For free hands

Soprano & tenor saxophone / 7-string acoustic guitar, percussion / electric guitar / drums / electric bass

Our project

Berlin, Sofia, Rom, Ljubljana  | Urban Jazz, Fusion  – Andreas Brunn (D) 7 string acoustic guitar, e-guitar | Vladimir Karparov (BG) soprano & tenor saxophone | Manuel Podhostnik  (SLO) drums, percussion | Roberto Badoglio (I) E-Bass.

The current line-up includes bassist Roberto Badoglio, who studied with Matthew Garrison in NY, Manuel Podhostnik on drums, Vladimir Karparov on saxophones and Andreas Brunn (D) on electric guitar.

And there was also an interesting expansion. FOR FREE HANDS was previously booked for the Jazz au Chellah festival in Morocco, with the request to realize a project with the Moroccan oud virtuoso Alaa Zouiten. The concert in front of 2,000 people was so successful that we decided to further develop our musical encounter. In this constellation there are actually musicians from 5 nations on stage.

Our new wonderful album, “The passing on of the fire” was released in September by our record company Laika Records.


And I’m very happy that our CD was the “Jazz Album of the Week!” in October ’23! on NDR Kultur “.

With Vladimir Karparov, Manuel Podhostnik, Roberto Badoglio and Andreas Brunn, FOR FREE HANDS is perceived as part of the international jazz community living in Berlin. Alaa Zouiten is another very interesting instrumentalist who represents the musical traditions of Morocco and modern oud sounds in equal measure.

P.S. We have now received several good reviews, including in the renowned jazz magazine Jazzthing.: “Rhythmically sophisticated pieces delight the ear of even the most discerning listener, beautiful melodies characterize compositions. Diverse, colorful, groovy, casual – the five musicians from five countries offer catchy, urban jazz with a good portion of oriental ingredients.”

Furthermore, our FFH CD “The passing on of the fire” was CD of the week at in October: “In a work peppered with fresh material, Andreas Brunn uses a wide instrumental arsenal. The result is a great album on the borderline between jazz and fusion with jazz-rock excursions. I like the guitarist’s nimble solos in conjunction with the saxophone, which is supported by Alaa Zouiten’s oud. Diego Pinera’s passionate drumming also gives the whole thing energy and agility. A great album, we are thrilled!”


Andreas Brunn was born in Weimar in 1964, played the clarinet since the age of six, started learning the guitar at the age of fourteen and has been a musician in bands of various styles ever since. He studied guitar and music theory at the “Franz Liszt” University of Music in Weimar.

His composition “Two Faces” was awarded 1st prize in the guitar composition competition Open Strings in 1999, announced throughout Germany by the specialized magazine AKUSTIKGitarre.

Studied guitar and music theory at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar. He won first prize in the guitar composition competition Open Strings organized by the specialist magazine Akustik Gitarre with his composition Two Faces.

The guitarist has performed at various European and Asian festivals and has worked with Petri Hakala, Stoyan Yankoulov, Ateshan Husseinov, Uli Bartel, Mack Goldsbury, Ralf Siedhoff, Ferenc Snetberger, among others, and performs a solo program. Andreas Brunn took conga lessons with Topo Gioa and teaches percussion according to the Ta-Ke-Ti-Na method.

In 2003 he was a scholarship holder of the Senate Department for Science, Research and Culture, Berlin in Bulgaria and in 2008 also as a scholarship holder in Finland.

In the summer of 2004 and 2007, he was the artistic director of the EU-supported project “Young Music Caravan Europe”, which traveled 7,500 km with young musicians from Europe in both years and performed at renowned festivals in a number of countries.

Alaa Zouiten was born in Casablanca, Morocco. His musical career began there as a master of the oud, the Arabic lute, and led from his training at the Conservatoire National de Marrakech to becoming a sideman in the fusion band “Jbara”. He has played with the band at numerous Moroccan festivals, including the Essaouira Gnaoua Festival, the Grand Festival de Casablanca and the Mawazine in Rabat.

At the University of Erfurt, Germany, he deepened his knowledge of music theory while studying music education and philosophy. During his studies, he collaborated with many jazz musicians and playfully explored the free spaces between traditional sounds from the Maghreb, Andalusia and jazz, resulting in the “Alaa Zouiten Ensemble”, which released its debut album “Hada Makan” in 2012. This was followed by further studies in musicology (M.A. Transcultural Music Studies) at the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar.
With a scholarship from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Alaa Zouiten worked on his second album “Talking Oud” in 2015. In these compositions, he experiments with the stylistic, technical and aesthetic possibilities of the oud. The result is a fascinating mix of Arabic, Andalusian jazz and rock.
This potential is the basis for Alaa Zouiten’s collaboration with top-class musicians in very different fusion projects in musically cosmopolitan Berlin.
Alaa Zouiten also curates the “Arab Song Jam” and the “Gnaoua Festival” in Berlin.

Vladimir Karparov was born in Sofia in 1977 and graduated from French high school in 1995. He started playing the saxophone at the age of 13 and was soon giving concerts with a Bulgarian wind orchestra. He played jazz for the first time as a street musician in Sofia. During this time he performed with big bands as well as with smaller formations and also played rock, soul and ska.

