Jörg Achim Keller - Jörg Achim Keller

Jörg Achim Keller

Jörg Achim Keller (born August 27, 1966 in Zurich , Switzerland) is a German jazz musician (band leader, composer, arranger and drummer).

Live and act

Keller, who grew up in Münster , got to know and love jazz as a child, thanks to his father's record collection. During his music studies in Holland he wrote arrangements for Peter Herbolzheimer's SWF Formation, the Metropole Orkest , the big bands of the NDR and the hr and many more.

For two years he was on tour as a drummer with the European Glenn Miller Orchestra and played in the quartet of the American saxophonist Herb Geller .

Since the mid-1990s, Keller's activity as a performing musician has increasingly shifted from drums to ensemble management. From this time on he was a frequent guest conductor with the NDR Big Band and the RIAS Big Band , but later also conducted the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg and other symphonic orchestras.

In February 2000, Keller was appointed chief conductor of the hr Big Band , which he led until August 2008. During this time he was able to shape the sound body according to his ideas. With his highly acclaimed arrangement of the music of the free jazz revolutionary Ornette Coleman for the German Jazz Festival Frankfurt 2003, Keller finally freed himself from the image of a pure specialist in classic big band jazz. Arrangements of the opera Porgy and Bess and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story as well as a production with Balinese gamelan music were other arranging projects of Keller for the hr big band.

On July 6th, 2008 Jörg Achim Keller gave his last concert as the leader of the hr big band at Johannisberg Castle as part of the Rheingau Music Festival . He switched within the ARD and became chief conductor of the NDR Bigband for the 2008/2009 season , and then as its first guest conductor from 2016.

Keller orchestrated cinema films (including "7-Zwerge" I & II) and TV series (including "2 Brüder" and "Insel unter dem Wind") and wrote commissioned compositions in the symphonic field (including for the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and a concert for saxophone, which was performed by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra with Wolfgang Bleibel as soloist)

He has also made guest appearances as arranger and conductor with the hr-Bigband, WDR Big Band , BBC Big Band , Bohuslän Big Band, the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra , the Radio Philharmonic Hanover and the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg and Metropole Orkest .

The more than 2,500 arrangements written by Keller over the past 30 years include arrangements of all styles from the recorder trio to a double orchestra consisting of a big band and a symphony orchestra.

He worked as an arranger and / or conductor for a large number of German and international artists, such as For example: Till Brönner (“German Songs” + others), Udo Jürgens (“Einfach Ich” + 2 more), No Angels (“When the Angels swing”), Tom Gäbel (“Introducing: Myself” + others), Alan Bergman ("Lyrically"), Stefan Gwildis ("That with happiness"), Joja Wendt (various), Nils Landgren , Nana Mouskouri , Pepe Lienhard and, in connection with his work for various orchestras and bands, with Mark Murphy , Al Jarreau, among others ,Michael Brecker , Randy Brecker , Wolfgang Haffner , Victoria Tolstoy , Rebekka Bakken , Nina Hagen , Joe Pass , Mike Stern , Chet Baker , James Morrison , Annette Louisan , Sasha , Xavier Naidoo , Clueso , NY - Voices, Jeff Cascaro , Silvia Droste , Marc Secara , Jack Bruce , Michael Wollny .

He has received several awards for his program concepts and work as an arranger / conductor, including CDs in gold.

More recent works include arrangements for the Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim and the Till Brönner Orchestra, the latest CD from the “Sons of Hamburg” and the Duke Ellington program for Al Jarreau's European tour with the NDR Bigband. As of April 2017, Keller is visiting professor for arrangement / composition - ensemble at the Jazz-Institut Berlin .