Wolfgang Muthspiel

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Wolfgang Muthspiel live at the INNtöne Jazzfestival 2006

Wolfgang Muthspiel (born March 2, 1965 in Judenburg , Styria ) is an Austrian guitarist and composer . His stylistic diversity made him a sought-after jazz musician in many projects in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Christian Muthspiel's younger brother founded his own label material records in 2000 .


Wolfgang Muthspiel grew up in Judenburg as the son of the composer and choir trainer Kurt Muthspiel . He received violin lessons at the age of six . As a young teenager he decided to go his own musical way and taught himself to play the guitar. After studying guitar ( classical / jazz ) at the Graz University of Music , he moved to the USA in 1986 . From 1986 to 1989 he completed his studies at the New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music . The high status that Wolfgang Muthspiel already had in the American jazz scene at a young age can be determined by the fact that Gary Burton engaged him in his band as the successor to Pat Metheny , one of Muthspiel's great role models. As a result, Wolfgang Muthspiel was invited to concerts or studio recordings by many well-known jazz musicians such as Maria João , Dave Liebman , Peter Erskine , Paul Motian , Bob Berg , Gary Peacock , Don Alias , Larry Grenadier , Gabrielle Goodman or John Patitucci . In the mid-1990s, Muthspiel finally moved to New York , where he worked with the young Norwegian singer Rebekka Bakken on the borderline between jazz and pop. In 2002 Muthspiel returned to Austria and has lived in Vienna ever since . Here he founded his own record label called material records , under which he publishes his own recordings as well as those of other artists.

In Vienna he founded a new trio with the twin brothers Andreas Pichler and Matthias Pichler . In 2006 the first recording, Bright Side, was released on material records .

Since 1998 he has worked repeatedly with the American drummer Brian Blade . In addition to two recordings and concert tours in a trio with bassist Marc Johnson, the two formed a duo whose first recording, Friendly Travelers, was released in 2007. In 2013 Muthspiel began a collaboration with the Munich label ECM, for which he recorded the albums Driftwood (in a trio with Brian Blade and Larry Grenadier ) and Travel Guide (in a trio with Ralph Towner and Slava Grigoryan ).

Muthspiel uses various types of electronic music, such as sample and loop techniques. Now and then he can also be heard as a violinist . He made his debut as a singer of his own songs in 2012 with Vienna Naked , which was followed by the album Vienna, World in 2015 . Since 2005 he has been professor of jazz guitar at the Basel University of Music .


Muthspiel was awarded the Jugend musiziert prize at a young age in Austria and received further honors after his breakthrough in the USA. In his Austrian homeland he was awarded the Hans Koller Prize twice, in 1997 as Musician of the Year and in 2003 in the form of the highly endowed European Jazz Prize .

Discographic notes

Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Where The River Goes
  AT 53 October 19, 2018 (1 week)
Angular Blues (with Scott Colley & Brian Blade )
  AT 45 04/03/2020 (2 weeks)
  • 1985 - Duo Due Snow Dance (with Christian Muthspiel)
  • 1989 - Timezones
  • 1990 - The Promise
  • 1993 - Muthspiel-Peacock-Muthspiel-Motian (with Christian Muthspiel)
  • 1998 - CY (with Christian Muthspiel)
  • 2000 - Daily Mirror (with Rebekka Bakken)
  • 2001 - Real Book Stories (with Marc Johnson and Brian Blade)
  • 2002 - Continental Call
  • 2003 - That's All Daisy Needs (with Triology )
  • 2004 - Air, Love & Vitamins (with Marc Johnson and Brian Blade)
  • 2004 - solo
  • 2007 - Friendly Travelers (with Brian Blade )
  • 2007 - Glow (with Dhafer Youssef )
  • 2008 - Friendly Travelers Live (CD and DVD)
  • 2010 - Wolfgang Muthspiel & Mick Goodrick - Live at the Jazz Standard
  • 2011 - Drumfree (with Andi Scherer and Larry Grenadier)
  • 2013 - Travel Guide (with Slava Grigoryan and Ralph Towner )
  • 2014 - Driftwood (with Brian Blade and Larry Grenadier)
  • 2015 - Vienna, World (with Becca Stevens, Billy Childs, Svante Henryson, Benjamin Schmid and many more)
  • 2016 - Rising Grace (ECM, with Ambrose Akinmusire , Brad Mehldau , Larry Grenadier and Brian Blade )
  • 2018 - Where The River Goes
  • 2020 - Angular Blues (ECM, with Scott Colley and Brian Blade )

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Koller Prize 2003 ( Memento of the original dated November 10, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.hanskollerpreis.at
  2. Chart sources: Charts AT