The TransAtlantic Collective
Patrick Cornelius (Saxes), Quentin Collins (Trumpets), Kristjan Randalu (Piano), Michael Janisch (Bass), Paul Wiltgen (Drums)
The TransAtlantic Collective was an ensemble that existed to showcase its members’ original compositions and operated from the years 2005-2009. In that time the TAC toured extensively, performing over three hundred concerts across the USA, UK and Mainland Eastern & Western Europe. Traveling Song was the band’s only album.
Its members and collaborators consisted of some of the top emerging artists from New York City, London, and Europe and was formed in order to foster cross-continental collaboration in new musical performance, composition, and education. The Collective was started in 2005 by Patrick Cornelius (a multi-award-winning New York saxophonist and composer), and London-based American Michael Janisch (a prominent voice on the acoustic and electric bass). Both alumni of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Patrick and Michael founded the Collective as a way to bring musicians from Europe and New York together and spark musical kinship between both sides of the Atlantic.
After establishing the project’s mission, the two musicians invited the up-and-coming percussionist and composer Paul Wiltgen (a native of Luxembourg who lives and works both in New York and Europe) to join them as the ensemble’s permanent third member. Rounding out the TransAtlantic Collective’s core quintet was London trumpeter Quentin Collins (one of the UK’s most sought-after brass virtuosos) and Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu. The Collective also featured many guests and their music while touring, such as guitarist Phil Robson (UK), pianists Jason Rebello (UK), Gwilym Simcock (UK), Dan Tepfer (France), John Escreet (UK/US), and Andrew MacCormack (UK), saxophonists Alex Garnett (UK) and Konrad Wiszniewski (Scotland), trumpeters Ryan Quigley (Scotland), Ambrose Akinmusire (US), Jay Phelps (Canada), Avishai Cohen (Israel), percussionists Kendrick Scott (USA) and Colin Stranahan (USA), and trombonist Nick Vayenas (USA) during its lifetime.
The TransAtlantic Collective’s music blended the contemporary sounds of modern jazz and world music with influences from the classical realm. While the ensemble’s focus was the development and introduction of new original material, it also gave a tip of the hat to the great jazz lexicon at times, and this can especially be heard on the metrically-tricksy reinterpretation of the classic “It’s All Right With Me” on the band’s only album Traveling Song.
Their largest tour was in the fall of 2008 where the band performed 38 consecutive concerts at venues and festivals across England, Scotland, Wales, Luxembourg, Germany, Spain and Estonia. Some notable performances included a headlining concert at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room during the London Jazz Festival, a 3-night residency at Ronnie Scott’s in London playing opposite the legendary Roy Haynes, a residency at L’Innoui in Luxembourg, and the Joulu Jazz Festival in Estonia. Staying true to one of its founding missions, The TAC also presented 21 educational master classes at many of its tour events, including an artist residency at London’s Royal Academy of Music.