Gig Details

Friday 27 April. 20:00 – 22:30.

At Crookes Social Club

Full £15, Concessions £12, Student with NUS card £8, 15 – 18 year olds £3, Under 15s Free. Advance tickets from

Michael Arbenz: piano; Thomas Lähns: bass; Florian Arbenz: drums

The return of this Swiss trio who so impressed the Sheffield audience with their 2016 gig with Greg Osby. A piano trio with a difference, Vein create exciting, dynamic and innovative music with a nod to deeply-held traditional values.  Expect a night of classy, powerful, music played with passion, drive, superb interplay and improvisational finesse.



“One of Europe’s most exciting ensembles”, according to John Fordham, of The Guardian, over the past decade the Basel-based VEIN Trio has established an enviable reputation among jazz audiences for both stylistic diversity and technical accomplishment, blending the complexity of European classical chamber music with the thrills and energy of jazz improvisation at its most sophisticated. All three players are classically trained, and musical leadership is equally shared, creating a fluid, cosmopolitan sound.

The group has released an album nearly every year since its formation and gained recognition for long-term collaborations with star veteran soloists including trombonist Glenn Ferris and saxophonists Greg Osby, Dave Liebman and Andy Sheppard. VEIN’s music is composed by all three members of the trio. Originals are balanced with adaptations of both the classical and jazz traditions, such as the acclaimed album VEIN Plays Ravel (2017).

“Nice work, get it! Incredibly creative piano trio” …Rolling Stone

Another European piano trio and yet another fresh angle on this time-honoured instrumental format.The most striking thing about the trio of the Swiss Arbenz brothers, Florian on drums and Michael on piano, with Thomas Lähns on bass, is the wit and humour they bring to their music“… Peter Bacon The Jazzbreakfast, April 2014

“There’s no pinning them down. …. loose, deconstructed standards…visceral, obliquely stated swing…impassioned blowing …taut, off-kilter funky groove…hooky theme… this band has a vibrant, distinctive personality…vividly current as well as being rooted in that consciousness of jazz history. A Tour de Force. A diverse, top drawer session”…  London Jazz News, March 2015

“ The Swiss piano trio Vein can veer toward being too flawlessly polished for their own jazz good, but as they’ve shown in partnerships with improvising stars such as American saxophonist David Liebman and Greg Osby their work has fire as well as flair. Pianist Michael Arbenz, his drummer brother Florian and bassist Thomas Lähns reaffirm that, even in such a potentially circumspect context as this venture, celebrating the classical backgrounds they share. All the pieces are originals but tweak familiar structures, such as the Prelude that opens as a thoughtful, slow-zigzagging solo piano melody, reiterated by Lähns’ gracefully pliable bass phrasing and developed with the cool animation of a classic Bill Evans trio. There are stealthily spacious meditations such as Poeme de Nuit, and snappy drum-like flyers where the intensity almost tips into free-jazz (In Medias Res). Michael Arbenz’s Sheherazade is a fittingly compelling tale of talkative tabla figures and pithy solos, and Lähns’ Pastorale is a spine-tinglingly evocative display of bowed-bass expressiveness, while Ballad of the Monkeys shows just how hard this refined band can rock” 4/5stars.. John Fordham, The Guardian, April 2017

“Vein, a piano trio with a difference. These guys can play together (like on “Funky Monkey”) at a new level of straight-eight interaction… They don’t really sound like anybody, but do proceed (way) out of the Evans-Bley tradition. Anybody who wants something truly new in the piano trio format would do well to hear this one”…Grego Edwards, Cadence, NYC

“For a demonstration of what the jazz trio has been, and can be, it’s hard to imagine anyone doing it better“…. Matthew Wright, The Arts Desk