Like „End of a Summer“, overt virtuosity has little place on “Imprint”, but the equilateral triangle that form this trio, with each side gently pushing and pulling – never for dominance but, perhaps, for emphasis – is the unmistakable consequence of three players who, after being together for many years, have leapt to another plateau since joining ECM. With greater aplomb, and a more balanced blend of extroverted energy and the equal power of understatement, “Imprint” is a watershed recording for the egalitarian Hülsmann and her trio, and one of 2011’s best piano trio recordings to date.John Kelmann, All about jazz
Listening to this purely instrumental album it is clear her love of well-crafted verse spills into her music. Full of elegantly constructed melodies that seem natural extensions of the thematic material at hand, there is indeed a kind of musical poetry at work here which is absorbing as it is musically fulfilling.Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise
There’s a lot of brooding, featherlight touches and empty space, but Hülsmann has a magnetic, understated swing, too. Her longer improvisations manage to sound avant-boppish, even though they seem to develop by rippling outwards rather than advancing along a line. … Hülsmann is an interesting discovery with a subtle harmonic mind; Muellbauer and Köbberling are right on her wavelength.John Fordham, The Guardian
Grande maîtrise des nuances et du toucher, interaction souple et vibrante avec ses partenaires, sens de l’espace, goût des mélodies et des ambiances subtiles et toniques – la façon dont le trio transcende le “Kiss from a Rose” de Seal est une véritable (et jubilatoire) leçon de relecture jazz d’un theme pop -: Julia Hülsmann, en tant que pianiste, compositrice et leadeuse d’un magnifique trio possède tout ce qu’il faut pour être admise dans la cour des grands.Thierry Quénum, Jazzmagazine
Julia Hülsmannwas born in Bonn in 1968. Coming from a musical background, she took classical piano lessons from the age of eleven and started her first band aged 16.
In 1991, she moved to Berlin to study Jazz Piano at the University of the Arts (HdK) with Walter Norris, Aki Takase, Prof. Sigi Busch, Prof. David Friedman, Prof. Jerry Granelli and Prof. Kirk Nurock. While at university, she had the opportunity to attend workshops with Bill Dobbins, Mathias Rüegg, John Taylor, Anthony Cox and Jane Ira Bloom, among others.
In 1992, Hülsmann joined the German Youth Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzO) which was then led by Peter Herbolzheimer.
In 1996, she graduated, her dissertation being entitled: “Do We Have to Sound Differently? The Self-Image of Female Jazz Pianists”.
Since 1997, Julia Hülsmann has been working with her own trio, playing at clubs and festivals all over Germany.
In late 2000, she released her debut “Hülsmann, Muellbauer, Winch: Trio” (BIT).
In 1999 Hülsmann received a grant from the Berlin Senate which enabled her to finance a stay in New York in early 2000, during which she took lessons with Richie Beirach, Maria Schneider, Gil Goldstein and Jane Ira Bloom. Also in New York, she met singer Rebekka Bakken. They launched into a collaboration which resulted in the release of “Scattering Poems” (ACT) in 2003, an album based on the poetry of E. E. Cummings. Selling more than 10,000 copies, “Scattering Poems” won the German Jazz Award.
In 2004, “Julia Hülsmann Trio with Anna Lauvergnac: Come Closer“, a project celebrating the music of Randy Newman, was released on ACT and followed up with an extended tour.
Between 2003 and 2005, Hülsmann was Dorothea Erxleben fellow at the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover. During this time, she composed the suite “Le Moustier“ for string orchestra and piano. Between 2003 and 2012 she lectured Songwriting and Composition in Hanover.
In 2004, the Grabenfest in Vienna commissioned Julia Hülsmann to write a piece. The 5-movement suite “Drei Farben Weiß“ was premiered in Vienna in June 2004 with singer and lyricist Anna Lauvergnac.
In 2006, the recording “Julia Hülsmann Trio with Roger Cicero: Good Morning Midnight“, was released on ACT. Again, Hülsmann set poetry to music, this time working with texts by Emily Dickinson.
In November 2007, the suite “Le Moustier“ for Piano Trio and string quartet had its first performance at the Berlin Jazzfest. For the occasion, the Julia Hülsmann Trio was joined by the Gerdur Gunnarsdottir String Quartet.
