Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Wolk, Ekkehard

Wolk, Ekkehard, pianist, arranger, and composer; b. Schleswig, Federal Republic Of Germany, 14 June 1967. His mother, Ulrike Geissler (born 1942) was a librarian. His father, Siegfried Wolk (born 1937), was an army officer. Ekkehard's classical music teachers and professors were Kevin McKenna (Dublin, Ireland); Hartmut Leistritz (conservatory of Lubeck); Prof. Eliza Hansen (conservatory of Hamburg); and Gunther Daubler (conservatory of Wurzburg). His jazz improvisation teachers were Walter Norris, Dieter Glawischnig, Richie Beirach, Philip Catherine, John Taylor, Fred Hersch, and Barry Harris.

He started piano training at the age of seven in the classical tradition of Leschetitzky and his famous adepts Artur Schnabel and Edwin Fischer. Eventually he came to put emphasis on the major works of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Debussy.

After graduating from high school in 1987 he studied historical and systematic musicology at the university of Hamburg, and later at the Humboldt university in Berlin.

From 1988 to 1994 he studied classical piano at the conservatories in Hamburg and  Lubeck. 1994 he graduated as a concert pianist and music pedagogue. Wolk wrote his first jazz compositions at the age of twenty-two. His influence at first was primarily Bill Evans, later also Bud Powell, McCoy Tyner, Thelonious Monk, Ahmad Jamal, Art Tatum and specifically Fred Hersch who - many years later - became his master teacher in New York City.

In 1995 Wolk moved to Berlin and worked a lot as a composer and bandleader developing creative projects mostly in the jazz field, as a jazz and classical teacher, as an arranger and as a flexible accompanist for many singers in jazz as well as in classical or musical show genres. In the winter of 2001/2002 Wolk spent nearly three months in New York City with a fellowship from the Berlin cultural senate to work on concepts of jazz composition and interpretation and taking some lessons with New York pianist Fred Hersch as well as joining workshops with Barry Harris.

In March 2002 he also did a solo concert performance at the renowned Amherst College, Massachusetts with an encyclopedic program devoted to the great jazz composers (that means Ellington/Strayhorn/Monk/Shorter/Coleman and others). 

Since his return to Germany he works more as an accompanist  for actors and their lections and also in musical theatre, for example at the Brecht theatre Berliner Ensemble.

In the fall of 2002 he won a top prize at the 2nd Annual Berlin Jazz And Blues Award Competition with the Valentin Gregor Quartet Featuring Ekkehard Wolk.

Well-known jazz musicians E. W. has worked with so far include Christian Escoude (guitarist, France); Martin Weiss (gypsy violin, Germany); Yamil Borges (Broadway and jazz singer, USA);Cynthia Utterbach (jazz singer Los Angeles/Hamburg); Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq (saxophone, Los Angeles; USA; disciple of Horace Tapscott); Kenny Martin (drummer, New York City; ex-member of Defunkt and other famous funk jazz bands of the 80s);Wayne Roberts (bass-player New York City); Michael Brorby (drummer and sound engineer Brooklyn, N.Y.C.); Torsten Zwingenberger (drummer, Germany; brother of the Boogie woogie legend Axel Zwingenberger); Andrea Marcelli (drummer Italy/USA, who worked with Wayne Shorter and Mike Stern); and John Schroder (drummer and guitar-player Germany).

It Was A Good Ride (1999); A Meeting Of Two American Giants- Gershwin/Bernstein (2001); An Afternoon In Brooklyn (2002);
The Great Jazz Composers (2002); Duo Escapade Plays Charlie Chaplin (2003); This Way Please (2003); Chorals, Songs And Dances From Old Europe (2003);

Contact information:
KONRAD LEVERENZ (personal manager of Mr Wolk)
Knesebeckstr. 12
Berlin- Charlottenburg
e-mail:konleverenz@aol.com or krackelev@aol.com

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