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Florian Egli

Country of origin: Switzerland
Birthday: 1982

About Florian Egli

Florian Egli (1982) is a saxophonist, bassist, and producer from Zurich. He grew up in a family with enthusiastic musical interests. At the age of 17 he discovered jazz. He taught himself initially and was accepted into the Zurich Hochschule for the Arts in 2004. He studied with Christoph Grab and Reto Suhner, and won a scholarship from the Friedl Wald Foundation in 2006.
In 2007, Egli became a member of the newly established Lucerne Jazz Orchestra (2007–2017). With approximately 120 concerts and seven studio productions, the LJO was an important influence on the Swiss and European big band scene and helped Egli learn the routine of a professional big band member – playing instruments such as piccolo, flute and clarinet. He has also played for many years as a substitute in the Swiss Jazz Orchestra and the Zurich Jazz Orchestra.
In 2007, he founded Weird Beard with Dave Gisler (guitar), Martina Berther (bass), and Rico Baumannn (percussion). The group has performed throughout Europe at numerous festivals such as the Langnau Jazz Nights, the European Jazz Meeting (JazzAhead!), and the Zurich Stadtsommer. Weird Beard’s three studio recordings were praised by the European jazz press. As the group’s leader and composer, Weird Beard continues to be Egli’s most important project. It combines his childhood pop music background with his passion for jazz.
Among his further projects as bandleader have been The Murder of Amus Ames (2008-2014) with percussionist Andreas Wettstein and bassist Claude Meier, as well as the Egli-Santana-Group (2014-2016) with the Brazilian-Portuguese trumpet player Gileno Santana, with whom he won the 2015 BeJazz TransNational Competition.
Egli has been a sought-after sideman in numerous projects, among them guitarist Theo Kapilidis’s Neoplatonic Trio, tours with the blues/pop musician Philipp Fankhauser (2016-2018), and a production of “The Three-Penny Opera” at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich.
In 2015, Egli established, together with Raphael Walser (bass) and Jonas Ruther (drums), a monthly concert series called The Jazz Trio Invites, devoted to jazz standards from the American Songbook. The trio invited Swiss musicians to join as guests and performed at the Willisau Jazz Festival. In 2017, the group was enlarged with the addition of Lukas Thoeni (trumpet) and Philipp Eden (piano) to become the quintet Jenny.
In recent years Egli has become increasingly interested in the bass guitar, and now considers the electric bass to be important as his saxophone. Since 2018, he has been active with the Indie-Pop band Ursina, playing bass as well as arranging and composing.
Since 2020, he has published music as a producer and multi-instrumentalist under the name Michael Benedikt.
Florian Egli has played in over 20 album productions for the labels Intakt Records, UNIT, Radicalis, and Enja. In addition to his work as a musician, he is an active supporter of the Zurich jazz scene. He has been a board member of JazzBaragge since 2011, served on the board of the Moods society for a number of years, and founded the newsletter Jazztripp together with Raphael Walser in 2018. This monthly concert calendar lists all the jazz concerts around Zurich played by local musicians and gives an overview of the rich jazz scene in the region.