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: Rüdiger Kusserow
February 21, 2019 / Sebastian Noelle Quartet / Berlin (DE) @ Café Dujardin
February 22, 2019 / Tal Arditi Quintet / Berlin (DE) @ Zig Zag Jazz Club
February 25, 2019 / Benjamin Schäfer Hive Mind / Köln (DE) @ Altes Pfandhaus DLF Mitschnitt
February 26, 2019 / Benjamin Schäfer Hive Mind / Hamburg (DE) @ Stage Club
April 11, 2019 / Yellow Bird / Kassel (DE) @ Theaterstübchen
April 12, 2019 / Yellow Bird / Potsdam (DE) @ Nicolaisaal Foyer
April 27, 2019 / Yellow Bird / Solothurn (CH) @ Kulturnacht
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.
July 11, 2019 / Julia Hülsmann Quartet / Frankfurt/Main (DE) @ Jazz im Palmengarten
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
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: Dovile Sermokas
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
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 urgent and the time is running. If the next step in evolution is a shift of consciousness, we will have to prepare ourselves.
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 – so clear, straight-forward and honest – offers directness as an antidote. We're leaving the surface presentation.
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.
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"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."
"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 SterneEUR 15,00 via PayPal
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