Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Berker, Stefan, piano, educator; b. 1957. He studied classical piano from age 9 to 19. In his youth he was already fascinated by jazz and rock and made his first attempts in these fields autodidactically. He moved to Berlin and, while studying economics, played in different blues-rock bands. The crucial turn for his jazz piano playing came when he encountered Joe Haider, the legendary jazz pianist on the European jazzscene. He took Joe Haider's correspondence course from the Munich Jazzschool (Jazzschule Munchen) and later studied jazz piano with Wolfgang Kohler, professor at the Academy of Music "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin.
Berker is one of the founders of the Berlin Jazzschool (jazzschule berlin) and developed the work books Jazz basic 1 and 2; and Jazz advanced with co-authors Claus Ruckbeil and Ralf Ruh, both in leading positions at the Berlin Jazzschool (Jazzschule Berlin). He also offers correspondence courses.
In 1996 he became the managing director of the Kunstfabrik Schlot, one of the most popular jazz clubs in Berlin featuring both international stars and interesting local acts. Stefan himself often plays at the regular Schlot Jam Session.
Besides jazz and classical music Stefan Berker also loves Afro-Cuban music ( -and did so even before the Buena Vista Social Club). He studied the percussion instrument timbales with Robby Geerken, a master student of the timbales Guru Jose Luis Quintana "Changuito", the timbales player of the legendary Cuban band Los Van Van.
Stefan Berker plays piano and timbales in different jazz and salsa projects.
Works by Berker:
Jazz Basic, Vol. 1 and 2
play-alongs for improvisation for all lead instruments in all 12 keys