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Our guest on 12.10.2008

Till Brönner, Jazz Trumpeter


Till Brönner has been called the popstar of the German jazz scene and is a fixture on the international circuit. The 37-year-old trumpeter has won two German music prizes and a Grammy nomination for his projects, which often fuse other styles such as pop, hop-hop and classical music with jazz.

Born in 1971 in Viersen, Germany and raised in Rome, Italy, Till's musical voyage began with the help of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker: "Hearing Bebop for the first time, Charlie Parker; that set the whole thing off for me. I was 13 years old and it was an almost erotic sensation. I thought that it was indecent. The music was like a woman having a go at me."

Till stems from a family of musicians; after a well-protected childhood, he enjoyed a classical education followed by a study of the jazz trumpet at Cologne’s Music Academy. After only three semesters he convinced the leader of Berlin’s "RIAS-Tanzorchester" at an audition, taking his first hurdle at the age of 20.

Only two years later, he raised more than one eyebrow with "Generations of Jazz", being both a classic mainstream recording and his debut as a bandleader. By the time he released "German Songs", his third album of old German film songs, arranged for jazz quartet and classical orchestra, he was the talk of the trade.

Many different and innovative albums followed, including "Chattin with Chet", a project that expressed his growing debt to the American cool jazz legend Chet Baker. Later projects including film music, a DJ collaboration - and a concert tour with soul singer Joy Denelane, which sett the stage for Brönner's biggest mainstream hit to date: 2004's That Summer, which reached number 16 on the German pop charts and made him the nation's biggest-selling jazz artist of all time. His recent albums have been all-star efforts featuring contributions from singers spanning from Madeleine Peyroux to model Carla Bruni, from Sergio Mendes to Annie Lennox.

Brönner himself says the most important part of his music is having the freedom to decide at any moment what is going to happen next - a freedom which makes every concert a different experience - whether it involves jazz, pop, hip-hop or classical music.

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