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Andreas Varady wins Ö1 Jazz Scholarship '23

Ö1 Jazz Scholarship 2023: Andreas Varady wins a two-year study at the Jam Music Lab Private University Vienna.

On April 30, 2023, Ö1 Jazz Day, the name of this year's Ö1 Jazz Scholarship winner was revealed during the evening live broadcast - this time, as in 2021, from the floor at Jakominiplatz in Graz: Guitarist Andreas Varady was able to convince the jury, consisting of guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, US producer Jeffrey Levenson and Ö1 jazz editor Andreas Felber. Andreas Varady is the sixth prize winner in the Ö1 Jazz Scholarship after Robert Unterköfler (2018), Lukas Aichinger (2019), Constanze Friedel (2020) Madeleine Kaindl (2021) and Alan Bartuš (2022). The guitarist will enjoy two years of study at the Jam Music Lab private university in Vienna and also - a new feature of the jazz scholarship - a CD production at Andreas Rathammer's Vienna label Quinton Records.

Andreas Varady convinced the jury of the Ö1 jazz scholarship with his highly developed, well-dosed technique, relaxed and secure timing and organically and cleverly developed tension arcs in the improvisation. Varady also impressed as a prudent leader of his compact quintet with tenor saxophone, piano, guitar, bass and drums. As soloist, composer and bandleader, Andreas Varady served up a mature overall package at the audition in Studio 2 of the Vienna Funkhaus, which at the same time raises hopes for further development possibilities in the future. The decision to award Andreas Varady the Ö1 Jazz Scholarship 2023 was unanimous!

Andreas Varady was born in July 1997 in Rimavská Sobota in the south of Slovakia. At the age of ten he moved with his parents and siblings to Limerick, Ireland. There he found an important teacher and mentor in drummer David Lyttle, who, after being influenced early on by guitarists such as George Benson and Django Reinhardt, introduced him to the music of contemporary fretboard masters from Kurt Rosenwinkel to Jonathan Kreisberg.

As a 13-year-old Andreas Varady released his debut album "Questions", in 2011 he performed at the renowned jazz club Ronnie Scott's in London, and a year later he received an invitation to the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Andreas Varady signed with Jones' management and toured the USA, Japan and Europe with Quincy Jones' Global Gumbo (the band also included Canadian singer Nikki Yanofsky and Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez). Guest appearances such as the one on Mary J Blige's album "A Mary Christmas" (2013) and the record deal with Verve Records were also the result of the encounter with Quincy Jones - in 2014 the album "Andreas Varady" was released there, with trumpeter Roy Hargrove and singer Gregory Porter as guests, among others.

In 2018, the album "The Quest" followed on Resonance Records, with Slovakian saxophonist Radovan Tariška, U.S. pianist Benito Gonzalez, and members of Andreas Varady's "family trio" -father Bandi Varady on bass and brother Adrian Varady on drums.

Andreas Varady has been living in Austria for almost two years now, his center of life is Vienna, where guitarist Christian Havel and pianist Danny Grissett have already been his teachers at the Jam Music Lab private university - starting in the fall he will continue these studies as an official Ö1 jazz scholarship holder.

Andreas Varady said the following about his goals on April 30, 2023 at the Grazer Stockwerk during the presentation of the Ö1 Jazz Scholarship certificate by Jam Music Lab Rector Marcus Ratka: "For me one of the next steps in my career is that I would love to teach in future. That is a very important goal, to be able to pass down my knowledge in studying - to be able to become a teacher. And also to record an album, record the music I've been working on, the music I've been writing. So these were the biggest, the most important reasons for me to apply."

Text: Andreas Felber
Photo: Peter Purgar

Authored on May 2nd, 2023