Hannes Zerbe Jazz Orchestra Berlin


The Hannes Zerbe Jazz Orchestra Berlin is an unconventional bigband which exists since 2011. Musicians well-known in Berlin’s jazz scene play under the direction of Hannes Zerbe who is regarded a founding father among jazz musicians in the German Democratic Republic. For the orchestra, he composes and arranges the music in which you can feel influences from modern jazz over symphonic music to Frank Zappa. The band’s interaction creating a united sound experience is one of the main ambitions. However, the individual and creative opportunities of each musician are as important. Therefore, elaborate improvisations present them with all his or her diversity and artistic potential.                         --> contact

Hannes Zerbe (*1941 Łódź) Composer, Musician


Initially, Hannes Zerbe graduated in electrical engineering at the Technical University Dresden.

Later on, he studied jazz piano at the conservatoire in Dresden and continued with studies of composing at the conservatoire “Hanns Eisler“ in Berlin under professor Wolfram Heicking. From 1985 to 1987 he was one of Paul-Heinz Dittrich’s master pupils for composition at the Academy of Arts (Eastern Berlin).

For projects and music tours, Zerbe collaborated with several musicians of the contemporary music scene with special emphasis on jazz (among others Charlie Mariano, Willem Breuker, Lauren Newton, Bernd Konrad, Klaus Koch, Dietrich Unkrodt, Gebhard Ullmann and Jürgen Kupke).

From 1975 to 1977 he was extraordinarily successful with the jazz quartett FEZ which he formed with trombonist Conrad Bauer, bassist Christoph Niemann und drummer Peter Gröning.

1979 he initiated the HANNES ZERBE-BLECH BAND, which was composed of not only jazz musicians, but also included musicians from symphonic orchestras (Staatskapelle Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin and Berlin Symphonic Orchestra). The ensemble comprised around 15 musicians and played own compositions as well as 20th century’s compositions (among others Paul Dessau, Hanns Eisler, Kurt Weill) and adaptations.

In addtion, Hannes Zerbe is composing for vocals, bigband, chamber music, symphonic orchestra, audio drama, theater and film.

Presenting different line-ups and projects, Hannes Zerbe appeared on many national and international concerts and festivals e.g. in Berlin, Leipzig, Moers, Nürnberg, Hannover, Münster, Bloomington (USA), Warsaw, Wroclaw, Prague and Bratislava.                            --> contact