Christoph Stiefel Trio
Born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1961, the pianist became a permanent band member of Andreas Vollenweider & Friends at the age of 23. He toured with the band from 1984 to 1989 through Europe, Australia, Japan and the USA. Around the same time he decided to drop out of law school, he began to work on his own projects, with which he has already produced and published 17 CDs internationally. After his earlier musical interests inspired him to create projects in world music, Nujazz, Fusion and even to compose a “classical” concert for piano, two percussionists and string orchestra (world premiere in 1998), he has turned intensively to jazz piano music and composition in the last 15 years. He became well known internationally in the last few years, in particular, for his own compositional style, through which he has created a contemporary type of jazz by using a compositional technique from the Middle Ages (isorhythm) – his music oscillates between intensive grooves and tonal color painting in a fascinating manner. For years, he has fostered this compositional style, mostly in his “Inner Language Trio”, which manages the balancing act between precise conceptual work and unleashed improvisation with such aplomb as few other formations in the current jazz scene.
Stiefel’s extraordinary compositions as well as his special way of playing the piano have opened the doors to interesting new projects, among others, a duo performance with the Japanese dancer Hideto Heshiki, a duo with the vocalist Lisette Spinnler, the foundation of the “Christoph Stiefel Septet” along with several of the best Swiss jazz musicians, as well as a new band, the “Karl Seglem & Christoph Stiefel Group” with excellent musicians from Norway and Denmark. Since 2000, Christoph Stiefel has been an instructor for piano and keyboards in the Jazz Department at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
In 2012, he received a cultural award – a one-year working grant – from the City of Zurich, called “Werkjahr Jazz.”