From 1995 to ’99 his musical home was the State Music Academy “Pantcho Vladigerov” in Sofia – Karparov had chosen jazz and popular music as his main subjects.
In 1999 he began to study jazz at the Hamburg University of Popular Music and successfully completed his studies at the Hanns Eisler University of Music in Berlin.

Participation in various festival events, numerous concerts and awards in Europe, India and Japan complete the picture of this versatile musician. He played with Theodosii Spassov, Milcho Leviev, Ivo Papasov, Okay Temis, Yaldaz Ibrahimova, Jiggs Whigham, Martin Lubenov, Gerard Presencer and John Hollenbeck, among others.

Roberto Badoglio was born in 1984 and began playing bass for a few years after studying piano. At the age of 16, he took private lessons in France with Dominique Di Piazza and in New York with Matthew Garrison and Skuli Sverrisson. In 2005/06 he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he also had the opportunity to study privately with the trombonist Hal Crook and to play with the renowned pianist Joanne Brackeen in her ensemble.

After Berklee, he moved to NY City, joined pop singer Adama’s band and continued to play in the city and on international tours with many great musicians on the New York scene, such as Louis Cato, Marko Djordjevic, Brad and Eliot Mason, Hara Garacci. and many others. During this time he recorded his first solo album “Re-Evaluation Time” and released it in 2010.

Roberto currently lives in Berlin and leads the international band Beyond Turbines together with Bjössi Klütsch on guitar, Steve Hunt on keys and Virgil Donati on drums. They released their debut album “Beyond Turbines” in November 2015. In 2017, he released his second solo album “Lapse Of Worry”. At the moment he is involved in various projects such as “The silent Jazz Ensemble” and the band of saxophonist Reiner Hess Raumschiff Jazz and the “Afrobeat” trio of balafonist Aly Keyta and works with the electronic / funk project Nu Guinea. Roberto’s bass playing is characterized by a unique right-handed four-finger technique, which he sees as a mixture of Dominique Di Piazza, Matthew Garrison and Gary Willis.

Manuel Podhostnik , born in Slovenia, is an artist whose musical journey is strongly influenced by his roots. He draws inspiration from the rich cultural diversity of the Balkans. This regional connection is evident in his music, in which he integrates elements and sounds from the diverse musical tradition of the Balkans. Manuel Podhostnik’s artistic expression is strongly influenced by the nature of jazz in its essential form, an orientation that allows him to express himself authentically as an artist. His work is characterized by the exploration, development and crossing of mental boundaries on the drums.

In addition to his solo work, Manuel Podhostnik has collaborated with an impressive list of international artists, including Doug Hammond, Tim Lefebvre, Marko Crncec, Jure Punk, Tadej Kampl, Roberto Badoglio and many others. This collaboration indicates a wide range of creative influences and shows his ability to successfully interact with different musical styles and artists.

Manuel Podhostnik is also active in the field of sound design for media. This multifaceted activity illustrates his versatility and commitment to different areas of music production.

In addition to these activities, Manuel Podhostnik has also released a solo CD called “Curiosity”, which further emphasizes his broad spectrum as a musician.


Jazzpodium on the new CD 10-2023

“Ten years ago, Joachim Kühn and Majid Bekkas attempted a blend of Maghrebian folk music and European jazz, and Charles Lloyd and Anouar Brahem from Tunisia should also be mentioned here. Guitarist Andreas Brunn goes several steps further and integrates the Moroccan oud player Alaa Zouiten so perfectly into his urban fusion jazz quartet For Free Hands that a truly new, original form of music emerges, far beyond all attempts at world music symbiosis and overly narrow genre boundaries. … The five free-hand musicians from Italy, Bulgaria, Uruguay, Morocco and Germany deliberately do not ignite a devastating conflagration when passing on the fire, but rather subtle, sustainable and emphatic sound worlds that remain in the ear and have a far-reaching lighthouse or landmark character.” Rainer Bratfisch


The Belgian Jazz magazin Jazzhalo on the new CD 11-2023

“Andreas Brunn has always had a soft spot for crooked time signatures and compositions in which two meters seem to work against each other. This is the case in the piece “Brotherhood of 7”. The saxophonist’s virtuoso playing is outstanding, as he shows off his “twisted sound lines”. But Brunn’s elaborate string playing also plays a large part in the tonal formations of the piece. At first hearing, “Hada Makan” is reminiscent of a dance, characterized by the string sounds of the oud, which is highlighted as a soloist. This is followed by the lines of the electric bassist and the playful tone syllables that the guitarist contributes to the piece. What we hear sounds very cheerful. And it’s easy to imagine a scene with snake charmers, dancers and musicians in one of Morocco’s traditional cities, such as Meknes or Fez.” Ferdinand Dupuis-Panther


For Free Hands Live


For Free Hands feat. Alaa Zouiten | 01.06.2024 19:00 |  Berbus Alliance –  Regattastraße 187, 12527 Berlin-Grünau  | | Festival “Grünauer Jazz Bühne” meets world …

For Free Hands feat. Doron Furman @ Nordhäuser Jazzfrühling | Sa. 27.04.2024 20:00 Uhr | Jazzclub „JAZZmangel“, Barfüßerstraße 3 |

FFH feat. Doron Furman @ Kulturraum Zwinglikirche | Fr.23.02.2024 20:00 | Rudolfstrasse 14 – Danneckerstrasse, 10245 Berlin |


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