinct melodic, lyrical “groove” to his writing. MTT enjoys playing well-known pieces such as Adderley’s “Work Song”, Zeppelin’s “Black Dog”, giving them a new twist, while staying true to the spirit of the original versions.
In July 2007 MTT recorded their first album entitled, “Speed Of Light”. The album features eleven tunes including a solo violin version of Miles Davis’ “Blue in Green”.
MADS TOLLING BIO
Mads Tolling, internationally renowned violinist, violist, and composer, is a member of the Grammy Award-Winning Turtle Island Quartet. As violist with the quartet, 2003-2007 and now as 1st violinist, 2007-present, he maintains an active touring and recording schedule as well as composing and giving master classes. As a soloist, he regularly tours as jazz violinist with the acclaimed bassist Stanley Clarke and his touring band. In 2006 as part of Turtle Island Quartet Mads won a Grammy for Best Classical Crossover album, “4+Four”. For 2008 Mads is once again nominated for a Grammy with Turtle Island, this time for “A Love Supreme - The Legacy of John Coltrane”. Tolling has received Denmark’s Sankt Annae’s Award for Musical Excellence as well as grants from Queen Margaret, the Sonning Foundation and the Berklee Elvin Jones Award. He has performed with Paquito d’Rivera, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano, Stefon Harris, The Assad Brothers and Leo Kottke.
Mads grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark and moved to the U.S. at the age of 20 to pursue jazz studies. He studied under violinist Matt Glaser, and he graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2003. While still attending Berklee, the renowned jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty recommended Mads to join Stanley Clarke’s band. Since then, he has performed more than 100 concerts with Clarke worldwide, including the Newport Jazz Festival and the Hollywood Bowl.
Besides his activities as a performer, Tolling is an accomplished composer. Of his three recordings of original material, one features the well-known pianist JoAnne Brackeen. He has recorded with vibraphonist Dave Samuels and appears on RMB singer Teena Marie’s recording “La Dona”. He has additionally contributed numerous arrangements and compositions to Turtle Island Quartet’s repertoire.
Mads has been a thriving force in the educational aspects of jazz and improvisation. He has been active as a Yamaha clinician and has been involved in workshops, coachings and master classes throughout Canada and the U.S. He was recently invited as a performer and clinician to the 34th International Viola Congress in Montreal, Canada. Mads was also featured on NPR’s Performance Today on Christmas Eve, where he on solo viola performed his version of the carol, “Beautiful Savior”.
In his spare time Tolling enjoys golfing, tennis and hiking. In 1999, together with his father, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.