Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Kohler, Wolfgang, piano, comp. Teacher; b. Hofgeismar, West Germany, 15 October 1960. He's the son of Walter and Erika Kohler, farmers. He has a brother Harald (born 1959) and a sister Christine (born 1969). He began taking classical lessons at the age of 8 with Mrs. Wrba, and later with Prof.Bender and Mr. Menzel.
He started playing jazz in 1977. From 1978 to 1981, he toured with the bebop band "Just Friends." Since then, he's had a close relationship to the musical leader of that formation, Allan Praskin (as). There were tours in Germany, Swiss and Austria, and festival appearances in Zurich and Leipzig 1980 a.o. Since 1980, he's been living in Berlin (the former west side). He studied at the Hochschule der Kunste with Prof. Kuhnert, and had private studies with Walter Norris and Etzel Gundlich. He received a diploma in teaching (SMP) in 1985. As a freelance musician, he toured with the Lou Blackburn (tb) international Quartet (1982-86) and the popular comedian Karl Dall (1980-85).
He's also worked with: Heinz von Hermann (ts), Hendrik Meurkens (harm), Hermann Breuer (tb), Wilson de Olivera (ts), Herb Geller (as), Lou Donaldson (as), Matthias Schubert (ts), Annette Lowman (voc), Leo Wright (as), Lew Soloff (tp), Frank St. Peter (as), Adrienne West (voc), Jocelyn B.Smith (voc), Angela Brown (voc), Silvia Droste (voc), Bobby Shew (tp), Jon Faddis (tp), Hayati Kafe (voc), the RIAS Big Band (Jiggs Whigham cond.), Billy Elgard (dr), Allan Harris (voc), Claire Martin (voc), Jeff Cascaro (voc), Dusko Gojkovich (tp), Bruno Castellucci (dr), Gitte Haenning (voc), Rolf v. Nordenskjold Orch., Joe Nay (dr), Leonard Jones (b), Paolo Cardoso (b), Ronnie Stevenson (dr), Randy Brecker (tp), Rolf Kuhn (cl), Ed Schuller (b), Douglas Sides (dr), Judy Niemack (voc), Siggi Busch (b), David Friedman (vib), Cynthia Utterbach (voc), Madelaine Bell (voc), Reggie Johnson (b), Nigel Kennedy (viol), Ulli Bartel (viol), John Marshall (tp), Ack Van Rooyen (tp), Nana Mouskuri (voc), Tony Lakatos (ts), and Gustavo Bergalli (tp).
Since 1986, he's been playing with Benny Bailey (mainly in Quartet). Also, since 1980, he's played in his own formations of trio, duo and quinetet. He's the composer of two musical revues: "Und dazu zieh'n Sie 'n Smoking an?" about the life of Kurt Tucholsky (1989) and "Romanisches Cafe" (1990). He's also the composer of various film music for TV, and for the children's program "Karfunkel," ZDF.
He's had private teaching activity since 1980. Since 1999, he's been a professor for jazz piano at the Hochschule fur Musik H. Eisler.
Faces (1998); Wolfgang Kohler Quartet feat. Christian Ramond (b) and Felix Astor and Allan Praskin - (dr) (in preparation)
Just Friends: Just Jazz (1979); Red Onions New Orleans Jazzband: Mad Dog (1984); Mark Nightingale and the RIAS Big Band: Destiny (1996); Ralf Rothkegel Quartet: Songs from my heart (1996); RIAS Big Band presents Helmut Brandt (1997); Benny Bailey Quartet: Firm Roots (1998); Max Greger and the RIAS Big Band: Swingtime (1999), Big Band Hits (2000); RIAS Big Band: German Folk Songs...Our Way, Weill (2001), Bach Brandt New (2001)
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