The man behind the music of "Das Boot" and "The Neverending Story" has also signed over 2,000 other compositions and performed 5,000 times worldwide. Klaus Doldinger now receives an Echo Jazz for his impressive career.
"Doldinger's musical range is enormous, ranging from Latin swing to jazz rock," said Dieter Gorny, board director of the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (Federal Association of the Music Industry). "Through his film music, Germany's jazz gained international recognition."
Unforgettable film and TV music
The now 81-year-old saxophonist and bandleader composed the score for international film hits such as "Das Boot", "The Neverending Story" and "Salt on Our Skin," reaching a wide audience around the world.
In Germany, he is also renowned as the composer behind the opening theme of the cult crime series "Tatort," a bouncy saxophone tune that has contributed to the country's excitement about a TV program that's been running every Sunday evening since 1970.
Doldinger's music is also featured in other popular German TV series, such as "Liebling Kreuzberg," "Wolffs Revier" and "Alles ausser Mord."
It began with Dixieland
Jazz flows in Doldinger's blood. Born in Berlin in 1936, he grew up in Vienna and landed in Dusseldorf in 1947, having received a scholarship at the Robert Schumann Conservatory at the age of 11.
He studied piano, clarinet, harmonica and music theory. He later additionally completed sound engineering studies.
He quickly realized that he wanted to play jazz. At the age of 16, he was hired by the successful Dixieland band Feetwarmers and started his own band, Oscar's Trio, in 1955.
He went on his first world tour in 1960. He was even made an honorary citizen of New Orleans, the cradle of jazz.
In 1971, he launched his band Passport, with Udo Lindenberg at the drums.
Not ready to retire yet
The musician's latest album was released last year. "Doldinger" features a series of famous German guest musicians, such as Lindenberg, Helge Schneider, Sasha, Max Mutzke and Nils Landgren, and is a review of his musical career - one that has been filled with impressive awards.
Doldinger has already collected three Echo awards, countless other jazz music awards and the Federal Service Cross for his "important and unmistakable contributions to German cultural life."
Klaus Doldinger will now be honored with an Echo Jazz award for his lifetime achievement, to be presented in Hamburg on June 1.
The musician is not planning to retire anytime soon. He has far too many ideas he still wants to realize.