In March 2008, the Trio with Marc Muellbauer on bass and Heinrich Köbberling on drums recorded “The End of a Summer” in Oslo. Their first CD for ECM was produced by Manfred Eicher and released in October 2008.
In 2009, Julia Hülsmann and Meike Goosmann (sax) initiated a project with the BuJazzO, as part of which Hülsmann arranged “Drei Farben Weiß” for Big Band.
In February 2009, the album “Marc Sinan/ Julia Hülsmann: Fasìl” (line-up: git, voc, viola, piano, bass, drums), which features music by Julia Hülsmann and texts by Marc Schiffer, was released on ECM.
In April 2010, the Julia Hülsmann Trio was invited for the second time to play at the German Jazz Meeting in Bremen, giving them the opportunity to present their music to an international audience as part of the trade show jazzahead!.
“Imprint“, the Trio’s second album for ECM, was recorded in Oslo in March 2010 and released in early 2011.
In 2012, Hülsmann’s Trio was joined by English trumpet and flugelhorn player Tom Arthurs and became the Julia Hülsmann Quartet. The group’s first album, “In Full View“, was released in the spring of 2013 on ECM.
In early 2012, Hülsmann together with Felix Falk started the JazzMusikerAufruf, an initiative which was supported by more than 1,000 artists. Between 2012 and 2013, Hülsmann was first chairperson of the Union Deutscher Jazzmusiker (Union of German Jazzmusicians).
For 2014, Julia Hülsmann is ‘Improviser in Residence’ in Moers.
Julia Hülsmann currently teaches Jazz Piano at the University of the Arts in Berlin (UdK), as well as Songwriting and Composition at the University of Osnabrück.
– born 23.02.1967 in Arolsen (Hessen/Germany)
– 1988-1994 studies at Hochschule für Musik und Theater with jazz major„Jazz drums“ (Diplom). Classes with Dieter Glawischnig, Wolfgang Schlüter, Adam Nussbaum, Alex Riel, Gerry Brown and more
-1994-1996 studies at the New School New York City (Mannes College of Music) with a sholarship of the „ Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienst“ (DAAD). Classes with John Riley, Jamey Haddad, Marvin B. Smith, Joe Cusatis, Richie Beirach, Reggie Workman, Buster Wiliams, George Garzone u.v.a.
(Jazz/Schlagzeug and Jazz-Ensemble)
– since 2007 Professor for jazz/pop drums and ensemble at the Hochschule für Musik and Theater Leipzig-“Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
– from 2000-2007 teacher at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig-“Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy“for jazz/pop drums and ensemble.
– from 1999-2014 teacher at „University for Music and Theater Hamburg for jazz/pop drums and ensemble.
– from 2005-2007 Lehrauftrag at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover for jazz/pop drums and ensemble
– Dozent at Jazzworkshops in: Hamburg 1992-94, Lüneburg 1993, Washington
D.C.1998, Stuttgart 2000 and Heidelberg 2006
musical works and recordings
-1977 first drum lessons
-from 1985-89 member of Landesjugendjazzorchesters Hessen
-1985 first price at the national competition „Jugend Jazzt“
-1986-88 concerts with Matthias Schubert Trio, Sal Nistico und Rachel Gould Quartett, Mercedes Rossy u.a.
– since 1990 member of the Herb Geller Quartett and concerts with James Moody, Joe Pass, Walter Norris, Clark Terry …
-from 1991-94 member of the Barbara Dennerlein Trio ( concerts and touring in Canada, USA, UK, Finnland, Schweden und Italy …
-1992 and1993 touring and CD production with Bireli Lagrene Trio, Gunther Hampel and Christof Sänger Trio und Inga Rumpf and others
-1994 moving to New York City (Studies at the Mannes College/New School)
-1995 start to work with Ben Monder und Lee Anne Ledgerwood
europa-tour with Herb Geller and Attila Zoller (CD production)
-1996/97 concerts and recording with Ben Monder, Marc Johnson und Matt Renzi
-Knitting Factory-tour through Europe with the Anthony Coleman Trio
– 1998/99 CD recording Derek Bronston und Tom Harrell – tour through Scandinavia and Eastern urope and CD recording with „Hübner Brothers“ feat. Richie Beirach
– tour Europe with Benny Bailey
– concerts in NYC with Mark Turner, Ilhan Ersahin, Eddie Henderson, Manny Duran…
– 1999 moving back to Berlin
– producing electronic music
– founding the band „8-Doogymoto“ and collaberation with Matthew Herbert,
(two albums and 4 EP’s fort he london label „ Accidential“
– since 2001 member of the Ernie Watts Quartet ( touring in Europe, Asia and Australia plus 6 CD’s
-start working with Aki Takase and Rudi Mahall (CD 2004)
-Japan- und Englandtour with Matthew Herbert and Matmos.
