the world of Schinkels' crossover: Beethoven Meets Jazz, Prog-Rock and gypsy jazz


Schinkel anges masterfully between the musical genres jazz, classic and rock, moreover he intertwines his lyrical piano performance with distorted synthesizer sounds, just as if Keith Jarrett Keith Emerson would meet for a pianistic rendezvous. 



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Marcus Schinkel Trio- Crossover Beethoven

Marcus Schinkel Trio- Crossover Beethoven

For more than 25 years the Marcus Schinkel Trio has been playing on stages and festivals in Germany, Europe, Russia, in the Caribbean and even for the German embassy in Vietnam,

Just 50 years after the release of “Play Bach“ by Jacques Loussier, Marrcus Schinkel continues the fusion of classical music and jazz with his program “Crossover Beethoven“ asking provocatively “Would Beethoven be a popular jazz musician of the present day?“

Marcus started playing classical piano at the age of 8 and was a fervant fan of Beethoven.

His sculpture was placed in front of a Deep Purple poster.Like Schroeder, the little “Peanuts“comic pianist, he devoured books and biographies of the ingenious eccentric.To this day the crossover-musician opnens all borders and goes beyond all bounds.

Marcus Schinkel, one of German's finest border between classic, jazz, electro and pop, is able to look back on his successful past:he played for Maestro Kurt Masur, with Paul Kuhn, Charlie

Mariano, Eric Vloeimans, Beethovenorchester Bonn and the Münchener Symphoniker, playing in stages and festivals in Germany, Europe, Russia, Caribbean and even for the german embassy in Vietnam.

As the centre piece of his many musical projekts Marcus Schinkel founded his trio with Wim de Vries(drums)-also well-known from "The Drumbassadors"- during his study at the Arnhem Music Concervatory in the Netherlands, bass-player Fritz Roppel superseded former Bas Rietmijer in 2015.

Wim de Vries is one of the most noted drummers in Europe and the half one of the drumduo “Drumbassadors“- who created a furore in the whole world and Bas Rietmeijer is an important figure in the Dutch music scene who also played with Eric Vloeimans, Jasper van't Hof and Eef Alberts.

Marcus Schinkel arranged Beethoven compositions on his CD “News From Beethoven“-published in 2004 like the well-known pieces moonshine-sonata“ and “For Elise“.

2009 followed the arrangement of the 9 themes from the 9 Beethoven symphonies for the International Beethoven Festival Bonn.

The CD “9 Symphonies“ published shows the harmonious blend and Crossover of Jazz Trio and classical string quartet.

In his new program “Crossover Beethoven“ Schinkel blends his style of compositions with Beethoven's melodies, thus catapulting the harmonies and rhythms into modern times between Jazz, Electro and Rock.The original music flashes to the surface every so often, thus building a commenting function, which serves as a base camp for jazzy excursions into a brave new world.

Schinkel also performed this program on concert tours through Honduras 2017 and China 2018 with local musicans.

The German paper Jazzpodium writes:“jazz-linke reharmonized fragments of Beethoven themes with a lot of verve and knowhow(...), one of the few succesful adaptions of classical music into Jazz.“

Marcus Schinkel's most recent program "Crossover Beethoven" - asking provocantively" Would Beethoven be a popular jazz musician on this present day?" and is founded on the quote of the medieval author Thomas Morus:“the tradition is not meant to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the flame!"


Solo- from Bach to Björk

For his solo program, Marcus Schinkel arranges classical compositions, jazz and contemporary pop hits and sets off on a very personal time journey of his musical career.

Schinkel started his career with classical piano playing – at the age of 12, he was already a great fan of Beethoven’s, Schubert’s and Chopin’s romantic compositions. In his youth, he discovered jazz music, being especially under the influence of old masters like Art Tatum, Fats Waller and Erroll Garner, but Schinkel was equally motivated by modern pianists like Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. While listening to Schinkel’s music, you can also clearly hear the impact of the classical rock music of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and of contemporary music by Björk, Massive Attack, Lady Gaga and Coldplay. Schinkel combines all of these musical influences in his individual lyrical, expressive and virtuosic piano performance - beyond all common clichés and styles of music!


