Take Five With Mathias Claus
Jazz pianist Mathias Claus, born 1956 in Waiblingen nearby Stuttgart, Germany. Education as jazz pianist at Musikhochschule Hamburg, diploma with excellence in 1989. Further studies at the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, plus classical studies with Shigeko Takeya and others.
Mathias Claus started collaborating on recordings with musicians of the young cyber jazz scene worldwide. He contributed as guest player on numerous artists' CDs worldwide, working with artists including Peggy Morris, Nigel Hitchcock, Laurence Cottle, Sue Maskaleris, Daniel Martina, Fillipo Bertacche. Later, he started playing live concerts with his global musicians, organizing common tours and concerts in Germany with American artists like Peggy Morris and Eyran Katsenelenbogen.
In 2003 he gained first international attention being interviewed by All About Jazz and awarded, by Bundesfonds Soziokultur e.V., for his international collaboration activities.
Since then he has focused on solo piano mainly, playing some major solo piano events, festivals and broadcast recordings in Germany. He released his first solo piano CD in 2009.
Teachers and/or influences?
Major studies with Prof. Dr. Dieter Glawischnig (Germany), and with Ray Santisi and Neil Omstead (Berklee College, Boston).
Main influences: Michel Petrucciani, Bill Evans, Dave McKenna, Warren Bernhardt, Michel Camilo, Chick Corea.
Your sound and approach to music:
I am focusing on solo jazz piano. I am working on the floor of the jazz tradition without being a traditionalist. I try to develop my own sound on this floor, including sound and touch of the classical piano as well as swing elements and contemporary jazz approaches.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Best of First International Jazz Solo Piano Festival 2009, by Jan Matthies Records. Some great piano colleagues to play with, and a brief overview of today's jazz solo piano approaches from three continents: USA, Asia and Europe.
The first Jazz album I bought was:
John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, Birds of Fire.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
My special sound, touch, and an energetic force at the piano are my main goals.
Desert Island picks:
Bill Evans, Alone Again.
What is in the near future?
I have recently set up my studio, specialized for piano recordings. Concert grand, high tech studio. Samples at my MySpace page.