Pablo Held, born in 1986, grew up in a family of musicians in Hagen and came into contact with music of various origins at an early age. At the age of 18 he began his jazz piano studies in Cologne with John Taylor and Hubert Nuss, which he completed with distinction. In 2006 he founded the Pablo Held Trio with Robert Landfermann & Jonas Burgwinkel, which has released albums on Edition Records. The American magazine “All About Jazz” calls the trio “a world class trio of special talent”, Ralph Towner talks about it as “an important example for the evolution of the piano trio in jazz” and John Scofield praises the trio as “one of the best groups of today’s music”. Pablo can also be heard as a sideman on over 30 recordings. The WDR Jazzpreis, the SWR Jazzpreis, the Horst & Gretl Will Scholarship, the Förderpreis des Landes NRW and the Westfalen Jazzpreis are just a few of the prizes and awards that Pablo Held has received over the years. Pablo Held has collaborated with John Scofield, Ralph Towner, Chris Potter, Jorge Rossy, Nasheet Waits, Norma Winstone, Mark Feldman, Anders Jormin, Dave Liebman, Tom Harrell and Mike Gibbs. Concert tours have taken Pablo throughout Europe, Asia, North & South America and Canada, often in collaboration with the Goethe Institute. Since 2017 Pablo has been curating his own concert series at the LOFT in Cologne called “Pablo Held Meets”.
In his successful interview series “Pablo Held Investigates”, Pablo has been talking to musicians like Wayne Shorter, Joey Baron Thomas Morgan, Bill Stewart, John Scofield, Norma Winstone, Larry Goldings and Dave Longstreth on their approaches and various aspects of music. Selected interviews from the series have already been published in print editions of the JazzThing magazine.
New Album Ascent
Pablo Held’s new album, Ascent, his second for Edition Records, is a collaboration between his long-running trio (with bassist, Robert Landfermann and drummer, Jonas Burgwinkel) and the great Brazilian guitarist Nelson Veras. Regarded as one of the most talented and adventurous pianists and improvisors in Europe, Pablo Held is building a formidable reputation, not only as a pianist of outstanding ability but also for his considerable musicality, energy and risk-taking. Ascent is highly anticipated new album, following their 10th album Investigations, praised internationally for its remarkable quality, deep communication and lyrical elegance, prompting All About Jazz to describe the group as “a world-class trio of exceptional talent”. The new album is a deeply satisfying fusion of the powerful and expressive music associated with Pablo Held’s trio and the fluid invention of Nelson Veras’s guitar stylings.
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“All three musicians are continually searching, finding different routes, drawing different but yet sympathetic conclusions. With 9 previous albums to their name, it is little wonder they are in such demand. It needs no distractions – each time you listen is a journey of discovery that may or may not take you to a new world” Bebop Spoken Here
Investigations is the new album from 31 year old German pianist Pablo Held and his long standing trio featuring bassist, Robert Landfermann and drummer, Jonas Burgwinkel. With a new home on the British imprint Edition Records, the release of Investigations marks a change in the trajectory of the trio’s journey that has garnered the attention and acclaim of audiences and critics throughout Europe and beyond. Crafted with alluring elegance, lyricism and sophistication, Investigations is an album that perfectly blends tradition with modernity, familiarity with exploration and poised nuance with passion and energy.
Pablo Held is an artist of talent, maturity and sensibility, aware of tradition yet continually looking forward in search of something new. The Pablo Held Trio is exceptional in both its conception and execution of blurring the boundaries of composition and improvisation, their abstract, empathic musical conversations coalescing into stories that take tender, serene, and fiery turns. All three of them are master musicians, adventurous spirits and investigators of new music discovery. After 12 years of touring, 9 highly acclaimed records and remarkable collaborations with jazz greats like John Scofield or Chris Potter, Investigations is the next step in the trio’s development.
Out 13th April 2018 available on LP, CD, Download and Streaming. Order ‘Investigations’ Now
Q and A:
Where do you live?
PH – I live in Cologne, Germany together with my wife Sonja and our daughter Elsa and our son Frido
How many albums have you made?
PH – I’ve done ten records as a leader and I’ve appeared on over 25 records as a sideman
How long have you played together as a trio?
PH – We’ve been playing together for twelve years.
Your best ever gig?
PH – Of course there a couple that stand out, but I’ve learned something on all of them. I’d say my first gig with John Scofield was pretty special, also the gig I played right after I witnessed the birth of my first child Elsa! I had to rush to the train a couple of hours after she was born and go to Hamburg to play at the Laeiszhalle with my trio – pretty intense!
Your favourite pianist?
PH – There so many! But Herbie Hancock is my all time hero!
Your Favourite album?
PH – OK, I’ll bend the rules a little bit on this one:
Miles Davis – Filles De Killimanjaro
Federico Mompou – Complete Piano Works
Joni Mitchell – Song to a Seagull
Describe your music in 3 words?
PH – adventurous, honest, conversational