Nik Bärtsch’s RONIN
“Bärtsch’s music of delicious dread is layered, contrapuntal, hypnotic and psychologically fascinating.” – DownBeat
Hailing from Zurich, pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch’s musical journey began with childhood piano and percussion lessons. This early training paved the way for his collegiate-level music studies, while he also embraced experimentation and exploration by freelancing in a wide array of bands, “playing everything from fusion to free-funk, and all kinds of extroverted jazz”. Bärtsch founded his zen-funk quartet RONIN in 2001. With the newly reconfigured quartet of Bärtsch on piano, Kaspar Rast on drums, Jeremias Keller on bass, and Sha on bass/contrabass clarinet, the band incorporates elements of disparate musical worlds, be they funk, new classical music, or sounds from Japanese ritual music. However, these forms are never merely juxtaposed in a post-modernist fashion but instead amalgamated into a coherent new style. Their most recent album, Awase, was released in 2017.