Michael Wollny

piano | Germany

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.

There is no doubt Michael Wollny is the most influencial German pianist and jazz musician of the last 20 years (FAZ). Featuring his brandnew new international trio members, Wollny's new album "Ghosts" will be released on ACT Music worldwide. "As an improviser, you often find that it‘s not the compositions themselves you‘re playing, but your own memories of them. And as these memories come back to you in the moment, they assert their continuing existence in the here and now," says Michael Wollny. In other words, songs are like ghosts. Wollny‘s new album "Ghosts" is a gathering of some of the ghosts that regularly haunt him. Typically for Wollny, they range from classics like Franz Schubert's "Erlkönig" to jazz standards, film music, songs with a certain fragility by Nick Cave, say, or the band Timber Timbre, and also include his own darkly evocative original compositions.
Playing the biggest stages in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for many years, Michael Wollny now is ready to hit the international market with his band.

Tim Lefebvre (bass), Eric Schäfer (drums), Michael Wollny (piano)


German pianist Michael Wollny, once again, shows a yet unheard side of his musical personality, performing almost entirely on electric keyboards and extending their range with real time effects which seem like a turbo for his complex harmonic and melodic thinking, that draws inspiration from classical and contemporary classical, pop, indie, film music and jazz. This wide-spread musical background is probably the biggest reason, why Wollny clicks so perfectly with US-American electric bassist Tim Lefebve. As a collaborator with such diverse artists like David Bowie, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Mark Giuliana, Knower and countless others he is the musical glue between the musicians of the quartet, giving the free-flying ideas of his collaborators the rhythmic grounding - through his signature sound and harmony and unparalleled musical authority. French soprano saxophone great Emile Parisien, one of the most in-demand European jazz musicians and a true innovator of his instrument and German drummer Christian Lillinger, certainly one of the most forward-thinking drummers of today infuse the quartet with unrestrained, nervous, heated energy. With them, anything can happen at any given moment - monster grooves, cascades of single-notes, dense clusters, and just unbound expressiveness.
It is these contrasts, this excitement, the pure joy of playing and improvising, the hunger for surprise and the magic of the moment, that is not only obvious in every note but is also transfused to the audience, making this band such a deep, unique, emotionally, and intellectually challenging experience that one will not forget. „A stellar trans-Atlantic quartet. “ JAZZIZ (US)

XXXX (eXplore | eXpand | eXploit | eXterminate), Tim Lefebvre (bass), Christian Lillinger (drums), Emile Parisien (soprano saxophon), Michael Wollny (piano)

Christian Brückner, einer der erfolgreichsten und bekanntesten (Synchron-)Sprecher Deutschlands trifft auf Michael Wollny, einen der renommiertesten europäischen Jazzpianisten. Zusammen erzeugen sie aus den Texten Heinrich Heines ein Erlebnis aus Lyrik und freier Improvisation.

Christian Brückner und Michael Wollny erweisen sich als perfektes Paar, um Heinrich Heine neu erklingen zu lassen. Heine bereitet die Bühne, setzt den Ton und gesellschaftskritischen Scharfsinn in seinen Gedichten. Seinen Worten wohnt Musik inne. Christian Brückner und Michael Wollny kosten die fruchtbare Beziehung von Text und Musik aus. Beides führende Künstler in ihrem Metier. Christian Brückner, bekannt als Synchronstimme von Robert De Niro und aus unzähligen Hörbüchern und Filmen, gilt gegenwärtig als erfolgreichster Sprecher Deutschlands. Und Wollny, „der vielseitigste und innovativste deutsche Jazzpianist seiner Generation“ (Der Tagesspiegel), schafft es wie wenige andere, aus den verschiedensten Einflüssen heraus immer wieder neue, atemberaubende musikalische Erlebnisse zu kreieren.

Enstanden sind musikalische Geschichten, voller Witz, Ironie, Charme und Eindringlichkeit. Wollny vertont Brückners Vortrag weitestgehend frei und aus dem Moment heraus, dieser reagiert wiederum so spontan wie virtuos in Ton, Stimmung und Charakter. Das Resultat der Zusammenarbeit ist eine Verbindung aus Musik und Wort, die immer einen immer wieder aufhorchen, schmunzeln, nachdenken und bei jedem Hören neue Nuancen entdecken lässt. Ein echtes, einmaliges Hör-Erlebnis eben.

Christian Brückner (Voice), Michael Wollny (piano)

Within the broad range of Michael Wollny’s musical formats, from duo to trio to orchestral projects, solo piano concerts and recordings have so far been a real rarity. The main reason for this is probably Michael Wollny’s curiosity for new musical partners. And his pleasure in the collective search for the magic of the moment. However, Wollny has long had the desire to devote himself more intensively to the solo format and now, after many collaborations with artists such as Nils Landgren, Emile Parisien or Vincent Peirani, as artist in residence and soloist with the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, and several special projects with literature, drama and for the 100th Bauhaus anniversary, it seems that the time for an introspective has come. The musical basis for Wollnys solo concerts and his 2020 solo album “Mondenkind” connects a wide range of epochs and genres. Just like with his trio concept albums “Nachtfahrten” and “Weltentraum”, the repertoire ranges from early music, classical and jazz to contemporary music Wollny’s own compositions, and Wollny proves once more that he can “turn every imaginable music into an experience that takes your breath away.” (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Michael Wollny (piano)

30.04.2023 DE - Essen // Grillo Theater Heinrich Heine - Traumbilder
07.05.2023 DE - Jena // Volkshaus Heinrich Heine - Traumbilder
18.08.2023 DE - Alzenau // Fränkische Musiktage > Armstrong meets Wollny Michael Wollny