Called a “composer with great vision” by All About Jazz and praised for his “stunning virtuosity” by JazzTimes, flutist/composer Christian Artmann is passionate about bridging boundaries, following the path of inspiration with honesty and courage, and creating space for dialogue and understanding.
Having grown up immersed in classical music in his native Germany and Austria, Artmann was invited to Aspen Music Festival as a teenager where he performed under world-renowned conductors Claudio Scimone and Lawrence Foster and gave solo recitals of Debussy, Hindemith and Bartók. Increasingly fascinated with composition and improvisation, he realized that jazz was his true calling and committed to developing his own musical voice.
Following studies in composition and jazz performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston and Frankfurter Musikwerkstatt in Germany, as well as collaborations in the Vienna jazz community, Artmann moved to New York where he released three recordings as a leader to critical acclaim: Uneasy Dreams (self-released, 2011), Fields of Pannonia (Sunnyside Records, 2015), and Our Story (Sunnyside Records, 2018). JazzTimes applauded Uneasy Dreams for its “vision of confidence”, The National Flute Association Quarterly called Fields of Pannonia a “mythical journey in sound”, and All About Jazz praised Our Story for its “perspective beyond boundaries capable of including us all”.
After a busy couple of years performing as a leader and sideman in 2018-19 – highlights included the Gala Concert of the 2019 National Flute Association Convention at Utah Symphony Hall, regular gigs at The Kitano and Shapeshifter Lab in NYC, the 2019 Laszlo Gardony Trio Anniversary Concert at Berklee College of Music, and a concert showcasing German jazz artists in the US at the German Consulate in NYC – Artmann found himself in a state of deep reflection during the Covid pandemic. “In this time period, the middle of my life, I find myself looking forward and backward,” Artmann said. “I’m very conscious of where I am, and of the value of life.”
Buoyed by his Buddhist faith and the love for his wife and son, Artmann felt inspired and grateful to record his latest work, The Middle of Life, in 2021-22 with Laszlo Gardony (piano), Yoron Israel (drums), John Lockwood (bass), and special guest Elena McEntire (vocals). Quoting Friedrich Hölderlin’s poem “Hälfte des Lebens” (“Half of Life”), Artmann observes: “Now, halfway around the globe and at least halfway through my life, I am blessed with ‘yellow pears’ and ‘wild roses’. Yet the days seem filled with detours and treacherous currents. Just outside the door, the forces of darkness appear to be gathering steam. Time matters more than ever now.”