Alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, composition
Born in Hamburg, 1963.
Started playing the saxophone at 16 and, following a period at the Hamburg Conservatory
(Hamburger Musikhochschule), moved in 1985 to study at the Cologne Conservatory of Music
with Heiner Wiberny, graduating in 1990.
Further studies with Charlie Mariano, Sal Nistico and Steve Lacy.
Frank Gratkowski has been working as a soloist in various international formations
(Grubenklang Orchester, Klaus Koenig Orchester, Musikfabrik NRW, Tony Oxley Celebration
Orchestra, Bentje Braam, BikBentBraam, All Ears, Zeitkratzer, WDR Big band, etc.). Since 1990
he has been giving solo performances throughout Europe, Canada and USA. With his first solo
program, he was a 1991 prizewinner in the Musik Kreativ contest. The release of the solo CD
“Artikulationen” followed the same year and a new one “ArikulationenII” in 2002.
Since 1992 he has been working in a duo with the pianist Georg Graewe (CD “VicissEtudes”).
The duo is often extended through the participation of different additional musicians, such as
drummer Paul Lovens (CD “Quicksand”) and bassist John Lindberg (CD “Arrears”).
In 1995 he founded the “Frank Gratkowski Trio” with Dieter Manderscheid (Germany), bass, and
Gerry Hemingway (USA), drums, (CDs “Gestalten” and “The Flume Factor” ). In 2000 the trio has
been extended to a quartet by Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos (CDs “Kollaps”, “Spectral
Reflections” and “Facio”). Since 2003 also appearing as a Double Quartet plus Tobi Delius,
Herb Robertson, Wilbert DeJoode and Michael Vatcher. In 2005 he got the SWR Jazzprize.
In 1999 the duo with the Italian trombonist Sebastiano Tramontana has been formed and since
2001 Frank Gratkowski has been performing with a trio including Wilbert De Jode (NL) on bass
and Achim Kaufmann (D) on piano (CDs “Kwast” and “Unearth”).
Frank Gratkowski played on nearly every German and on numerous international Jazz Festivals
including Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Quebec, Les Mans, Muelhuus,
Groeningen, Nickelsdorf, Barcelona, Lithuania, Warsaw, Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava, Sofia,
Bucharest, Odessa and Roma.
He has been teaching saxophone and ensembles at the Cologne, Berlin and Arnhem
Conservatory of Music and is giving workshops all around the world as well.
Furthermore he has performed with Robert Dick, Phil Wachsmann, Radu Malfatti, Herb
Robertson, Marcio Mattos, Eugenio Colombo, Peter Kowald, Ray Anderson, Michael Moore, Ken
Vandermark, Greg Osby, Kenny Wheeler, Louis Sclavis, John Betsch, Jane Ira Bloom, Connie
and Hannes Bauer, Xu Fengxia, James Newton, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Lindberg, Michael
Formaneck, Ernst Reijseger, Fred van Hove, Theo Jörgensmann, Phil Minton, Peter Brötzmann,
Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Hamid Drake, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Mal Waldron, Misha
-Franck Band “Liebeslieder”, “Looser”, “Dufte” Jazzhausmusik
-Frank Gratkowski “Artikulationen” 2nd Floor Edition
-Klaus König “The Song of Songs”, “Time Fragments” a.o. Enja Records
-Gratkowski - Graewe “VicissEtudes” random acoustics
-Georg Graewes GrubenklangOrchester ” Flavours, Fragments” ITM Rec
-Earl Howard “Pele’s Tears” random acoustics
-Ekkehard Jost Nonett “Out of Jost´s Songbook” Fish Music
-Michael Moore “tunes for horn guys” RAMBOY Rec.
-Tony Oxley “The Enchanted Messenger” Soul Note
-Frank Gratkowski Trio “Gestalten” Jazzhausmusik
-Georg Graewe Quartet “Melodie und Rhythmus” Okkadisk
-Frank Gratkowski Trio “The Flume Factor” random acoustics
-Bentje Braam “playing the second cool book” BV HAAST
-Loft Exil 3 “Live at Moers Festival 98” 2nd Floor Edition
-Frank Gratkowski Trio “Quicksand” Meniscus Records
-Simon Nabatov Quartet “Nature Morte” Leo Records
-Frank Gratkowski Quartet “Kollaps” Red Toucan Rec.
-Gratkowski / Graewe / Lindberg “Arrears” Red Toucan Rec.
-Gratkowski / van Hove / Oxley “GratHovOx” Nuscope Records
-Frank Gratkowski “Artikulationen II” 2nd Floor Edition
-Frank Gratkowski Quartet “Spectral Reflections” Leo Records
-Gratkowski / Bryerton / Smith “The Voice Imitator (Live in San Francisco)” balance point acoustics
-Kaufmann/ Gratkowksi/ DeJoode “Kwast” Konnex Rec.
-Frank Gratkowski Quartet “Facio” Leo Records
-Frank Gratkowski Poject “Loft Exile V” Leo Records
-Kaufmann/ Gratkowksi/ DeJoode “Unearth” Nuscope Records
-Gerry Hemingway Quintet “Double Blues Crossing” Betreen the Lines
-Gratkowski/Lehn/Poore “Triskaidekaphonia” Leo Records
-James Choice Orchestra “Live in Moers” Moers Musik
-Frank Gratkowski vis-à-vis Misha Mengelberg Leo Records
-Leo Records “25th Aniversary - Loft/Köln” Leo Records
-Gratkowski/Robertson/Nabatov/Manderscheid “Celebrations” Leo Records
further info and tourdates @ http://www.gratkowski.com