Leo von Knobelsdorff

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2003 in Cologne

Leo von Knobelsdorff (born April 3, 1932 in Berlin , † February 9, 2013 in Erftstadt , full name Leopold Eustachius Christoph von Knobelsdorff), also known as Leopold von Knobelsdorff , was a well-known German boogie-woogie pianist and sound engineer .


Von Knobelsdorff was a descendant of Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff (1699 to 1753). Before the end of the Second World War , his family fled to Bavaria . He completed an apprenticeship in Nuremberg . He came into contact with the Boogie Woogie through the American Forces Network (AFN), a radio station in Bavaria , which was occupied by US troops .

After working as a sound engineer at Bayerischer Rundfunk and Hessischer Rundfunk , he worked at WDR in Cologne, initially in the studio for electronic music with Karlheinz Stockhausen . He got to know many jazz musicians and found his own pianistic style (boogie-woogie with bebop and other jazz elements). He also took lessons on the church organ ; he valued Johann Sebastian Bach's compositions.

In 1964 Leo von Knobelsdorff and Ali Claudi , a guitarist and singer, founded the Boogie Woogie Company (BWC); were added Heinz Grah (bass) and Kalle Hoffmeister (drummer). The BWC soon had numerous appearances in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Ali Claudi wrote in his obituary that it was largely thanks to his friend Leo that the BWC combined the tradition of the great boogie woogie classics Albert Ammons , Pete Johnson , Meade Lux Lewis with modern jazz elements and into a contemporary boogie Woogie style could develop.

Leo von Knobelsdorff left the BWC in 1989 for reasons of age; his successor at the piano was Christoph Oeser . Leo then appeared as a guest soloist at many BWC concerts. Leo had been friends with Axel Zwingenberger since the 1970s and performed with him at many concerts.

Leo von Knobelsdorff died in February 2013 after a brief serious illness. His urn was buried in the Erftstadt cemetery.


Leo brought a recording device to many concerts and made sound recordings ; so he created a large sound archive .

In 2011 Leo received the German Boogie Woogie Awards "Pinetop" ( Hall of Fame category ).

The 2003 CD "Let the good times roll", published in 2003 for the 40th anniversary of the BWC, contains six titles from the 1960s with Leo von Knobelsdorff.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c biography on boogie-online.de
  2. a b Dietrich Schlegel, Jazzzeitung 2013/02, page 23: Obituary
  3. [1]
  4. Friedhof Köttinger Straße ( video of the funeral service )
  5. www.pinetop.de
  6. (NEXT Jazz / LC 01379)