CELEBRATION (universal music)
Thierry Lang/ Heiri Kaenzig Duo. Celebrating our 25 years of mucial friendship. Now available in the shop!!
Family on Tour ; Känzig & Känzig feat: Jean Paul Brodbeck p & Dominik Burkhalter dr
for upcoming concerts click events!
his Photo has been selected for the Jazz World Photo Award 2018
last Concert of our Europe Tour at Ferrara with Alfredo Golino, Gregoire Maret, Antonio Farao
2017 (scroll down for history)
Dinner after Concert with Birely Lagrene, Gary Husband and Antonio Farao in Perugia
FONDATION SUISA grants Heiri Känzig its Jazz Award 2016. The musician from Zurich is regarded as one of the most prominent double base players in Europe. He is less known as a distinguished composer. Guest contribution by Markus Ganz
“The richness of his variations and his dexterity make him a virtuoso of his instrument”, FONDATION SUISA writes about this year’s winner, Heiri Känzig, in its press release in connection with the Jazz Award. (Photo: Pablo Faccinetto)
Heiri Känzig is probably more known to the international jazz scene than the Swiss public. The double bass player has never sought out the attention of the broad masses, but managed to convince with humble musical talent. Born in Zurich in 1957, he moved abroad while still young because of music, and lived in cities such as Vienna, Munich and Paris. Heiri Känzig smiles during our conversation when he recalls how Mathias Rüegg had encouraged him to break off secondary school (Gymnasium) in Schiers and to study at the music conservatory in Graz. He later on followed the co-founder of the Vienna Art Orchestra to Vienna, which would become his own springboard into the international jazz scene.
Vienna as a starting point
From 1977 onwards, Heiri Känzig was a member of the Vienna Art Orchestra for 15 years, and already performed on their debut, the single (!) “Jessas na” (1978): “A crazy record”. He thus became part of an innovative scene and obviously gained a good reputation as a double bass player quickly. After all, he became a supporting act for the Bebop trumpeter Art Farmer as early as 1978. Since then, Heiri Känzig has played with numerous big names in jazz such as Art Lande, Kenny Wheeler, Lauren Newton, Billy Cobham and Ralph Towner; he was particularly close to Charlie Mariano. It is also unusual that he became a member of the “Orchestre National de Jazz” as the first non-French national in 1991.
Heiri Känzig insists that he does not just regard himself as a jazz musician: “I like to play different kinds of music.” He showed this, for example, with the “Tienn Shan Schweiz Express” (with musicians from Kirgistan, Khakassia, Mongolia, Switzerland and Austria) or a project with the Algerian Oud player Chaouk Smahi. Furthermore, he was a studio musician for artists like Nena and Andreas Vollenweider. What really amazes is the fact that Heiri Känzig who is usually known as a live musician, has been playing on 130 albums based on his biography. He plays down the fact that there are more in the meantime, and clarifies that at least thirty alone stem from the Vienna Art Orchestra.
One constant factor in Heiri Känzig’s career has been the cooperation with Thierry Lang, which had begun before his contract with the legendary Blue Note Records label. For about 25 years, he has been playing with the pianist from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, usually in a trio, but sometimes with guest musicians, and currently even with a string quartet. He also increasingly contributes to compositions. As a co-leader, Heiri Känzig currently works mainly with the jazz ‘institution’ Chico Freeman as a duo, and in the “4-tet” with the “Cholet Kaenzig Papaux Trio”, and with Depart, a trio founded in 1985 with Harry Sokal, which now has Martin Valihora as its drummer.
On the suspense-packed last Depart album “Refire” (2014), the majority of works were written by Heiri Känzig. He is still often described as a “versatile accompanier” or similarly. “As a bass player you are usually not the front man as it is more often the case for trumpeters or pianists”, he says and is relaxed about it. “The bass is primarily an accompanying instrument, and a low one at that, which is not perceived as easily from an acoustic point of view than other instruments.” Heiri Känzig also confirms that the bass has the function to connect the different types of instruments. He adds, laughing: “Bassists are, in a way, the diplomats among musicians, mediating between melody, harmony and rhythm; that’s why we probably are such conciliatory people …”.
Virtuosity and sound
When he composes, he does not worry about the function of the bass, but often just starts playing, usually on the piano. “At the beginning of a composition are bass lines, which I find by playing and which inspire me. These are rhythmic approaches, whereas I fathom the harmonious aspect with the piano.” These are two fundamentally different approaches, and yet the further development of the pieces bear a communality. Composing is always a very exciting process because you never know where it will lead you. You don’t have a clue, and yet something always tells you where to go through next.”
