Gebhard Ullmann

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Gebhard Ullmann
The Scott DuBois Quartet Gebhard Ullmann Unterfahrt-2013-01-26-004.jpg
Ullmann at Jazz Club Unterfahrt, Munich 2013
Background information
Born (1957-11-02) November 2, 1957 (age 64)
Genres Jazz
InstrumentsSaxophone, flutes, bass clarinet

Gebhard Ullmann (born November 2, 1957) is a German jazz musician and composer.



At the age of six, Ullmann started to play the recorder and later classical flute. Since 1976 he studied a.o. with Herb Geller and Dave Liebman and at the University of Hamburg flute and saxophone. He also studied medicine from 1976 – 1982. During this time he worked with guitarist Andreas Willers and a trio with keyboards and vocals.

Since 1983 he has been living in Berlin, although he lived in both Berlin and New York City from 1999 to 2011. With Willers he started the quartet Out To Lunch in 1983 (later with Enrico Rava), the project Minimal Kidds (with Niko Schäuble, Trilok Gurtu, Glen Moore) and different trios with Steve Argüelles, Marvin Smitty Smith and Phil Haynes.

In 1991 he began his project Tá Lam (up to ten woodwinds plus accordion) that toured worldwide and released 4 CDs that made it to the top-of-the-year lists in many magazines all over the world including a five star review by John Ephland in Down Beat. 1993 Soul Note founder Giovanni Bonandrini invited him to start his project Basement Research in NYC. Originally a quartet with Ellery Eskelin (later Tony Malaby), Drew Gress and Phil Haynes, later it became a quintet with Steve Swell, Julian Argüelles, John Hebert (later Pascal Niggenkemper) and Gerald Cleaver and released seven CDs.

Some of the other projects Ullmann led or co-led and composed music for are:

Gebhard Ullmann also works as a composer and wrote music for different chamber music ensembles including two string quartets and several solo pieces for woodwind instruments. He also wrote several larger works for classical orchestra and a new score for the movie 'Berliner Stilleben' from 1929 by László Moholy-Nagy for the BuJazzO plus Choir as part of the project 'Klingende Utopien - 100 Jahre Bauhaus'. In 2021 he wrote his first symphony entitled 'Symphonische Verwebungen for Orchestra, Voice, Piano and Percussion'. His compositions are now distributed by Universal Edition, Vienna.

In 2020 Ullmann released his 60th CD as a leader or co-leader. As a sideman he works in the regular quartet of New York guitarist Scott DuBois, in the orchestras of Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii, the German pianist Hannes Zerbe and the Belgian pianist Bram De Looze. He was a member of projects such as The Silent Jazz Ensemble, Chris Dahlgren’s Lexicon, the Berlin-based Die Elefanten (produced by Teo Macero), Günter Lenz’s Springtime and many others.

He has also worked with Paul Bley, Keith Tippett, Frank Gratkowski, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowski, the Ensemble Les Percussions de Guinée, William Parker, Herb Robertson, Bob Moses, Bobby Previte, Lauren Newton, Andrew Cyrille, Sylvie Courvoisier, Willem Breuker, Rita Marcotulli, Dieter Glawischnig, Tom Rainey, Ivo Papazov, Sergei Starostin, Alexey Kruglov, Beñat Achiary, Frank Möbus, Tyshawn Sorey and the actor Otto Sander


Ullmann received the Julius Hemphill Composition Award (1999) in two categories, one of the first SWR Jazz Awards (together with Andreas Willers in 1987), The German Phonoacademy Award (1983), many awards by the city of Berlin including the first Berlin Jazz Award in 2017. [1] [2] The second CD of his Tá Lam project was nominated best CD of the year by the German Schallplattenkritik and many of his CDs made the best-of-the-year list in magazines and newspapers worldwide including the New York City Jazz Record and the Down Beat magazine (Final Answer 2002, The Bigband Project 2004, New Basement Research 2006, News? No News 2010, Tá Lam 11 – Mingus! 2011, Hat And Shoes 2015). [3] The CD Transatlantic received the Choc of the French Jazz Magazine. Since 2005 Ullmann is listed in the Down Beat critics poll, lately in several categories. [4]


Leader or co-leader albums

Sideman albums

[7] [8]

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  1. "Gebhard Ullmann erhält den ersten Jazzpreis Berlin". (in German). December 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  2. "Das rastlose Zentralgestirn". Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  3. Jazz, All About. "Gebhard Ullmann At 50: A Career Retrospective". All About Jazz. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  4. "DownBeat - Digital Edition - August 2016". Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  5. "Gebhard Ullmann Ta Lam". Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  6. "Gebhard Ullmann / Oliver Potratz / Eric Schaefer - Das Kondenstat (WhyPlayJazz, 2017) ****½". Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  7. Jazz, All About. "Gebhard Ullmann: New Basement Research". All About Jazz. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  8. "gebhard ullmann - Search Results - MASSIMO RICCI. TOUCHING EXTREMES". Retrieved January 5, 2018.