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John Hughes

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A quartet comprised of the combination of the duos Rupp / Hughes and Vicente / Trilla, Gravelshard weaves an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of textures and fragmented melodic shrapnel. Picturesque sound fields shatter to reveal a dark sonic topography. 

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The music of Gravelshard is completely improvised, constructed from the contributions of all four members, constantly realigning and reconfiguring to shift the aural perception of linearity, fore- and background. Each Gravelshard performance is unique and unpredictable, never stagnating or resolving the tension of the moment.


Gravelshard was formed in 2022 by bassist John Hughes, combining the duos of Rupp and Hughes with Vicente and Trilla.

Together they formed the quartet for a recording and a tour, funded by the German Landesmusikrat Zukunftsstipendiums stipend.

Gravelshard has toured and played numerous concerts in Germany and Holland in 2022 and 2023 and is planning a CD release tour in early June of 2024, where they will play at the renominated Blurred Edges festival in Hamburg.

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Band members

John Hughes: double bass

John Hughes is a professional double bassist, residing in Hamburg, Germany. In addition to leading and collaborating with numerous bands and as a solo artist, John composes for small ensembles, and organizes concerts for Jazz and free improvised music in Hamburg. John’s massive sound and boundless creativity inspire his bandmates and captivate the audience every time he takes the bandstand.

Olaf Rupp: electric guitar

Olaf Rupp's unique musicality has evolved from decades of dedication to playing free improvisation on both classical and electric guitar. His organically flowing thematic developments arise neither by chance nor by dominant will. There is always paramount focus and intention involved in Olaf's playing, regardless of the dynamic and density of the moment. 

Vasco Trilla: drum set  

Vasco Trilla's cinematic approach to his extended percussion is evident in the music of Gravelshard. He is one of the most active, versatile and creative drummers alive today. Vasco has recorded more than 80 albums, ranging from free improvisation and jazz rock to progressive rock, metal and ambient music.

Luís Vicente: trumpet

Luís Vicente is a prolific musician, and is one of the most distinctive voices on trumpet today. The breadth and warmth of his sound mirror the ocean, an endless source of inspiration for Luís. Luís leads and plays in various group formats internationally with musicians of immense depth and vitality, such as legendary Jazz emissaries William Parker and Hamid Drake.


2024© John Hughes. All rights reserved.

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