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Joachim Kühn

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Title: Joachim Kühn  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Ornette Coleman, List of jazz pianists, Brian Blade, Jimmy Garrison, Gary Bartz, Michael Brecker, Sarajevo Jazz Festival, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Philip Catherine, Miroslav Tadić (musician)
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Joachim Kühn

Joachim Kühn
March 2010
Background information
Born (1944-03-15) 15 March 1944 (age 70)
Genres Classical music, jazz
Occupations Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Piano, keyboards
Years active 1961 - present
Labels Impulse! Records

Joachim Kühn (born March 15, 1944) is a German jazz pianist.


Kühn was a musical prodigy and made his debut as a concert pianist, having studied classical piano and composition with Arthur Schmidt-Elsey. Influenced by his elder brother, clarinetist Rolf Kühn, he simultaneously got interested in jazz. In 1961 he became a professional jazz musician. With a trio of his own, founded in 1964,[1] he presented the first free jazz in the GDR. In 1966 he left the country and settled in Hamburg. Together with his brother he played at the Newport Jazz Festival and recorded with Jimmy Garrison for Bob Thiele's Impulse! Records.

Kühn has lived in Paris since 1968, and worked with Don Cherry, Karl Berger, Slide Hampton, Phil Woods, Michel Portal, Barre Phillips, Eje Thelin, Ray Lema, Hellmut Hattler, and Jean-Luc Ponty. As a member of Pierre Courbois's Association P.C., he turned to electronic keyboards. During the second half of the 70's he lived in California and joined the West Coast fusion scene and recorded with Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Cobham, Michael Brecker, and Eddie Gomez.

Having settled near Paris again, he played in an acoustic trio with Jean-François Jenny-Clark and Daniel Humair since 1985. In the summer of 1996, he joined Ornette Coleman[1] for two concerts at the Verona and Leipzig festivals, which opened the way for his Diminished Augmented System. More recently he has toured with Rabih Abou-Khalil.


Solo piano

  • Charisma (Atlantic, 1977)
  • Snow in the Desert (Atlantic, 1980)
  • Distance (CMP, 1984)
  • Situations (Atlantic, 1988)
  • Dynamics (CMP, 1990)
  • Joachim Kühn Plays Lili Marleen (1994)
  • The Diminished Augmented System (EmArcy, 1999)
  • Piano Works I (2005)


  • with Walter Quintus: Dark (Ambiance, 1988)
  • with Walter Quintus: Get Up Early (Ambiance, 1991)
  • with Ornette Coleman: Colors: Live from Leipzig (Harmolodic/Verve, 1996)
  • with Connie Bauer: Generations from (East) Germany (KlangRäume, 1997)
  • with Michael Wollny: Piano Works IX - Live at Schloss Elmau (ACT, 2009)
  • with Archie Shepp: Wo!man (Archie Ball, 2011)


with Jean-François Jenny-Clark and Aldo Romano
  • Sound of Feelings (BYG Actuel, 1969)
  • Paris Is Wonderful (Byg Actuel, 1969)
with J.-F. Jenny-Clark and Daniel Humair
  • Easy to Read (1985)
  • From Time to Time Free (1988)
  • Live 1989 (1989)
  • Carambolage (1991) with the WDR Big Band
  • Usual Confusion (1993)
  • Triple Entente (Mercury/PolyGram France, 1998)


As sideman


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