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Edgar Knecht Trio

  • Edgar Knecht
  • Till Spohr
  • Tobias Schulte
  • feat. Frederik Köster
Booking-territory: worldwide

Straight upon its release, Edgar Knecht’s “Dance on Deep Waters” shot into the German Jazz top 30, within immediate reach of legends like Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin and John Scofield. Knecht’s charts triumph is yet another sign that the pianist has established himself as one of Europe’s most unique and recognisable jazz musicians.


Straight upon its release, Edgar Knecht’s Dance on Deep Waters shot into the German Jazz top 30, within immediate reach of legends like Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin and John Scofield. Knecht’s charts triumph is yet another sign that the pianist has established himself as one of Europe’s most unique and recognisable jazz musicians.

Similar to the folk experiments of artists like Karl Seglem or Jan Garbarek, Knecht taps into German traditionals, only to channel them through the lense of African rhythms, Latin grooves and complex chord schemes. His deeply personal vision comes alive through the interaction with a band composed of both highly experienced instrumentalists and fresh talent, pitting two drummers and percussionists against a piano and bass duo.

Not only has it earned him recognition like the Creole Award and appearances at leading events such as the Havanna Jazz Festival und Enjoy Jazz. But it has also resulted in two acclaimed studio albums. Compared to the ensemble’s versatile debut, Dance on Deep Waters is a more focused affair, charging between arcane ballads and passionate, richly textured uptempo pieces, which ebb and flow with great fluency. There is an urgency to this music, which proves Knecht’s conceptual point of departure: That these ancient pieces tap into fundamental emotions which are just as vital today as they were many centuries ago.


“What Edgar Knecht and his musicians succeed in doing cannot be rated highly enough: they have brought the German folk song out of obscurity. Who wants to say now that German folk songs are boring!” HR-TV, Hauptsache Kultur

“Edgar Knecht [succeeds] with his trio in a unique symbiosis of classical music, jazz and German folk song, which is also unparalleled in its aesthetic coherence.” NDR Info, Jazz Album of the Week

“The mixture of classical music, jazz and folk songs is full of grooves, melodic solos and joie de vivre. Trumpeter Frederik Köster is a stroke of luck for Edgar Knecht’s trio as fourth on this.” hr2

“The Edgar Knecht Quintet had a brilliant performance at the Kassel Opera House. […] The evening in the opera house was so perfect, so intense, that one can also imagine a live recording.” HNA

“The world has probably not yet heard such music.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Edgar Knecht is one of the most important new jazz pianists, who with his interpretations of old folk songs has found his own place in the current jazz panorama.” Süddeutsche Zeitung

“unique symbiosis of modern, yet swinging trio jazz and folk song adaptations” Jazzthing

“[…] hisJ synthesis of German folk songs and a more traditional sparkling playing approach [is] pretty much unrivaled. […] no wonder that the trio is one of the crowd pullers in Germany – Personal Seasons will build on that status.” Jazzthetik

“…What spreads out before us in terms of music is simply grandiose.” Jazzpodium

“The audience reacted with storms of applause, bravos and standing ovations. This is how jazz and even (German) folk music is fun. “ Südthüringer Zeitung

“A high-flyer on the grand piano. [Knecht] has long since advanced to become one of Germany’s best jazz pianists, […] who leaves his audience enchanted with his virtuoso skills.” Kölnische Rundschau

“A man and his piano. Whoever experiences Edgar Knecht at his instrument witnesses a fusion.” HNA

“As always at the performances of the Kassel jazz pianist and composer, there were storms of applause. […] The enthusiasm for Knecht is not by chance, he offers with his fellow musicians Rolf Denecke and Tobias Schulte exuberant joy of playing as atmospheric tender moments.” HNA

“a quite beautiful, melancholic, sometimes deeply sad and mysterious round dance” (19 out of 20 points = overachiever) Music in itself

“The pianist and his fellow musicians prove to be true magicians and have raised the genre to a new level with their interpretations of old German songs like ‘Es kommt ein Schiff, geladen’ or ‘Es ist ein Schnitter, heißt der Tod’.” Musenblätter



The critics just can’t hide their excitement when it comes to Edgar Knecht. “Jazz hasn’t been this original and stimulating for a long time”, one of them enthused; “This music is simply stunning”, respected monthly Jazzpodium confessed; and Germany’s biggest quality newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: “This is truly unheard-of music.” And truly, the German pianist and his band of bassist Rolf Denecke and drum-duo Stephan Emig and Tobias Schulte succeed in creating something genuinely new: A fusion of the vivacity of jazz and world music with the elegance of classical composition and the depth and clarity of ancient folk melodies.

On his 2010 debut album Good Morning Lilofee, Edgar Knecht demonstrated that dusty German folk songs could be brought back to life if interpreted with empathy and passion. It gained his ensemble invitations to some of the most renowned international festivals, playing alongside established stars like John Scofield, Buena Vista Social Club, Pat Metheny and Dave Holland. And wherever they went, they turned both the public and critics into fans.

On their new CD Dance on Deep Waters, the brilliant quartet continue their forage through the ‘Old German Songbook’. As a result, some of the most popular songs of the romantic era are turning into works of spine-tingling, mesmerising intensity, including Latin-flavoured “Gedankenfreiheit” or lightningspeed bebop-piece “Frühling”.

With his unique and refreshing approach, Edgar Knecht has both raised the bar for those following in his trail and opened up new gateways to long-lost traditions. Thanks to their airy, playful magic, his songs are suspenseful spaces for the imagination to run wild and seeming paradoxes to co-exist: “Der wilde Wassermann“ (“Wild Aquarius”) is both minimal and classically rich, while tragic love story “Es waren zwei Königskinder” (“Once there were two king’s children”) seems to dispense with time and space altogether.

Piano, bass and drums are dancing on the waves of deep waters, rhythms and melodies are rising like ecstatic fireworks.

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