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.
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:
The Berlin-based Clarinet Trio (with Jürgen Kupke, Michael Thieke)
the trio BassX3 (with bassists Chris Dahlgren and Clayton Thomas plus Ullmann on bassflute and bassclarinet) his co-lead projects with Steve Swell The Ullmann/Swell 4 (with Hill Greene and Barry Altschul) and The Chicago Plan (with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang) the French/German Double Trio de Clarinets (the Clarinet Trio plus Jean-Marc Foltz, Sylvain Kassap and Armand Angster) the Berlin-based quartet GULF of Berlin, the duo with vocalist Almut Kühne and the electro-acoustic trio das Kondensat (with Oli Potratz and Eric Schaefer). 2019 he released with the worldwide first quartertone-piano-quartet‚ mikroPULS‘ the first CD. The NYC Jazz Record wrote: 'Ullmann has put out more than his share of great albums but the more one hears mikroPULS, it sounds like one of his best.
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.
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. 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). 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.
Leader or co-leader albums
Gebhard Ullmann, Andreas Willers Playful (Biber, 1985)
Gebhard Ullmann, Andreas Willers, Hans-Dieter Lorenz, Nikolaus Schäuble Out to Lunch (Nabel, 1985)
Minimal Kidds No Age (Intuition, 1987, with Andreas Willers, Nikolaus Schäuble, Trilok Gurtu, Glen Moore, Burhan Öçal, Hans Lüdemann)
Gebhard Ullmann, Enrico Rava, Andreas Willers, Martin Lillich, Nikolaus Schäuble (Nabel, 1989)
Per-Dee-Doo (Nabel, 1990; with Michael Rodach, Martin Lillich, Nikolaus Schäuble)
Gebhard Ullmann, Andreas Willers Suite Noire with Marvin Smitty Smith, Bob Stewart (Nabel, 1992)
Gebhard Ullmann, Andreas Willers Playful '93 (Nabel, 1993)
Gebhard Ullmann, Hans Hassler Tá Lam (99Records, 1993)
Tá Lam 8 Moritat (99Records, 1994; with Dirk Engelhardt, Hans Hassler, Heiner Reinhardt, Jürgen Kupke, Joachim Litty, Thomas Klemm, Volker Schlott)
The Clarinet Trio Ballads and Related Objects (Leo, 2004)
The Big Band Project (Soul Note, 2004, with Claus Stötter, Ingolf Burkhardt, Michael Leuschner, Reiner Winterschladen, Ingo Lahme, Joe Gallardo, Sebastian Hoffmann, Sebastian John, Stefan Lottermann, Peter Bolte, Fiete Felsch, Lutz Büchner, Julian Argüelles, Christof Lauer, Frank Delle, Vladislav Sendecki, Stephan Diez, Lucas Lindholm, Tom Rainey, Marcio Doctor, Dieter Glawischnig)
Gebhard Ullmann, Chris Dahlgren, Peter HerbertBassX3 (Drimala, 2005)
Gebhard Ullmann, Chris Dahlgren, Art LandeDie blaue Nixe (Between the Lines, 2006)
Gebhard Ullmann, Chris Dahlgren, Jay Rosen CutItOut (Leo Records, 2006)
Gebhard Ullmann & Basement Research Live in Münster (NotTwo, 2006)
Conference Call Live at the Outpost Performance Space (482 Music, 2006; rec. 2003; with Michael Jefry Stevens, Joe Fonda, Gerry Hemingway)
The Clarinet Trio Leo Records 25th Anniversary (Leo, 2007)
Gebhard Ullmann, Steve Swell, Julian Argüelles, John Hebert, Gerald Cleaver New Basement Research (Soul Note, 2007)
Conference Call Poetry in Motion (Clean Feed, 2008; with Michael Jefry Stevens, Joe Fonda, George Schuller)
Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research Don't Touch My Music Vol 1 & 2 (NotTwo, 2009)
Steve Swell, Gebhard Ullmann, Hilliard Greene, Barry Altschul News? No News! (Jazzwerkstatt, 2010)
Conference Call What About ...? (NotTwo, 2010; with Michael Jefry Stevens, Joe Fonda, George Schuller)
