Smile of the Honeycakehorse
Septer Bourbon, with Markus Burger (piano/composition), Uwe Ecker (Drums), Martin Gjakonovski (bass) and Jan von Klewitz (sax/comp) has created an extraordinary, original style with critics referring to the band's material as a 'mixture of pathos free hymns and gospel, with a touch of bepop' The incredible four have created an acoustic 'mélange' attracting fans of European free styles and those of the American urban live scene. Septer Bourbon's music is truly an experience which transcends beyond simply jazz. The band has performed extensively in Europe and has been well received by audiences and critics alike, with over 350 concerts in Germany, Denmark, Russia, Switzerland and Belgium. Septer Bourbon's Jazzline debut 'The Smile Of The Honeycake Horse' has also captured the attention of international attention, with critic reviews saying: 'Truly addictive fresh water', 'a quartet of unbelievable power and interplay' 'Standing ovations at midnight for this truly unique, promising quartet around alto star Jan von Klewitz' 'Burger's playing is luminous and he is an exciting composer' ' one of the best working quartets on the continent !!! ' The band's first release, 'Fishing for Compliments', launched in 1994 as a promotional CD, encountered such high demand that the band decided to release this album on Jazzline with Septer's hits such as Evening Prayer and Square Dance (among others) being distributed to a broader audience. About Markus Burger, 'Septer Bourbon's' Founder and Producer: His music has been performed in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, and most recently in the United States. He began studying piano at age six and later earned his Diplom in Performing Arts from the Essen Folkwang School in Germany, a B.A. in Piano and Composition from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and a Certification in Popular Music from the University of Hamburg, Germany. In developing his signature sound over the years, Markus drew his influences from a wide range of musical styles including J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, Keith Jarret, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Pat Matheny, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Sting. He has released eight albums, featuring his own compositions and arrangements, among them, his two most recent releases, Genesis and Inside Outside. His CD Genesis, an avant-garde jazz collaboration with renowned drummer Matt Marucci, has received raving reviews from jazz critics in the United States while his latest Spiritual Standards project Inside Outside, with Berlin-based saxophonist Jan Von Klewitz, made it's debut during a nationally televised performance in Germany on New Year's day, 2005. His second album, The Smile of the Honeycake Horse, with his quartet Septer Bourbon, received wide acclaim from the European press and Downbeat Magazine in the United States and achieved something of a 'cult following' in Germany. His Spiritual Standards project, a collection of contemporary jazz improvisations of Johann Sebastian Bach's greatest chorals and masterpieces, was performed at sold out venues in Germany, Poland, Italy and the United States, later moving to the top 20 in the German Jazz charts in 1999. His fifth album and first solo project, Ultreya, featuring his own piano compositions and improvisational work, is a testament to his resilience in the face of tragedy, following a long battle with cancer. Ultreya, an ancient Spanish cry which loosely translates into 'keep going' was introduced to American, German and Italian audiences during his 2003-2004 tour season. Along with composing and performing, Markus is a professor of music. Among his recent and most proud accomplishments, was the launching of DiverCity Records, a non-profit, college-based record label, which he founded and directed, with the mission of providing 'real-world', hands-on record label experience to students from diverse musical backgrounds. Remaining true to his goal of being a versatile, multi-dimensional artist, Markus has also ventured into the world of musical scoring for television and documentaries in the United States. He and his wife Cibelle, currently split their time between Europe and Los Angeles, California.