Jonas Engel

Jonas Engel Photo
Jonas Engel, Photo: Patrick Essex

Biography

Jonas Engel is active as a composing musician in the creative music scenes in Copenhagen and Cologne where he is a member of the „impakt“ collective. He is on the constant search to further develop and redefine sound through extended playing techniques, instrument building and preparation. In addition to his compositional approaches, this work is reflected above all in his solo program through acoustic and electronic sound creation. Or in his duo with the singer Thea Soti, as well as the quartet "Our Hearts As Thieves", in which European improvisation encounters American poetry.

As a soloist and with his bands “Just Another Foundry” and “OWN YOUR BONES” (e.g. Young German Jazz Award, European Tremplin Jazz Award, Maastricht Jazz Award), he has been on concert tours through Europe, South and North America, the Middle East, East Asia and Southeast Asia. Jonas was part of the Federal Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzO) and received scholarships from various grants, such as DAAD, Fondation Idella, Beckett Foundation, Musikfonds, etc. He organizes concert series for adventurous experimental and improvised music

Jonas Engel solo work deals with the creation of acoustic noise and sonority on wind instruments that gets its influence from electronic sounds through the development of extended techniques, instrument-alterations and eventually the electrification of those instruments. He explores the possibilities of multi layered textures with air, harmonics, saliva, microtones - displaying an inner body sound that makes its way to the surface. To produce sound he uses reeds going into tubes - such as soft-PVC-hoses, saxophone or ABS plastic trumpet - ending up in objects or electronic live processing.

Current Album

Jonas Engel & Own your Bones: Staring is Caring

Jonas Engel: alto sax
Karlis Auzins: tenor sax
David Helm: bass
Dominik Mahnig: drums

Buy Album

You can break it down to a very simple formula that sounds like a platitude but is nevertheless profoundly true. Jonas Engel embodies the good in jazz with his quartet's second CD. His songs breathe and pulse, they take surprising changes of direction, but always find the right tone and betray empathy for the listener. Above all, their rigorous optimism is a reliable companion in a time when no one wants to feel abandoned.

The audible symbiotic cohesion within the band is based on the simple fact that Engel, Helm and Mahnig lived together in a shared flat in Cologne. The three musicians succeed in bringing their experiences, which they were allowed to gather together in the everyday life of the shared apartment, into their music. Engel, on the other hand, has known Karlis Auzins from Latvia since his studies in Copenhagen, but it was only through the band that they became friends.

All four players also show vocal and especially narrative qualities on their instruments. Together they sound like a choir. This goes so far at performances, Engel describes playing together, that the two band members who don't have an instrument in their mouths spontaneously start singing along with the melodies. This interplay results in very different options. In the opener, as described, the melody is quite unchallenged in the center, in songs like "Omaria" or "Gaze In Grace" it is much more about moods. Jonas Engel takes us to places or situations, which he vividly brings before our eyes. The seeing ear becomes the co-creator and ultimately the finisher of his pieces.

Discography

  • Just Another Foundry (JAF): Compendium of Unease, 2023
  • Jonas Engel OWN YOUR BONES, „Staring Is Caring“, Tangible Music, 2023
  • Our Hearts As Thieves - what the wildflower witnessed, 2021
  • Jonas Engel: Own your Bones, KLAENG Records 2020
  • Jonas Engel, Thea Soti: I Noise, You Lion, Gotta Let It Out 2019
  • Just Another Foundry, „Just Another Foundry“, Jazzwerkstatt 2019
  • Warmbladder - GUNK The Movie OST (September 2019 - Gotta Let It Out)
  • Jonas Engel - OWN YOUR BONES (May 2018 - Klaeng Records)
  • Just Another Foundry - Bouwer (January 2017 – DoubleMoon)

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