Alto and Soprano – Saxophonist Nicole Johänntgen has played with stars like Daniel Powter (Bad day), Roger Cicero, Eric Harland, Aaron Parks, Nils Landgren, Piet Klocke and is currently on CD-release tour with Scandinavian singer Cæcilie Norby. She has recorded and released 17 albums to date in the jazz genre with influences from classical music, film music and funk. She tours with her bands throughout Europe and is invited internationally as a soloist. After successfully completing her studies in jazz and popular music at the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences and the Masters Class in Stroudsburg, USA, under the direction of Dave Liebman, she is now deepening her knowledge in the field of musicology at the University of Zurich. She is also currently training in beatbox saxophone technique. Nicole Johänntgen leads the music business workshop SOFIA for female musicians and gives workshops online and on site for children and adults with and without prior musical knowledge. She is currently working on two new albums that will be released in 2021 on her label Selmabird Records. Nicole Johänntgen has won seven international awards and lives with her family in Zuerich.
OVERVIEW. Nicole Johänntgen was born in 1981 in Quierschied, Saarland, Germany. She grows up in Fischbach surrounded by nature. Music plays an important social role in her family circle. The whole family spends a lot of time at the neighbouring Dachsbau Ranch and celebrates music festivals with lots of live country music. The father, master locksmith, plays guitar, trombone and sings. Nicole’s brother is a pianist. And the mother likes to dance and sing along. Her first instrument is the piano. In her early years, she was interested in classical piano literature and later switched from piano to saxophone without forgetting classical music. In her father’s group, the Joe Fuchs Band, Nicole Johänntgen plays live jazz to dance music for the first time with the saxophone. Piano lessons were her inspiration for the classical music world and with the saxophone new paths in music opened up for her. Both resonate in her musical expression to this day. Her participation in the Saarland Youth Jazz Orchestra ignited her great passion for improvisation and free playing in the 90s. A short time later she founded her first own band called “Nicole Jo.” with her brother Stefan Johänntgen, drummer Elmar Federkeil and Christian Konrad on bass. Needs 2B Funky”. Jazz leads her to study at the University of Performing Arts and Music in Mannheim. There she dedicates herself intensively to her saxophone and studies jazz/popular music and composition/arrangement. During this time and until today her great idols are Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane. Only at the age of nineteen she discovered John Coltrane and the sound of the soprano saxophone. During her studies in Mannheim she was part of the international jazz meeting of the jazz schools “IASJ” in Heslinki. In 2003 she was selected as lead saxophonist for the European Swinging Orchestra. In the same year Nicole Johänntgen is invited to play as the only European musician in the American further education program “Sisters in Jazz”. From then on she is invited as a soloist for tours in France by the Remi Panossian Trio and in the Netherlands by the Rembrandt Frerichs Trio. In 2005 Nicole Johänntgen moved to Switzerland and worked as a freelance musician. For her there is not one musical style. There are only musical colours, which she uses. The saxophonist sets silent films to music in Switzerland for the silent film institute “IOIC” and is part of the China tour. She is involved in the JazzBaragge association and is head of the press department there. JazzBaragge organizes the Zurich Jazz Jam Session every Wednesday. In 2016 Nicole Johänntgen receives the studio scholarship of the city of Zurich Culture and moves to New York. A very important and instructive time for Nicole Johänntgen. She takes saxophone lessons with the American saxophonist Sam Newsome, who is known for his expressive soprano saxophone playing and his special sounds. She deepens her knowledge of odd time signatures with the Indian tabla player Samir Chatterjee. She takes part in a percussion workshop for African rhythms in Brooklyn. As an extension to her profession Nicole Johänntgen completes the first level of “Martial Arts” at the “CHKA Schule” and a clown workshop with Daniel Passer in Manhatten. These activities have an impact on her future work in Europe. With her return to Switzerland she plays engagements with the magician Jamil and the renowned protest guitarist and cabaret artist Piet Klocke. From this time on she mixes music with other styles such as art, literature and magic. Nicole Johänntgen is committed to female musicians from the jazz and improvisation scene. Every two years she organizes the music business workshop SOFIA Support Of Female Improvising Artists in Zurich. This workshop is about learning self-management and networking among female musicians. Her goal is to get more female jazz musicians on stage. Nicole Johänntgen is booked as a lecturer for music and business workshops in Switzerland and abroad. She plays concerts worldwide and has received seven international jazz awards. Nicole Johänntgen now lives with her family in Zuerich.