Florian Egli (*1982) is a Zurich-based saxophonist, bassist, and producer. He actively performs as a freelance musician in various jazz and pop bands and projects.
Growing up in a music-loving family, Egli discovered jazz at the age of 17 and self-educated himself in the genre. In 2004, he was admitted to the Zurich University of the Arts, where he studied under Christoph Grab and Reto Suhner. While still a student, he received a sponsorship award from the Friedl Wald Foundation in 2006.
In 2007, Egli became a member of the newly founded Lucerne Jazz Orchestra (2007-2017), significantly contributing to the big band scene in Switzerland and Europe through over 120 concerts and seven studio productions. This experience helped him become an accomplished big band player, proficient on instruments like piccolo, flute, and clarinet. He has also been a regular substitute with the Swiss Jazz Orchestra and the Zurich Jazz Orchestra.
In the same year, he founded the band Weird Beard, featuring Dave Gisler (guitar), Martina Berther (bass), and Rico Baumann (drums). The group toured extensively and performed at notable events such as the Langnau Jazz Nights, the European Jazz Meeting (Jazzahead!), and the Zurich Stadtsummer. Their three studio albums garnered attention from the European jazz press. Weird Beard remains Egli's most significant project as a leader and composer, merging his pop music background from childhood with his passion for jazz.
As a bandleader, Egli led The Murder of Amus Ames (2008-2014) with drummer Andreas Wettstein and bassist Claude Meier, as well as the Egli-Santana Group (2014-2016) with Brazilian-Portuguese trumpeter Gileno Santana, with whom he won the 2015 BeJazz TransNational competition.
Furthermore, Egli has been actively involved as a sideman in various projects, including guitarist Theo Kapilidis' Neoplatonic Trio, tours with blues pop musician Philipp Fankhauser (2016-2018), and a production of The Threepenny Opera at the Schauspielhaus Zurich, to name a few.
In 2015, he launched a monthly concert series with Raphael Walser (bass) and Jonas Ruther (drums) called The Jazz Trio invites, committed to jazz standards from the Great American Songbook. The trio invites guest musicians from all over Switzerland - and in turn has already been invited to the Willisau Jazz Festival itself. In 2017, the group expanded with Lukas Thoeni (trumpet) and Philipp Eden (piano) to form the quintet JENNY.
For several years, Egli has also devoted himself intensively to playing the bass - today he describes his electric bass as just as important as the saxophone. For the indie pop band URSINA, he has been on the road for the first time as a bass player since 2018, in addition to helping with arrangements and compositions.
Since 2020, Egli has been releasing music as a producer and multi-instrumentalist under the name Michael Benedikt.
Florian has played on over twenty album productions released by labels such as Intakt Records, UNIT, Radicalis, or Enja. Apart from his musical endeavors, Egli actively participates in the Zurich jazz scene on a voluntary basis. He has been a board member of the JazzBaragge association since 2011, served on the board of the Moods association for several years, and, in 2018, co-founded the Jazztripp newsletter with Raphael Walser. The monthly concert calendar lists all jazz events played in the Zurich area by Zurich musicians, providing an overview of the diverse scene in the region.
Arvore-Stipendium 2021 - 2024 | Atelier Stipendium Berlin 2020 | Förderpreis der Internationalen Bodensee Konferenz 2015 | Swiss Jazz Award 2015 (Raphael Jost & LoH) | 2. Preis ZKB Jazzpreis 2014 (Weird Beard) | BeJazz Transnational 2014 (Egli-Santana Group) | Kulturförderpreis der Stadt Schaffhausen 2013 | Förderpreis der Marianne und Curt Dienemann Stiftung 2013 | Förderpreis der Friedl Wald Stiftung 2006
Cape Town Jazz Festival, Südafrika 2019 | Jazzfestival Bern 2019 | Moon&Stars Locarno 2019 | Willisau Jazz Festival 2019 | Open Air Monte Carasso 2018 | Goethe Garten Festival Lissabon, Portugal 2017 | Intakt Festival @ Vortex London, England 2017 | Heitere Open Air, Zofingen 2017 | Festa Do Jazz Lissabon 2016 | Swiss Nights Jazzahead! 2016 | BeJazz Winterfestival 2015 | European Jazzmeeting Jazzahead! 2015 | Jazzfestival Moers 2015 | Jazz Festival Ascona 2015 | Festival da Jazz St.Moritz 2015 | MuzEnergo Tour Russland 2015 | Moods Artist in Residence Oktober 2014 | Japan Tournee 2013 | Jazzfestival Schaffhausen 2012 | Unerhört! Festival Zürich 2012 | BeJazz Sommerfestival 2012 | Hanza Jazz Festival 2012, Poland | Glogow Jazz Fesztival 2012, Poland | Bratislava Jazz Days 2012, Slowakei | Suisse Diagonales Jazz 2011 | Stadtsommer Zürich 2011