-2001/02 concerts as a sideman with: Gary Peacock, Charlie Mariano, Benny Bailey, Dee Dee Brigdewater, NDR Big Band, Frank Chastenier, Gustavo Bergalli..
musical works and recordings
2003/04 : concerts with the band Calexico – Europe tour with Ernie Watts Quartett and the Lynn Arriale Trio
-CD- and touring with Julia Hülsmann Trio feat. Rebbeka Bakken und Anna Lauvergnac (ACT-Jazzpreis)
-2005/06: CD-produktion and tour mit Jan Delay („Mercedes Dance“), Julia Hülsmann
and Roger Cicero (ACT), Klaus Ignatzek, Ernie Watts, Richie Cole.
– since 2007/08 : five albums fort he label „ECM“ with theJulia Hülsmann Trio and one with the Band „Facil’“,
„ 6 albums with Lyambiko“( Sony/BMG)
world wide touring with Ernie Watts, Julia Hülsmann Trio and Lyambiko
-2010 own CD „ Sonnenschirm“ with Rudi Mahall, Tino Derado und Paul Imm published by „Jazzwerkstatt Berlin“.
Jazz-Festival concerts :
Montreal, New York , Paris, Rom, Tokio, Den Haag (Northsea), Molde(Norway), St.Petersburg, Moskau, Barcelona, Madrid ,Warschau, Wien, London, Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Duisburg, Leverkusen, Wien, Zürich, Jazz-Baltica, Hannover, Dresden, Würzburg u.a.
touring bands at the moment:
-Ernie Watts Quartett
-Julia Hülsmann Trio/Quartet
– Aki Takase
– Marc Sinan
Marc Muellbauer – bass
I was born in London, England in 1968, but moved to Germany with my family when I was 3 years old. Initially coming to music as a fan of hard rock, I started out as a self-taught electric bass player after the shock of hearing Jaco Pastorius on the Weather Report album “Night Passage”. Not knowing what I had got myself into, I bought a bass, learned 3 chords and formed a band. At age 17, I picked up the double bass because I believed then (wrongly!), that in order to learn to read music fluently, I had to study classical music.
This mistake changed my direction in life for the next few years. My first experience playing in an orchestra involved Shostakovich’s 9th symphony. I had been playing the bass for 1 1/2 years and was simultaneously in awe of the music and painfully aware of how much I had to learn on the instrument. I took a degree course in double bass at the “Folkwang Hochschule Ruhr” in Duisburg and completed my studies with Michael Wolf at the “Universität der Künste” in Berlin in 1996. Some of the most interesting moments that inspire me to write music have happened in rehearsals with symphony- or chamber orchestras, where conductors would rehearse individual sections, and the way the music and the instrumentation were constructed would open up in a way that the best theory class cannot provide.
While playing in jazz bands throughout my studies, I also had the opportunity to play contemporary music with “Musikfabrik Nordrhein-Westfalen” where I played music by German composer Helmut Lachenmann whose music and personality has left a deep impression. During my time in Duisburg, I took part in workshops with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Maurizio Kagel. Later in Berlin I became a steady member of “United Berlin” an ensemble for contemporary music, with them I premiered a large number of works by young German composers, while also becoming acquainted with the music of Ligeti, Berg, Webern, Schoenberg, I-Sang-Yun and other classic composers of the 20th century avant-garde.
After moving to Berlin in 1994, I began to get serious about learning to play jazz.
I started an intense woodshedding period, transcribed bass lines and solos passionately, and became an active player on the Berlin jazz scene, parallel to my work in contemporary music. I completed a masters degree in jazz-performance and -composition at the “Universität der Künste” in 2002.
During my first years in Berlin I was focusing very much on becoming a good sideman, but writing had always been a passion for me, and in 2000 I started writing for my 9-piece band “Marc Muellbauer’s Kaleidoscope”. The debut CD of this band “Quiet” was released in October 2004 to exceptional critical acclaim.
I have been teaching jazz double bass at the “Hochschule für Music Hanns Eisler” since 1998.