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I picked up the guitar at the heydays of CCR, so I took John Fogerty's signature riffs and Tom Fogerty's rhythm work on Down on the corner, Proud Mary, Green river and Bad moon rising as my first musical challenges (well, to be honest, actually my first target in music was Spannenlanger Hansel on the recorder, a couple of years before that ...) . After that (I mean: after my CCR period) I got into the wake of blues and ragtime fingerstyle guitarists like Stefan Grossman, Werner Lämmerhirt, Sammy Vomacka and Klaus Weiland. We had a trio called Ragged String Company which even was allowed to enter the stages of some of the legendary Berlin clubs, such as Steve Club, Folk Pub and Go-In. At the same time I took the classical guitar really seriously and worked hard - under the guidance of my venerated teacher Frau Stein – to get to grips with the music of Dowland, Weiss, Bach, Giuliani, Tarrega and Villa-Lobos. My hero at that time was David Qualey, the master-merger of the worlds of classical and fingerstyle guitar (and for sure I still like his music a lot).

Then the usual thing happened, heard so (or too?) many times: Although I never really quit music, I had to devote most of my time to building up a career in science (and later in business). But once I had a couple of publications and a steadyjob in my CV I picked up the guitar again. And this time it was jazz. I took lessons (not sure if Thomas Bostelmann still remembers me struggle with the Berklee exercises he made me work through in Hamburg), read books and capitalized on the early manifestations of the internet (anybody remember Bob Patterson's online lessons in the late 90's?).

After a short bounce in the blues scene again (with the Heidelberg-based band Sonic Blues) I struck it lucky when I met Prof. Peter Schneider at the Jazzclub Wiesloch in 1999. Peter, natural scientist emeritus, theatre director and playwright, is a great double bass and sitar player with whom I've had the pleasure to make music as a duo since then, playing in small clubs as well as at many cultural events such as art exhibitions and literary readings. It was Peter who in 2000 introduced me to Klaus Fedder, who in turn offered me the guitar chair in his quartet Swingin' 55. I sure played a whole lot of gigs with these hard swinging guys, mostly in the Palatia area (yes, lots of wine festivals, in addition to clubs, bars, receptions and birthday parties)!

In 2006 I met Frank Markus and we founded the Swingadje Quintet, a combo infused with a good dose of Django's. This band had the honour to be invited to the 2008 edition of the 'Django's Erben' festival in Koblenz and as a support act for the great Joscho Stephan at the 'Neuleininger Burgsommer' 2009. While today Frank is busy with his Swing-o-mania I'm keeping up what is now called the Swingadje Ensemble, albeit with less of la pompe and more of the fixings of mainstream and latin jazz. The current line-up of Swingadje Ensemble convenes kind of on occasion. Two such occasions came in the summer of 2013 and 2014 when we were most fortunate to gig for a week each with the great young violinist, violist and singer Matt Pickart (then Pittsburgh, now Michigan-based). Venues included Jazz Hall Stuttgart, Schlossplatz Stuttgart ('Jazzsommer'), La Corona Freiburg and Marionettentheater Wiesloch.

Over the last couple of years I've been passionate about fingerstyle jazz guitar. I've written more than 60 solo arrangements of ballads, swing and latin tunes. I listen a lot to players like Joe Pass (who does not ...), Gene Bertoncini, Martin Taylor and Kenny Poole, who shaped the art of solo jazz guitar, each in their own unique vein. To my mind (and not only to my mind ...), further outstanding exponents of the trade are Andy Brown – check out his recent (Feb 2015) CD Andy Brown Soloist – and John Stowell, both again very distinct in their individual approaches to solo guitar. I am extremely lucky to enjoy lessons from Andy and John whenever our paths cross. I strive to spice up my playing as much as I can with what I manage to snatch up from the wealth of things that they and other great players show me, most notably Lorenzo Petrocca, Marcus Armani, Uli Hoffmeier, Helmut Nieberle, Anthony Wilson, Neil Bacher and others whose advice I particularly value.

When I put my learning into practice in front of an audience I'm particularly interested in combining my musical and scientific interests. This is why I'm giving talks about the history of jazz which I illustrate with musical examples on the guitar, as well as picking up some thematic motifs in music to which I add some scientific considerations, such as underpinning jazz standards about time, seasons and remembrance with some insights into the language and cognition of time - after all, the semantics of language about time and space is one of my favourite scientific playgrounds.

And finally, I like to write about jazz (well: mainly jazz guitar ...) concerts. I used to regularly contribute to the leading German web magazine for the jazz guitar, Archtop Germany, which is fortunately being revitalized at present (spring 2015). You may also want to have a look at my blog, in which I published some of my reviews (not only related to jazz guitar ....).


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