Although the origin of the band’s name should rather remain a mystery, Hans Anselm has meanwhile become a constant companion of the quintet. An imaginary friend who guards, inspires, upsets and yet unites the band. Obscure Companion, is also the name of the first self-produced album the band released in spring 2018. The pieces by the two composers Anna Wohlfarth and Benedikt Schnitzler explore the entire spectrum of musical expression. Sometimes it is loud and intense, sometimes quiet, delicate, and almost fragile. The band wants to be honest, whether melancholic and dark, or euphoric and energetic. The musicians try to musically depict emotions in all their complexity, while also detaching themselves from the need for individual virtuosity. It is much more about telling a story as a collective. The band works a lot with improvisation and tries to explore new ways of playing together. Whether it’s a soloist in the foreground or the band collectively creating improvised pads, moods and waves, it’s always about merging fixed and spontaneous elements into one sound to create an authentic moment. The new album Room Scope Moon will be released in October 2021 on BERTHOLD records.
Gabriel Rosenbach was born in Berlin in 1996 and received piano lessons from an early age. He began playing the trumpet at the age of six and has since gained wide-ranging experience with this instrument as a soloist and in ensembles, both in jazz and in the field of classical music. He has played in the Junge Philharmonie Brandenburg, the Landesjugendorchester Berlin and the Landesjugendjazzorchesters of Brandenburg, Saxony and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, among others. From 2018 to 2020 he was a member of the Bundesjazzorchester. After studying classical music for two years at the Julius Stern Institute of the Berlin University of the Arts with Prof. Konradin Groth, he decided to focus on jazz and completed his bachelor’s degree at the Hochschule für Musik „Carl Maria von Weber“ Dresden from 2014 to 2018 with Prof. Sebastian Studnitzky and Prof. Malte Burba, among others. This was followed by master’s studies from 2018 to 2021 with Frank Wellert and Axel Schlosser (both HR Big Band), Prof. Claudius Valk and Matthias Bergmann at the Hochschule für Musik Mainz. Although he moved back to his hometown Berlin in 2020, Gabriel is also a sought-after sideman in other cities (e.g. Pascal Klewer Big Band and Victor Gelling 4 – Cologne; Radiant Thrust – Basel; Tobias Altripp Trio – Mannheim) in addition to his main projects, the Hans Anselm Quintet and WANUBALÉ. Gabriel is a multiple prize winner of the national competitions Jugend Musiziert and Jugend Jazzt, as well as first prize winner of the Sparda Jazz Award 2018 as a member of the band WANUBALÉ. With the Hans Anselm Quintet he won the future.sounds competition of the Leverkusener Jazztage in 2019.
Benedikt Schnitzler was born in Munich in 1990. He started playing the piano at the age of 8 and switched to the guitar at 14. At first he played mainly in rock bands and came into contact with jazz for the first time at the age of 19. He studied jazz guitar in Weimar and Dresden from 2013-2016 with Frank Möbus and Stephan Bormann. Since 2016 he lives and works in Berlin as a freelance musician in both jazz and electronic music. His main projects are the Hans Anselm Quintet, the Hans Anselm Big Band and Cats & Breakkies, for all of which he writes and co-develops music. He has collaborated with many different musicians from many different genres (Bukahara, Jamila and the other Heroes, Natalia Mateo, Reece Lemonius, Katya Tasheva, Vladimir Karparov, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi).
Anna Wohlfarth is a German jazz pianist and composer. She studied at the Jazz Institute Berlin and at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan Stockholm. In 2016, she founded her own big band together with guitarist Benedikt Schnitzler and subsequently received the JIB Jazz Prize donated by the Karl Hofer Gesellschaft for her big band compositions. In 2019, she won the Jazz Prize of the Leverkusener Jazztage with her quintet. Her two main projects Hans Anselm Quintet and Hans Anselm Big Band have been regularly funded by the Berlin Senate Department and the Initiative Musik. The Hans Anselm Big Band can now look back on performances in numerous cities in Germany, two studio albums and several radio appearances, including on RBB and Deutschlandfunk. To use the sound apparatus of a big band in all its diversity to create a sound that is unique and new, that breaks away from traditional listening habits in order to stand for itself – that is the vision that the ensemble realises again and again.
The bassist Arne imig, born and living in Berlin in 1994, has been working as a freelance musician since 2013. He plays in the bands: Hans Anselm Quintett, Hans Anselm Bigband, Bird no Bird Trio and The Session band the Reed Berlin. He played with these bands in clubs/festivals like the A-trane Berlin, the Leverkusener Jazztage 2020, Lahneck Live 2019, Jazz Rally Düsseldorf etc.. He also played on studio productions of the band FEWJAR and BRKN. He played bass at the Jahrmarkttheater in various productions from 2018-2021. In 2018 he was a prize winner with the Hans Anselm Bigband at the International Big Band Competition in Hoofddorp, NL. With the Hans Anselm Quintet he won the first prize at the competition future.sounds19 at the Leverkusener Jazztage 2019. He played in projects funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe Berlin, Initiative Musik, Musikfonds and Schloss Rheinsberg.
The Berlin-based drummer Johannes Metzger studied at the Hanover Music Academy with Heinz Lichius and at the Jazz Institute Berlin with John Hollenbeck, Jim Black, Eric Schaefer, Oliver Steidle and Heinrich Köbberling, among others. He can be heard live in various ensembles in Germany and Europe as well as on several album productions. He has played concerts with Peter Weniger, Judy Niemack, Marc Muellbauer, Iganz Dinné, Malter Schiller, Hendrik Wallsdorf and others and has performed at festivals such as Elbjazz, Jazz Baltica, Hamburg Jazz Open and Leverkusener Jazztage.
With the Hans Anselm Quintett he won the Future Sounds competition of the Leverkusener Jazztage. With the Fynn Großmann Quintet he won the Munich Jazz Prize and the Hanover Jazz Prize. With the band Die Therapie he won the 2nd prize of the Sparda Jazz Award and was a finalist of the Biberach Jazz Prize, the Burghausen Jazz Prize and the Future Sounds competition of the Leverkusener Jazztage. With the Nordsnø Ensemble he is the winner of the jazz prize Jazz Hoch im Kurs.
He has received scholarships from the Berlin Senate, the Musikfonds, Schloss Rheinsberg and the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation.
With his band Johannes Metzger Quartett he recorded his debut album as a bandleader in November 2020, which will be released in February 2022.