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Klaus Kugel

Since 1989 he has been playing intensively with the outstanding lithuanian soprano-saxophonist Petras Vysniauskas in many different international projects.

Klaus Kugel is one of the most inventive and adventurous German drummers. He attracted attention worldwide through projects with Petras Vysniauskas, Karl Berger, Tomasz Stanko, Charlie Mariano, Kent Carter, Michel Pilz, Theo Jörgensmann, Kenny Wheeler, Vyacheslav Ganelin, Bobo Stenson, Glen Moore, Steve Swell, Sabir Mateen, Robert Dick, Ken Filiano, Peter Evans, Bruce Eisenbeil, Perry Robinson, Albrecht Maurer, Arkady Shilkloper, Sirone, Eric Vloeimans, Burton Greene, Hilliard Greene, Vijay Iyer, Charles Gayle, John Lindberg, Herb Robertson, Louie Belogenis, Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Bobby Few a.m. o..

Over the past 20 years, he gave numerous concerts and appeared at festivals throughout Europe, the Baltic States, Canada, USA, Syria, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine and China.


Album Review

Glod / Ramond / Kugel: No ToXiC

Read "No ToXiC" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The collaborative marvel that is No ToXiC, hatched in the fertile grounds of NEMU Records, is less an album and more of a dare--a sonic gauntlet thrown at the feet of free jazz and improvisation. Roby Glod (who flirts with both alto and soprano saxophones), double bassist Christian Ramond and drummer Klaus Kugel take us on a journey that laughs in the face of convention. Right out of the gate, “Unconscious Superglitzer" demands attention, not politely but like ...

Album Review

Transatlantic Five: Transitions

Read "Transitions" reviewed by Mark Corroto

There is an expression in meditation for when an individual is concentrating on their breath, “it's a simple practice, but not easy." A similar statement might be made about Transitions by the Transatlantic Five. The music is not simple, but it is easy. Easy, at least for this quintet. The American duo of Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone, clarinet) and trumpeter Nate Wooley crossed an ocean (thus the name) to perform and record with the German trio of vibraphonist ...

Radio & Podcasts

Schubert, Uchihashi, And Kugel Breaking Boundaries And More

Read "Schubert, Uchihashi, And  Kugel Breaking Boundaries And More" reviewed by Bob Osborne

On this show we feature a selection of exciting new releases including fascinating genre-crossing explorations from Frank Paul Schubert, Kazuhisa Uchihashi and Klaus Kugel. In addition there is music from SoSoLa, Sam Bardfeld, Leap Day Trio, Satoko Fujii and Otomo Yoshihide, plus Mike Bell. Playlist Show Intro 00:00 Frank Paul Schubert, Kazuhisa Uchihashi and Klaus Kugel “Explosive Past" from Black Holes Are Hard To Find (NEMU) 00:53 SoSoLa “Enough Is Enough" from Nu World Trashed (DooBeeDoo Records) ...

Liner Notes

Klaus Kugel: Op Der Schlemz Live Nemu

Read "Klaus Kugel: Op Der Schlemz Live Nemu" reviewed by Howard Mandel

The collective quartet performance Op Der Schlemz Live by drummer Klaus Kugel pianist Roberta Piket, saxophonist Roby Glod and bassist Mark Tokar is rooted in steady balance yet full of dynamic surprises. Most people approaching this record will understand in advance that's a good thing, since surprises are exactly what we hope for when music is played so that anything can happen, but those surprises are best when they ride from ensemble consistency and purpose, rather than luck or accident. ...

Liner Notes

Elma Kais: Licentia Poetica

Read "Elma Kais: Licentia Poetica" reviewed by Howard Mandel

I tried to write words freed from rhythm... Yet the song came, of itself, in the right measures, And whatever I tried to write was poetry. Ovid, Tristis IV, 24-25 More than 2000 years ago Ovid captured the essence of spontaneous improvisation in a stanza--as the collective of Elma Kais, Knox Chandler, Daigo Nakai and Klaus Kugel does on Licentia Poetica. The Roman poet, author of “Metamorphoses," describes a creative outpouring which finds--or reveals--its perfect form ...

Album Review

Joe McPhee / John Edwards / Klaus Kugel: Existential Moments

Read "Existential Moments" reviewed by John Sharpe

Multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee's trio with British bassist John Edwards and German drummer Klaus Kugel has become another of his most potent working bands, following in the footsteps of such esteemed outfits as Trio X and Survival Unit III. On their third album, after Journey To Parazzar (NotTwo, 2018) and A Night In Alchemia (NotTwo, 2019), recorded in front of an audience at the FreeJazzSaar festival in Saarbrucken in 2019, the threesome conduct a masterclass in building and releasing tension, during ...

Album Review

Roy Campbell / John Dikeman / Raoul van der Weide / Peter Jacquemyn / Klaus Kugel: When The Time Is Right

Read "When The Time Is Right" reviewed by John Sharpe

This date from 2013 presents New York City based guests trumpeter Roy Campbell and German drummer Klaus Kugel with three Amsterdam-located improvisers as part of the DoEK organization's annual Festival. Campbell, a stalwart of the NYC avant scene who died in 2014, gained early exposure with Jemeel Moondoc's Ensemble Muntu and went on to helm his own Pyramid Trio and co-lead the revered cooperative Other Dimensions In Music, among a host of other projects. He brings his fiery updating of ...

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Free Jazzers Klaus Kugel and Mark Tokar Interviewed at AAJ

Free Jazzers Klaus Kugel and Mark Tokar Interviewed at AAJ

Source: All About Jazz

Bassist Mark Tokar is a key person in the Ukrainian free jazz scene. The same could be said about German drummer Klaus Kugel, who is a frequent guest at different jazz venues in the Ukraine. Their group with Lithuanian saxophonist Petras Vysniauskas already has some history behind it but only recently was christened Buchkys (which means kiss in Lithuanian).

Besides Buchkys both musicians play with prominent Ukrainian saxophonist Yuriy Yaremchuk in a trio called YATOKU.

AAJ Contributor Alex Martynov spoke ...

"Most ensembles can only wish for a percussionist with such high skill and perceptive musicianship as Klaus Kugel" - Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany

"Percussionist Klaus Kugel is a commanding force behind the drum set. He creates layers of tension drawn out from intuitive listening. There is a constant emotional swelling underlying every fill and cymbal crash." - John Barron, April 2007, JAZZREVIEW.COM, USA

"These three discs ... show Kugel as a drummer whose nearly boundless energy and imagination cannot be confined by neat categories." - Ed Hazel, SIGNAL TO NOISE, USA, 2006



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


NEMU Records


No ToXiC

NEMU Records


Existential Moments

Not Two Records


Licentia Poetica

Self Produced


At the fields edge

NotTwo Records


Needle's Eye

From: Black Holes Are Hard To Find
By Klaus Kugel

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