Jörg Achim KELLER (DE)

Jörg Achim Keller was born on August, 27th 1966 in Zurich, Switzerland.

He works as conductor, composer/ arranger and drummer and was raised in the city of Münster (Germany). Jörg came into touch with – and developed his love for - Jazz thru the record collection of his father. While still studying music in the Netherlands, he was already writing arrangements for Peter Herbolzheimers SWF-Formation, the Metropole Orchestra, the Hamburg (NDR) and Frankfurt(hr) radio big bands, plus a lot of more clients.

In the early 1990´s, he was touring as drummer with the European Glenn Miller Orchestra. Also, in the middle 1980´s, he played drums in the quartett of Amercan Saxophone-legend Herb Geller.
From the middle 1990´s on, conducting more and more replaced his work as a drummer. In those years, he was frequent guest-conductor with the NDR and RIAS (Berlin) Big Bands, then, a little later, also for the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg and other symphonic outfits.

In February 2000, Keller became chief-conductor of the hr-Big Band, a position that he held until August 2008. In the 81/2 years with the band, he was able to develope it according to his own musical standards. Among the many concert & CD-productions from these years are a program on the music of free-jazz-pioneer Ornette Coleman, jazzversions of Gershwin´s Porgy and Bess and Bernstein´s West Side Story and a programm featuring Gamelan-music from Bali.

In August 2008, Jörg Achim Keller endet his time as principal conductor with the hr Big Band and became chief conductor of the NDR Big Band (until August of 2008), remaining NDR´s principal guest conductor in the 2 years after that.

Keller has been an orchestrator of motion pictures (among them „7-Zwerge“ I & II) and series for German TV (among them episodes of „2 Brüder“ und „Inseln unter dem Wind“). He has also written commissioned works in symphonic style (among them a piece for the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and a Saxophone Concerto, which was premiered by the hr symphony orchestra with soloist Prof. Wolfgang Bleibel).
Also he has worked (and still works) extensivly as an arranger/ conductor for hr-Bigband, WDR Big Band, BBC Big Band (GB), Bohuslän Big Band (SWE), the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, Hannover Radiophilamonie, as well as the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, BBC Concert Orchestra and the Metropole Orkest (NL).

Since his starting of as a professional writer in 1986, Keller has written some 2750+ arrangements, covering basically all styles and a wide variety of line-ups, from a recorder-trio to a „double-orchestra“.

He has been conductor and /or arranger for a large number of German and international artists, including: Till Brönner („German Songs“+ more), Udo Jürgens („Einfach Ich“ + more), No Angels („When the Angels swing“), Tom Gäbel („Introducing: Myself“ + more), Alan Bergman („Lyrically“), Stefan Gwildis („Das mit dem Glücklichsein“), Joja Wendt (several), Nils Landgren, Nana Mouskouri, Pepe Lienhard and, in connection with his work for the above mentioned bands and orchestras also for Mark Murphy, Al Jarreau, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Wolfgang Haffner, Victoria Tolstoy, Rebekka Bakken, Nina Hagen, Joe Pass, Mike Stern, Chet Baker, James Morrison, Annette Louisan, Sasha, Xavier Naidoo, Clueso, N.Y. – Voices, Jeff Cascaro, Silvia Droste, Marc Secara, Jack Bruce, Michael Wollny, Oleta Adams, Mario Biondi, Bill Evans (...)

For his programms and his work as arranger/ conductor, he has earned several rewards, like the ECHO JAZZ and the PREIS DER DEUTSCHEN SCHALLPLATTENKRITIK.
Recent works included writing a programm of Duke Ellington´s music for Al Jarreaus last tour of Europe and arrangements for the CD´s „Nice`n`easy“ (Thomas Quasthoff) and „Rocks“ (Randy Brecker).

Keller was a professor for Jazz composition/ arrangement & ensemble at the Jazz-Institut- Berlin from april 2017 to March 2018 and currently holds a position as professor for conducting (jazz) at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim. He remains active as professional conductor, composer/ arranger and drummer.