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Uli Kempendorff was born in Berlin in 1981. Jazz Saxophone and Improvisation studies at "Hanns Eisler" Conservatory in Berlin and at City College, NYC. His work is documented on over two dozen CDs and LPs and radio broadcasts. Among those are five of his own productions with his groups "Field" and "Yellow Bird". Aside from his own projects "Field" (since 2018 with Christopher Dell, Peter Bruun and Jonas Westergaard) and "Yellow Bird" (a Folk-Roots-Band with Manon Kahle, Lucia Cadotsch, Ronny Graupe and Ludwig Wandinger), Kempendorff has been active in groups with Ulrich Gumpert, Benjamin Weidekamp, Felix Henkelhausen, Wanja Slavin, Markus Pesonen, Pablo Held, Julia Hülsmann, Jimi Tenor, Mike Pride, Christian Weber; he has toured and played with SEEED, Rolf Kühn and 'Little' Jimmy Scott. In 2010, he started the concert series "Serious Series" which he programmed until 2014. In 2016, he programmed the concert series "In Between Festivals" in Wroclaw (PL), as part of the city's European Capital of Culture tenure. This was done in collaboration with Marc Schmolling, Stiftung Zukunft Berlin and MicaMoca. Until 2018 he also co-programmed the series "JAB 105" at Berlin's club A-Trane with Gebhard Ullmann. Concerts and teaching brought him to Africa, Canada, the US, South America, Mexico and to many countries in Europe. Kempendorff received several grants from the city of Berlin, was a DAAD-scholar from 2006-2007 in NYC and spent a month at the Stadtmühle Willisau in Switzerland as a grantee of the Alfred-Köchlin-Foundation. Also, he was a founding member and head of the IG Jazz Berlin, a kind of union lobbying for a better funding for the arts in Berlin. In this function, Kempendorff also spent time as a spokesman for music in the Coalition of Berlin's Independent Scene and was active in cultural politics on the state and federal level from 2012-2016.

Foto: Dovile Sermokas


April 27, 2019 / Yellow Bird / Solothurn (CH) @ Altes Spital

May 07, 2019 / mit Graupe, Gühlke, Gall / Berlin (DE) @ Schlot

May 09, 2019 / Ernte / Basel (CH) @ Bird's Eye

May 10, 2019 / Ernte / Wiesbaden (DE) @ Jazzarchitekt @ Achter

May 30, 2019 / Ernte / Leipzig (DE) @ Jazzclub

May 31, 2019 / Ernte / Bruel (DE) @ Kulturknastfenster

June 01, 2019 / Ernte / Eberswalde (DE) @ Jazz in E.

June 07, 2019 / Kaspar von Grünigens BOTTOM ORCHESTRA / Basel (CH) @ Bird's Eye

June 08, 2019 / Süssholz mit Mahall, Roder, Griener / Berlin (DE) @ Sowieso

June 15, 2019 / Rudi Mahall, Jan Roder, Kaspar Tom / Berlin (DE) @ Sowieso

June 29, 2019 / Jimi Tenor / Oslo (NO) @ Mandaljazz Festival

July 11, 2019 / Julia Hülsmann Quartet / Frankfurt/Main (DE) @ Jazz im Palmengarten

July 20, 2019 / Jimi Tenor / Chamois (IT) @ Chamoisic Festival

September 21, 2019 / Julia Hülsmann Quartet / Braunschweig (DE)

November 01, 2019 / Julia Hülsmann Quartet / München (DE) @ Unterfahrt

November 03, 2019 / Julia Hülsmann Quartet / Helmbrechts (DE) @ Textilmuseum Helmbrechts

November 14, 2019 / Julia Hülsmann Quartet / Paris (FR) @ Jazzfestival

November 24, 2019 / Julia Hülsmann Quartet / Brüssel (BE) @ ECM 50th Anniversary


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FIELD   Leader/Co-Leader

Uli Kempendorff - Tenor Sax, Clarinet, Comp
Christopher Dell - Vibraphone
Jonas Westergaard - Bass
Peter Bruun - Drums

The TAZ newspaper wrote about Field's latest record that even though „Heal The Rich“ might ostensibly be addressed to a small and exclusive circle of listeners, in reality it is meant for and should be heard by all who have ears to hear.“ FIELD plays compositions written by its leader which draw from of a whole variety of musical influences and inspirations from within and without the Jazz idiom which remains a musical home base for the group. With Christopher Dell on vibraphone, Jonas Westergaard on bass and Peter Bruun on drums, the band brings together some of the most interesting players on the German and Danish scene and has quickly become a tightly knit group since its reforming in 2018. FIELD manages to capture the rambunctious energy of the vital Berlin Jazz Szene and projects it with a vibe that has humor and sincerity, freshness and intensity.

