Named after the main character in the classic postwar film The Third Man, The Holly Martins is a trio dedicated to exploring the boundaries of jazz-infused improvised music without the trappings of a traditional rhythm section. Featuring Lorin Benedict, voice; Kasey Knudsen, alto saxophone; and Eric Vogler, guitar.
Guitarist, bassist and composer, Eric Vogler combines a broad interest in African-American and European lineages of art music with an inherent geekiness to produce a unique personal musical language. Eric studied as a youth with Los Angeles guitarists Pete Snell and G. G. Bobues. At UC Berkeley, encounters with pianist Bevan Manson and saxohponist Steve Coleman suggested further avenues for expressions of his interests through music. Besides the above influences, Eric’s forays into algorithmically generated music have created an ongoing dialogue in his understanding of musical form and structure. Eric performs regularly in the Bay Area (and occasionally elsewhere) on both instruments. Notable collaborators include Howard Wiley, Mitch Marcus, Vidya, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joshi Marshall, Sam Ospovat, Bryan Bowman, Geechi Taylor, and many more. Current projects that perform Eric’s music are Bleeding Vector, Eric’s longstanding duo with singer Lorin Benedict; The Holly Martins, Bleeding Vector plus saxophonist extrodinaire Kasey “Noody” Knudsen; and the quintet, Blenderhead.
Kasey Knudsen is a San Francisco based saxophonist, composer & educator. She earned her BA in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music in 2001. Since relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area, Knudsen has been commissioned by the Jazzschool’s Emerging Artist Series to write and perform new work as well as Intersection For The Arts and the De Young Museum. She leads her own trio and sextet that focus on original music and arrangements; she co-leads The Schimscheimer Family Trio along with bay area drummer Jon Arkin & pianist Michael Coleman, and The Holly Martins with vocalist Lorin Benedict and guitarist Eric Vogler.
Knudsen can be seen performing with a number of ensembles and bandleaders including Evan Francis, Ben Goldberg, Eric Garland and Henry Hung’s Klaxon Mutant All Stars, the Ian Carey sextet, The Montclair Women’s Big Band, Jaz Sawyer, Graham Connah’s No-Porkestra, Adam Shulman, Nathan Clevenger, Aaron Novik, Michael Coleman, the Bay Area Composer’s Collective Orchestra, New York pianist Jarrett Cherner, guitarist Q Morrow, Rob Ewing’s Disappear Incompletely and more. Knudsen has toured the world with Tune-Yards including a number of performances at South By South West; she has played with Fred Frith’s world premiere of Gravity Live, the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, Realistic Orchestra, The Slip, Joe Bagale, The Industrial Jazz Group, Brass Bows & Beats, Terrence Brewer, Rova Saxophone Quartet’s Sax Cloud, & many others. Knudsen has performed at Yoshi’s, Pearl’s, The Palace of Fine Arts, The Great American Music Hall, Cafe Du Nord, Anna’s Jazz Island, The Independent, The Fillmore, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Red Poppy Art House, Intersection for the Arts, Kuumbwa, The Jazzschool, SFJazz Fest, San Jose Jazz Fest, North Beach Jazz Fest and New York venues Local 269, Barbes, The Music Hall of Williamsburg Roullette, and Cafe Vivaldi. Knudsen is currently a faculty member of Sonoma State University, The Stanford Jazz Workshop and the Jazzschool in Berkeley, CA.
is an improvising vocalist (scat singer, essentially) living in San Francisco. He attempts to introduce more structurally involved elements into the field of vocal improvisation. Most of his work in this area is centered loosely in the jazz idiom.
Lorin joined the fold of musicians rather late in life, at the age of 31, after many years of listening to recordings and live performances, many of which involved members of his immediate family (all of whom are/were orchestral musicians in the western classical tradition). Since becoming professionally active in 2003, Lorin has performed in various groups led by saxophonist Howard Wiley at places such as Yoshis, Intersection for the Arts, the 2006 Stanford Jazz Festival, and the De Young Museum. During 2004 he was a member of guitarist John Schott’s Typical Orchestra (with Ben Goldberg, Ches Smith, and Devin Hoff).
With his own projects, his performances have been confined to more intimate places such as The Stone and Local 269 (as part of the on-going “Evolving Voices Series”) in NYC, and similarly curated venues in northern California. Lorin appears on a few commercially available recordings in projects led by others: with rapper Malik Ameer- Sanctified (Satori Recordings, 2003), Nothing Better To Do (Satori Recordings, 2006), and The Roseline (2007); with Steve Coleman and Five Elements- Lucidarium (Label Bleu, 2004); with John Schott- John Schott’s Typical Orchestra (Smash the State, 2005); with Howard Wiley- The Angola Project (2007); with the Mitch Marcus Quintet- Countdown 2 Meltdown (Porto Franco, 2010). The new Edgetone release, No. No. Yes. No. (2010), by The Holly Martins is Lorin’s first recording with which he has shared creative control.
“…completely redefines the concept of scat singing…technically astounding, inevitably comic and ultimately impressive.” – Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes