Josef Wagner is an Austrian bassist/composer currently leading his own group "Memory Control" which released their debut album "The Wonderful Music Gives Happy You" in 2012. Besides that, he works as composer for "Punches & Judies" as well as bassist/composer for the "LA Big Band". On this page you can find out more about Josef and his music.
Josef Wagner, born in 1982 in Amstetten (Austria), started playing electric bass at the age of 11. Soon he played in several bands around the Amstetten area. In 2001 he continued his bass studies at the University for Music and performing Arts Vienna with Willi Langer and Albert Kreuzer. With the trio "Morchestra" which played mainly Josef’s compositions he won the third prize of the "Austrian Young Lions Award" in 2002.
In the next few years the wide variety of his musical interests made him explore music styles as diverse as techno/electronica (with Breaking Pavel 2003-2008), world music (with Edward Powell 2003-2004, Livonia since 2007), poetry/music/improvisation (with Hermann Niklas and schalldicht 2005-2009), jazz (with Wolfgang Bräuer Trio since 2004, Verena Zeiner Trio 2010/2011), folk-rock (with Tuskulum 2006-2009) and others.
Since 2009 Josef has been leading his own group "Memory Control" (with Clemens Salesny, Philipp Jagschitz and Thomas Froschauer) playing his personal version of modern jazz with various influences. The group released their debut album "The Wonderful Music Gives Happy You" in 2012.
Besides his activity as a bass player Josef constantly tries to find his own voice as a jazz composer. The LA Big Band has played and recorded several of Josef’s compositions and in 2010 Josef wrote a full length program for the chamber-pop group "Punches & Judies" based on the poems of E. E. Cummings. In 2012 he was asked to write a piece for the Lower Austrian "Viertelfestival" which led to the foundation of the "Memory Control Sextett" with the addition of Martin Ptak (trombone) and Frank Schwinn (guitar) to the usual quartet line-up. As a bass player Josef has also worked with Wolfgang Puschnig, Allegre Correa, Heavy Tuba, Celia Mara, Lorenz Raab, Gerald Preinfalk and others.
Memory Control is my working group since 2009. We've been playing gigs mostly in and around Vienna. Two highlights were a concert with Wolfgang Puschnig, one of my all-time heroes as well as a concert with Martin Ptak (trombone) and Frank Schwinn (guitar) as part of the "Memory Control Sextet".
In December 2011 we recorded a selection of our favourite tunes from our live program in Roland Baumann's TSB studio using a beautiful Fazioli grand piano as well as a Fender Rhodes for our piano player Philipp.
I'm really happy with the record: I think the music is diverse and colourful, Clemens, Philipp and Thomas played great and both the warm sound and Gottfried Ebner's cover design make it a nice package.
"The Wonderful Music Gives Happy You" is available on Alessa Records (www.alessarecords.at).
- Blue Cup
- Green Cup
- Melencolia I
- Clemens Salesny: Alto Saxophone, Saxello, Bass Clarinet
- Philipp Jagschitz: Piano, Fender Rhodes
- Josef Wagner: Bass
- Thomas Froschauer: Drums
All music by Josef Wagner
Recorded December 13-14, 2011 at TSB
Mixed January 12th, 2012, at TSB
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Roland Baumann
Cover-Artwork by Gottfried Ebner
Punches & Judies
Punches & Judies is a group I co-founded with singer Thekla Hörtler in 2010. Our idea was to write and arrange orchestral pop music performed within a relatively small but special instrumentation. The lyrics are poems by E. E. Cummings.
- Thekla Hörtler: vocals
- Emily Stewart, Simon Frick: violin
- Martina Engel: viola
- Gergely Koloszvarí: cello
- Thomas Franz-Riegler: marimba, glockenspiel, thumb piano, melodica
- Leo Geist: drums
LA Big Band
LA Big Band is an 18-piece big band led by Lois Aichberger. The band exists since 2004 and has released four records so far. Along with Lorenz Raab, Andreas Pranzl and Jonny Leonhartsberger I write the music for the group.
For more information check out: www.labigband.at
Memory Control Sextet
The Memory Control Sextet in an extended version of my band Memory Control. Martin Ptak (trombone) and Frank Schwinn (guitar) were the perfect choice for the group. We've only played one gig so far but I hope there will be many more to come.