Johannes Bigge Trio

Johannes Bigge Trio

Johannes Bigge – piano, composition
Athina Kontou – double bass
Moritz Baumgärtner – drums


“Bigge’s musical topography combines softly curved, inviting and edgy soundscapes that are at times sensitive, at others brightly illuminated.”
F.A.Z. (Feb. 25, 2015)

“Johannes Bigge has a wonderful talent for jazz improvisation and composition. Even now still being quite young he has already developed a real personal style in his playing and especially his writing.”
Richie Beirach


If a young pianist wants to stand out from the confusing competition among jazz piano trios, he needs something special: interesting pieces, distinctive musical partners and a sense of exciting improvisation. This is exactly what Johannes Bigge has to offer. Barely 26 years old, Michael Wollny’s master student at the Leipzig Academy shows us exceptional expressive power in his individual compositions and performances, at times lyrical, at others bursting with energy. No wonder that the concerts of the Johannes Bigge Trio have long been highly praised by the public and the experts alike. Whether in intimate clubs or on big stages, like in the context of the Leipzig Jazz Festival, Bigge’s Trio captivates their audience with clear melodies, wide arches and sometimes startling contrasts. For two years, the much sought-after drummer Moritz Baumgärtner has been on board; his sensitive to rousing rhythmic work inspires the dynamics of the band.

“In my compositions I would like to model musical landscapes and create atmospheres, which can generate images and moods for the audience, but of course also for us,” says Johannes Bigge. “It’s important that the music address people emotionally, but also reach people whose ears have not been trained in jazz. That’s why I do not only play with jazz structures, but also with various others.” Bigge sees his compositions as stories that have become sound. “Of course, they are not concrete stories with protagonists,” Bigge states. “It is about a mood and a musical narrative flow in which a part of the composition passes into the next, guides the dynamics of the piece through various modifications and ultimately again to the beginning, or ends up somewhere else.” In this respect, one could, says Bigge, speak of “protagonists, when a subject or a tune at the beginning disappears in the course of the piece and reappears in a different context at the end.”

Born in 1989 in West Berlin, Johannes Bigge began to learn piano at the age of eight; five years later, he found his classical school education too narrow-minded. Bigge found a first alternative in a student rock band. Early on, he was fascinated by the songs of the Beatles; later came Genesis (with and without Peter Gabriel) and Radiohead. After his journey to rock music, he discovered jazz figures such as Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau and Richie Beirach. At 16, Bigge founded his first piano trio, which performed regularly in Berlin. After graduation, he went to the university in Leipzig, precisely in order to study with Richie Beirach. Quite naturally, Bigge holds several historic composers once again in high regard. For example, Bach, for his pioneering voice leading, or Ravel and Scriabin for their determination “to drive harmonies to their limits.”

The eight pieces on Pegasus reflect all these influences, but avoid adapting structures or even familiar melodies directly. Instead, the Johannes Bigge Trio finds their own topics, meanders from catchy motifs to flowing lines, circling repetitions or edgy riffs, playing sometimes gently, sometimes impetuously. A while ago, the journalist and festival curator Bernd Noglik put it like this: “Johannes Bigge is on his way to creating his own musical language. His highly nuanced way of shaping sound from the piano does without the fashionable; instead, it proves to be highly talented, sensitive, original and innovative.”


“Peculiar harmonies that fly to the participants, then melt away, even before they can become changes. Grooves and textures that are, at first, the one thing and then become the other. At the same time, complex and simple, irritating and mesmerizing, independent, but far from completely told.”
Michael Wollny




Das nächste Album ist in Arbeit!
We recorded our next album!

In the beginning of december we recorded new music at the Loft in cologne. The mixing date will be in january!

Wir sind unter den Finalisten beim European Jazz Contest in Rom!
We are among the finalists on the European Jazz Contest 2017 in Rome!


04. Sep. 2018 · 21:00


10. Jan. 2019 · 19.30


12. Jan. 2019 · 20.00




Available as

Compact Disc and digital album on Bandcamp

Compact Disc on JPC

Compact Disc and digital album on amazon

Or on ITunes

Press reviews

„This young pianists musical and compositional language is of such striking filigree delicacy and multidimensionality, that listening to his music for the first time without knowing anything biographical about him, one would think of a mature and older composer.“

Thorsten Hingst in Jazzpodium (04/2016)


„How these eight pieces pulsate, how they turn and turn, how they build up and fade away, how chords cumulate and resolve into delicate melodies, lies far outside the usual framework of what most other piano trios offer.“

Werner Stiefele in Rondo (02/2016)


„His music sounds indeed tremendously fresh and different.“…“It’s not surprising, that such a courageous album is released on the niche label of the musician Nils Wogram.“

Frank von Niederhäusern in Kulturtipp (05/16)




Nachts Pilgern