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Listed in the Top 25 Jazz Albums of 2014 by Wondering Sound 

I am really excited to have my album on the list for the Top 25 Jazz Albums for 2014 by Wondering Sound. Woohoo!!

"25. Rafael Karlen, The Sweetness of Things Half-Remembered

In recent years there has been a proliferation of chamber jazz recordings, as classically trained/jazz-enthralled musicians bring together two of their loves in the same expression. Rafael Karlen's recent example of this is a gorgeous display. It's one beautiful vignette after another, as waves of harmonies from a string quartet are swept along by the gusts of melodic interplay between saxophonist Karlen and pianist Steve Newcomb. There is an elegance and warmth to this music that abides when the music drifts languorously or grows animated with sudden bursts of motion. The balance between composition and improvisation gives the ear a bit of structure to rely upon while keeping on its toes. Most of all, this music is about as beautiful as it gets. — Dave Sumner'

Please check out the link below for a full list of selected albums.

Rafael Karlen Quartet play The Brooklyn Standard Tuesday January 27 

Rafael Karlen Quartet play The Brooklyn Standard Tuesday January 27

I am very excited to play at the Brooklyn Standard with a new quartet. Please come and hang out, it should be a really fun night.

Dave Spicer - piano
Peter Walters - bass
Paul Husdon - drums
Rafael Karlen - saxophone

Free entry.
Eagle Lane
Brisbane City

Music for Kristin Berardi, voice, Steve Newcomb, piano, Rafael Karlen, saxophone and String Quartet: Friday, November 14 at the Brisbane Jazz Club. 

I am really excited about this upcoming performance at the Brisbane Jazz Club!! This concert will feature new music for the award-winning vocalist Kristin Beradi, Steve Newcomb on piano, myself on saxophone and a lush string quartet. We will perform new works by Kristin, Steve and myself alongside compositions from my new album, The Sweetness of Things Half–Remembered. To check out this album, please click on the following link

'The inventive and lyrical playing of pianist Steve Newcomb, guest vocalist Kristin Berardi and saxophonist/composer Rafael Karlen is showcased soaring over the beautiful musical environments and colourful string textures of the Rosenberg String Quartet. '

Friday, November 14
Doors open: 6.30pm – 11pm Show: 7.30pm – 10pm
Tickets: Members $20, Non-Members $25, Concession $22, Students/Child $10 plus $5.00 G20 Public Holiday surcharge + $1 internet booking fee for non-members. Concession cards must be presented. Booking fee applies to phone bookings except vouchers and Members.


Premier of a new work for the Queenlsand Youth Orchestra Big Band, November 1 

As part of the 2014 Finale concert for the Queensland Youth Orchestras at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the QYO Big Band will premier a new work of mine commissioned for this ensemble.

'A spectacular highlight of the Brisbane concert calendar, the QYO Finale Concert is a “best of 2014” presentation by each orchestra and ensemble in Queensland’s world class youth orchestra organisation.
470 musicians aged 9 to 25 perform in 7 orchestras and ensembles: three symphony orchestras, two wind orchestras, a string orchestra and a big band. The program includes a variety of repertoire, representing the culmination of a year of rehearsals, sectional tutorials, music camps, tours and concerts. '

7pm, Saturday November 1

Premier of a new work for the Nexus Saxophone Quartet and David Theak, October 25 

Sydney saxophonist, Dave Theak and Nexas Saxophone Quartet explore works between classical and jazz in a new and innovate concert showcasing the saxophone. They will perform 3 works of mine including a premier of a new piece commissioned for this performance.

Glebe CafeChurch, 37 St Johns Rd, Glebe, NSW, Australia

Adults: $25 online or $30 at the door; Students: $20

The Crossbow Marathon: The Con Artists and Kristin Berardi, Saturday 18 October  

Award winning vocalist Kristin Berardi will appear as a special guest with The Con Artists at the Queensland Conservatorium as part of the Crossbows Music Festival. They will perform a new arrangement of mine written for this performance. The program also features performances by
Electrik Lemonade, Brodie Graham Band, Toby Wren Trio, Umkancho and Dr. Offig. Live mixed video art throughout the night.


Premier of new works by Paul Kopetz for solo saxophone, October 8 

Composer Paul Kopetz has recently composed 7 exciting new pieces for solo woodwind instruments inspired by the teachings of Yoga.
Each section will be performed by a different member of the Lunaire Collective, a 2014 ensemble-in-residence at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music or an augmenting guest. I am thrilled to be premiering 2 beautiful new works for solo saxophone in a program boasting so many wonderful classical musicians!

Music for String Quartet, improvising pianist and saxophonist at Jazz Upstairs, 6pm Sunday September 29 

Following the album launch in June as part of the Brisbane International Jazz Festival, I am looking forward to performing  my works for String Quartet, improvising pianist and saxophonist in the intimate Jazz Upstairs in West End. The seriously creative pianist Steve Newcomb and a very lush string quartet consisting of Rebecca Karlen, Eugenie Costello-Shaw, Alice Buckinham and Danielle Bentley join me.
The first set will feature Steve Newcomb and I in a duo context.

‘In The Sweetness of Things Half-Remembered, composer and saxophonist Rafael Karlen seamlessly draws together elements from jazz and Western art music through skillful composition and tasteful improvisation. The inventive and lyrical playing of pianist Steve Newcomb and saxophonist Rafael Karlen is showcased soaring over the beautiful musical environments and colorful string textures of the Rosenberg String Quartet.’

I hope to see you there.

Rafael Karlen - tenor saxophone
Steve Newcomb - piano
Rebecca Karlen - violin
Eugenie Costello-Shaw - violin
Alice Buckingham - viola
Danielle Bentley - cello

When: Sunday September 28, 6pm

Where: Jazz UpStairs, 199 Boundary St, West End

Tickets: on the door

This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.

West End Composers Collective play the Brisbane Jazz Club, 21 September 

The 10-piece West End Composers Collective began in 2003 as a monthly gathering of Brisbane’s creative improvising musicians, composers and arrangers to workshop original compositions. The ensemble showcases many of Brisbane’s finest musicians and has released two recordings featuring original material, performed at many important Jazz Festivals and toured nationally across Australia.  
We will be performing music by Steve Newcomb, Laura Watts, Rafael Karlen and Kristin Berardi.
Please come and join us for this very special gig. This will be the first gig with many of the core players in 4 years!
Kristin Berardi -voice 
Steve Newcomb -piano 
Ben Hoult - guitar
Joe Marchisella - drums
Helen Svoboda - bass
Shannon Marshall - trumpet
Shane Hannan - trombone
Josh Hatcher - alto saxophone
Rafael Karlen - tenor saxophone
Matt Luff - baritone saxophone

When: Sunday September 21, 6pm
Where: Brisbane Jazz Club
            1 Annie St. Kangaroo Point
Tickets: $10-25

Please click here for more information.


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