Born: December 5, 1957 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Andreas Willers has gained a reputation as an exceptional guitar player with an incredibly rich stylistic background reaching from blues and jazz to improvised and New Music. The impressive technical and tonal options at his disposal are carried by a great feeling for form and tremenuos emotional power. His debut release was a solo recording for the famous FMP label in the 1980's. He has worked with Paul Bley, Louis Sclavis, David Murray a.m.m. on stage and in the studio. He also works on different forms of improvised and composed music.
Studied guitar and improvisation with Joe Diorio (at GIT, Los Angeles), John Abercrombie and Dave Holland (at Bannf School of Fine Arts, Alberta, Canada) among others. Studied composition in Hamburg. Tought jazz guitar at HfM Hanns Eisler in Berlin from 1991-96, writes workshop articles. Freelances as jazz- and improvising guitarist and as composer. Wrote for the Jazz Baltica Ensemble, NDR Radio Bigband, different chamber ensembles, the Andreas Willers Octett and other groups. Continues to perform solo and in various groups. More than 35 releases as a leader, sideman or in cooperative groups for various European labels including Enja, Leo, Jazzwerkstatt, between the lines, JazzHausMusik, Sound Aspects, FMP a.m.m.
Awards:Several scholarships, commisioned compositions (NDR Bigband, Jazz Baltica, CIO Orchestra Berlin) and awards, namely the SWR Jazzpreis.
- ‚Willers really is a stupor mundi guitarist‘ Bad Alchemy
- '....combines contrasting techniques, worlds of tones and traditions into a singular, easy-to-identify sound.' the RoRoRo Jazz Lexicon
- 'The German guitar player A.W. is certainly one of the most interesting voices in Europe.‘ AAJ.it
- 'Just when you think that everything has been said a new album by Andreas Willers comes along, a daring tour de force, where all the downsides of the avantgarde - boredom, disorder, redundance - are brilliantely avoided.' five stars ***** / JAZZTHETIK
- 'EXPLOSIVE MIXTURE. When guitarist Andreas Willers gets going, some musical TNT is blowing up - he's that precise in developing and focussing his ideas. And he is able to move completely throug the enormeous stylistic bandwidth at his disposal without stirring up any doubt in his individuality.' (JAZZTHING Mag., Germany)
‚This is avantgarde in a way, we like this beautiful word to be understood ... whereas you‘ll have to know that Andreas Willers .... can hardly be pressed into the jazz camp anymore these days. ...fascinating sounds.‘ (Jazzpodium, Germany)
- 'Willers style is well-rounded; especially attractive is his classical guitar work where we can hear his fine touch most clearly. He also posesses an unusually wide intervallic sense, rarely does one hear a guitarist who sounds so much as if he's listened to Eric Dolphy.' Chris Kelsey (CADENCE Mag., USA)
- 'Bizarre. Baffling. Enticing. Exiting. Ultimately Unique. .. All we can say is this is one of the most ambitious Hendrix projects we have ever come across.' (VOODOO CHILD Mag., USA )
- In the article 'Enja - 30 years on duty for jazz' for Jazzthetik magazine Rolf Thomas includes 'The Ground Music' by the Andreas Willers Octet in the ten quintessential Enja albums
- 'Willers could easily be the most influential european guitarist would he not always put the strictest intellectual judgement on his own work at all times.' Reclam Jazz Lexicon
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