Julian Fischer
Julian Fischer
Julian Fischer Portrait mit Gitarre
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Julian Fischer Quartet (JFQ): Julian Fischer (guit, composition) Dirk Piezunka (sax), Peter Schwebs (Bass) & Ralf Jackowski (drums)

Julian Fischer Quartet: the new Jazz generation comes from Bremen

The Bremen newspaper - WESER KURIER has recently covered a new phenomenon:  “Suddenly it is apparent that Jazz from Bremen is of interest nationwide”. Recognised as one of the most important media organisations in the Hanseatic city, the newspaper has now spotlighted the lively, innovative Bremen Jazz scene. One of the major representatives – and that twice over – of this scene is the Julian Fischer Quartet. Founded only last year, this ensemble highlights a young man who is bound to create a stir: the guitarist Julian Fischer.  Just 19 years old, he is the founder and eponym of this Quartet from Bremen, that is about to conquer the Jazz world with its own compositions. Their music includes emotional grooves, catchy melodies and complex harmony; styles which signpost the orientation of the Quartet, with their references to “Modern Jazz”. “It’s important for me”, says Julian Fischer, “to develop pieces, which are both lyrical and energetic, and also easy to listen to.” Julian gives much thought to how the pieces sound, and sees the strength of the Quartet in developing its music as a dialogue. Alongside Julian are the experienced Jazz musician Dirk Piezunka (saxophone), Ralf Jackowski (Drums) and Peter Schwebs (Bass):  “each interprets my drafts for his own instrument and only when we play together do we settle on a final version.”

Musical Profile of Julian Fischer

Julian Fischer began playing the guitar as an eight year old. His first steps in music education were taken with classical music. His first success in 2003 was with “Jugend Musiziert” [Youth Makes Music]. As an 11 year old he won the regional playoffs but was still too young to take part in the national competition.  In 2005 Julian again took part as a classical soloist and reached the national competition in Freiburg, which took place in 2006.  That was also the year in which he discovered his love of Jazz. He rigorously concentrated his further musical education on Jazz and took part in workshops given by the experienced Jazz guitarist Frank Haunschild (Harmonics). Julian became involved with Jazz extra-curricular lessons at the Kippenberg Gymnasium [Grammar School] and in 2007 won the prize for outstanding soloist in the national competition “Jugend Jazzt” [Youth Jazzes]. In the same year he joined a workshop run by Peter Autschbach. 2008 was the most important year so far for Julian in his musical development. As a 17 year old, after a qualifying round in the USA, he was awarded a bursary at the Berkeley School of Music. In 2009 he took part once again in “Jugend Jazzt” [Youth Jazzes] and won a bursary to the National Jazz Orchestra. In 2010 he founded the “Julian Fischer Quartet”. The line-up: Julian Frederik Fischer (guitar), Dirk Piezunka (saxophone), Peter Schwebs (base) and Ralf Jackowski (drums) have since then successfully played just compositions by Julian Fischer. The first CD production of the “Julian Fischer Quartet” is planned for 2011 and they will be working together with the Bremen classical music and Jazz label BERTHOLD Records. The SACD will be out in the second half of the year.

Short Interview with Julian Fischer

Julian, what are your musical priorities?

Alongside playing the guitar, certainly composition.

Where do the ideas for the pieces come from, what inspires you?

I’m really continually looking for inspiration. And that can always look different; it doesn’t first of all have to have anything to do with music. It’s always a concrete, a specific feeling. I travel the world and things spring out at me. Even day-to-day things. In the best case it ends with a piece of music. It can happen that I get onto the tram and get off with a melody in my head.

How important are emotions?

For me it’s always emotions and music – you can hardly separate them.

How do you develop your music?

First I play a few chords on the guitar and then the melody comes out, almost on its own. I just find it tantalising. The next step is to combine a simple melody with a complex harmony, though my music isn’t too complex to be appreciated by the audience. 

Jazz isn’t really the most favoured musical genre of your generation, or is it?

No, my age group can’t or can hardly come to terms with it. It’s better appreciated when I play a piece of pop or folk amongst friends. The Jazz audience is somewhat older. But that can change. I found my love of Jazz very early in life, I moved from classical music to Jazz when I was fourteen – and that’s where I can really find myself.

The obligatory question: musical role models?

A few come to mind.. John Coltrane and all the New York boys, certainly. Dave Goodman was and still is important for my musical development. He brought me on with technique, and naturally Kurt Rosenwinkel – I see both as my mentors.

What are you looking forward to most of all in the coming months?

Clearly – our debut album. I’m really looking forward to the rehearsals with the Quartet, which is an unusual situation for me – and then of course to hold the finished CD in my hand.

What was the last CD that you bought?

The new record from Take That.


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