Media reports continue to praise the virtuosity of Heiri Känzig. “And of course you can tell yourself that it doesn’t make sense at all in the case of a bass because the low tones are hardly audible anyway”, he adds and shrugs. “But I add colour to the music by doing so, sometimes even a sound thunderstorm.” This contributes to the fact that his performance has a very individual and unique note. Heiri Känzig can, however, not quite explain this himself. “Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have hardly ever copied anything”.
This Photo has been selected for the Jazz World Photo Award 2018
I am happy to announce my first performence with my niece ANNA KAENZIG
Great new Band with Birely Lagrene, Antonio Farao & Gary Husband
I am gald to announce my 2nd Japan tour this year, with Cholet Kaenzig Papaux!
Sept 6 RAG, Kyoto
Sept 7 Mokkiriya, Kanazawa
Sept 8 Jazz Flash, Niigate
Sept 9 La Sone Saryo, Jyoetsu City
Sept 10 Pit Inn & Airegin, Tokyo
UPCOMING SUMMER FESTIVALS HIGHLIGHTS 2016:
30.4. Chico Freeman Heiri Kaenzig Duo@International Jazzdays ISTANBUL >>click
3. 7. DEPART@Jazzfestival Waidhofen (A)
9.7. CHICO FREEMAN 4TET@MONTREUX JAZZFESTIVAL
3.8. Thierry Lang Trio@Festival da jazz St. Moritz
13.8. DEPART@Jazzfestival Nida (Litauen)
Feb 2016 Thierry Lang Heiri Känzig and Andi Pupato are pleased to inform you that the weekly sales chart of Disk Union Japan listed their new Album "Moments in time"(Universal music) as No. 1 on January 26th 2016 , for the third consecutive week
release dec 15 "moments in time" UNIVERSAL >>> shop or itunes
Out now: feat: michael baker drums , antonio farao p, heiri känzig bass
I am happy to anounce that the Duo CD with the great Chico Freeman has arrived >>> shop
For those who missed my interview at the national radio SRF>>>click
Mai: Japan Tour with Cholet Kaenzig Papaux Trio
March: europe tour with Billy Hart drums , Charlie miklin saxes
March: Europe Tour with Dave Liebman saxes , Antonio Farao p, Gene Calderazo drums
Reording a new duo album with Chico Freeman to be released summer 2015 on INTAKT
"AGULA" THE SWISS-MONGOLIEN ORCHESTRA ON TOUR Feb:2015
SOUNDS click here VIDEO click here REVIEW
The "AGULA" projec is am example of harmonius Swiss and Mongolian culture diplomay via the innate
creativity and diversity of the universally shared language of music.
(Markus Waldvogel Director of Cooperation, DEZA)
I am happy to announce that two wonderful piano trio recordings are to be released in September:
EXCHANGE CHOLET KÄNZIG PAPUX TRIO (NEUKLANG) >>>listen menu music
NEW CD "SERENITY" (Universal) Thierry Lang-Heiri Känzig-Andy Pupato.To be released september! Coming up tour in Japan/Corea September 2014! >> Promo Video
CD DEPART "REFIRE" IS OUT !!!>> Sound Samples
Radio Interview Musikmagazin SRF >>>LINK
Joining the allstar quartet with Antonio Farao, Joe Lovano and Michael Baker concert in Pisa 27.7.14
3 days in Studio recording with the Chico Freemann fourtet for the new CD
As the artistic director of "The Mongolian Swiss Exchange Project "initated by the SDC and the Art Council of Mongolia Iwill go in May with my band featuring ; Matthieu Michel flgh, Kaspar Rast,Karin Streule v, Patricia Draeger acc in May for 2 Weeks to Mongolia to rehearse, play and record a new album with the exceptional Mongolian band ARGE BILEG. This exiting Project will be also be touring in Switzerland end of November 2014.
Booking Europe: hugo(at)faascintaing.com
Check out the video on >>youtube ARGE BILEG
Japan Tour Lang-Kaenzig-Pupato from 4-11 Feb.2014
6th. Feb. concert at the officiale ceremony "150 years Relationship Japan Switzerland"at the Hyatt Grand Tokyo.
New Band :Chicco Freeman 4tet feat: Antonio Farao p, Michel Baker dr (Withney Huston) check out the video on >> youtube
November Joining the Iiro Rantala Power Trio >>> events