Niklas Lukassen

Lecturer, Bass Guitar

Niklas Lukassen showcases an equally lyrical sensibility and skillful command on both the upright bass and the bass guitar. Special characteristic of his distinct artistic voice are his exploration of rarely heard qualities on the fretless bass guitar in creative improvised music and his occasional usage of a pick on the upright bass.

A formative part of his young, yet eventful career lies in New York where he attained a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music on a full scholarship under the mentorship of Ron Carter. Further formal learning experiences include a bachelor’s degree from the Jazz Institute Berlin, two summers at Berklee College of Music in Boston and his participation in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency in Washington D.C.

Expressing a keen interest in different musical worlds, his activities have sparked collaborations with the likes of Mike Stern, Richie Beirach, Jorge Rossy and Joe Lovano. Furthermore, Niklas Lukassen expanded beyond his position as a bass-playing sideman. As a vocalist he sang in ensembles such as the German National Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzO). In pursuit of charting his own course, he frequently displays his talents as an inventive composer and multifaceted bandleader. His debut album Still Waters Run Deep was recorded alongside Ben van Gelder, Kit Downes, Francesco Ciniglio and guests Kurt Rosenwinkel, Céline Rudolph and Wanja Slavin.

His life in music thus far has led him on tours across China, Malaysia, the Arabic World, across the USA and much of Europe.  Historic venues he performed at include Lincoln Center, Beacon Theatre, John F. Kennedy Center and the Berlin Philharmonie. Sought after also beyond the realm of jazz, he has played major popular music festivals with acts under the Label Universal Music Group.

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