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Earshot: The band, the music.

Earshot is run and led by Arabella Sprot and Robert York, who play tenor saxophone and jazz guitar respectively. They both also compose and arrange all of the music for the group. The band also features Austrian drummer Mathias Ruppnig and German bassist Tom Berkmann. Earshot was formed in Berlin and the band members already boast numerous awards as individual musicians.

In 2014, London Jazz described British saxophonist Arabella Sprot as ‘the emergence of a talent to watch.’ Arabella made her debut playing at Montreux Jazz Festival, back in 2007. In 2012 Arabella was awarded both an Entry Scholarship to Birmingham Conservatoire as well as a Postgraduate Performance Award from Help Musicians UK (formerly the Musicians Benevolent Fund) to study for a Masters in Jazz Performance. She finished this with a Distinction and went on to complete her first album, ‘Kafka’s Dance’ in early 2014 with the quintet that she formed during this course, ASQ. She now focuses her attention on Earshot, writing and arranging compositions of a motivic and contemporary nature.

Robert York is British jazz guitarist and composer living in Berlin. After completing his Bachelor Degree at Leeds Conservatoire, under tutors such as Jez Franks, Jiannis Pavlidis and Mike Walker he has moved on to play with some of the best jazz musicians in the UK including Steve Waterman and Dave Newton, playing at festivals and clubs all over the country. Robert now writes and performs in various projects around Berlin, and has a hugely distinctive and melodic style of composition that is fast causing him to be in high demand in the city.

Austrian drummer Mathias Ruppnig completed both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree at the University for Music and performing Arts, Graz, Austria. His first album as a leader, ‘square,’ appeared on the highly renowned Vienna-based record label, Session Work Records. He swiftly brought out a second album, also on this label: ‘The Spinning.’ In 2014 he won the DOWNBEAT award for College Graduate Outstanding Performance in the Latin Group category with the KUG Composers’ Ensemble feat. Marco Antonio de Costa.

After finishing school, Tom Berkmann moved from his home in rural Bavaria to Berlin to study at the Jazz Institute with Greg Cohen, Kurt Rosenwinkel and John Hollenbeck. He was subsequently awarded a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and moved to New York to do a Master’s Degree at the Manhattan School of Music. As well as extensive touring in Europe and the US, Tom was a semi-finalist in the International Double Bass Convention Jazz Competition ‘Bass 2010’ in Berlin. In 2013 he received the German Academy Award for Best Filmscore for the movie “Oh Boy”.

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