Primary Instrument: Piano
Born in Cologne, Germany, not long after Keith Jarrett played his legendary Köln Concert in the same city, Axel Schwintzer has started to play the piano at the age of 10. He studied mostly classical music at first, and later switched primarily to Jazz and improvised music.
After completing a master's program at the University of Bonn, Germany, where he majored in Political Science and English Linguistics, Axel received a scholarship to study at Boston's Berklee College of Music, from which he graduated summa cum laude in 2004. In his studies, he concentrated on performance and composition in various styles.
After graduating from Berklee, Axel lived in Boston for two and a half years, playing throughout New England with various bands such as Cheek to Cheek, Alley Blues, or the Gaku Murata Quartet, and teaching piano at the Merry Melody Music Academy in Norwood, Massachusetts. In 2005, he recorded the album “five eleven”, featuring Noriaki Hosoya on bass, Sergei Ioanissyan on drums, Junichiro Abekawa on tenor sax, and Voro Garcia on trumpet. Apart from Axel's compositions, the album contains original music by Noriaki Hosoya and Sergei Ioanissyan, as well as some standard material
In 2007, Axel moved to New York City, and has since busied himself with teaching piano, composing, and performing at local venues such as Buona Sera, Seppi's, or Union Smith. He also kept playing at venues in Boston, as well as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, in 2008. In 2009, he recorded his second album as a leader with his new group, Axels' Axiom, featuring Marko Djordjevic on drums, Evan Gregor on bass, Aki Nishiguchi on tenor sax, Alex Terrier on alto sax, and Casper Gyldensøe on guitar. The album is entitled “Uncommon Sense” and features 10 original pieces.
Among others, Axel has studied piano and music with Charlie Banacos, Richie Beirach, Laszlo Gardony, Ed Tomassi, Hal Crook, Frank Carlberg, Alain Mallet, Alexei Tsiganov, Bruce Katz, Dave Limina, and Matthias Klimsch. His main pianistic influences are people like Bud Powell, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Wynton Kelly, McCoy Tyner, Thelonious Monk, Keith Jarrett, Fred Hersch, Brad Mehldau, Michel Petrucciani, or Kenny Kirkland, to name only the most important ones. Compositionally, Axel likes to blend Jazz with elements of other styles - mostly Pop, Funk, Brazilian, and World music. His main compositional influence is the band Yellowjackets.