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Andreas Varady and the Jazz Cats Of Tomorrow present Vol. 2: “SUNRISE”

Quinton Records presents the second album from the JAZZ CATS OF TOMORROW edition, which personally introduces the winners of the Ö1 Jazz Scholarship of the JAM MUSIC LAB Private University. Winner of the scholarship for the year 2023 is exceptional musician guitarist Andreas Varady.

By the time Quincy Jones invited Andreas Varady to the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2013, the 14-year-old guitarist was already turning heads. Ten years earlier, his bass-playing father saw evidence of precocious talent, prompting the family toencourage his development. Soon, a sound and style followed that placed him amongjazz’s most arresting young lions. Fast forward to 2023, the Ö1 Jazz Scholarship auditions at ORF-Funkhaus in Vienna. Varady stepped out and once again heads turned. Three, in particular – those belonging to the jury members who unanimously awarded him first prize. I sat on the panel that day, alongside broadcaster Andreas Felber and guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel. We all agreed: Varady’s play was mature beyond his years, made clear by effortless solos summoning echoes of George Benson, Django Reinhardt and Wes Montgomery. Moreover, his demeanor conveyed assuredness and control. He was a commanding presence; he belonged.

This recording - an empowering document fulfilling the promise of his award - shows the very thing we heard during the audition. It is the spirited romp of an adventurous spirit, lifted by bandmates unified in their search: Danny Grissett (piano), Douglas Weiss (bass), Adrian Varady (drums), Bernhard Wiesinger (saxophone). Note, in particular, how the drummer locks in with Varady’s every breath. No surprise, really. He is Andreas’s younger brother. Varady’s personality is etched into each of his lines. He is, at turns, buoyant and reflective, declarative and probing. The guitar is his mirror. Yet, in all instances he understands the imperatives of forward motion. He swings. A fact recognized by JAM Rector Marcus Ratka, who routinely witnesses Varady’s primacy in a multitude of group situations.

The sum effect of these originals and standards attests to Varady’s arrival as a significant voice. This son of Hungarian Gypsy descent, raised in Slovakia and Ireland, and tutored in the ways of jazz, is adding fresh blood to an ever-evolving soundscape. A mere 10 years after debuting his considerable skills, Varady offers us SUNRISE. Let’s call it the dawning of a vibrant new talent.

-Jeff Levenson, New York City, March 2024


Andreasx Varady

Andreas Varady started his ascent to mastering jazz guitar at a very young age. Born of Hungarian Gypsy descent, Varady was raised in a small town in Slovakia where he first began to play the guitar at age four, tutored by his father, Bandi. His family moved to Limerick, Ireland and, after two years of busking in Limerick and Cork, he met Irish drummer and producer David Lyttle. Lyttle began featuring him in his band. The release of his debut album „Questions“ and Varady‘s growing presence on YouTube brought him to the attention of Martin Taylor, Louis Stewart, Tommy Emmanuel, and later, Quincy Jones.

In 2011, at 13 years old, he became the youngest headlining artist at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. The same year, he featured in shows with Martin Taylor, Tommy Emmanuel and Louis Stewart, and appeared on the front cover of Guitar Player magazine. In the summer of 2012, he had the opportunity to play at the world famous International Montreux Jazz Festival, where he performed in front of festival founder Claude Nobs and record producer and music legend Quincy Jones. A few months after the festival, Quincy Jones signed Varady to his management company. After signing a record deal with Verve Music under David Foster, Varady made his major label debut in January 2014, working in Los Angeles with producer David Paich. The self-titled album featured Gregory Porter, Roy Hargrove, Nathan East, Brian Bromberg, Harvey Mason, Steve Lukather, Dave Weckl and many others. Andreas also caught the interest of Bob Zievers, agent of George Benson’s, one of Varady’s first heroes. Zievers signed him for exclusive representation and introduced him to George Benson, who hired Varady as his support act for several tours in the US and Europe. Having toured throughout Europe with his trio and quartet over the past five years, playing key clubs such as Pizza Express, London, A-Trane, Berlin and Ducs Des Lombard, Paris, in 2023 he was awarded the Ö1 Jazz Scholarship, showcasing him as a composer and contemporary jazz guitarist, preparing the way for his latest album „Sunrise“, featuring his star-on-the-rise drummer brother Adrian Varady, now 20, and contemporary piano player Danny Grisset.

Varady is a Benedetto artist and plays his own signature variation of the Bambino model guitar. He is also endorsed by D’Addario strings.


Radio Ö1, the public culture radio channel of ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation), JAM MUSIC LAB Private University Vienna and QUINTON RECORDS are supporting the young and promising generation of Austrian jazz musicians in their quest for more visibility and audibility. The Ö1 Jazzstipendium (Ö1 jazz scholarship) is intended to give one of their representatives an important impulse for a perhaps even international career. Every year, the Ö1 Jazzstipendium supports an outstanding young artist in contemporary jazz and offers a full scholarship at the JAM MUSIC LAB Private University. As the first winner, the scholarship certificate was presented to the Carinthian saxophonist Robert Unterköfler in on April 30, 2018 - the Ö1 Jazz Day as well as International Jazz Day, declared by UNESCO. In 2019, the scholarship went to Upper Austrian drummer Lukas Aichinger. In 2020 it was the violinist Constanze Friedel, who comes from Ilmenau in the German state of Thuringia. As the second woman, the 2021 winner was saxophone player and singer Madeleine Kaindl. 21-year old pianist Alan Bartuš was the fifth winner of the scholarship in 2022, now followed by guitar virtuoso Andreas Varady in 2023.

Andreas Felber, Head of Jazz, Radio Ö1 / ORF

Marcus Ratka, Head of JAM Music Lab Private University, Vienna

Andreas Rathammer, producer of Quinton Records

Authored on April 29th, 2024