Federal Jazz Orchestra

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Logo of the Federal Jazz Orchestra

The Bundesjazzorchester (BuJazzO) is the youth jazz orchestra of the Federal Republic of Germany with the purpose of promoting young jazz talent. The orchestra was founded in 1987. The sponsor is the Deutscher Musikrat non-profit project company based in Bonn. Dominik Seidler is the project manager.

Young up-and-coming jazz musicians (between 17 and 24 years old) from all over Germany play in the orchestra. They qualify through auditions that take place every two years. After passing the audition, each member is accepted into the sponsorship of the ensemble for a maximum of two years. Together with the two artistic directors Niels Klein and Ansgar Striepens as well as changing guest conductors, the young musicians regularly develop new musical programs and present them in subsequent concerts at home and abroad. They are accompanied by an international team of lecturers and professionals who support them musically and offer them a professional environment and optimal framework conditions.

The Federal Jazz Orchestra has been the sponsor orchestra of the WDR Big Band since 2010 . Since 2014 and 2016 there has been a cooperation with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (England) and the Nationaal Jeugd Jazz Orkest (Netherlands) through a regular “Student-in-Residence” program.


The orchestra was founded in 1987 at the suggestion of the German Music Council. On January 6, 1988, it made its first public appearance at the Federal Chancellery .


The artistic directors have been with Niels Klein and Ansgar Striepens since 2020 . With them and changing guest conductors, the young talents between 17 and 24 years old - almost all of them are students at German and international music universities - regularly develop new programs and present them in subsequent concerts at home and abroad. They are accompanied by an international team of lecturers and professionals who support them musically and offer them a professional environment and optimal framework conditions.

From the beginning until 2006 the Federal Jazz Orchestra was under the direction of Peter Herbolzheimer , a renowned German big band leader . Between 2007 and mid-2011, the artistic direction changed between renowned conductors every six months. From 2011 to 2020, Jiggs Whigham and Niels Klein conducted the BuJazzO in alternation with guest conductors from all over the world and jointly determined the ensemble's programs. In January 2020, Ansgar Striepens replaced Jiggs Whigham in his role. At the same time, the Federal Jazz Orchestra appointed Whigham as its honorary conductor.


The orchestra follows the tradition of jazz big bands . The concert program includes jazz standards from famous jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker , Clifford Brown , Dave Brubeck , Benny Goodman , Miles Davis , Duke Ellington , Thad Jones , Michael Brecker and Thelonious Monk . The arrangements of the pieces come from, among others, Thad Jones, Rob Pronk and Peter Herbolzheimer, who has also contributed numerous own compositions to the repertoire. Many pieces also come from the pen of former and current members of the Federal Jazz Orchestra. For special events, the BuJazzO has also performed with Geir Lysne , Lars Møller , TAS Mani and RA Ramamani .


The BuJazzO has released sixteen albums by 2020:

  • Vol. 1 (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi / Ars Musici 1988; Direction: Peter Herbolzheimer)
  • Vol. 2 (Ars Musici 1991; Direction: Peter Herbolzheimer)
  • Vol. 3 - Tour on the Baltic States and Russia 1993 (Ars Musici 1993; Direction: Peter Herbolzheimer)
  • Vol. 4 - Focus on Vocals ( Mons 1997; conductor: Peter Herbolzheimer; double CD)
  • Vol. 5 - On Tour (Mons 1999; Direction: Peter Herbolzheimer)
  • Vol. 6 - Calling South Africa (Mons 2006; Direction: Peter Herbolzheimer)
  • Vol. 7 - The Next Generation (2007–2009; Direction: Marko Lackner, Bill Dobbins, Ed Partyka, Jiggs Whigham, Steffen Schorn; double CD)
  • Vol. 8 - City Grooves (MBM / Harmonia Mundi , 2011; Direction: Maria Baptist)
  • Vol. 9 - Originals (2010; Direction: Marko Lackner)
  • Vol. 10 - Calcutta Ending (GMO 2011; Direction: Mike Herting)
  • Vol. 11 - 25 ( DoubleMoon 2013; Direction: Jiggs Whigham & Niels Klein; double CD)
  • Vol. 12 - Afropa (GMO 2014; Direction: Mike Herting)
  • Vol. 13 - Groove and the Abstract Truth (Double Moon 2016; Direction: Niels Klein)
  • Vol. 14 - Verley us Peace (Double Moon 2017; Direction: Michael Villmow)
  • Vol. 15 - BuJazzO 30 (Double Moon 2018, including guest soloists such as Nils Landgren and Wolfgang Niedecken )
  • Vol. 16 - Cuban Fire (Double Moon 2019; Direction: Jiggs Whigham)


In 1997 the BuJazzO received the German Music Prize , in 2010 the WDR Jazz Prize for young orchestras and in 2012 an ECHO Jazz as a “special prize for extraordinary achievements in the jazz sector”. Due to the importance of the work and the musical competence of the formation, which is a "sounding calling card of jazz made in Germany ", the Federal Jazz Orchestra was honored with the Frankfurt Music Prize in 2018 .


The Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth , West German Broadcasting , the Society for the Exploitation of Ancillary Rights and Daimler AG share the funding of the Federal Jazz Orchestra. The participants also contribute to the financing with their own contributions.


The maximum age is 24 years. Entry into the ensemble is possible up to the age of 22 years. Members commit themselves for a period of two years or four work phases. The prerequisite for participation is a passed selection prelude. All big band instruments plus vocal ensemble are occupied. The work phases consist of orchestral and movement rehearsals, instrumental instruction - individually or in groups - as well as a musical framework program and additional informative offers.

former members

Former members include Philipp Brämswig , Till Brönner , Gregor Bürger , Kai Bussenius , Roger Cicero , Christopher Dell , Fabian Dudek , Fiete Felsch , Klaus Graf , Sandra Hempel , Paul Heller , Oliver Leicht , Christian Lillinger , Tamara Lukasheva , Andi Maile , Peter Protschka , Claudio Puntin , Malte Schiller , Steffen Schorn , Matthias Schriefl , Matthias Strucken , Johannes Uthoff , Chris Walden , Steffen Weber , Peter Less , Nils Wogram , Michael Wollny , Nils Wülker , Rebekka Ziegler and Jan Zehrfeld .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Federal Jazz Orchestra with new artistic direction , Neue Musikzeitung , August 26, 2011
  2. Ansgar Striepens replaces Jiggs Whigham. Retrieved March 18, 2020 .
  3. ^ A b The Next Generation / Originals (review) All About Jazz
  4. Meeting (Jazzthing)
  5. Discussion of Jazzthing
  6. German Music Prize. Retrieved March 30, 2011 .
  7. Press release: WDR Jazz Prize. WDR , September 7, 2010, accessed March 30, 2011 .
  8. Musikmesse 2018: Frankfurt Music Prize goes to the Federal Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzO). Jazzzeitung , March 20, 2018, accessed on November 17, 2018 .
  9. ^ German Music Council - BuJazzO: BuJazzO: applicants. In: www.bundesjazzorchester.de. Retrieved June 14, 2016 .