Having grown up in a musical home, Sarah Chaksad was fascinated by music from an early age. During her school years she played in various ensembles, including the jazz ensemble of the Kantonschule Wohlen under the direction of saxophonist and composer Matthias Baumann. During high school she discovered her great passion for composing. In 2004, she completed the preliminary course at the Swiss Jazzschool Bern. From 2005 to 2008 she studied at the Pädagogische Hochschule Bern and completed her training as a primary teacher. From 2008 to 2013 Sarah Chaksad studied saxophone at the FHNW Hochschule für Musik with Daniel Blanc, from 2010 with Domenic Landolf, and successfully completed her Bachelor’s degree in 2011 and her Master’s degree in summer 2013. In the same year she was accepted by the Pro Argovia Foundation for the 2013/14 season. During her studies at the FHNW Hochschule für Musik she had the opportunity to play in various ensembles and projects, to participate in sessions and workshops and to attend various master classes with Andy Scherrer, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Guillermo Klein, Jorge Rossy, Larry Grenadier, Malcolm Braff, Mark Turner, David Liebman, Seamus Blake and Esperanza Spalding. As bandleader and composer of the band Neighborship, a 13-piece pop-soul band, she produced their first EP in 2011 and the first album in 2014, which was produced by Peter Wagner and released by Fontastix. Playing in big bands and composition lessons with Lars Lindvall and Guillermo Klein finally sparked her desire to write and perform for her own jazz orchestra and so she founded her own Sarah Chaksad Orchestra in November 2012. After two successful concert tours, her first album windmond will be released by Neuklang Records in November 2016. In addition to her work as a musician, she is also active in the cultural field.
Valentin Hebel was born in Stuttgart in 1992. He began playing the guitar at the age of 6 and studied jazz guitar at the Musikhochschule Basel after graduating from the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart. Already in his youth he was active as an actor, musician and composer at the Staatstheater Stuttgart and played in numerous bands and orchestras. He has already worked with Grammy winners Casey Benjamin, Guillermo Klein and the SWR Big Band and received lessons from Wolfgang Muthspiel, Jesse van Ruller, Mikkel Ploug and Larry Grenadier. He currently gives regular concerts with the experimental postpunk band “ANORAQUE”, whose debut “DISTURBING GRACE” has been highly acclaimed by the German magazine Visions. He also performs with the fifteen-piece “Sarah Chaksad Orchestra” and the pure improvisation band “Das letzte Kollektiv”. Concert tours took him to Germany, England, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland. In addition, he is a much sought-after sideman and studio guitarist between pop/rock, jazz, classical and experimental music. Besides his work as a musician, he continues to appear as an actor, composer and musician in films and plays, organizes concerts and works as a booker, manager and promoter for the music agency Radicalis Music Management in Basel and manages the bands mantocliff and Evelinn Trouble.