Steve Swell, Gebhard Ullmann, Hilliard Greene, Barry Altschul Live in Montreal (CIMPol, 2010)
Tá Lam 11 Mingus! (Jazzwerkstatt, 2011; with Benjamin Weidekamp, Daniel Erdmann, Hans Hassler, Heiner Reinhardt, Hinrich Beermann, Jürgen Kupke, Michael Thieke, Vladimir Karparov, Volker Schlott)
The Clarinet Trio: 4 (Leo Records, 2012; with Jürgen Kupke, Michael Thieke)
BassX3: Transatlantic (Leo Records, 2012; with Chris Dahlgren, Clayton Thomas)
The Double Trio de Clarinets: Itinéraire bis (Between the Lines, 2013; with Jean-Marc Foltz, Sylvain Kassap, Armand Angster, Jürgen Kupke, Michael Thieke)
Conference Call. Seven. Live at the Firehouse (NotTwo, 2014; with Michael Jefry Stevens, Joe Fonda, George Schuller)
Gebhard Ullmann, Daniel Erdmann, Johannes Fink, Christian Lillinger E und U Mann (WismART 2014)
Gebhard Ullmann, Gerhard Gschlößl, Johannes Fink, Jan Leipnitz GULF of Berlin (Jazzwerkstatt, 2014)
Almut Kühne & Gebhard Ullmann Silver White Archives (Unit, 2014)
Gebhard Ullmann & Basement Research: Hat and Shoes (Between the Lines, 2015)
Gebhard Ullmann, Achim Kaufmann "Geode" (Leo Records 2016)
Almut Kühne, Gebhard Ullmann, Achim Kaufmann "Marbrakeys" (Leo Records 2016)
Steve Swell, Gebhard Ullmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang "The Chicago Plan" (Clean Feed 2016)
The Clarinet Trio "Live In Moscow" with guest Alexey Kruglov (Leo Records 2017)
Gebhard Ullmann, Oliver Portratz, Eric Schafer "Das Kondensat" (WhyPlayJazz 2017)
Gebhard Ullmann & Alexey Kruglov: Moscow - Berlin (Fancymusic, 2018)
Gebhard Ullmann & Basement Research Impromptus and Other Short Works (mit Julian Argüelles, Steve Swell, Pascal Niggenkemper, Gerald Cleaver) (WhyPlayJazz 2019)
Tayfun: Dreams and Dances for a Silent Butterfly (Moods, 2001; with Eddie Hayes, Tobias Morgenstern, Uli Bartel, Matias de Oliveira Pinto, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Hans Hartmann, Andreas Weiser, Topo Gioia)
Joe Fonda Loaded Basses (CIMP, 2006; with Claire Daly, Joe Daley, Michael Rabinowitz, Gerry Hemingway)
Stereo Lisa Anno Onno Monno (Jazzwerkstatt, 2008; with Aki Sebastian Ruhl, Almut Kühne, Benjamin Weidekamp, Christian Marien, Ibadet Ramadani, Jürgen Kupke, Matthias Müller, Richard Koch, Michael Haves, Simon Harrer)
Sadiq Bey Slow the Ear (Allzeit Musik, 2009, with Kevin Ellington Mingus, Mfa Kera, Andrea Rost, Sophie Gothier)
Günter Lenz Springtime Strict Minimum (Jazzwerkstatt, 2010; with Claus Stötter, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Dieter Glawischnig, Bill Elgart; rec. 2007)
Chris Dahlgren & Lexicon Mystic Maze (Jazzwerkstatt, 2010)
Scott DuBois Quartet Black Hawk Dance (Sunnyside, 2010)
Scott DuBois Quartet Landscape Scripture (Sunnyside, 2012)
Hannes Zerbe Orchester Eisleriana (JazzHausMusik, 2012)
Hannes Zerbe Orchester Erlkönig (JazzHausMusik, 2013)
Hans Hassler Hassler (Intakt, 2013)
Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin Ichigo Ichie (Libra, 2015), with Richard Koch, Nikolaus Neuser, Matthias Müller, Matthias Schubert, Paulina Owczarek, Natsuki Tamura, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Jan Roder, Michael Griener, Peter Orins
Scott DuBois Quartet "Winter Light" (ACT Records, 2015)
Bram De Looze "Septych" (Clean Feed, 2015)
"United Sounds Of Leo" 3 CDs and DVD (ArtBeat, 2015)
Scott DuBois Quartet "Autumn WinD" (ACT Records, 2017)
Hannes Zerbe Orchester "Kalkutta" (JazzHausMusik, 2017)
Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin Ninety-Nine Years (Libra, 2018)
Vesna Pisarovic Petit Standard (Jazzwerkstatt 2019)
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