Switch between worlds

What managers and personnel developers like to call “diverse” is becoming increasingly important for musicians as well. The Munich guitarist Philipp Schiepek doesn’t have to be accused of anything in this regard. As far as the basics go. The influences range from rock and pop, which his father played on the electric bass, to folk music, which little Philipp played on the accordion bought by his grandfather, to classical music and jazz , which a charismatic teacher introduced to the teenager who had switched to guitar . Schiepek then studied both in Munich and Würzburg: classical and jazz guitar, actually two completely different instruments, from the playing technique to the timing to the interplay. “Few do both in concert,” confirms Schiepek, “at the beginning it was difficult for me to switch between the worlds. But for a long time I’ve found that to be a mutual enrichment.”

Maybe that’s why the 28-year-old has found an unmistakable, unbelievably pure and fine tone. And has therefore been one of the most sought-after in the local scene for several years. The best from the environment of the Munich Music Academy, from the trumpeters Vincent Eberle and Matthias Lindermayr to the saxophonist Moritz Stahl and the singers Hannah Weiss, Alma Naidu and Fiona Grond, recruited him for their bands and albums. But even the established players quickly became aware of the exceptional talent: Schiepek has since played with Richie Beirach, Manfred Schoof, Klaus Doldinger, Pablo Held and John Scofield, among others. The pianist Walter Lang recorded the grandiose duo project “Cathedral” with him shortly before his unexpected, early death. And Mulo Francel from Quadro Nuevo has been taking him to the fourth position in Germany’s most successful world music band since 2020. Schiepek became part of the award-winning Shakespeare interpretation by Birgit Minichmayr and is featured on the Quadro Nuevo albums “Mare” and the forthcoming Christmas work “December”.

Premiere of “Blaue Bäume” in the Schwere Reiter

Our own projects have suffered a little from the immense demand. After all, it was enough in 2019 for the debut album “Golem Dance”, in which even the Canadian star saxophonist Seamus Blake took part, and for their own quartet with Jason Seizer on tenor saxophone, Matthias Pichler on double bass and Fabian Arends on drums, which started with the celebrated program “Meadows and Mirrors” was on the way. The last appearance under his own name was of course two years ago. So it’s time to change that: Schiepek has written a duo program for two guitars entitled “Blaue Bäume”. Even when he was composing, he had the Berlin guitar grandee Ronny Graupe in mind as a partner. The 43-year-old, who won the German Jazz Prize in 2021, has long been one of the European spearheads of avant-garde jazz with trios such as Hyperactive Kid ( with Christian Lillinger and Philipp Gropper) or Symmethree (with Henning Sieverts and Nils Wogram) and his own band Spoom . Accordingly, in “Blaue Bäume” Schiepek concentrates on “moving timbres”, as he calls them, exploring the color values in the interplay of two guitars. Which is why the world premiere on Wednesday, September 21, at 8 p.m. fits perfectly into the Schwere Reiter , Munich’s home for new music. Another new, this time particularly experimental side that Schiepek shows of himself. As a listener, you should also be broad-based.

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