Pictures At An Exhibiton 2020 by Voyager IV

light & laser rockshow, elements of progressive rock, space rock, classical music and jazz based on the classical Mussorgsky composition

crossover music - Ernie Watts & Marcus Schinkel Trio

Ernie Watts - sax (USA), Marcus Schinkel - piano, synth (D), Wim de Vries - drums (NL), Fritz Roppel - bass (D) Crossover music ignores borders and brings together differnet musical worlds. Who could know this better than ernie Watts, two-time Grammy winner and one of jazz's gratest saxophone players? Watts has worked with legends like Miles Davis, Frank Zappa and Kurt elling, who constandly sourgh to expand their own horizons and carefully wove other influences into their music.

With Marcus Schinkel Trio, Watts will play with another pioneer, Crossover pianist Marcus Schinkel and will perform his jazz- arrangements based on Beethoven- compositions.

Also with his latest Trio- CD Crossover Beethoven, Schinkel strikes out on his own again, beyond the mainstream repertoires of many other piano jazz trios: not only that he ranges masterfully between the musical genres jazz, classic and rock, moreover he intertwines his lyrical piano performance with distorted synthesizer sounds, just as if Keith Jarrett Keith Emerson would meet for a pianistic rendezvous. 

Since the days of Joe Zawinul and Jan Hammer, only few piano artists discovered an innovative sound among a concert grand piano and synthesizer.

One of these border crossers is Marcus Schinkel who has so far worked with such different artists like Pee Wee Ellis, Charlie Mariano or Eric Vloeimans right up to the Munich Symphony Orchestra. 

Engagements with his „classic meets jazz program“ brought Schinkel to places in Europe, Russia, the Caribbean and to the German Embassy in Vietnam.

Wim de Vries, drummer of the well-known Drumduo “Drumbassadors“ got the Jazzpoll for best jazzdrummer Benelux 2016.

In June 2015, during the German Protestant Church Congress, the Marcus Schinkel Trio appeared in concert for an audience of more than 3500 people in the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, concerts in 2016 at Jazztage Dresden, Mama Jazz Lithuania and Jazzfestival Bonn, 2017 concerts in San Pedro Sula/Honduras and 2018 Chengdu/Chnia.

Tradition doesn’t mean preservation of the ashes, it means passing on the fire!“ 

(Thomas Morus)


classic meets gypsy - Joscho Stephan & Marcus Schinkel Trio

Joscho Stephan great acoustic guitar play appearances in New York’s Lincoln Center or the American country capital Nashville were equally well-received, as were his perfomances in the New Yorker jazz shrine Birdland.Together with Marcus Schinkel – piano, melodika, theremin, Wim de Vries – drums and Fritz Roppel – bass they are performing classical music tunes turned into Gypsy Jazz style.

Joschos Gypsyswing

His roots lie in Gipsy Swing music, the style pioneered in the 1930s by the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Joscho Stephan has not merely absorbed this music, but also interprets it on the highest level and is actively engaged in extending its boundaries. Despite his youth, after four highly acclaimed CDs and a DVD he has played his way into the illustrous circle of the finest Gipsy Swing musicians in the world. Great jazz musicians such as Paquito de Rivera, James Carter, Charlie Mariano or Grady Tate enthusiastically praised the talented newcomer after performing together.He has toured Australia with top guitarists Martin Taylor and Tommy Emmanuel and has performed with his own bands (trio to quintett) on numerous important European festivals (among others in Slovenia, Italy, France, Poland and the UK). His concert appearances in New York’s Lincoln Center or the American country capital Nashville were equally well-received, as were his perfomances in the New Yorker jazz shrine Birdland. Across the board, the press only has good things to say about Joscho Stephan. His debut “Swinging Strings” was named CD of the month by American magazine Guitar Player. In the words of the highly regarded Acoustic Guitar Magazine, he is the guarantor for the future of Gipsy jazz guitar.