Jazzfest Berlin presents:

Jazzfest Berlin – Steph Richards

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
03. November 2023
Start: 22:30
Einlass: 21:00
Presale: ab 15€ (zzgl. Gebühr)
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Jazzfest Berlin – Steph Richards

On Friday evening, Quasimodo hosts the elastic, sound-driven experiments by California-based trumpeter Steph Richards and her quartet, highlighting how our sense of smell can impact how we experience music.

German premiere

Steph Richards “Power Vibe”

(CA, US, JP) 

Canadian trumpeter Steph Richards experiences music as more than a sonic phenomenon, as her other senses have long informed the way she takes in a performance or recording, which is why her 2020 album “Supersense” came with more than cover art. As she began developing the pieces on the recording, she enlisted Detroit artist and perfumer Sean Raspet to create scents concurrently, using those fragrances as part of the process. Together they conjured earthy aromas that were pleasant, but unexpected, including one made from the exoskeleton of a cricket. Each copy of the album came with a scratch-and-sniff card, so listeners could also experience the smells the trumpeter imagined. Nevertheless, the music succeeds with or without such scents. Richards moves in and out of post-bop tradition with ease—whether driving swing or abstract unpitched gestures—and her quartet brilliantly rolls with her shifts between abstraction and groove. Richards, who teaches music performance at the University of California—San Diego, is fluent in many traditions outside of jazz, whether working in contemporary music and playing with art-bop heavies like David Byrne or St. Vincent. But her own muscular work is rooted in improvisational rigor, and the quartet she brings to Berlin—bassist Stomu Takeishi, drummer Max Jaffe, and pianist Joshua White—has been interpreting the music from “Supersense” and developing new repertoire together for several years, pushing out the walls of tradition from within, without knocking them over.


Steph Richards – trumpet
Joshua Whitepiano
Stomu Takeishibass 
Max Jaffedrums, electronics