Foto: Dovile Sermokas



Yellow bird photo april 2017

YELLOW BIRD   Leader/Co-Leader

The German newspaper DIE ZEIT found Yellow Bird's debut recording SING to be "a contemporary, urban review of pop music’s roots: melancholy, subtle and self-ironic.”
Yellow Bird (from Berlin, the U.S. and Switzerland) plays Modern Roots Music, with two-part harmony singing, bass clarinet, guitars and percussion. The lyrical and powerful voices of Manon Kahle und Lucia Cadotsch (awarded with the ECHO Jazz 2017) tell stories of black trains and blue cowgirls and are backed by an awesome band: Ronny Graupe, Uli Kempendorff and Ludwig Wandinger.

The band spent most the past year working on their second recording. The result is an album of ten songs which at times sound like the lost soundtrack of a Jarmusch or Coen Brothers film, with Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits in the lead. Big Beats, hauntingly beautiful voices and a blues-steeped guitar-uke-banjo and bass clarinet stew tug at your heartstrings and make you move.

Foto: Michael Jungbluth




ERNTE   Sideman


Benjamin Weidekamp, as/cl
Uli Kempendorff, ts/cl
Kaspar von Grünigen, b
Max Andrzejewski, dr

ERNTE plays work and fight songs from resistance movements around the world.

Foto: Karl Lehner




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2018 enja/yellowbird

Zweite Platte mit Eigenkompositionen von YELLOW BIRD

Manon Kahle - Vocals, Banjo, Ukulele, Comp
Lucia Cadotsch - Vocals, Comp
Ronny Graupe - Gitarre, Comp
Uli Kempendorff - Bassklarinette, Klarinette
Tim Lorenz, Michael Griener, Max Weissenfeldt - Drums

Rs026 4250459990360.main.2400

Heal the Rich

2017 WhyPlayJazz

FIELD‘s new album is called »Heal The Rich«. An album with a title that references such delicate humanity must be about more than just pure art. On many levels it is rather a call for a reversion and reflection process. The issues are pressing and clock is ticking. If the next step in evolution is a shift of consciousness, we will have to prepare ourselves and make haste.
For Uli Kempendorff jazz and improvisational music have a very special potential. They represent an offer of return for both listener and musician that can be the beginning of a healing process. A return to a meaningful life, away from the alienation from ourselves and our environment. A confrontation with the real, the essence, the matter, the hidden.
This music – clear , straight-forward and honest – offers directness as an antidote. Let's leave the surface presentation.

EUR 15,00 via PayPal
Bildschirmfoto 2019 04 13 um 15.53.04


2015 enja/yellowbird

Debütalbum von YELLOW BIRD - AmericanaFolkJazzTwoPartHarmonySinging

Lucia Cadotsch - Vocals
Manon Kahle - Vocals, Banjo, Ukulele
Ronny Graupe - Git, Bass
Uli Kempendorff - Bassklarinette, Klarinette
Michael Griener - Drums

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Let Me Go With You

2013 Unit Records

"Let Me Go With You" ist der Erstling von FIELD in der Besetzung mit Ronny Graupe - Gitarre, Jonas Westergaard - Bass, Oliver Steidle - Drums und erschien 2013 bei Unit Records.

Erhältlich direkt über mich: uli.kempendorff@gmail.com

"All-Star-Formation der Berliner Szene. Bebop fürs 21. Jahrhundert (...) eine ungestüme Spielfreude bricht sich immer wieder Bahn und macht die Musik so anziehend. Hier passiert immer wieder etwas Neues, aber der Hörer wird bei dieser Achterbahnfahrt auf eindrucksvolle Weise mitgenommen."  
Jazzthing 101

"Aus den vielen wubbernden, expressiven Blasen, die aus dem quirligen Kunst-Untergrund der Hauptstadt aufsteigen, zeigt Field seine Stärken vor allem als ausgefuchste neugierige Band, in der die Soli der Vier nur eines ihrer Mittel zum Zweck gemeinsamen Musikmachens und Forschens sind. Von wilden Eruptionen bis zu feinsten Pinselstrichen, getupften impressionistischen Tönen, die Bandbreite der Musik sorgt für Abwechslung, man sollte sich das mit dem Titel wirklich überlegen."
Concerto, 10-11/13, 4 1/2 Sterne

EUR 15,00 via PayPal
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Uli Kempendorff Quartet

2010 JazzHausMusik

Uli Kempendorff - ts, cl, comp
Ronny Graupe - g
Marc Muellbauer - b
Kay Lübke - dr

"So viel Geschmeidigkeit. So viel Widerspenstigkeit. Der Berliner Saxophonist Uli Kempendorff fegt mit seiner Band alle Mauern zwischen Tradition und Avantgarde hinweg. Diese CD bedarf nicht vieler Worte zur Beschreibung. Sie soll einfach nur so viel wie möglich gehört werden."
Wolf Kampmann, Jazzthetik, 01-02/2011

EUR 16,99 via PayPal