Michael Wollny

piano | Germany
Management Artist

Michael Wollny is an internationally successful jazz pianist, music inventor, unconventional thinker, popular figure. Nobody plays piano like him. His trademark: the unpredictable, the quest for the never-before-heard, the courage to devote himself to the moment, to make the unforeseen sound self-evident. His desire to keep reinventing himself, both in terms of sound and composition; that is what makes him a “consummate piano maestro” (FAZ) and “the biggest (jazz) musician personality that Germany has produced since Albert Mangelsdorff” (Hamburger Abendblatt). Wollny feels at home in many different formats: solo, in duo with musicians like Heinz Sauer, Vincent Peirani, Tamar Halperin or Konstantin Gropper, with the Michael Wollny Trio, the quartet „Out Of Land“ and many other collaborations with musicians from all kinds of musical directions such as Nils Landgren, Emile Parisien, the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, Marius Neset, Leafcutter John or Joachim Kühn.

Since the debut album "call it [em]", the piano trio has been a constant format in Michael Wollny's musical universe. From beginning to present Wollny's Trio-Partner-in-Crime: Drummer Eric Schaefer, with whom he has spent almost two decades of playing, improvising and composing. The big breakthrough for the trio came in 2014 with the release of the album "Weltentraum". A real "game changer" that fascinatingly blends genres, epochs and styles of playing. From Coldplay over Schubert to Messiaen, from Monk to Evans. Since 2015, Swiss bassist Christian Weber has been a regular member of the trio and contributes as broad a range of expressions as his fellow musicians - from classic arc playing to free expression and deep grooves.

Eric Schäfer (drums), Christian Weber (double bass), Michael Wollny (piano)

With the duo of Michael Wollny and Heinz Sauer, two generations of German jazz come together. Both met for the first time in the jazz ensemble of the Hessischer Rundfunk. It's the beginning of a unique collaboration. "Let loose of control and see what happens" is what Wollny calls the credo of the do – in form of free improvisations, original compositions and interpretations of jazz and pop classics. Until this day the duo has released four internationally acclaimed albums. Each one unique, as well as every concert, every note, every moment of one of the most fascinating acts of European jazz.

Heinz Sauer (tenor saxophone), Michael Wollny (piano)

It scarcely feels necessary to mention the pre-eminent status of all four of these artists, because that is evident from hearing the music. When Nils Landgren brings such feeling to his own melody “Le chat sur le toit”, or when Michael Wollny dazzles with the blues-infused piano solo in “Lady Madonna”; when “Polygon” opens with a bass intro from Lars Danielsson, or when Wolfgang Haffner sets up the power groove to propel “4WD”, then it’s clear what’s happening: four leading figures in European jazz who know each other well and who have appreciated each other’s work for many years have now got together. True, their paths have crossed many times before, and in all kinds of configurations. The formidable duo of Landgren and Wollny comes to mind, for example, as does Haffner’s long-term role as an anchor in the Funk Unit, or Danielsson's vivid bass presence in Haffner's trio…but here for the very first time are the four friends as a quartet. They decided to record an album together at the Nilento Studio in Gothenburg: “4 Wheel Drive”.

Lars Danielsson (electric bass & cello), Wolfgang Haffner (drums), Nils Landgren (trombone & voice), Michael Wollny (piano)

Solo concerts by Michael Wollny are rare events. Introspectives, in which Wollny, whose great fascination otherwise lies in his ability of interacting with musical partners from all kinds of directions, looks deep inside himself. And in which the innumerable facets of his musical personality communicate with each other, not seldom also fight and struggle and ultimately open new worlds. For his only solo album to date, "Hexentanz", Wollny spent a month time on the island of Gotland, listening to a lot of Schubert, Steve Reich, Björk and Joachim Kühn. Influences that are also apparent in his solo concerts to this day. Concerts where the genres blur until everything is just one thing: big, free, borderless music.

Michael Wollny (piano)

For once, here’s a band for which the word 'supergroup' is completely apposite. Swiss vocalist Andreas Schaerer, German pianist Michael Wollny, French accordionist Vincent Peirani and his saxophonist compatriot Emile Parisien are four of the brightest and most charismatic stars in European jazz, and they have now formed themselves into a quartet. Their new live recording “Out of Land” demonstrates why they are at the very pinnacle of jazz musicians of their generation.

Emile Parisien (soprano saxophon), Vincent Peirani (accordion), Andreas Schaerer (voice), Michael Wollny (piano)

Vincent Peirani (accordion), Michael Wollny (piano)

15.11.2019 DE - Krün // Schloss Elmau Michael Wollny Trio Buy Tickets
17.11.2019 FR - Strassbourg // JAZZDOR Michael Wollny & Emile Parisien Buy Tickets
24.11.2019 GB - London // EFG London Jazz Festival Bau.Haus.Klang Buy Tickets
04.12.2019 DE - Kassel // Theaterstübchen Landgren/Wollny/Danielsson/Haffner Buy Tickets
05.12.2019 DE - Flensburg // Deutsches Haus Landgren/Wollny/Danielsson/Haffner Buy Tickets
26.03.2020 DE - Mindelheimer Jazztage // Mindelheim Michael Wollny Trio Buy Tickets