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Nikolaj Hess Trio

Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington, DC 20007

06/13/2023 - 06/13/2023

chamber ensemble

About the event

Melodic lyrical and groovy Danish/American piano trio with golden touch, virtuosity and scintillating interplay and communication.

Danish Nikolaj Hess is well established as a highly esteemed international jazz pianist and composer. His piano playing is described as brilliantly virtuoso and characterized by a personal delicate touch and mix of superb sense of melodic and creative imagination, and groove and rhythmic sensibility.

His inspirations include a deep connection to the American and Scandinavian jazz and improvisational music traditions, and reflect his musical open-mindedness and curiosity, with influences from electronica and krautrock over deep studies of classical music, to folk and folklore music from different parts of the world.

Hess has won several prizes, and received numerous grants and awards, from being chosen as the best European pianist under 25 at RAI contest, to his latest receiving the composer's union AUTOR´s prestigious honorary award in 2022, and DMA and Politikens choice as album of the year.

He plays on 100+ albums, and has more than 25 own releases, among them prizewinning Nikolaj Hess "Trio" with his New York piano trio, highly praised Nikolaj Hess Spacelab & Strings (Sunnyside Records).

His compositions can also be heard in films, with classical orchestras, at exhibitions, and on international stages and venues in most of the World.

Hess has worked and recorded with an impressive list of artists, among them Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, Ambrose Akinmusire, Gregory Hutchinson, Chris Cheek, Anat Cohen, Kris Davis, Christian McBride, Jeff Ballard, Thomas Morgan, Tyshawn Sorey, Fela Kuti, Lars von Trier (filmscoring), Robert Wilson, Hal Willner,

His albums has streamed more than 20 millions worldwide, placing him as one of the most listened to Danish jazz artists.

He is currently finishing an artistic research project, Transformative Reflections, which is supported by the Cultural Ministry of Denmark on inspiration from visual art to music.

Sponsored with the Embassy of Denmark

“Simply put, these guys are the best piano trio in Denmark, and Nikolaj Hess is one of the most inventive jazz pianists working today” (Mitch Myers Magnet Magazine 2019)

“A delightful, reflective, almost pastoral use of light and shade. If Chopin had been born in New York and received tuition from say Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett he may have sounded like this” writes ‘Bebop spoken here’ (UK) beautifully about Nikolaj Hess.

“Gold dust. Nikolaj Hess’ fingers on the keyboard is an alchemical affair. An album with a wide range of expression, yet spiritually coherent.” (Chr Munch-Hansen Politiken)

“Danish pianist Nikolaj Hess careened between heart-melting delicacy and almost Chopinesque virtuosity. Hess is clearly equipped to face the most gargantuan technical demands, but it was the incredible fecundity of his imagination that impressed the most”(Peter Quinn Art Desk, London)

”No matter whether he is working to unite different musical worlds, or getting down on the anatomy of the groove, Hess’ sound world is one that gathers many different aspects of tradition and culture. Global Motion + and The Champ provide two pieces of the puzzle that makes up his many-faceted vision” Jakob Baekgaard Allaboutjazz

“Bilingual in classical and jazz, Hess moves in both cultures with confidence, so the project is not just jazz-with-strings-tacked-on (or vice versa) but an organic hybrid. Though the strings don’t solo they are used as an autonomous voice, providing chromatically embellished melodies, ‘rubbing’ dissonances (caused by adjacent chord tones), canons, chorales and jousting countermelodies. The leader threads it all together, rippling through the colorful arrangements with a gorgeous feathery effervescent touch, equal parts Murray Perahia and Bill Evans.” (New York City Jazz Record)


Nikolaj Hess, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen



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Useful Info

Live Event
Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW Washington, DC 20007
Dinner Theater
No kids under 5 years old

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