Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Ockert, Matthias

Ockert, Matthias, guitarist and composer; b. Tettnang, Germany, 14 January 1970. His father Rolf Ockert (1940-1990) was a mathematician, and his mother Regine Ockert (1943-1997) started as an elementary school teacher. Later she taught guitar and flute. He has a younger brother Hans-Peter Ockert (born 1972) who is also a jazz musician, playing and teaching trumpet at Stuttgart. They grew up in Southern Germany at the Lake of Constance.

After attending lessons in drums, clarinet, flute and playing in various school and local orchestras Matthias started playing jazz guitar at the age of 15 (1985). He was playing jazz in school bands and jamming with friends. In 1991 he went to Berlin to study architecture which he finished in 1998 with a masters degree. He wrote a thesis about architecture, mathematics and music. During that period he started getting guitar lessons with the gypsy Costa Lukazc. He also became an active member of the Berlin Jazz Scene and performed with various local bands in Berlins most famous Jazz Clubs like Quasimodo, Schlot or Franz-Club. During this period he founded the Berlin Jazz Guitar Duo, the Jaro Minta/ Matthias Ockert Duo and the Ockert/Irving/Koch Jazz Trio. He became more and more interested in contemporary music and was studying composition, music theory and piano with composer Carlo Inderhees in Berlin (1997-2001). Since 1995 he went every year for 1-2 months to the US and attended private jazz guitar lessons with Attila Zoller and later Bill Connors in NYC. He also went to Jazz Clinics to study with Pat Martino, John Abercrombie and Peter Leitch. In 2000 he was taking seminars in electronic composition with Stephen T. Pope at the "Technical University" in Berlin. Since then he became interested in electronical composition. Since 2001, he's now heading a masters degree in composition with Wolfgang Rihm, at the "University of Music" in Karlsruhe, Southern Germany. There he's also studying electronic composition with Sandeep Bhagwati and Thomas A. Troge.

Besides performing jazz and teaching guitar and writing for jazz bands, he writes music for tape, choir, solo instruments and small ensembles with and without live-electronics, and he did soundtracks for experimental video. His recent compositions were performed in "The Acadamy of the Arts" in Berlin and at the "ZKM" (Center for Arts and Media) in Karlsruhe. He won the 3rd prize at the "Pfizer Composition Contest" in 2001. His main interest in his musical work is to combine jazz improvisation with instrumental and electronic contemporary composition. Since 2001 he's married to Dagmar Vinzenz, a video artist. In 2004 Matthias won the First Prize at the "International Composition Contest for the Room of the Glaeserne Manufaktur Dresden" with his composition "diaphaneity", performed by the "Dresdener Sinfoniker" under Jonathan Stockhammer.  His composition "Plastetik" was performed at t he "13th Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival" in 2004. 

Frain/Dun;ap: Pull the Shades (2001); Survey (2002); Various recordings with local musicians in Berlin (1994-2000)

Live radio broadcasts:
Lernradio Karlsruhe 104.8 - "Jazz it!" (2002)- live interview and his music played; His CD "Survey" was played on hr 2 Jazz Now in 2003; his composition "Differenzierungsrausch" was played on SWR 2 KlangraumJetztMusik, 2004


Contact information:
Suedendstrasse 21
D-76137 Karlsruhe
phone: 0049 721 203 88 96
cell phone: 0049 177 52 99 370

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