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Marc Brenken - piano, composition




Marc Brenken (born June 17th, 1973 in Wilhelmshaven) was raised in Tetenhusen, a small village in Northern Germany. Starting off with piano lessons at the age of 8, he soon began to play his favourite tunes from memory and to improvise. Some of his early influences are Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, George Shearing and Wynton Kelly.

In 1994 Marc moved to Essen to study jazz piano at the Folkwang Academy of Music. There he became a well-known musician of the Ruhr area’s jazz scene. He recorded the CD „Kleine Big Banda“ with Italian bass player Paolo Dinuzzi in 1999 and took part in the „Swing Beats“ Festival. The same year he was asked to contribute some music to the original sound track of Leander Haußmann’s ’Sun Avenue’ ("Sonnenallee“).

In December 2000 Marc recorded his first trio CD with jazz standards. His partners on this session are Nils Imhorst (double-bass) and Benny Mokroß (drums). In May 2001 he got to know Spanish singer Minerva Díaz Pérez and founded a duo with her (see projects). Developing a repertoire of original compositions has always been one of Marc’s prior aims. He has been realizing it since December 2002 in his trio with bassist Sven Otte (Groningen, Netherlands) and drummer Bernd Gremm (Recklinghausen), both of them also graduates of the Folkwang Academy. In 2003 he met trumpet player Christian Kappe, with whom he first founded another duo, and later the Marc Brenken - Christian Kappe Quartet. The quartet recorded Marc’s first album with original compostions, "eight short stories" , released in November 2006.

Along with the above-mentioned idols, jazz piano masters of the Swing Era, many other musicians have influenced Marc’s playing, composing and understanding of music: Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, John Taylor, Simon Nabatov, Brad Mehldau and others. Also Igor Stravinsky and the Red Hot Chili Peppers should be named here. Marc had lessons with John Taylor und joined masterclasses with Richie Beirach, Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner.
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