Heinrich von Kalnein

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Heinrich von Kalnein, portrait

Heinrich von Kalnein (born July 4, 1960 in Baden-Baden ) is a German jazz musician living in Austria (soprano, alto and tenor saxophone, flute, electronics), composer and university teacher.


Kalnein is the son of the art historian Wend von Kalnein . He grew up in Düsseldorf and Neuss and from the age of eleven received lessons in the flute , and later also in saxophone . During his training as a publisher and bookseller at the Athenäum Verlag from 1980 to 1982 , he took lessons from Christof Lauer and played in the “Ominous Mirage” ensemble of the Polish saxophonist and composer Janusz Podrazik.

From 1982 he studied in Graz with Karlheinz Miklin and Carl Drewo and graduated in 1987 with distinction. Building up he was a member of Dave Liebman's master class . He worked with Tscho Theissing and Christian Muthspiel in the “Orchesterforum Graz” founded by Günter Meinhart, which was active in the crossover area from 1982 onwards. From 1986 he worked with the experimental trio X-tra (with Lars Lindvall and Uli Rennert ), which also appeared at Ars Electronica and Styriarte and released albums such as Eletric Poems (1989) and life traKs . In 1989, he and Adelhard Roidinger produced the film music for the ORF TV production Facial Features - a special trip with the Graz architects .

From 1991 von Kalnein worked in the fusion quartet “The Quartet” ( Tell Me Your Story 1992 and Tales of Tomorrow 1994) and founded the ensemble Free Winds with Roland Schaeffer and Jatinder Thakur, with whom he toured India (1996 and 1997) and Sri Lanka (1997) carried out. In 1994 he founded the "Heinrich von Kalnein Group" and with it released the CDs New Directions (1995), nominated for the German Record Critics' Award, and Perfect World (1998) (with Nguyên Lê and Monika Pots ). In 2002 he published Blackbird - The Music of Lennon / McCartney (with Ed Neumeister , Fritz Pauer , Wayne Darling and John Hollenbeck, among others ).

From 2004 to 2007 he worked with the Polish singer Marek Bałata in the quintet Songlines. Since 2007 he has been working with Gregor Hilbe and Christian Bakanic (until 2015, since then with the Turkish pianist Anıl Bilgen ) in the world music -influenced Trio Kahiba.

In 2012 he founded his own label Natango Music.

In 2015 he released the duo album Dreamliner together with the American pianist and composer Michael Abene . In 2017 he released the album One Man Disco together with the German guitarist Axel Fischbacher , bassist Charles Sammons and drummer Ralf Gessler . He has also been working with the Brazilian Meretrio since 2018 ( Passem 2019). From 2003 to 2019 he led the Jazz Big Band Graz together with Horst-Michael Schaffer , in which some of the leading representatives of the German and Austrian jazz scene are represented with Johannes Enders , Sebastian Gille and Henning Sieverts . In 2004 they produced the live CD “A Life Affair”, in 2006 together with John Hollenbeck and Theo Bleckmann the CD “Joys & Desires” and in 2008 the CD “Electric Poetry”, in 2012 the CD “Urban Folktales” and in 2016 the CD “True Stories ".

From 1996 to 2004 he worked with the Vienna Art Orchestra (CD “All That Strauss” 2000). He also appeared in a trio with Adelhard Roidinger and Christian Salfellner , but also as a sideman with Wayne Darling , Rüdiger Oppermann , Timna Brauer and the Austrian big band Nouvelle Cuisine , whose CD "Ultimate Sentences" received the 1998 Hans Koller Prize . He was the curator of the Vienna jazz club Porgy & Bess and also works as a producer and unit manager.

Kalnein also played with Iain Ballamy , Django Bates , Bob Brookmeyer , Jay Clayton , Kurt Elling , Gil Evans , Heiner Goebbels , Jerry Granelli , Jon Hendricks , Doug Hammond , Peter Herbolzheimer , Marc Johnson , Sheila Jordan , Charlie Mariano , Bob Mintzer , Glen Moore , the New York Voices , Simon Nabatov , Marc Ribot , Paquito D'Rivera , Diane Schuur and Take 6 .

From 1989 to 1992 he was a saxophone teacher in the newly founded jazz department at the Anton Bruckner Conservatory in Linz. Kalnein has been teaching at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz since 1995, initially as an assistant professor, and since 2004 as head of his own class . Since 2014 he has been a member of the advisory board of the Styrian State Culture Board.

Discography (selection)

Heinrich von Kalnein @ Jazzahead 2008
  • New Directions (nominated for the German Record Critics' Prize , 1995)
  • Perfect World (with Nguyên Lê , 1998)
  • Free Winds Indian Air (with Selvaganesh Vinayakram , 1999)
  • Blackbird - The Lennon / McCartney Songbook (2002)
  • Songlines (2007)
  • Kahiba Global Dialects (2009)
  • JBBG - jazz bigband graz Live @ Jazz Baltica (2010)
  • Kahiba The Sixth Sense (2014)
  • Heinrich von Kalnein & Michael Abene Dreamliner (2015)

Lexigraphic entry

Web links