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Joachim Kühn

Joachim Kühn

German jazz pianist
The basics
Occupations Pianist Composer Jazz musician
Countries Germany
Gender male
Birth March 15, 1944 (Leipzig, Leipzig District, East Germany)
Authority Discogs id ISNI id Library of congress id Musicbrainz id VIAF id
The details

Joachim Kurt Kühn (born 15 March 1944) is a German jazz pianist.


Kühn was a musical prodigy and made his debut as a concert pianist, having studied classical piano and composition with Arthur Schmidt-Elsey. Influenced by his elder brother, clarinetist Rolf Kühn, he simultaneously got interested in jazz. In 1961 he became a professional jazz musician. With a trio of his own, founded in 1964, he presented the first free jazz in the GDR. In 1966 he left the country and settled in Hamburg. Together with his brother he played at the Newport Jazz Festival and recorded with Jimmy Garrison for Bob Thiele's Impulse! Records.

Kühn has lived in Paris since 1968, and worked with Don Cherry, Karl Berger, Slide Hampton, Phil Woods, Michel Portal, Barre Phillips, Eje Thelin, Ray Lema, Hellmut Hattler, and Jean-Luc Ponty. As a member of Pierre Courbois's Association P.C., he turned to electronic keyboards. During the second half of the 1970s he lived in California and joined the West Coast fusion scene and recorded with Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Cobham, Michael Brecker, and Eddie Gómez.

Having settled near Paris again, he played in an acoustic trio with Jean-François Jenny-Clark and Daniel Humair since 1985. In the summer of 1996, he joined Ornette Coleman for two concerts at the Verona and Leipzig festivals, which opened the way for his Diminished Augmented System. More recently he has toured with Rabih Abou-Khalil and Joachim Kühn Trio with Christian Lillinger and Johannes Fink.


Solo piano

  • Charisma (Atlantic, 1977)
  • Snow in the Desert (Atlantic, 1980)
  • Distance (CMP, 1984)
  • Situations (Atlantic, 1988)
  • Dynamics (CMP, 1990)
  • Joachim Kühn Plays Lili Marleen (1994)
  • Abstracts (Label Bleu, 1995)
  • The Diminished Augmented System (EmArcy, 1999)
  • Piano Works I (HighNote, 2005)


  • with Walter Quintus: Dark (Ambiance, 1988)
  • with Walter Quintus: Get Up Early (Ambiance, 1991)
  • with Ornette Coleman: Colors: Live from Leipzig (Harmolodic/Verve, 1996)
  • with Connie Bauer: Generations from (East) Germany (KlangRäume, 1997)
  • with Michael Wollny: Piano Works IX - Live at Schloss Elmau (ACT, 2009)
  • with Archie Shepp: Wo!man (Archie Ball, 2011)


with Jean-François Jenny-Clark and Aldo Romano
  • Sound of Feelings (BYG Actuel, 1969)
  • Paris Is Wonderful (Byg Actuel, 1969)
with J.-F. Jenny-Clark and Daniel Humair
  • Easy to Read (1985)
  • From Time to Time Free (1988)
  • Live 1989 (1989)
  • Carambolage (1991) with the WDR Big Band
  • Usual Confusion (1993)
  • Triple Entente (Mercury/PolyGram France, 1998)
New Trio with Eric Schaefer and Chris Jennings
  • Love & Peace (ACT Music, 2018)


As sideman

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