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Florian Weber

Pianist Florian Weber launched his career in the mid-2000s and was swiftly regarded as one of Germany's finest jazz musicians, recording for Enja, Challenge, and ECM, and performing with the likes of Lee Konitz, Tomasz Stańko, and Pat Metheny. Born in 1977 in Detmold, near Hanover, Weber grew up in a musical family; his father was a music professor and his mother an opera singer. He began learning the piano at the age of four and had played in both classical and jazz ensembles by the time he left high school. He won a scholarship to Berklee (which he at first declined) and later studied with John Taylor, Paul Bley, and Richie Beirach. His first recorded appearance was on Angelika Niescier's album Sublim 3. In 2002 he formed the trio Minsarah (Hebrew for "prism") with bassist Jeff Denson and drummer Ziv Ravitz. Their eponymous 2006 debut album won the prestigious German Record Critics' Prize. In 2008 they recorded an album with Lee Konitz, Deeplee, and later became his New Quartet, performing with him at the Village Vanguard. After recording with Eric Vloeimans and in Denson's quartet with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, Weber founded the group Biosphere in 2011 with guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Thomas Morgan, and drummer Dan Weiss; they recorded an eponymous album for Enja that incorporated African rhythms. Weber made his ECM debut in 2016 on the duo album Alba with trumpeter Markus Stockhausen. His debut as a leader for the label, 2018's Lucent Waters, featured bassist Linda May Han Oh, Alessi, and the trumpeter's frequent collaborator Nasheet Waits. In addition to his jazz work, Weber kept his hand in classical performance, performing concertos by Mozart, Ravel, and Gershwin with various philharmonic orchestras. He also became an educator, taking up teaching positions at CalArts, the U.K.'s Royal Northern College of Music, the University of Osnabrück, and Chicago's DePaul University.
© John D. Buchanan /TiVo


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