Hannes Beckmann is seen by the German press as one of the “world’s best jazz violinists” according to Süddeutsche Zeitung. He studied violin in Dusseldorf, as well as composition and Law in Munich. His first album was recorded at the age of 17 and showcased Hannes Beckmann’s drum skills. However, soon he understood that his true vocation was violin. That is when Beckmann started playing with his own bands including such genres as Swing with the Reinhardt and White family, as well avant-garde Jazz with Peter Hamels’ Beetween. In 1972, he established his own Afro-Brazilian jazz band – Sinto. In 1985, Hannes Beckmann founded the “Hannes Beckmann Quartet”. In this period, his work is characterized by influences from East European ethnic elements as well as South African and Brazilian elements. Since 1990, Hannes Beckmann is the co-founder of the Board of Jazz Musicians Initiative in Munich which gave him the possibility to organize and participate at the Munich Jazz Festival for almost 10 years now.
Hannes Beckmann’s virtuoso violin playing earned him the reputation of “devil’s fiddler”. The concerts of his quartet are truly an unforgettable experience. He played with such different musicians as: Baden Powell, Attila Zoller, Birelli Lagrene, Phillip Catherine, Zipflo Reinhardt, Dusko Goykovic, Dom Um Romao, Ray Mantilla, Wolfgang Schmid, Edir und Pery dos Santos, Sreten Krtic, Alvin Queen, Edgar Wilson and Rudi Schröder. Since 1995, Beckamnn is a jazz violin professor at the University of Belgrade. In 2001, he became the head of the program “Jazz-Improvisation, Free Play and Ethnic Elements” at the University of Music and Theater in Munich.
Hannes Beckmann’s Style
Vadoo Werthmuller once wrote about Hannes Beckmann’s style the following: “[…] Hannes is certainly one of the few musicians, whose bloodstream plugs directly into his instrument. Passion, a lot of it, rage, anger – whatever moves him runs freely and urgently to the strings. Feelings become sound, which again fills the heart and soul of the listener. Nobody, who hears him play his violin, stays untouched. His musical expression is open, honest, direct. No room for misunderstandings. Of course he studied music and composing, first in Düsseldorf, then in Munich. Even law. And he makes good use of his technical knowledge. For example: His “European Suite”, which was performed as a centennial celebration by the “Münchener Philharmoniker” and an added jazz section with the composer at the baton. Or his very successful tour to Odessa, the Mekka of great violinists, where critics enthusiastically praised his virtuosity.” In his compositions, Beckmann has integrated many ethnic influences from: Central Europe, the Balkans, Brazil, Argentina, the Caribbean, Arabia and Africa.