Stephan-Max Wirth was born in 1968. He was already a jazz enthusiast in his early years and took his first saxaphone lessons with Leszek Zadlo in Munich. He moved to Cologne in 1995 having finished his studies under Jörg Kaufmann at the School of Arts in Arnhem (NL). From here as bandleader he organised international tournees for his own ensemble which he had formed in 1992. The tenor saxophonist and composer has been living and working in Berlin since 1999.
Stephan-Max Wirth was commissioned to compose various works for theater ( incl. Studiobühne Cologne) and continued to work intensely on his own projects. In order to keep his artistic talent independent and uncompromising he founded his own label BOS.REC. in 1993. Using this label and through innovative projects he has been able to support other jazz artists like Henning Wolter, Marcus Schinkel and the Cologne group “Leisure Minx”.
He has been able to establish himself as an remarkable live act at international jazz festivals through performances with his band, in varying constellations. He has also recorded several albums under his own name. In 1996 following a long engagement in the Athens Club “Half Note” he spontaneously produced a live album, which documents his time in Greece. With his recording “Mythos” in 1997 Stephan-Max Wirth extended the repertoire of the German jazz scene, by the modal reharmonisation of chansons and combining them with German vocal music. The title of the resulting CD “Jazzchansons” (1999) became its own genre of music, which now has its permanent place in the European music world. Jens Winther, Kevin Burrell, Thomasz Kupiez, Martin Speight, Yuri Yeryomin, Lucien Matheeuwsen, André Nendza, Eric Schäfer, Christoph Hillmann, Bill Ramsey and Ack van Rooyen can be counted among his fellow musicians.
Many of Stephan-Max Wirth’s compositions have been adapted for Bigbands by the Cologne music arranger Thomas Forkert. The arrangement of “fish and monkey” profited greatly from this and is now part of the permanent repertoire of over 200 Bigbands in the whole of the German speaking area.
In 2004 Stephan-Max Wirth and his Ensemble released the album “Illumination” which won high praise from the press. In this program he combined, as a premier, throat singing and modern jazz within his compositions and so doing created an extraordinary and varied sound structure, raising him above the many superficially arranged “multi-kulti” projects prominent over the last years. He received the Berlin Senats Studiosponsership prize for this album.
Stephan-Max Wirth enriches the international jazz scene through his own compositions coupled with his remarkable stage presence. For years he’s been performing with an Ensemble compiled of musicians who in turn are bandleaders with their own projects and varying styles. Due to the musical arrangement of his programs all the participants are able to produce top level music during the concerts. This way of working produces a perfect breeding ground for projects covering different art genres as is the case with the project „De-Bankroet-Jazz“. The idea of carrying out “Jazz” on the levels of ballet and film can be seen as the result of a creative working process stretching over 20 years.