Mads Tolling Quartet

Mads Tolling with his quartet. From Left to Right: Sam Bevan, Eric Garland, Mads Tolling & Colin Hogan. Photo by John Tinger

ads Tolling Quartet was founded by violinist Mads Tolling in 2008, his first major solo project. The Mads Tolling Quartet consists of:

Mads Tolling – violin
Colin Hogan – piano & accordion
Sam Bevan – bass
Eric Garland – drums

The group came together through the eclectic San Francisco music scene. Each musician brings a high level of virtuosity and pure joy in playing to the group. There really are no limits for what the MTQ is capable of doing. This is evident on the three recordings the quartet has released to date, collaborating with Grammy Award-Winning instrumentalists and vocalists around the world with selections ranging from Radiohead to Miles Davis. With its unique instrumentation and signature sound, excitement levels go high during live performances. There are some moments of pure spontaneity, but underlying the concept of MTQ are thoughtful compositions and arrangements.

Tolling, a Grammy Award-winning performer & arranger, has a distinct melodic and lyrical “groove” to his writing. MTQ enjoys playing well-known pieces such as Thelonious Monk’s “Blue Monk”, Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog”, giving them a new twist, while staying true to the spirit of the original versions.

Mads’ first project under his own name was a trio with guitarist Mike Abraham and bassist George Ban-Weiss. In March of 2008 Mads Tolling Trio released its first album entitled, “Speed of Light”. The album features ten tunes of originals and arrangements, and in addition a solo violin version of Miles Davis’ “Blue in Green”.

The first incarnation of the Mads Tolling Quartet. From left to right: Mads Tolling, Mike Abraham – guitar, Eric Garland – drums and George Ban-Weiss – bass - Photo by Stuart Brinin

Soon after the release, the trio expanded to its current configuration – Mads Tolling Quartet – adding drummer Eric Garland. The Quartet has performed at numerous venues around the country, including Yoshi’s Oakland & San Francisco, Herbst Theatre, Yerba Buena Gardens, SF Jazz, Stanford Jazz Festival, Jazz Alley in Seattle, Napa Valley Opera House, Monterey Jazz Festival and Blues Alley in Washington DC.

In the summer of 2009 MTQ went in the studio to record “The Playmaker“, which features special guests bass legend Stanley Clarke, Yellowjackets founder Russell Ferrante & vibist Stefon Harris. In December 2009 Mads Tolling and “The Playmaker” were featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, and many rave reviews followed including Washinton Post, Downbeat Magazine and San Francisco Chronicle.

In June 2010, MTQ performed at the celebration for the Danish Embassy’s 50-year anniversary. In attendance were Royal Highnesses, Prince Frederik & Princess Mary of Denmark and members of congress, including majority leader Steny Hoyer. In 2012 Mads Tolling Quartet released “Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty – Live at Yoshi’s“. The album is a homage to Tolling’s mentor, who gave Mads his first break, when he recommended Mads to join Stanley Clarke’s Band 10 years earlier.

In addition to his American quartet, Mads has had a steady increase in gigs with his European Quartet. This year and next, the quartet is celebrating that Danish jazz-fiddle icon Svend Asmussen is turning 100 years old. In the group is Jacob Fischer on guitar, Kasper Tagel on bass and Snorre Kirk on Drums.

The latest project from MTQ is called “Mads Tolling & The Mads Men“. It is an exploration of the music of the 1960s “Mad Men Era.” Popular movie and TV-show themes along with iconic songs such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly“, “Meet the Flintstones” and “Georgia on my Mind” are part of the set list. The program touches on the nostalgic, but finds a balance in forward thinking grooves and melodies. A CD release and multiple tours will take place in 2016.

Individual Bios

Mads Tolling Colin Hogan Sam Beven Eric Garland
Mads Tolling Colin Hogan Sam Beven Eric Garland

CD Releases


The Playmaker

You can download “The Playmaker” in the Store and on iTunes. You can also purchase “The Playmaker” on Amazon, and at many retailers.

Speed of Light

Speed of Light

You can download “Speed Of Light” in the Store and on iTunes.  You can also purchase “Speed Of Light” on CDbaby and Amazon.

Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty

You can download “Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty” on iTunes. You can also purchase “Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty” on Amazon.

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