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Berlin is one of the world's jazz capitals, and its jazz scene is as international and cosmopolitan as it gets!

Through powerful groove, melodic virtuosity, and dynamic interaction Jazz is a truly multicultural art form that celebrates the spontaneous gatherings of musicians. These encounters can be experienced intensively in our new series Jazz Encounters, an evening where some of the best Jazz musicians from around the globe meet at the Zig Zag Jazz Club for an exciting evening where we celebrate the magic of JAZZ!

Henrik Walsdorff, who has lived in Berlin since 1994, studied saxophone with Herb Geller. Since then he has developed into an exceptionally versatile saxophonist whose palette ranges from bebop and ballads to the avant-garde. He is distinguished by his exceptionally beautiful, warm and powerful tone. He has played in the bands of Aki Takase, Marty Cook and Sven-Åke Johansson. Along with John Schröder and Colin Vallon, he is a member of the Fabian Gisler Quartet. With Martin High de Prime, Kay Lübke and Jan Roder he forms the group The Real Latinos, with John Schröder and Uli Jenneßen the group Freedom of Speech and with Rudi Mahall, Jan Roder and Oliver Steidle the SoKo Steidle. He is also a member of the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Alexander von Schlippenbach, with whom he also leads a quartet. In 1994 Walsdorf founded the group LAX with John Schröder, Gerold Genßler and Uli Jenneßen, whose album Time in 60 Seconds was released in 2002. In the field of pop music, he has collaborated with the groups Seeed and Wir sind Helden, among others.

Larry Porter is considered one of the most respected American jazz pianists currently to be heard in Germany. His professional career spans five decades. His personal understanding of the art and language of jazz has taken him to every corner of the world. Along the way he has worked with the greatest American jazz legends including: Chet Baker, Mel Lewis, Archie Shepp, Thad Jones, Art Farmer etc. He is known for remarkable imaginative improvisations in his performance of standards and original material. He places great emphasis on maximum interplay with his fellow musicians.

Urs Johnen was born in Tübingen in 1982, grew up in Calw in the Black Forest and now also lives in Berlin and in Andratx, Mallorca. He studied double bass in Stuttgart and in Weimar, received lessons from Horst-Dieter Wenkel, Ulrich Lau, Manfred Bründl, Frank Möbus, Jo Thönes, Klaus Dusek as well as Patrick Bopp and was a scholarship holder of the Thuringian Orchestra Academy as a double bass player with the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra. Early experiences in classical ensembles such as the Jeunesse Musicale Franco-Allemande, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie or the Philharmonie der Nationen on the one hand and jazz ensembles such as the Landesjugendjazzorchester Baden-Württemberg on the other hand shaped his self-image as a musical bridge builder and border crosser. He is active in jazz, pop and classical music and has performed with formations ranging from early to contemporary music as well as from singer-songwriter pop to avant-garde jazz in Germany and abroad.

Jimmy Weinstein is from Chicago, USA, and grew up in California and Mallorca. He has been a drummer and composer for over 30 years, performing throughout the US, Europe and Japan. Jimmy studied drums and guitar at Berklee College in Boston. His teachers over the years have included Max Roach, Alan Dawson, Yusef Lateef and Joe Hunt. He has collaborated with Ahmed Abdullah's Diaspora, Sheila Jordan, Alex Harding, Jay Clayton, Marcello Tonolo, and Rachel Gould. He has led groups with Chris Cheek, Ben Monder, Satoko Fujii, Jeff Parker, Oscar Noriega, Elie Massias, Masa Kamaguchi, and Matt Renzi, among others. Together with Abdullah, Harding and Kamaguchi, he formed the quartet NAM, whose album "Song of Time" was chosen by Down Beat Magazine as one of the 25 best live recordings of all time.


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