Achim Kaufmann is a Berlin-based pianist, improvisor, and composer.
From 1996 to 2009, he lived in Amsterdam where he became part of that city’s internationally renowned improvised music scene.
Since the early 2000s, he has been touring internationally with the trio Kaufmann/Gratkowski/de Joode, an improvising unit which has released five CDs so far, to much critical acclaim.
Since moving to Berlin, he started a number of new groups including grünen (a piano trio with Christian Lillinger and Robert Landfermann which has two releases on Clean Feed), a trio with Axel Dörner and Okkyung Lee, and SKEIN (with Gratkowski, de Joode, Okkyung Lee, Richard Barrett and Tony Buck). He recently also released duo albums with long-standing collaborators Michael Moore and Thomas Heberer.
Achim has been involved in a number of multi-disciplinary projects, including dance and especially poetry (with his wife, Gabriele DR Guenther).
He has also been giving solo concerts regularly and is preparing multiple solo releases at the moment.
Besides, he also played and/or recorded with Mark Dresser, Jim Black, Han Bennink, Paul Lovens, George Lewis, Tobias Delius, Roger Turner, Tristan Honsinger, Urs Leimgruber, John Hollenbeck, Wolter Wierbos, Fay Victor, Thomas Lehn, Mark Helias, Chris Speed, Andrea Parkins, Shelley Hirsch, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Lê Quan Ninh, Johannes Bauer, Gerry Hemingway, Paul Lytton, Paul Rutherford, Misha Mengelberg, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Tomász Stanko, Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky, to name only a few.
Achim Kaufmann received the renowned Albert Mangelsdorff jazz award at the Berlin Jazz Fest in 2015 where he performed with his trio grünen and poet Gabriele Guenther as a special guest.
“For many years, Achim Kaufmann has been one of the most inspiring and exciting personalities of the European jazz and improvisation scene. His music bears witness to great harmonic subtlety and structural depth. A brilliant pianist and composer, his reflected exploration of tradition has led him to a nuanced, contemporary sound language that encompasses poetry, energy and abstraction in equal measure.” (Julia Neupert, SWR radio)